Classic Lapland 3/4 Nights 2018/2019
If this Lapland holiday doesn’t get you into the festive spirit, nothing will. It includes loads of great activities, from husky sledging to gingerbread decorating. What’s more, you’ll be based in Rovaniemi – the hub of all things Christmassy.
A polar capital with a warm heart
Rovaniemi is the capital of Finnish Lapland. It’s a small, compact city that comes with a real buzz of modern shopping malls, lively bars and restaurants serving up everything from traditional cooking to French cuisine. It’s also got the rather big draw of having Santa Claus on hand – not to mention Arctic wilderness that’s perfect for snowsports and sleigh rides.
Santa Claus Village
It’s Christmas all year round at Santa Claus Village, about 8 kilometres north of Rovaniemi on the Arctic Circle. It’s a novelty to send greetings from the Post Office here, and there’s the chance to learn about the history of Christmas traditions. The place gets busy at the end of November when there are concerts, gift bazaars, performances by Santa’s elves, plus the grand opening of SantaPark, Santa’s secret underground grotto.
Father Christmas has some competition. Sporting activities are popular at Ounasvaara, just outside the resort – there are nearly 50 different things to do here throughout the seasons. Cross-country skiing, tobogganing and snowshoeing make up the winter fixtures, while golf and bobsledding top the bill in summer. And the area is also criss-crossed with well-signposted hiking trails.
Reindeer sleigh safaris
Reindeer rides and Rovaniemi go together like turkey and trimmings. You can either try your hand at steering a traditional sleigh yourself, or sit back and enjoy the ride while an experienced guide takes you into the icy wilderness of the Arctic Circle. Some of the sleigh-ride operators also do visits to a reindeer farm, where you can meet the animals up close.
Lapland Holiday Itinerary
Fly To Rovaniemi - Stay in Rovaniemi
After touching down in Lapland's capital, you'll be kitted out with all your snow clothes. Then, Santa's elves will take you to your accommodation and you'll have the rest of the day to explore. Head to the city centre to browse the shops and grab a bite to eat or just relax at your hotel.
This morning gives you an action-packed overview of what Rovaniemi has to offer. You'll try your hand at snowmobiling and enjoy husky and reindeer sleigh rides in our taster sessions. Plus, one of Santa's elves will share a traditional Lappish tale as you warm up by the fire with a hot berry juice.
Today is yours to spend as you like. Take it easy at your hotel, get to know more of the city, or relive your favourite taster from yesterday by booking a longer snowmobile or husky excursion. You can also sign up for a reindeer safari or visit Lapland's Arctic Wildlife Park.
Guests on 3-night trips will enjoy Day 4's activities today instead.
We've saved the best until last. The finale of your trip sees you visiting the fun-filled Santa Park, where you can graduate from Elf School and decorate gingerbread with the elves. In the evening, you'll be treated to turkey with all the trimmings at a gala dinner. The dinner is held in a huge dining room, decked out with traditional fire logs, banquet tables and Christmas decorations, so it'll really get you feeling festive. What's more, you're in for a special surprise when Santa arrives.
Classic Lapland can be teamed with any of the hotels below. The order of events may change slightly from trip to trip but all the activities will be included at some point during your holiday. If you want to celebrate Christmas Day in Rovaniemi, book the 4 night trip on the 22nd December.
Winter Wonderland Hotel and Log Cabins
The Winter Wonderland Hotel and Cabins are surrounded by wilderness scenery and the deluxe cabins come with luxury touches like Jacuzzis.
The winter wonderland in this hotel’s name is no exaggeration. The property is set on the edge of a frozen lake and it’s surrounded by snow-filled woodland and snowy open spaces where you can build snowmen or go sledging.
From a sauna to a kitchenette, these snug cottages have everything you need to warm up after a day in the snow.
The Christmas Cottages have been built so you can make the most of the great outdoors. Each property is less than a ten-minute walk from the slopes and close to tobogganing and cross country skiing starting points.
The Snowy Cottages give you the best of both worlds – a secluded woodland setting and easy access to the heart of Rovaniemi.
Slightly removed from Rovaniemi’s busy centre, these traditional cottages have got all the hallmarks of snug winter hideaways. They're set on a hillside, surrounded by snow-dusted woods, so great views span every which way. What’s more, getting out and about from here is simple. A five-minute taxi ride will take you to the city's shops, restaurants and bars, and the nearest ski slopes are even closer.
Forest Heights combines a smart hotel and traditional cottages in one. Plus it has the added bonus of a rooftop viewing area, where you might catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights.
It’s the hilltop position that sets this place apart from the crowd. The property looks out over Rovaniemi and its surrounding countryside, so the views are nothing short of spectacular. Better still, you’re in a great spot for exploring. The hotel is just footsteps from the Ounsasvaara Ski Resort, so you can be whizzing down the slopes within minutes of getting up in the morning. Plus, Rovaniemi’s cosmopolitan city centre is less than five minutes away in a taxi.
Hotel Santa Claus
This city-centre hotel makes it easy to get around Lapland’s top sights, and the breakfast buffets are raved about on TripAdvisor.
Hotel Santa Claus is in the thick of Rovaniemi’s action. The property is in the centre of the city, so you’ve got restaurants, shops and bars on your doorstep. What’s more, you’re within easy access of attractions like Santa Park and Santa Claus Village.
Santa Sport Hotel
From snowshoeing to cross-country skiing, you can try every winter activity going at the Santa Sport.
The brand new Santa Sport is a great base if you don’t like sitting still. In the heart of Ounasvaara, on the edge of Rovaniemi, this place specialises in active holidays and wellbeing breaks. The best part is, there’s something for all ages and fitness levels, so it’s a great choice for families.
Hotel Sokos Vaakuna
In the heart of Rovaniemi, this smart hotel is known for its brilliant dining scene.
The Hotel Sokos Vaakuna is in the centre of Rovaniemi, so you’ve got shops, restaurants and bars at your fingertips. And, if you want to fit in some skiing while you’re here, the Ounasvaara ski slopes are less than five minutes away in a taxi. What’s more, this place is close to Rovaniemi’s magical Santa Park, where you can meet Father Christmas and his elves.
With a centre-of-town location, an indoor pool, and the full programme of snow activities, this place delivers on all fronts.
Set next to the Kemijoki River, this place is just a few minutes' walk from the shops, restaurants and bars of Rovaniemi’s lively centre. Santa Park is close by, too, and you're in a good spot for snow sports like snowmobiling and skiing.
Need To Know
What should I pack?
If you're coming to Lapland for the day, we recommend you wear warm clothes and only take hand luggage on the plane, as we'll lend you a cosy all-in-one thermal suit, as well as boots, gloves, socks and a hat. If you're on a 3 or 4-night trip, we'll still kit you out with all the necessary gear - which is yours for the duration of your holiday - but it's a good idea to bring lots of layers, too.
What’s the weather like?
In December, daytime temperatures generally range from 0 to -20 degrees, but it can fall as low as -40 during a particularly cold spell. You’ll get four to five hours of ‘grey light’ between about 10am and 3pm. The rest of the time it’s dark, but still quite bright because of all the snow. What’s more, all the activity areas are well lit.
What’s the food like?
It depends on where you stay, but most hotels in Lapland put on international buffet spreads. Usually, there’ll be a selection of meat, fish and pasta dishes to choose from, as well as a variety of vegetables and salad. You’ll also find children’s favourites, like chips, meatballs, and burgers on offer. And some places serve Finnish specialities, like smoked reindeer pizza.
Is Lapland suitable for young children?
We don’t recommend our Lapland trips for children under 4-years-old. That’s because the chilly temperatures and types of activities aren’t suited to really little ones. If you do bring toddlers along, though, you’ll need to provide their own thermal clothing.
Do I need insurance?
It’s essential you and your family have the protection you need in case the unexpected happens. What’s more, if you want to take part in any snow sports when you’re away, you’ll need a policy that covers you for these.
Can I drive a snowmobile?
If you want to get behind the wheel of a snowmobile, make sure you bring your full UK driving licence with you. As long as local guides agree, children aged 12 and over can ride as a passenger on your snowmobile. Younger children have to travel in a sleigh pulled by one instead.