Tucked away in northernmost Finland, deep inside the Arctic Circle, Santa Claus’ homeland is the stuff of fairytales. Cue snow-dusted forests that stretch for miles, cosy log cabins that look like they’ve been plucked from a storybook, and a population that’s made up of more reindeer than people.
Lapland pulls out all the stops over the festive period, so there’s nowhere better to get in to the Christmas spirit. Story-telling around crackling fires, reindeer sleigh rides through the woods and, of course, meet-and-greets with Santa himself – they’re all on the agenda, whether you’re visiting for the day or staying a bit longer. If you book our 4 night trip departing on the 23rd of December, you'll get to spend Christmas Day in this winter wonderland.
Santa and his elves are just half the story. Lapland’s snowy countryside was made for exploring and, wherever you stay, winter sports like snowmobiling and skiing are as easy to come by as Christmassy activities. Each resort has got a different vibe, too, so whether you’re after an action-packed getaway or a relaxing retreat, you’ll find somewhere that suits.
Places to stay
In Rovaniemi, Lapland’s cosmopolitan capital, you’ve got international-name shops and restaurants, as well as an after-dark scene that rivals any European city. Levi, Pallas and Yllas, meanwhile, are experts when it comes to snow activities. Then there’s Saariselka, a real winter wonderland, and Luosto, a secluded spot that’s one of the best parts of the world for spotting the Northern Lights.
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This compact village in northern Lapland sits inside the Urho Kekkonen national park. The scenery around here is unlike any other – a true wilderness home to fells and a lake district. It’s some 250 kilometres above the Arctic Circle – you can’t get much further north than this. But though it’s remote, you’ve still got restaurants, bars and an indoor pool complex.
This Lapland village, in Finland’s northern fells, may be remote, but it certainly isn’t quiet. It’s one of Finland’s top places for skiing and snowboarding for a start, and the buzz continues off-piste in the bars and restaurants. There are also snowmobile safaris, reindeer rides, visits to Father Christmas – and chance to see the Northern Lights.