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active 11 hours ago

Tommy Laukkanen

I'm Tommy, travel specialist and tour guide in Rovaniemi in Finnish Lapland.

When I plan travels the most important thing is to make sure to understand the specifics of the activities and destinations. To me it's the little details that can really make the difference!

What places and activities do you specialize in?

"I specialize in travel in Finland with an emphasis on Finnish Lapland. While I am very familiar with just about anything there is to do here, the activities that benefit most from my specialized knowledge are Northern Lights, snowmobiles and husky sleigh rides."

How did you get involved in travel?

"I have been interested in travel for as long as I can remember but it wasn't until I looked for a way to use my language skills in interesting ways that I started work as a tour guide, first in southern Norway. What was supposed to be a one season thing opened my eyes, not only to the beauty of Northern Europe but to the joys of tourism and I've never looked back."

Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.

"It's really hard to pin down my favorite travel experience - If not the times here when the Northern Lights were so strong they filled the entire sky and there was no one around as I stood in the middle of a frozen lake, then the first time I hitchhiked to Syria, rode camels in the desert and saw ancient roman sites."

Tommy is part of the following groups: Finland Travel Agents
Top itineraries and travel advice
Family itineraries
Road trip itineraries

Recent trip reviews for Tommy

Finnish adventures made easy by KimKim!
Finland | Feb 13 - Feb 22, 2024

Mercie
Mercie N.
Newark, NJ | Reviewed on Feb 24, 2024
I initially searched the internet to find a travel service specializing in Finland. Once I found KimKim and read reviews I decided to go with their agency. Tommy was our specialist and from the beginning he listened to my ideas, offered suggestions, made modifications as needed and provided answers to the many questions I had! The final itinerary was delivered to us a few days before we departed with all the reservations, vouchers for guided tours, transportation listed in detail. We... Read more

I initially searched the internet to find a travel service specializing in Finland. Once I found KimKim and read reviews I decided to go with their agency. Tommy was our specialist and from the beginning he listened to my ideas, offered suggestions, made modifications as needed and provided answers to the many questions I had! The final itinerary was delivered to us a few days before we departed with all the reservations, vouchers for guided tours, transportation listed in detail. We experienced some confusion on the part of a hotel and our billing, but Tommy answered our inquiry quickly and got it taken care of.

In Helsinki we stayed at the Scandic Grand Central Hotel. It was a beautiful facility, very comfortable with lots of history and conveniently located for us to just step out the front door to begin our exploration of the city. Our transportation to and from the airport was quick and efficient. The driver who picked us up at the airport when we arrived ended up waiting an hour for us as our luggage was lost. It was a very snowy night, we were so grateful for his patience. Our explorations of the city were on our own and we loved Helsinki. If you want a real authentic Finnish sauna experience, look up the Kotiharjun Sauna - it was an amazing experience!

We flew to Rovaniemi (our own reservations) and again were met by a friendly taxi driver who took us to our accommodations. We chose to stay at the Apukka Rovaniemi City Apartments. Very modern, clean with a small kitchenette & bath, lots of storage for clothing and luggage , comfortable bed in a sleeping alcove, seating in living area and dining areas. We loved being able to people watch out the large windows and to easily walk into town to explore the area. It was a very short walk to the Safartica office where most of our adventures began.

Our adventures included:
1. ice fishing : after we were outfitted with an additional layer of protective clothing, we were driven to a beautiful lake where our guide showed us all the essentials of Finnish ice fishing. No luck but lots of fun. He even brought hot juice beverage to warm us up. Luckily no wind, so comfortable to be out.

2. Ice Floating : what a unique experience! A bus drove us way out into the countryside to a lake side area where there was a warm changing house, outdoor toilets, a Lappish tipi with a warm fire and marshmallows and of course the cleared area of the frozen lake. As our group was large we were split in two- one waited on land and the other went into the water. All the participants shared the task of taking photos of one another- a very friendly group. Once suited up in the immersion suits we waddled down to the lake, the guides were helpful and made sure each person entered and exited the water safely. Then we just floated- an experience I find hard to explain, but well worth it.

3. Husky safari: Can't get much better than to spend the morning with enthusiastic, well cared for dogs. It was such fun to actually guide (really the dogs did all the work) our own sled through gorgeous forest and lakeside. Again- very informative and friendly guides.

4. Snowshoe hike: We hiked about 6km through glorious Finnish old growth forest. It happened to be a blue sky day so it was just beautiful. Our guide, Eduard (I think is how to spell his name) was an enthusiastic outdoorsman and stopped frequently to explain the nature around us. Hot chocolate and cookies about halfway!

5. Arctic Night Reindeer Safari: The last evening we joined a group and were driven to a Finnish reindeer farm. Here we learned all about reindeer farming and had a ride through the forest in a sleigh pulled by reindeer. The reindeer and sleds were all connected with a young man leading the way. It was so quiet and peaceful . The reindeer were handsome animals (all male) and fun to watch them move along, sometimes the one behind would catch up to us and his head right next to us!

All the tours exceeded our expectations! We highly recommend having KimKim help you with your travel plans.

Final night we spent at the Scandic Helsinki Airport Hotel, as we had a very early flight. It was again very comfortable, with a very good restaurant. They even provide breakfast items for those getting up at 4am!

Hotel Reviews
Scandic Grand Central Helsinki
Helsinki

Beautiful, historic hotel centrally located for easy exploration of Helsinki. Very elaborate breakfast buffet included.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Apukka Rovaniemi City Apartments
Rovaniemi

In town efficient apartment, well appointed, quiet and comfortable.

Authenticity & Character
very modern
Location
Staff
The front office clerk on the day we left was very friendly.
Cleanliness & Comfort
Scandic Helsinki Airport
Vantaa

Literally right next to the airport and surprisingly very quiet. Comfortable rooms. Delicious dinner in the restaurant and quick breakfast snack at 4am!

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Activity Reviews
Transport from Hotel in Helsinki to Helsinki Airport
Transport from Hotel in Helsinki to Helsinki Airport
Helsinki

The driver waited an hour for us on a stormy night as our luggage was lost and we had to complete a claim.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Transport from Rovaniemi Airport to Hotel in Rovaniemi
Transport from Rovaniemi Airport to Hotel in Rovaniemi
Rovaniemi

Friendly driver, shared local info in the short drive to our hotel.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Ice Fishing
Ice Fishing
Finland

Fun to be out on a beautiful lake learning how to bore a hole into the thick ice and use the very small fishing poles.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Northern Lights Ice Floating
Northern Lights Ice Floating
Rovaniemi

After a bus ride out into heavily forested lands we arrived at the lake side cabin. The group was divided in two so one suited up right away and the other enjoyed the warm fire in the Lappish tipi. It was great fun to watch the others floating and help take their photos. There were three guides to help make the experience safe and fun. Once in the survival suits we trudged down to the opening in the lake and carefully descended the ladder into the water. Once floating it was so calm and relaxing. Do be sure to wear warm clothes to make the float the most comfortable. No northern lights but gorgeous Big Dipper!

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Assisted with all aspects of the experience from donning the suits to getting in & out of the water and the warming tipi
Transport
Husky Safari
Husky Safari
Finland

A truly fun way to begin our day with a trip to the husky farm. The local guides of the farm were informative and helpful . The dogs were enthusiastic and eager to get on the way. They were friendly and enjoyed petting and scratches when not working. The ride through the forest and around a frozen lake was magical. We were lucky... sunny sky, no wind and moderate temperatures. I can imagine it might be quite cold in other weather .

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Informative, helpful
Transport
Snowshoeing
Snowshoeing
Finland

An afternoon hike through a Finnish forest at the Arctic Circle with soaring pines, blue sky and rising moon! The guide provided ongoing commentary about the natural environment, stopping to point out interesting aspects of the forest. The hike was on a well established trail, some incline but manageable. The guide constantly kept an eye on the group so no stragglers could get lost! Hot chocolate and cookies at the midway point.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
The guide, Eduard (I think) was quite knowledgeable as he is also a forester and shared his obvious love of the out of doors.
Transport
Night reindeer Safari with chance of Northern Lights
Night reindeer Safari with chance of Northern Lights
Finland

We arrived at a reindeer farm lit up by torches on the path and lights on the buildings so it looked quite magical. The young woman oriented us to the facility and what to expect on the ride. Afterward she gave a fascinating lecture on reindeer farming. We all went to the starting point of the ride and waited off to the side for all the reindeer and the sleds to arrive. The reindeer & sleds were connected so no one was responsible for guiding their sleigh. We climbed in according to their instructions and settled under a blanket. The ride, led by one of the reindeer herders, was so peaceful through the forest across some open fields. The sky was cloudy so no northern lights but that did not make the trip any less enjoyable. Being so close to an actual reindeer was a real treat.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
so interesting to learn about the world of reindeer herding and how important it is in Lapland.
Transport
Transport from Hotel in Rovaniemi to Rovaniemi Airport
Transport from Hotel in Rovaniemi to Rovaniemi Airport
Rovaniemi

Driver was right on time, drove us to the airport without delay, friendly.

Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Local specialist: Tommy Laukkanen