A Santa visit for big kids in magical Lapland

Lapland
My siblings and I are planning a short winter break and are thinking of going to Lapland! We are all in our twenties and haven’t been on holidays together for quite some time and we just can’t wait to spend quality time together. Could you please suggest some activities to ensure we have a wonderful trip?

My siblings and I are planning a short winter break and are thinking of going to Lapland! We are all in our twenties and haven’t been on holidays together for quite some time and we just can’t wait to spend quality time together. Could you please suggest some activities to ensure we have a wonderful trip?

The stunning winter twilight of Finland is an unforgettable sight. Lapland, the largest and most northern region of Finland is a wonderful choice for your trip. Not just home to Santa Claus, Lapland is a unique destination with lots to offer.

Sámi people, living in Lapland, are among the largest indigenous ethnic groups in Europe. English is widely spoken and tourists are welcomed with open arms as hugging is a traditional Finnish way of greeting one another!

Due to Finland’s geographical location, winter lasts almost half a year and includes the twilight period when there is no real daylight as the sun stays below the horizon. There is generally permanent snow cover in November and the clean, freshly-fallen snow tends to put people in good spirits and facilitates winter activities.

You will find it hard to miss them, but top of your list in Lapland are the mesmerising Northern Lights. This magical performance in the sky is so breathtaking that no words could adequately describe it.

Perhaps the most enjoyable way to view nature’s most spectacular light show is on a winter safari. You will begin with a short lesson on how to drive a snowmobile and then leave the city lights behind and head to the tranquil, nocturnal forests. Meander through the beautiful winter landscapes before stopping for a break in the haven of one of the region’s forests where you can enjoy stories and facts about the Northern Lights by firelight. Enjoy delicious and rich Lappish delicacies and observe the vast skies above you. This is truly a night to remember.

Make the most of the few hours of sunlight and learn the secrets of ice fishing, taught by a professional guide on the rivers of Rovaniemi. On this trip you can bask in the silence of the wintry forest. Dinner will be prepared on an open fire so you get to enjoy the day’s catch.

You may be travelling with a group of adults but I highly recommend a trip to Santa Park. This winter wonderland is not just an attraction for children and provides many festive activities for the whole family to enjoy. Decorate your own gingerbread men in Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen and enjoy the delicious treat with a few glasses of mulled wine.

Then wander through the white icicles and frosty rooftops in the magical Ice Gallery. Here you will learn about Finnish nature in the form of spectacular ice sculptures.

By now you will have earned some refreshing drinks in the Ice Bar, served in handmade ice glasses. Stay cozy and warm wrapped up in the animal skins provided at the entrance!

For the perfect end to this once-in-a-lifetime adventure, visit the Elves Workshop where you can customize and create your own Christmas decorations. These personalized crafts are an ideal gift for loved ones at home and a brilliant way to commemorate your trip.

Where to Stay:

City Hotel (****)

Prices start from €94 per room per night on Hotels.com

*Prices are subject to availability at the time of booking.

Located in the heart of Rovaniemi, the City Hotel Rovaniemi is just a few kilometres away from the Santa Claus Village on the Arctic Circle and is also close to many other attractions that are available in the locality. Combining the contemporary style with modern classiness, all of the 92 elegant guestrooms offer you the perfect setting for a wonderful holiday. The award-winning restaurant Monte Rosa is one of Rovaniemi’s favourite dining spots that serve both international dishes and Lappish specialties for you to relish. In addition, guests can also enjoy some light snacks and drinks offered in the casual and relaxing surroundings of the lobby bar.

Santa’s Hotel Santa Claus (****)

Prices start from €94 per room per night on Hotels.com

*Prices are subject to availability at the time of booking.

Ideally located ten minutes drive from Santa Claus Village. This hotel offers spacious, well-equipped rooms and three restaurants serving Lapland specialties. Each air-conditioned guestroom at Santa’s Hotel Santa Claus features a TV a minibar, an electric kettle and ironing facilities. The private bathrooms include a modern shower and bathtub. Restaurant Gaissa serves modern Finnish dishes and Lapland specialties for dinner, while Bar & Grill ZoomUp offers a lunch buffet and an à la Carte dinner menu. Guests can enjoy drinks and light snacks at the Café & Bar Zoomit, open until late in the evening.

Ounasvaaran Pirtit (***)

Prices start from €87 per room per night on Hotels.com

*Prices are subject to availability at the time of booking.

Close to the Ounasvaara Ski Centre, and a five minute drive from central Rovaniemi, this property offers free Wi-Fi, free parking and apartments with private saunas and fully equipped kitchens. All apartments at Ounasvaaran Pirtit feature private bathrooms and living rooms with satellite TVs. Each apartment has a private terrace. Skiing and snowboarding are popular winter activities. Guests can enjoy hot and cold drinks in the reception bar. Restaurant Thulia offers breakfast and Lappish dishes in a fine dining setting during the winter season.

Hotel Rantasipi Pohjanhovi (****)

Prices start from €81 per room per night on Hotels.com

*Prices are subject to availability at the time of booking.

Situated in the heart of Rovaniemi, Hotel Rantasipi Pohjanhovi is close to Lordi Square and the Ethnographic Museum. Hotel Rantasipi Pohjanhovi has an indoor pool and a sauna. This Rovaniemi hotel offers a restaurant and a bar/lounge. Guests are served a complimentary breakfast. Additional amenities include a nightclub, multilingual staff, and ski storage.

For more information and travel tips on planning your holiday visit www.hotels.com or call 1800 55 3338 to wake up happy on your holiday!