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The idea of travelling anywhere around Christmas time may be enough to send a shiver down even the most festive of holiday-goers spines, but there’s no need to fear. The airports might be busy, but the joy of a festive holiday somewhere exciting is more than enough to make the journey well worth it. Families looking for a fun winter adventure don’t have to look far for memorable places to go and things to do. You can find some delightful Lapland holidays for Christmas that give you the chance to have a white Christmas, pet some reindeer, and maybe even meet Santa.
Lapland makes up about one third of Finland’s total area, and it’s a region, not a country. It also covers northern Sweden, Norway and part of Russia’s Kola Peninsula. To put its size into perspective, Lapland is about as big as Belgium, Holland and Switzerland all put together! Most people know it as the home of Father Christmas, but there’s much more to see over the festive season. Read on to find out more about Lapland Christmas breaks.
Lapland Holidays – Finnish Lapland
Finnish Lapland is a real winter wonderland. It’s an incredible place to spot the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis), with more than 200 opportunities to see them each year.
The capital of Finnish Lapland, Rovaniemi, is where you will find most hotels, and plenty of things to do too. It’s Finland that lays claim to Santa Claus, and he can be found in his office in Rovaniemi – even when he’s super busy at Christmas.
When you’re not visiting Santa, you might like to spend your time taking a husky or reindeer ride, or maybe learning about the culture of the Sami people. Visiting a local reindeer farm is a great way to spend a day. If you like to explore the outdoors, you might go skiing, snowshoeing or even biking. Wildlife tours are fun too; try an Arctic safari or take a trip to Ranua Wildlife Park to see lynx, bears and more.
When you’re choosing somewhere to stay, you’ll definitely want to consider the Santa Claus Holiday Village You can choose an apartment or book a cottage, which are great for families. Gingerbread Club gives your children activities to do for two hours every afternoon, and you can borrow sledges too. For another magical place to stay, take a look at the glass igloos at the Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort.
Lapland Holidays – Swedish Lapland
Swedish Lapland might not be home to Santa, but there’s still plenty to do for families and others if you’re looking for Lapland holidays. In fact, it’s home to the famous ICEHOTEL, where you can stay the night in an icy room, have a drink in the chilly bar or stay warm in one of their warm rooms or the restaurant.
Like the Finnish region, Swedish Lapland is also an amazing place for seeing the Northern Lights, and a fascinating place to learn about Sami culture too. You can do all of the things you can do in Finland, from skiing to dog sledding. You’ll probably fly into Kiruna to start with, but there are plenty of other places to see.
If you don’t fancy the Icehotel, there are other quirky options like the treehouse rooms at Treehotel in Harads. But if you would rather stick to a traditional hotel, Scandic Ferrum in Kiruna and similar options give you somewhere cosy to stay, with lots of options for activities and amenities to make your Lapland holiday memorable.
Lapland Holidays – Norwegian Lapland
If you’re looking to experience an action-packed winter break, northern Norway makes the perfect snowy getaway. Norwegian Lapland (also known as Finnmark) is located above the Arctic Circle at the extreme north east tip of Norway. The largest and least populated county in Norway, it has an extreme climate but enjoys frequent sightings of the Northern Lights in winter.
Alta and Kirkenes are two of the best towns to base yourself in Finnmark. Both have their own airports with direct flights to Oslo, plus there are various accommodation options and numerous tour operators set up to cater for the extensive variety of activities on offer.
GLOD Pine Forest Lodging makes a great base for exploring Alta. It’s a short drive from Rock carvings at Alta, the Tirpitz Museum and the Alta Museum. You’ll get a comfortable, well-equipped apartment, with access to a sauna. Plus Alta Airport is just a 15-minute drive away. Another option is the 4-star Scandic Kirkenes hotel, which includes an indoor pool and a sauna. It’s in a great location, perfect for checking out the area’s popular attractions, including the Varanger Museum. The hotel’s multilingual staff will ensure that every traveller has a fun and hassle-free visit.
The Kola Peninsula is in the far northwest of Russia. Constituting the bulk of the territory of Murmansk Oblast, it lies almost completely to the north of the Arctic Circle and is bordered by the Barents Sea in the north and the White Sea in the east and southeast.
The city of Murmansk (a 2.5 hour flight from Moscow or St. Petersburg) is the most populous area on the peninsula, with a population of over 300,000. With stunning coastlines, the most popular tours are fishing and snowmobile safaris in the Khibiny. The region also attracts skiers and snowboarders, and it’s also another place to see the Northern Lights.
The AZIMUT Hotel Murmansk is a short walk to the Monument to the 6th Heroic Komsomol Battery, and many food and nightlife options. The 4-star hotel has stylish and comfortable rooms that include a sofa bed, slippers, a fridge and flat-screen TV. Staff are available 24/7 and can help with booking tours and tickets.
Both families and those without kids will love the delights of Lapland holidays, whether you choose Finland, Sweden, Norway or Russia. You can cosy up indoors, away from the cold, or enjoy the wintry outdoor landscapes and activities. Wherever you choose, you’re sure to have a magical and unforgettable experience.
Santas Lapland Deals
1. Santa’s Magic (3 or 4 Day Breaks Available)
The classic short break, with all our standard activities and benefits included in a lively and action-packed schedule. The cheeky, fun-loving Saari Elves will also be on hand, to ensure that magic and laughter are part and parcel of your time in Saariselkä. Santa’s Magic includes:
- 4 village hotels to choose from – varying room/suite and apartment types with each property
- A snowmobile search for Santa’s home
- A PRIVATE family meeting with the ‘real’ Santa Claus and much more!
2. Santa’s Aurora (3 or 4 Day Breaks Available)
Santa’s Aurora offers a magical experience for families including all the magic from the traditional Santa’s Magic package and an action packed break with everything you could wish for. Santa’s Aurora experience includes:
- Santa’s Aurora guests will be based in the luxurious 4* Star Arctic Hotel at the top of the fell in Saariselkä, the perfect spot to view the Northern Lights from the comfort of your accommodation. With high standard accommodation and modern elegance, this hotel is perfect for families who want to experience Lapland in style.
- A unique Aurora Wilderness Dinner
- An extended Husky ride
- An interactive Igloo experience to learn about the local legends around the Northern Lights
- A separate Snowmobile Safari across the Lapland landscape
- Visit Santa’s secret cabin on a fairy-tale reindeer ride
- Visit the Husky farm where you can take control of your own team of Huskies who will be eagerly waiting to take you on a thrilling journey across the snowy landscape!
Whats included in both packages:
Flights: Flying out to see Santa in his homeland couldn’t be easier, with the non-stop flights he has organised for you, direct to Saariselkä’s own local airport of Ivalo. Now flying from 19 regional airports for your convenience – Transfers are included as well.
Accommodation: There are 5 different accommodation options
Clothing: Complimentary Arctic thermal outersuits, boots, gloves and woollen socks
Meals: Half board including Gala meal and lunch on inclusive Actvity day
Activities: Tobogganing, reindeer golf, kick sleighs, mini skidoos, snow hockey/football
There are a range of bolt on extras *https://www.santaslapland.com/optional-adventures/) available for the more adventurous families including:
- Northern Lights Adventure
- Rudolf’s Reindeer Run
- Husky Heaven
- Family Snowmobile Safaris
- Adult Snowmobile Safaris
- Lapland Downhill Skiing
- Snow-Shoeing or Cross-Country Skiing
Also have a look at: Christmas on the Rhine