Our staff will respond to your query promptly and provide detailed information to your questions.
- New Igloos
5 days - Encounter winter wildlife in Finland's Ranua Wildlife Park and a stay in Arctic Fox Igloo
Nestled in a beautiful location in the middle of Finnish Lapland, Ranua Wildlife Park, just south of the Arctic Circle, is home to a great variety of native and other wildlife. Observe moose, wolves and lynx, and you'll even have a chance to help feed the polar bears! During this Finnish Wildlife holiday, enjoy authentic winter activities as well as unlimited visits to the zoo during opening hours. If visiting during Autumn, you can also do a night safari into the zoo to capture the evening scenes.
Families will enjoy the private self-catering apartments, which sleep 6 (4 adults and 2 children) and were newly built in 2012. With your own sauna, lounge with log fire and kitchen in these semi-detached wooden houses, you have a great spot to relax with your family. For a finale, spend your final night in the new Arctic Fox glass igloos!
This holiday is also a great alternative to a White Christmas retreat. An easy drive from Rovaniemi, you can opt into a visit to Santa's village.
- Stay in modern self-contained apartments beside the Ranua Wildlife Park
- Accompany the Park Ranger on polar bear feeding duties and learn about the largest predator in the world
- Snowmobile to a small, authentic reindeer farm and enjoy lunch after the reindeer sled ride
- Northern Lights tour by snowmobile
- Driver your own sled during a husky safari
- Spend your final night in a Northern Lights ARCTIC GLASS IGLOO
- Day 1
- Transfer from Rovaniemi to your apartment
- Day 2
- Head out for an escorted Wildlife park tour on polar bear feeding duties
- Day 3
- Snowmobile safari to a reindeer farm & evening Northern Lights tour
- Day 4
- Go dogsledding on the Husky Safari and then sleep in a Glass Igloo
- Day 5
- Depart the Wildlife Park and head to next location
- Start/End Place
- Rovaniemi, Scandinavia
- Destinations Visited
- 5 Days
- Easy Christmas tour - suits families with children of all ages.
Airport transfers to & from Rovaniemi. Car transfers from the Gulo Gulo apartments to the Glass Igloos.
- 3 nights in self-catering apartment accommodation in Gulo Gulo Villas
- 1 night in the Arctic Fox Igloos
- Winter Activities: Entrance to Ranua Zoo, Guided tour of Zoo, Date with a Polar Bear, Snowmobile Safari to Reindeer Farm (3 hours), At the Seach of Aurora Borealis Snowmobile Safari (3 hours) and Husky Safari (20 kms, 2 hours).
- Winter clothing for entire stay
- Half board with set menu and 1 lunch
- Airport transfers
- Car transfers from the Gulo Gulo apartments to the Glass Igloos
- 24-hour emergency service
- Taxes and service fees
Equipment for cross-country skiing and snow-shoeing is available for use by guests throughout their stay as is entrance to the Wildlife Park. There is complimentary twice daily transportation to the nearby town of Ranua and a chance to buy provisions for your self-catering villa, please contact the hotel reception for details on your arrival.
Ice Fishing, Children's Snowmobiling (very limited dates), Santa's secret cabin search, horse safaris, Lappish handicraft, Nordic Skiing and longer safaris can be added to this tour. During Christmas, a program can be tailor-made for your family.
Day 1 - Transfer from Rovaniemi to your apartment
Arrive Rovaniemi and enjoy an hour's transfer to your apartment. Relax by your log fire before heading out for your included dinner.
AccommodationGulo Gulo Apartments
Day 2 - Head out for an escorted Wildlife park tour on polar bear feeding duties
After breakfast, get ready for a tour at the Wildlife Park. Accompany the Park Ranger on polar bear feeding duties and learn about the largest predator in the world. Afterwards, enjoy a guided tour of the wildlife park.
In the afternoon, you are free to spend the rest of the day at the zoo independently.
This evening you can do an optional night-time snowshoe safari - a snowshoe walking adventure in the pitch-dark forest (book at reception). Use a headlamp to navigate between the trees. Hot juice by a fire is served half way round. If we are lucky, we can see the flaming northern lights in the sky.
AccommodationGulo Gulo Apartments
Day 3 - Snowmobile safari to a reindeer farm & evening Northern Lights tour
The snowmobile safari starts with driving instructions, after which we head towards Laivala, a small, authentic reindeer farm. The reindeer herder welcomes the visitors and takes you on a reindeer sled ride for a little less than one kilometre. After the reindeer ride, a hot meal is served in a Lapp hut. The owners of the farm will tell you more about reindeer husbandry and living in harmony with nature.
Two persons share one snowmobile, and there will be a chance to change drivers. Children travel in a sleigh pulled by a guide on snowmobile. All drivers must have a valid driving licence.
After dinner, get ready for an evening Northern Lights tour. Follow your guide from Gulo Gulo to the snowmobile track to receive instructions on how to drive the snowmobile in the evening. The snowmobiles have excellent headlights that guarantee good visibility, even on dark forest trails. We take a couple of short breaks on the way and enjoy a cup of hot juice by an open fire at the halfway point. If we are lucky, we will be treated to one of the most amazing natural phenomena in the world: the Northern Lights.
Two persons share a snowmobile, and children will travel in the sled pulled by the guide.
AccommodationGulo Gulo Apartments
Day 4 - Go dogsledding on the Husky Safari and then sleep in a Glass Igloo
This morning, check out of your apartment and then enjoy a free morning, remembering you have free entry to the Wildlife Zoo, head out on a Husky Safari.
You will first receive detailed information on steering the sled. Then, the comfortable sleds head from Gulo Gulo into the winter wonderland. A sled can transport two adults and a child. You have the opportunity to steer your own sled, and change drivers with the other adult in the sled halfway. After the safari, you have a chance to ask our guides anything you have always wanted to know about sled dogs, who love to run fast and pull a sled, thus offering the visitors an unforgettable experience to enjoy this ancient, natural way of travelling in the wild.
On your return, check into your Glass Igloo accommodation. It is eight kilometres between the Gulo Gulo apartments and you will be privately transfered. Your luggage will be looked after.
The Arctic Fox Igloos are located by the beautiful Lake Ranuanjärvi, far from city lights. Each igloo has an unobstructed view with ice-covered open waters and far-reaching treeless northern horizons where the Northern Lights usually appear. And as you are on the Arctic Circle, they appear often - almost every other night, if the sky is dark and clear.
At Arctic Fox Igloos you will stay in the middle of arctic nature without compromising your comfort. In addition to the glass-walled bedroom, each well-equipped igloo has a kitchenette, toilet, shower and even a sauna. The entrance, sauna and toilet are on the side of the igloos facing the forest, with wooden walls for privacy. There is approximately 10 metres between each igloo, all with a horizontal view of the lake.
AccommodationArctic Fox Igloos
Day 5 - Depart the Wildlife Park and head to next location
Either transfer back to Rovaniemi or head off for further adventures to Kemi for some ice swimming or perhaps spend a night in a Glass igloo at Kakslauttanen - all within an hour or two drive.
Family triple price is 2 adults traveling with 1 child (age 4-14). New Year’s Eve Supplement will apply.
22 Dec 2018
10 Jan 2019
31 Mar 2019
The order of the itinerary is subject to change. The Arctic Fox Glass Igloos have limited availability so the night that you stay in the igloo may change (first or last night ideally). Only three people can sleep in the glass igloos. There is a small kitchette and sauna as well as bathroom in the glass igloos.
Wildlife note: brown bears hibernate and may not be active until later in the season. Please note that polar bears are not native to Finland.
Interactive Tour Map
Travelling with young children
Here are some suggestions and tips from our staff who have kids themselves, for travelling in Scandinavia with younger children. We hope that you will find this advice helpful and be sure to ask us for more information before travelling as our staff have all grown up in Scandinavia.
In general, Scandinavia and Finland are very child-friendly destinations and if you have any special requests or questions while here, please contact the staff at your hotel immediately. Almost all restaurants can be considered child-friendly with baby chairs and sometimes also drawing utensils, books or toys, and when using public transport, Scandinavia offers some great support for families with younger children. Baby changing tables in public toilets, play equipment and play rooms at airport terminals and family wagons in trains with playing area for the little ones are common place.
When possible, we suggest arriving to Scandinavia or Finland a day or two earlier before your holiday program begins so that your younger children can adjust to the time zone. Young children arriving from the Southern Hemisphere generally wake up at around 4 - 5am for the first few mornings before they get accustomed to the new time zone. Be sure to have breakfast provisions ready for this, as it is unusual for anything to be provided from the hotel at this early hour. We suggest bringing packages of the child's favourite breakfast cereal from home plus tea bags etc. to help in those first few days. Likewise, quiet entertainment for those early hours might be a good idea as well.
Hotel rooms in Scandinavia more likely than not, only have twin beds pushed together to make a double if required. The spare children's beds are often foldout beds. Generally, it is easy to arrange at reception for the cots but be sure to ask for help if something doesn't seem right. We were provided a cot without a mattress once - very uncomfortable indeed if we hadn't chased that up!
Also, in Scandinavia it is not common practise to have tea or coffee provided in the room, and even if there is a kettle, there might be nothing else. We suggest travelling with a small supply of your own tea bags/coffee, and asking directly at reception for a kettle on arrival.
Feeding your children adequately is probably the hardest thing to do on an arranged holiday - kids are out of wack with jetlag, fussy and hungry for their own comfort food. When hotels and packages provide set times for meals and buffets, it is important to come prepared.
It is handy to take a small cooler bag already from home filled with snacks, utensils and fresh food. From the breakfast buffets it is usually acceptable to take a small amount of fresh food such as boiled eggs, rolls and fruit for morning and afternoon tea for the little ones.
We would also suggest that you give your kids a taste of what’s to come before their holiday on some foods that they are likely to get in Scandinavia. Meatballs, European flavoured sausages, soups & then treats like cinnamon buns and waffles are typical children's menu items. Cinnamon is a very common flavour used in Scandinavia and Finland.
If you are part of an arranged program, be sure to ask at reception if you need anything in particular. The hotel staff will be more than happy to warm up baby food and organise more snacks or fruit.
We recommend seeking all available information from the reception or activity provider when considering what optional activities will suit your younger children. These activities can be cold and involve a transfer a certain distance from the hotel. If you are uncertain why the activity is being run at a particular time, please ask for clarification as there is often a reason that you might be unfamiliar with. We all know as parents that children generally perform better earlier in the day than later, however, the activity providers might have a safety, logistic or climate reason for picking a certain time.
In Scandinavia, it is often left up to the parents to make decisions about age limits and suitability (unlike other regions where everything is stipulated) so be sure to ask reception or other guests who have done the activity for further advice.
We usually don't recommend winter activities, such as longer husky safaris, snowmobile safaris and late evening Aurora Hunts to children under the age 4-5. This of course depends very much on a child as every child is different, but for younger children we recommend shorter excursions as it can get very cold sitting still in a sled. Some operators also do not take children under the age of 5 on their tours, so please ask us specifically before travelling about these limitations.
This is going to make or break your holiday in Scandinavia in the winter. Be sure to refer to our comprehensive packing list provided in your pre-departure information and be on the look out for the best protection for your children in the cold. Winter is great time for kids to play outside and snow-based activities will keep the young ones entertained for hours as long as they have appropriate clothing.
Extra (non-cotton) layers that can be added or taken away when needed, heat warmers and slip on crampons for the older children are recommended. Mittens where all fingers except the thumb are together are often warmer than gloves, and extra pair of mittens will come in handy after building a snowman or two. A balaclava type of hat that covers both the neck and ears and which can also protect part of child’s face if needed, is also great under a warm and windproof beanie.
The base-layer next to skin should be either wool or synthetic blend, never cotton. With perspiration cotton turns quickly damp and then cold, no matter what other warmer clothing items are layered on top of it.
Many of the hotels and activity providers also do offer warm outer clothing for hire, but if traveling with small kids, please do check beforehand that correct sizes are available.
- Heat warmer pads for inside gloves and boots. Please note that these should not be used directly against the skin, hence for hands, you will need to use the pads in between the two pairs of gloves/mittens recommended in our packing list
- Good boots and warm woolly socks for your little ones
- Bags & suitcases that can easily be carried by one parent if the other is carrying children. Many of us use Trunkies for our travels so that our kids can sit on them, or sometimes the kids can pull the cases themselves. If your child is small enough to be carried, we highly recommend a baby or toddler carrier that leaves your hands free for handling the luggage.
- Provisions for the first day or two whether it is snacks, nappies or fruit drinks.
- Books, drawing pencils or other tranquil inside activity and your child’s favourite teddy!
Practical Information for travelling and packing for Scandinavian Winter
- Warm wind and water proof jacket and trousers large enough to fit thick woollen jumper/clothing underneath
- Rain trousers – waterproof and breathable material
- Warm windproof cap/hat
- Warm gloves or mittens. Mittens where all fingers except the thumb are together are often warmer than gloves.
- Windproof gloves or mittens, which you can pull over the warm gloves
- Warm scarf
- 2 pairs of long woollen underwear (Merino wool in a few different thicknesses is perfect)
- 1-2 warm woollen jumper(s), or one jumper and a warm fleece
- Woollen or fleece trousers
- 2-3 pairs of warm woollen socks
- Warm & sturdy footwear with good grip
- Clothes for indoors, i.e. a shirt, T-shirts and jeans or cotton trousers
- Back pack for day trips (approx. 30 litre)
- Light footwear/trainers (mainly for indoors)
- Sun screen & Lip salve (the sun reflects off the snow and the air is dry)
- Hand warmers
- Nordic Grip anti-slip soles for walking on ice
- Personal medication
- Water bottle - thermo, or include a cover to keep warm (or you can stick it into a warm sock)
- Travel documents (including insurance)
- Photo ID
- Note book and pencil
- Camera, memory cards and charger
- Chargers for other gadgets
- Extra batteries for your cameras as they are used fast in cold conditions.
Travel insurance is compulsory for all tours with 50 Degrees North. Please ensure that you have this organised as we will need to see proof of this upon issuing your tour documentation. Please contact us for a quote or visit http://www.suresave.net.au/