Forget, if you can, Father Christmas. Finnish Lapland has so much more to offer than elves and jingle bells. It is a breath-taking landscape of pristine forests, mirrored-ice lakes and vast expanses of tundra. Yes, it’s cold; -10°C is typical, -20°C quite common but it is the ultimate place for snowy outdoor adventure.
Lead a team of huskies along mushing trails through the glittering taiga, snowmobile across frozen lakes or snowshoes up and down fells in ankle-deep powder. Try more unusual activities like floating in an ice hole, ice karting around a race track deep in the forest or visiting a snow hotel with its intricate ice sculptures. Hire skis and journey to the top of the mountains passing trees transformed by snowstorms into giant, glacial sentinels. As nights falls, gaze open mouthed as swirling lights dance across the sky.
By the end of the trip you will be grinning from ear to ear (under your thermal balaclava of course!)
- Flights: Return flights from UK airports to Kittila or Ivalo
- Transport: Private return transfers or winter car hire from airport pick-up to airport drop-off
- Accommodation: 7 nights in a log cabin, cottage or apartment (shorter trip durations can be arranged)
- Meals: Self-catering basis
- Trip Pack: Key family-friendly information about the country you are visiting with links to reviewed activity providers, places to eat, driving tips plus essential information such as visa requirements, weather, what to pack, medical advice etc.
- Staying in a cosy log cabin in an authentic, beautiful and unpretentious Lappish village
- Following hiking trails in the nearby national parks such as Urho Kekkonen
- Enjoying both downhill and cross-country skiing in perfect powder conditions
- Hiking forest trails into the wilderness to stare in amazement at a luminous green sky
- Enjoying a traditional smokehouse sauna before plunging into an ice hole…and then repeat
- Visiting the Snow Village with its resplendent ice sculptures, bar, restaurant, chapel and even an ice slide (be sure to sit on a cushion!)
- Adding on as much winter sports action as you want from snowmobiling across frozen lakes to husky sledding, ice swimming, ice karting, snowshoeing, winter windsurfing and ice fishing.
- When can we go? November to April
- What type of tour is it? Resort based
- Who is it suitable for? Winter sports enthusiasts, keen skiers and anyone with a craving for raw wilderness and unspoilt landscapes
- What is the minimum age? We would recommend a minimum age of 8 years for this trip due to the physical nature of activities and the very cold climate
We publish ‘guideline prices’ for both the high and low season to give a reasonable estimate of what you might expect to pay per person based on a family of four (two adults, two children). To get an accurate price based on your estimated departure date and party size please contact us directly.
Guide Price: Nov to Apr - £625pp
WHAT WE OFFER
- Wandering Tribe offers true wilderness trips to the very north of Finnish Lapland where there are no mass Santa crowds. Just lots of trees!
- We provide you with the basic fabric for a memorable family holiday – flights from the UK, your accommodation in a 4* log cabin or cottage and winter car hire.
- These essentials give you the freedom to tailor-make your own trip. We can also arrange adventure activities on your behalf or simply provide the information to book these independently. We can also provide part or full catering service to your cabin.
- We will provide you with an information pack containing links to reviewed activity providers (in terms of past customer ratings, safety and value for money), recommended family-friendly places to eat, tips for driving and any recommended cultural activities. Your entire trip research presented to you in a handy pack.
The road to Yllas is considered one of the most beautiful in Finland, weaving its way through valleys filled with fir trees whilst stark white snow dazzles against an intensely blue sky. This area with its wintry fairy-tale beauty has stayed true to its traditional roots and is considered by many to be the real home of Santa. In winter it is the epitome of a picture-postcard Christmas scene: pretty wooden houses surrounded by a landscape of white.
The first snow falls here in November and continues until May. There are a range of activities available including a magical visit to Father Christmas’s secret cabin, sledding with huskies, snowmobiling, reindeer safaris, and visiting the snow hotel. The ski area is one of the largest in Finland with over 60 slopes and 53km of pistes across two sides of the mountain. Most of these are at a forgiving gradient perfect for learning to ski on. Higher up the mountain enjoy the spectacular views of the snow-laden fells of the Pallas-Ylläs National Park.
Saariselka, is located some 250km within the Arctic Circle, in the Sami heartland of Finnish Lapland. This small village sits at the very edge of a vast wilderness where taiga forests lead to snowy fells offering incredible views of infinite landscape. Make no mistake there are no mass Santa crowds situated here. This is true authentic Lapland with its simple honesty and warm hospitality. Saariselka also enjoys ‘big skies’, far away from artificial light pollution meaning lots of potential for aurora sightings.
Among Saariselkä's attractions are an extensive network of ski trails, a vast toboggan run (we’re talking huge!), Urho Kekkonen National Park with its beautiful aurora hiking trails and opportunities to take a reindeer sleigh ride, go snowmobiling or husky sledding. At night time, settle into cosy & inviting restaurants for dinner inspired by local traditions.
The winter wonderland resort of Levi is surrounded by dense pine forest and glittering lakes. It could easily double up for the fictional kingdom created by C. S. Lewis. There are miles of fabulous ski runs and boundless fresh powder. Throw in the Northern Lights, ice hotels, snowmobile safaris, Sami reindeer farms, ice karting, husky sledding, and search for Santa trips and it is a perfect world of wintry dreams.
The resort centre is located at the foot of the main ski lift with 17 uncrowded floodlit pistes. Next to the ski slopes a sledging run leads into the forest for magical Narnia-esque adventures whilst Kota huts complete with log fires and warm berry juice dot the mountainside. Out in the woodland, hibernating bears doze surrounded by complete silence under a mystical blue twilight.
Wandering Tribe has travelled to all of the destinations that we feature and we like nothing better than talking about them. If you would like further information about these tours or a tailor-made quote then please contact us on 07392 742333. Alternatively you can fill in the contact form and we will endeavour to get back to you as soon as possible.
You will be greeted with a huge wet lick by ten adorable pure-bred Siberian huskies before driving through the snowy wilderness and vast empty spaces at the helm of your sled. Part of a noisy canine caravan of sleds, skirt forests and lakesides, reaching speeds of about 12mph. Feel pure exhilaration having heard the call of the wild. ‘Yip’ ‘Yip’.
Boondocking over a frozen lake at 60mph without a seatbelt might not sound like the most appealing (or safe) activity, but if you pluck up the courage to try snowmobiling, you'll be rewarded with a huge adrenaline rush. Unlike husky and reindeer sledding, this activity requires a driving license and a large pinch of guts. You will be given a full safety briefing but rest-assured the snowmobiles are easy to manage and even have heated handle bars to keep you warm. You will be guided away from the main roads passing moonlit forests and lakes. Remember to keep checking the skies for any sightings of the Aurora Borealis.
This is hiking on an elevated level. Snowshoeing is one way to build up thighs of steel as you strap snowshoes (racket-shaped frames) onto your feet and start climbing a fell. Check for animal tracks from hares, willow grouse, Arctic foxes and of course reindeers. Feel like you are bouncing off clouds on your hike back down. It will be a slippy & slidey affair but loads of fun!
Skiing in Lapland is a world away from the crowds of the Alps. Expect wide pistes, tree-lined runs and tons of snow. It’s a fantastic place to learn to ski, with excellent English-speaking ski schools and plenty of beginner’s slopes. For more advanced skiers there are World Cup slalom worthy slopes and off piste runs through magical forests. In winter the sun sets around 3pm so you'll spend the late afternoon skiing through shafts of golden light. There are also plenty of options for a steaming cup of cocoa to warm your boots!
If you fancy something different, why not have a go at cross-country skiing - it’s practically the national pastime in Finland and the perfect way to delve into the amazing landscape around you.
Okay, this is slightly more left field but we love the sound of it! Don a large red, rubbery Arctic survival suit (be prepared to resemble a giant Jelly Baby) and immerse yourselves into an ice hole carved into the frozen waters of a lake. The basic principles are that warm air moves up inside the suit creating buoyancy. Float away starfish- style and chill whilst absorbing the tranquillity of the Arctic sky above.
The building of the snow hotel, with its walls spanning a width of two metres, uses 20,000 tons of snow and 350 tons of ice. There are intricate ice sculptures, snow suites (if you want to stay overnight, woollen sleeping bag provided - brrrrr!) a snow chapel, ice bar and restaurant and a fabulous ice slides for the kids. Take a daytime or evening visit and gaze awestruck at its illuminated beauty. Be sure to wear your thermals!
NORTHERN LIGHTS SAFARI
The Northern Lights are one of nature's most spectacular phenomenons, and Lapland is the perfect destination to witness the magic for yourself. On average they appear in the sky around 200 times per year. Choose your mode of transport – snowmobile or snowshoe – then gaze up at the stars snugly wrapped in the enveloping darkness and surrounded by a sky filled with a swirling mass of spectral colour. It is truly one of those moments in life that you will never forget!