If you are looking for the ultimate festive family getaway at Christmas then a trip to Lapland may just be the ticket. Santa Clauses village is situated in Rovaniemi in Finland within the Arctic Circle and can provide the entire family with magical memories whether you visit for a day or a short break.
Lapland Santa Trips are extremely popular during the festive season and in the below article will hopefully give you some fantastic ideas ahead of making your dream trip.
Activities to do in Lapland
No festive family trip to Lapland is complete without a trip to see Santa Claus in his home town. A good place to see Santa is in Santa Claus village which is in Rovaniemi.
It is actually possible to visit Santa in his hometown 365 days a year and what type of visit you have with Santa will largely depend on what type of package you have booked.
Take up the opportunity to travel like Santa Claus on a Reindeer Pulled Sleigh. The trip lasts a few hours and allows you to explore the stunning scenery and peaceful nature of the Arctic Circle.
Prior to snowmobiles, Husky Sledding was the main form of transportation. Here you can plough through the Arctic Circle on a sleigh and take in the breathtaking scenery.
One of the more adventurous ways to explore Lapland is by Snowmobiling. At Lapland, you can book a tour to ride a motorised sledge to Snowmobiling through the wilderness of the Arctic Circle.
Trips range from beginners rides to more experienced rides which can last several hours. This is not an activity which is recommended for small children.
There are many ski resorts around Lapland to enjoy which cater for all skill ranges from novices to the more experienced skiers. There are 4 ski resorts which surround Lapland including Levi, Yllas, Pyhä-Luosto and Ruka.
Each resort caters for different levels of skiers and it is also possible to take part in other activities such as snowboarding with the Levi Ski Resort being the most popular resort in Finland.
If visiting Lapland in December, it is possible to see the magnificent Northern Lights though it should be added that December is not the best time of year to visit if this is the sole purpose of your trip.
The Northern Lights are usually visible from September to March but in order to be amazed by their wonder you will require a clear visible night. If you do happen to be in Lapland on a clear night make sure you take yourself outside to take in the breath taking night sky.
Tobogganing is tremendous fun for all ages and toboggans can be hired locally. Once in possession you can then take part on the longest toboggan run in Finland located which is located in nearby Saariselkä.
Ice Fishing is an unusual and enjoyable family activity for you to enjoy whilst in Lapland. There are many tour packages that can arrange for you to partake in this activity and will also provide you with all the equipment you need.
You can travel to your Ice Fishing adventure by vehicle, snowmobile or on foot where you will then proceed to make your hole before attempting to fish for arctic char, grayling, whitefish and pike. On some fishing trips it may also be possible to take your catch home for supper.
Ranua Wildlife Park
Should you take up the opportunity to visit Ranua Wildlife Park then you be visiting Northern Europe’s most northerly wild life park.
The journey itself is well over 3 hours and can be travelled by bus. At the time of writing the cost of the bus journey was less than 20 Euro each and the zoo entrance was also 17 Euros. The Wildlife Park is famed for its magnificent Polar Bears though there are also 50 other species for you to enjoy.
All the above activities can be booked as part of a tour package prior to travelling and it is worth researching to see which is company is offering the best deal.
What to Wear
As Lapland is situated in the Arctic Circle and as Christmas is in the middle of winter it should come as no surprise that it is an extremely cold place to visit with temperatures often reaching as low as -30 degrees centigrade.
As it can be desperately cold when visiting, it is vital that you are fully prepared ahead of your visit. We would recommend taking the following items as the bare minimum:
- A thick winter coat
- Woolen underwear and base layer clothing
- Several pairs of thick woolen socks
- Warm Jumpers
- Jeans and Insulated Trousers
- Warm gloves, woolly hat and scarf
- Winter Boots or Hiking Boots
- Heat Pads for hands and feet
- Torch to improve visibility in the dark
- Backpack with additional clothing and essentials
- If travelling with young children it would be advisable to dress your child in a snow suit and keep them wrapped up
As with any trip the better prepared you are for all eventualities the more fun you are likely to have on your holiday.
As Lapland is located in a place called Rovaniemi there is plenty of accommodation on offer from hotels to log cabins and chalets. The quality of accommodation also varies dependent on your budget and if you book a package holiday it is likely that the type of accommodation you can select from will be narrowed significantly.
Below will hopefully give you a flavour of what types of accommodation are available in Lapland for your next trip:
Hotel Santa Claus
This four star is located in the centre of Rovaniemi just 2 minutes from Lordi’s Square and less than 5 miles from Santa Claus Village.
Within the 169 room hotel you can expect to find a casino, sauna and a complimentary buffet breakfast to set you up for a fun filled day ahead.
Cumulus Resort Pohjanhovi
Cumulus Resort Pohjanhovi is another luxurious four start hotel set in a riverside location in the centre of Rovaniemi and just over 5 miles from Santa Claus Village.
Within this hotel you will find a swimming pool, sauna, free parking and a lovely buffet breakfast. If you are not satisfied with the onsite facilities you will find a host of restaurants including a McDonalds within a 5-minute walk.
Lapland Hotel Ounasvaara Chalets
Set a short taxi ride from the centre of Rovaniemi is the Lapland Hotel Ounasvaara Chalets. This chalet resort is an ideal location for the Ounasvaaran ski resort and is within a 15-minute drive of Santa Claus village.
Some chalets also come with their own in built saunas and other onsite facilities include a complimentary buffet breakfast and free self parking.
At the lower end of the budget range is Rudolf Hostel situated in the centre of Rovaniemi which offers easy access to all nearby activities. A charming small hostel where you will receive a personnel service, Ideal for travellers on a budget, in larger groups or those who are en route to other destinations.
If you are customising your own trip, all the above accommodation can be found on hotel comparison sites plus you will also find much more accommodation to choose from. The pricing is fairly reasonable and as stated above most hotels do offer a complimentary breakfast which can offer quite a saving if travelling with a family.
How to Book and Getting There
For ease of travel and organising there are many tour operators who offer dream holidays to Lapland including Exoticca, TUI, Thomas Cook and Santaslapland.com.
Trips offered as part of package usually vary from 1 day to 3 day trips to Lapland and most will provide you with a full itinerary for your trip which will include many of the activities mentioned above. Within these packages you will normally get a choice from a selection of hotels and on some trips you may be able to pay extra to take part in additional activities.
Once you have made the decision that you wish to go on a package holiday to Lapland it is worth shopping round different tour operators to compare prices and to see who is everything that you wish to see on your trip after all it is your dream holiday.
It is also possible to customise your own trip to Lapland though before going any further it should be stressed that you will be travelling into the Arctic Circle. Therefore, if you are travelling with small children you are likely to face adverse weather conditions upon your arrival which may affect your navigation around the local area as you will not have the expertise of a tour operator to rely on.
If you are still undeterred and wish to arrange your own trip then it can be easily done. Firstly you need to decide when you would ideally like to visit and for how long for. You can then search on flight comparison sites such as Skyscanner or Opodo. The nearest airport is Rovaniemi Airport though Kittila and Ivalo also have airports in the region. It is also important to note that all flights go via Helsinki.
Once you have booked your flights you can then have a look on hotel comparison sites such as Trivago, Travelrepublic, Booking.com etc to book a hotel to suit your budget. When you have booked your flights and hotel it is then time to look at how you plan to travel round the local area and also what activities you wish to partake in.
In regard to transport there are bus services and taxi’s locally. It is also possible to hire a car though remember if your not used to driving in arctic conditions you may be in for a surprise. In regard to planning your activities it would be advisable to book ahead of your trip due to high demand. There are many websites you can use to find the activities you may wish to partake in though to begin with the Visit Rovaniemi website is a good starting point.
Once everything is booked you can make sure you have enough spending money, have suitable clothing and finally ensure you are ready to enjoy yourself.
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Is making a trip to Lapland worth the effort
As a once in a lifetime trip, Lapland is an amazing opportunity to visit Santa in his home town and partake in some amazing activities in the feeling of isolation within the Arctic Circe. It can be pretty much guaranteed that should you choose to make the magical trip to Lapland that you will not be disappointed. So what are you waiting for it’s time to make sure that your next Christmas is the most magical ever!
Should you have any queries or questions regarding the above article, please feel free to leave your comments below and I will endeavour to get back to you.