Sunshine holiday’s are great fun and we love nothing more than exploring the destination we have visited, enjoying some water sports and sampling local delicacies, but nothing quite compares to experience the magic of winter in Lapland.
Living in the UK, the country grinds to a halt at the first sign of snow, but the Finnish people have living with the white stuff down to a fine art. Snow in Finland is not the wet slushy stuff that we are used to, but thick powder and although coaches ferry the tourists to and from the airport, it is not unusual to see the locals making their way around on ski’s and snowmobiles.
Many families go to Lapland to see Father Christmas, as we did, however there is so much more to do than just see the man in red and here are some of our favourite activities you must try in Lapland:
Must-Do Activities on a Lapland Holiday
No visit to Lapland would be without a chance to try Husky Sledding and you can literally feel the excitement in the air as the sight of passengers walking to the sleds gets the huskies into an excited frenzy – they love the chance to run!!
We tried family sledding, which meant one adult got to sit in the sled with the kids, whilst the other took control of the driving.
When I say driving, you pretty much let the huskies run as they know where they are going, but you are expected to give them a hand when going uphill and apply the brake when needed.
Wear a scarf / snood over your face and nose. It does get chilly, but these dogs toilet on the run, so it saves you from any unwanted surprises.
Take a Northern Lights Safari
It gets dark in Lapland by 3.30pm and although they cannot guarantee you will see the Northern Lights, putting a snowmobile through its paces is a brilliant experience in itself.
All the extra kit you need is provided for you and the kids got to travel in style in their own trailer, complete with snuggly blankets to ward off the freezing temperatures. We travelled about 30 minutes out-of-town to make sure there was no light pollution and sat around a roaring campfire with mulled wine and traditional ginger biscuits whilst we heard about the local legends of the Northern Lights.
The old local legend that says that the lights were caused by an Arctic fox as it ran along the fells, catching its busy tail in snowdrifts and sending a trail of sparks in to the sky. In Finnish the Northern Lights are called “revontulet” or “fox fires” as its name derives from this legend.
It is then back onto the snowmobiles to head back to base and a nice warming dinner.
You are provided with all the thermal equipment you need with most Lapland holiday’s, however, although it was sufficient in the daytime when the kids were running around, they did find it particularly cold when doing the Northern Lights Safari, so add an extra layer.
Reindeer Sleigh Ride
You cannot go to Lapland with taking a Reindeer Sleigh Ride and whilst the Husky Dog rides is exhilarating, this is calm, gentle and serene.
Reindeer have large feet and to help them communicate in the dark conditions, their tendons slip over bones in the feet as they walk, producing a relaxing clicking sound, which helps them to stay together.
The kids used toboggans as their way of getting around the town, however Lapland is home to some impressive toboggan runs too.
We stayed in Saariselkä which is home to the longest toboggan run in Northern Europe at 1.2 kilometers long and a vertical drop of 130 meters. We were determined to get to the top and do it all and best of all – its FREE!
Don’t just watch the kids having fun – have a go yourselves too!
Cross Country Skiing
Lapland residents get around using cross-country skis and you will see cross-country ski trails throughout the landscape with adults and children whizzing along, so why not take a lesson and try them for yourself.
It is not only a great way to get around, but also takes you past some incredible, unspoilt scenery too.
Lapland is a stunning place to visit and there are plenty of resorts suitable for those not wanting a Santa experience. Many of these also offer snow shoeing, ice fishing, horse trekking and even the chance to stay in an Ice Hotel.
Check out activities abroad for a great range of options for your ideal holiday to Lapland!
Is a Lapland holiday on your bucket list?