So you’ve all ready to go on your dream holiday, there’s no doubt it will be anything but magical, surrounded by the most magnificent, breath taking scenery and home to the big man in red, Santa Claus, himself. Chances are it may be the ultimate once in a lifetime trip, so knowing how to make the best of it while you are there is essential. In this blog we will share with you advice on what to expect when you arrive in the beautiful winter wonderland.
Is Lapland suitable for all the family?
A trip to Lapland is perfect for children – representing everything dreams are made of, but many holiday sites recommend that it is more suitable for children over 4 years old. The conditions are very cold so some of the temperatures and outdoor activates aren’t suitable for little ones. If you have a very young family, it may be best to save the trip until they are a little older, then they can enjoy it more!
What’s the weather like?
Being the snowy wonderland it is, of course the conditions are very cold and bleak. If you are travelling in December you can expect temperatures ranging from 0˚C to -20˚C, but in especially cold spells temperatures can dip as low as -20C˚. The days will be pretty dark too, people describe it as a dull grey light in daytime hours around 10am and 3pm.
Does anyone speak English?
Yes, the majority of accommodation owners, restaurant workers and tour guides speak English, although the national language is Finnish.
What about food and drink?
In all hotels there will be a selection of international food and drink options, and there are plenty of eateries around ranging from Thai and Chinese food to traditional Nordic and Finnish cuisine. In the hotels food is likely to be imported so choices may be limited at times. It would probably be recommended, especially when you are out on excursions, to take your own snacks and drinks to keep the family fuelled up! Reviews around different online sites tend to be very good regarding food in Lapland, there will be plenty of choice and something to take everyone’s fancy, you could even try something new, such as local delicacies such as reindeer fillet or arctic char.
What should we wear?
It is obviously going to be very cold, so pack accordingly. Lots of thermals – long johns, vests, socks, ski gloves, the holiday provider may even provide snow suits and boots, but do look into this before you fly. Also recommended are the hand and foot warmers you can buy quite easily. At the accommodation there may be some kind of Christmas part or gala, but don’t feel you have to take your best party outfit, jeans and a nice top or shirt will be enough.
Flying Time: Approximately 3 hours from Gatwick Airport
Time Difference: Finland is 2 hours ahead of UK
Excursions in Lapland
There are so many options for trips out in Lapland, something for all of the family that adults and children alike will enjoy. Here is a little information about a selection of excursions, to help make the most of your holiday.
- Visit Santa Claus
This is bound to be the highlight and main attraction of your holiday. It will be a completely special day out and crucial if it could be your child’s last year of believing! Perfect for getting everyone into the Christmas spirit it is important you know how to get to meet Santa. Some companies arrange for Santa to meet the children in a group at dinner, others arrange one to one family meetings at the hotel or on a safari. Definitely check with the tour provider before you go what is included so there are no unexpected surprises when you get there. There are also other options to visit Santa in his hometown of Rovaniemi where you can meet him in his office!
- Crossing of the Arctic Circle
This is marked out in the capital of Finnish Lapland, Rovaniemi. It is great for both adults and children to cross and makes for a special family photo opportunity. An essential trip to any Lapland holiday, ‘Crossing of the Arctic Circle’ is an age old tradition practiced by native Sami. There are opportunities to go inside a traditional tepee too and to sit around a warm crackling campfire and sing a song with the tour guide and listen to fascinating Sami folk tales.
- Seeing the Northern Lights
One of the most famous things to do when near the Arctic Circle is to get to see the Northern Lights. These are best viewed in areas with little air pollution, so choose one of the smaller ski resorts. They also offer snowmobiling tours in these areas from the hotels into the wilderness to get the best view. Probably a once in a lifetime opportunity making memories that will last forever!
- Snow Sports in Lapland
There are endless ways to have fun in the snow with your family, so get your thermals and snow gear on and get stuck in! Activities include snowmobiling, ice-karting, husky and reindeer sleigh rides, snow shoeing and traditional ice fishing. Of course there is snow as far as the eye can see so plenty of choice for a variety of experiences. Don’t forget about skiing too, the skiing season in Lapland runs from November to May.
Reviews from previous ‘Laplanders’…
Sourced from www.mumsnet.com
“Lapland - best trip I've ever been on! Sledging, husky rides, snowmobiles, log fires and candle lit. Just gorgeous and so much fun!” jamtoast12
“You think it's all about Santa, but when you get there you soon realise it's not - it's all just so magical. The thick almost constant falling snow, the real reindeer with snow covered antlers, the picture postcard snow scene surroundings...” Frazzledbutcalm
“The temp really does vary, it's been -28°C and -2°C in the same week. Please don't underestimate the cold, if you're doing all the husky dog/Santa's house-type activities, the kids will be sitting around at times outside, especially on the dog sledding, and once they're uncomfortably cold there's nothing you can do about it, so try to avoid at all costs!”VonHerrBurton
“The excursions are hideously expensive but I will always remember riding on a husky-drawn sledge in the dark, cuddling my daughter and seeing a shooting star.”Floatinginthesea
“Lapland is a special window in every child's life where the magic is REAL! Before all the children at school ruin the magic they can go and have a once in a lifetime brilliant experience!” Ribenafiend