Why you should take your family to Finnish Lapland
If you are looking for an unforgettable family holiday, you should travel to Finnish Lapland. This secluded corner of the Arctic is an extraordinary winter wonderland, where you can visit Father Christmas, ogle at the Northern Lights (or aurora borealis) or go on a husky safari, among other enchanting experiences. We, at cazenove+loyd, will create a fabulous festive fairytale for you.
The main attraction for most families is the opportunity for the children to meet Father Christmas. We will arrange for you to be swept away on an exclusive adventure in the depths of the Santa Claus Secret Forest, in Joulukka, about 35km from Lapland’s capital city, Rovaniemi. In this remote spot, you will be welcomed by the Elves into a magical world. Professor Elves will train you to be one of Father Christmas’s helpers and you will be awarded an Elf Diploma. You will also be taken on a fun walk in the snowy forest and give you a private tour of Santa’s Command Centre, showing you how they read children’s letters and wrap presents. The highlight, of course, is meeting Father Christmas, from whom every child will receive an exciting present. We can also organise for you to have a gingerbread house masterclass, a great way to end the day.
Another sought-after experience in Finnish Lapland is chasing the breathtaking Northern Lights. Being a natural phenomenon, caused by collisions between gaseous particles in the Earth’s atmosphere and charged particles from the sun, you cannot guarantee seeing this amazing spectacle – but Finnish Lapland is one of the best places to try. To optimise your chances, we would recommend staying in the countryside near the cities of Levi and Rovaniemi in midwinter (from November to March). Observing the aurora borealis from a glass-roofed igloo or your very own villa is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
The region is also excellent for wildlife-watching and walking for all ages and stages. You might be lucky enough to spot various types of deer, reindeer, wolves, lynx, bears and myriad bird species – from eagles and cranes to owls and swans. A specialist reindeer safari is another good choice for children, who will be delighted to see Father Christmas’s trusty steeds in the wild. We can design guided excursions for you to suit every age and interest.
Skiing, snowmobiling and snowshoeing are all on offer here too, but nothing beats a husky sleigh ride. Again, this can be entirely tailor-made in terms of distance and route. What’s more, we can set up a kota (a traditional tent of the Sámi, Finland’s indigenous people) in the middle of nowhere, where you enjoy a private Michelin-starred dinner by a roaring fire after your dog-sledding adventure.
For children in their late teens or adrenaline-seeking fathers, we can book a hair-raising ice rally experience, where you tear around in a Porsche GT3 on ice. Even beginners can partake in this thrilling activity, as all our clients are trained by top-quality driving instructors who will ensure that it is enjoyable and safe.
Lapland has a wide range of fantastic, family-friendly places to stay, which make great bases for exploring the area. These range from luxury lodges, such as Northern Lights Ranch, to superb private chalets. We would particularly recommend the latter, since they are real homes from home – offering privacy, space and private hosts and chefs – but it depends on your preference.
Two of our favourite private houses are the charming Villa Naavanneito in Levi and and spacious Kaarnikka in Saariselkä. The former, a massive, stylish log cabin, sleeps up to 10 guests and has beautiful views of the magnificent surrounding Arctic hills. It boasts all the mod cons and its own sauna.
The latter, Kaarnikka, is a spacious, well-equipped wooden villa, sleeping up to 12 people. It’s located near the centre of the village of Saariselkä, known for its skiing and also home to a spa, a 1km sledge hill, snowshoe paths, hiking trails and other fun winter activities.
For something really different, guaranteed to get the children really excited, sleep in an igloo. The glass-ceilinged Levi Igloos are a truly unique experience, allowing you to be surrounded by the wilderness. Superior Igloos can fit a family of four and have their own kitchenette.
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