Lapland Journals

A Week in Lapland

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A December 2009 trip to Lapland by Joy S

Icicles everywhere Photo, Lapland, Finland More Photos
Quote: We spent the week before Christmas above the Arctic Circle in beautiful Finnish Lapland - visiting Santa, playing in the snow and enjoying the wealth of things to do in this unforgettable winter wonderland.

Overview and Highlights

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Story/Tip

Icicles everywhere Photo, Lapland, Finland
Quote:
A winter holiday in Lapland is an experience you will never forget - we had the most wonderful time.Above the Arctic Circle, Lapland comprises one third of Finland and is the country's most northernmost, largest and sparsely populated province. It is often called the "last wilderness in Europe."It is the legendary home of Santa Claus - the Finnish word for December is Joulukuu, which literally means Christmas month. Meeting Santa Claus here must be every child's dream, but that is definitely not the only reason to visit Lapland - add to this the snow, crossing the Arctic Circle and seeing the Northern Lights - and this is just for starters!!Lapland has four season...Read More

Tips and Hints

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Story/Tip

Quote:
* Wear the right clothing - this is absolutely essential and cannot be stressed enough. Layers and waterproof outer clothing are a must. Temperatures are cold during the day - the first three days of our visit it was minus 28 degrees centigrade, although it warmed up to minus 15 degrees by the end of the week. You also need thermal socks, waterproof and insulated gloves or mittens (I found these preferable) and hats that cover your ears. A balaclava for covering your face when doing activities is also a good idea. Make sure you have a good pair of boots - insulated, waterproof and with a good tread. Goggles are also useful if you are doing reindeer and husky rides. Get the anti-fog type with ti...Read More

Spa Hotel Levitunturi

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Hotel | "Hotel Levitunturi"

Spa Hotel Levitunturi Photo, Sirkka, Finland
Quote:
The Levitunturi hotel in Levi is a 4 star hotel. It is right in the heart of this little town - although it is such a small place, nowhere would be far away from the centre. It is also just a couple of hundred metres from the ski slopes and tracks.There are 172 rooms in 9 buildings - all look very quaint and are built of logs and stone.Check-in is after 4pm, but we arrived at 1:30 and our room was ready, so we were able to go straight there. All the staff without exception were efficient, very friendly and always willing to help.We booked the hotel as part of a package with Inghams, which included our flights (on Monarch from the UK), hotel and meals. There were...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 31, 2009

Spa Hotel Levitunturi
Levintie 1590
Finland, Europe
+358 16 646 301

Levi

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Attraction

Levi Photo, Lapland, Finland
Quote:
Levi is a little place 170km north of the Arctic Circle. It has a warm, friendly atmosphere which makes it a great place to stay. It is used as a ski resort in winter and is apparently Finland's most famous ski resort.The nearest airport is Kitilla - 15 minutes away by road. The area surrounding Levi is relatively flat which makes it great for cross country skiing, Nordic walking, dog sledding and hiking. There are lots of other activities as well to experience here, plus you have the chance to see the Northern Lights.Everyone in Levi speaks excellent English - we had no problems anywhere, despite having only a few words of Finnish.The weather inside...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 4, 2010

Levi
Lapland
Lapland, Finland

Snowmobile Safari

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Story/Tip

The reindeer farm Photo, Lapland, Finland
Quote:
Snowmobiling is a way of life in Lapland. There is no more exhilirating way of exploring the wintery woods than on your own snowmobile.A carefully managed network of trails criss-cross the beautiful winter expanses of North West Finland. You follow forest tracks, cross frozen lakes and speed across snowy plains.We took a guided snowmobile tour with Perhitsafarit, based in Levi.The operators gave you guidance on how to drive and handle the snowmobile. They also provide the correct clothing - oversuit, helmets, gloves, balaclavas and boots. You still need to ensure you are wearing lots of thermal layers underneath.Children under 10 are not allowed on t...Read More

Husky Dog Sledding

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Story/Tip

View of the huskies from our sled Photo, Lapland, Finland
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We spent a great day at Wingrens Dog Safari in Kongas, 15 minutes drive from Levi. We booked the experience through our tour operator - Inghams - when we got to Levi, but it is possible to organise this independently. The safari, plus the coach ride there and back cost £85 for adults and £41 for children under 12 years old.It is really thrilling as you venture into the countryside with a team of huskies, over a frozen lake through dense forest with everything carpeted in a white blanket of powdery snow.When we arrived, we were met from the coach by the dogs' owner Maria. She owns and operates the kennels and has 95 racing huskies, who are trained to follow a 6 mile trail thr...Read More

Santa's Secret Hideaway

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Story/Tip

Our son's creation in the log cabin Photo, Lapland, Finland
Quote:
We booked the trip to Santa's Secret Hideaway with Ingham, our tour operator before we left the UK. This holiday was to see Lapland, enjoy the winter activities on offer there, but also to bring our 6 year old to meet the "real" Santa in his hideaway in the middle of a forest above the Arctic Circle.We got collected by coach from our hotel in Levi and were taken about 15 minutes drive into the countryside. It was 3:30pm when we were picked up, so it was dark.When we arrived at the hideaway, we had to drive up a long track, at the end of which we were met by an elf, who walked us up a long candlelit path. It was nice with all the candles, but it was really dark, icy cold and ...Read More

Santa Park

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Attraction | "Santa Park, Rovaniemi"

Santa Park Photo, Rovaniemi, Finland
Quote:
Rovaniemi is the Finnish Lapp capital and is 550 miles north of Helsinki. It has been the business centre of Finnish Lapland since the 19th century. It was razed to the ground by the Germans in the final days of World War II with only a handful of buildings left standing. The rebuilding after the war and the Rovaniemi development in the ensuing decades has left much of the city a featureless expanse of concrete blocks.Most tourists come here for one reason - Santa Claus. Santa Claus Village, 8km north of the town and right on the Arctic Circle is a major family attraction.They also have Santapark here - designed to emulate Santa's cave on the Artic Circle and where we spent...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 7, 2010

Santa Park

Rovaniemi, Finland

About the Writer

Joy S

Joy S
Manchester, United Kingdom