Lapland: A Winter Wonderland

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What are the images that come to mind when thinking of Christmas? Classic festive scenes include forests of pine trees, reindeers pulling sleighs with jingling bells and Santa Claus in his toy workshop. Well, Lapland has all these things by the bucketload! What’s more, as it’s located in the Arctic, Lapland is usually blanketed in thick snow between December and April, making it the epitome of Christmas holiday destinations. Here are a few reasons to get excited about a Lapland Christmas this year…

Santa Claus

Many children have had encounters with Santa Claus in a shopping mall grotto or school fair, but nothing compares to seeing the man himself at home. Most Lapland breaks include meet and greet sessions with Father Christmas, which can take place in log cabins, igloos or in his workshop. There are several Lapland resorts which specialize in this, including Yllas, Levi and Rovaniemi.

Reindeer and Sleigh Rides

It’s almost impossible to think about Christmas without hearing those reindeer bells. Although it’s unlikely you’d spot one with a red nose, Lapland breaks often include trips to reindeer farms like Purnumukka, south of Saariselka. Then there are the exhilarating reindeer sleigh rides. Younger children will probably be happiest with sleigh rides of an hour or less, while older kids might enjoy sleigh rides in the far north, that can last for several days. These often include overnight stays in log cabins, ice hotels or native kota; tepees made from reindeer hides. Sleighs pulled by teams of huskies are another enjoyable way to travel through the snow.

Northern Lights

The Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, are an unforgettable sight. Shifting curtains of light fill the skies, in shades of vivid green, red and blue. Caused by solar energy trapped in magnetic fields, the Northern Lights are usually best seen between October and December, though they can still be spotted up until April.

Snow-filled days

When was your last white Christmas? The winter snow of Lapland is deep, powdery and clean. While the weather is often freezing, it is perfectly doable in thermal suits, overalls and boots. These can be hired in Lapland, and are often included in holiday packages. With protection from the cold, many outdoor pursuits can be enjoyed, from hiking through the woods wearing snowshoes to ice-skating on frozen ponds. Many companies offer snowmobile hire, with mini scooters available for children.

Lapland has many unique experiences to offer visitors, from the silent majesty of a snow-covered wilderness with incandescent skies, to the joy of giving children the complete Christmas experience, with fun in the snow and the chance to meet Santa Claus. So if you’re looking for a magical winter holiday this year, Lapland has all the bases covered.

Image by Timo Newton-Syms, used under Creative Comms license
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