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- Escorted Christmas tour
6 days - Magical winter tour for families with private Santa visit.
Would you like to spend your next holiday in Lapland in a snow-covered village where streetlights are turned off in the afternoon so that you can see the Northern Lights?
The village of Äkäslompolo is located 200 km north of the Arctic Circle, deep in Finnish Lapland surrounded by the peaceful old forests of the Pallas-Ylläs Nature Park. This beautiful small village is your home for the week; shop with the locals, feed reindeers outside the supermarket afterwards and then have hot chocolates in the cafe on your way back to your cabin.
You will stay in cosy log cabins, each with their own fireplace and sauna. Enjoy great local food and join in some exhilarating winter activities like husky & reindeer sledding, ice fishing and snowmobiling.
You will visit a Lapp Village where the day is spent enjoying winter activities. The highlight of the day is when each family receives an invite for a private visit to Santa's cabin, travelling through the snowy forest by sleigh.
Please note that the daily program may be slightly different for some departures.
- Day 1
- Welcome to Lapland, transfer to Äkäslompolo village and build your first snowman
- Day 2
- Day at a Reindeer Farm
- Day 3
- Visiting Santa in Elämänluukku
- Day 4
- Dogsledding and lunch at Snow Village
- Day 5
- Ice Fishing Safari & Snowmobiling
- Day 6
- Good Bye Lapland
- Start/End Place
- Kittilä, Finland
- Country Visited
- 6 Days
- Easy Christmas tour - suits families with children of all ages.
Bus transfers, snowmobiles & sleighs
- Airport transfers on day 1 & 6 (for scheduled flights to and from Kittilä)
- 5 nights' accommodation in your private log cabin
- 1 set of linen & towels per person for the 5 nights
- final cleaning for cabin
- 4 x lunch during your activities
- 5 x dinners
- Winter clothing hire: Overall, boots, balaclava (for snowmobile rides when helmets are necessary) & mittens
- All activities as per itinerary including: visit to a reindeer farm incl. reindeer sleigh ride, husky safari (2 adults per sleigh, children in guide's sleigh), icefishing safari by snowmobiles (2 adults per snowmobile, children in guide's sled), private family visit to Santa's cabin by sleigh with snow activities (tandem skiing, snowshoe walking, kick sledding, tobogganing and children's snowmobiling), making Christmas decorations and decorating gingerbread. These activities can vary depending on the weather conditions.
- 50 Degrees North Representative on hand.
Flight tickets, meals other than described, alcoholic beverages and soft drinks, travel insurance, visas, gratuities and any other items of personal nature.The majority of the cabins don't have Wi-Fi but we will endeavour to organise some hot spotting in the cabins where possible.
Note that breakfast is not included. Each family will be able to purchase breakfast supplies at the local supermarket and that way you can enjoy breakfast in the comfort of your own cabin together with your family. The cabins have toasters, ovens, microwaves and dishwashers.
Transfer from Kittilä airport to Äkäslompolo village. In the late afternoon go for a walk to the supermarket where you will be able to purchase breakfast supplies for your cabin (choose your own supplies and pay for these locally). You will then be able to enjoy a relaxing breakfast in the comfort of your own each morning with your family before the day's activities.
Free time for relaxing in your cabin: light the fire, make a cup of tea and watch the kids make their first snowman. You have kick sledges, snowshoes and cross-country skis at your disposal, too which you get when you pick up your winter clothing. Cross country skiing tracks crisscross the village and can be used even during the early evening as some are lit up.
In the evening dinner at a local restaurant.
Enjoy your first evening in Lapland. With no light pollution and no noise you can truly feel the beauty of the Arctic night, admire the night sky and hopefully see the Northern Lights. Hear the silence of the wilderness and breathe in the cleanest air in Europe.
After breakfast, bus transfer to a local reindeer farm. On our visit we will get close to these beautiful creatures. Your guide will tell you about reindeers, their indigenous Sami culture and life in the Arctic.
We will then have a short reindeer sleigh ride along a track through the forest. Afterwards, enjoy a warming soup lunch at the farm before heading back to Äkäslompolo.
In the evening dinner at a local restaurant.
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast and spend the morning in relaxing in your cabin or outside.
In the early evening, transfer to Elämänluukku and be greeted by an old shaman who will introduce us to the Arctic Circle Crossing Ceremony. Outside there is plenty of fun snow activities - tandem skiing, snowshoe walking, kick sledging, tobogganing and children's snowmobiling. Decorate gingerbread cookies and make Christmas decorations in Elämänluukku, where we will also enjoy a late lunch.
Each family will receive an invite from Santa with your scheduled time for a visit. Visit to Santa's cabin starts with short snowmobile sleigh ride, followed by a short reindeer ride. Santa's cabin is in the forest and secluded and each family has a guaranteed private visit. Santa reads children's letters and each child receives a small gift from Santa.
Today we will meet our doggy friends, the huskies. Bus transfer to a nearby husky farm where we are greeted by a bunch of friendly barking and yapping dogs, eager to get going! After a very important safety briefing, children will be placed in the guides’ sleighs and the parents will share a dog team. And off we go mushing through the snowy forest!
Later we will visit the Snow Village, a real master piece of ice & snow art with hotel rooms, snow bar and snow sculptures. After a soup, we will return to the Husky Farm and then continue back to our cabins in Äkäslompolo.
Today we will have a go at ice fishing and snowmobiling. After a snowmobile drive to a frozen lake you get to experience the traditional way of winter fishing – through a hole in the ice. We will enjoy wilderness lunch, and hopefully you'll be lucky enough to catch your own fish.
Rest of the afternoon free: curl up by the fire with your favourite book and enjoy the view of the winter paradise outside, or take a toboggan or snowshoes and head outside.
It is our last night in Lapland. Enjoy a farewell dinner, share stories and say goodbye to our new friends.
After breakfast, transfer to Kittilä airport. Ask us about downhill skiing in near by resort, Levi.
Dates & Prices
22 Dec 2017
- To steer a husky team you need to be 18 years old.
- To drive a snowmobile you need to have a valid driver's license. Please, remember to bring it with you.
- Snowmobile safari organisers have insurance. In case of accident you personal liability is max EUR 500 per accident case.
This tour is based in a small village - the group dinners and daily activities are short walks from your accommodation. You will be provided local sleds & toboggans to commute between these places. In the case of extreme weather, the escorts can arrange ad hoc transfers when required.
Interactive Tour Map
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/
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.
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!