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Lapland Holidays & Santa Trips | Additional Extras

Northern Lights Adventure

One of the highlights of Lapland is an evening adventure in search of the Northern Lights. Sometimes they develop into a riot of colours dancing across the sky.

This adventure whisks you through the woods of Saariselkä via snowmobiles to a quiet, uninhabited location in search of the Northern Lights. You’ll also have a chance to take a break and warm up with a lovely fire and warming hot drink. Adults can share a snowmobile or drive individually (for a supplement) whilst the children travel in a special sled puled behind the guide’s snowmobile.

  • Duration: 2 hours (Snowmobile driving for 1 hour)
  • Pricing: Adults £101, Children (4-11 yrs) £79, Adult Sole Driver £137
  • Saving £20 each on normal prices in resort!

The science behind the Northern Lights

Officially known as the Aurora Borealis, it is created by high energy protons and electrons from sun-spots being brought by a solar wind and then trapped in the Earth’s magnetic field. The red and green colours occur when these particles collide with oxygen atoms and blue shades when the particles collide with nitrogen molecules. Solar winds can reach speeds of over 500 miles per second.

The Legends

Since time immemorial, the Northern Lights have aroused fear and interest in people. There is an 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 thought that the Aurora Borealis inspired many dragon legends as people imagined fire-breath flashing across the sky whilst cultures like the Japanese are fascinated by natural wonders and there is a story that any children conceived beneath the lights will become intellectuals.

The Northern Lights Adventure

The excursion departs early evening by driving snowmobiles out in to the wilderness to find a good viewing place. Your guide will show you how to drive the snowmobile and then you set off in convoy in search of the Northern Lights. Children travel in a sleigh together behind a guide’s snowmobile. Arctic suits are provided along with helmets and visors. After driving for a while a stop is made and a guide lights a fire and everybody enjoys a warm drink. Don’t forget your camera.

The best time to see the magical Northern Lights

In Lapland, you’ve got the best opportunity to see the Aurora Borealis and it’s now easier to predict when they will appear with satellites constantly taking photos of the sun’s activities. They can be seen from early evening as soon as it gets dark although they do vary in intensity throughout the night.

There are several factors that affect the visibility of the Northern Lights, and they can be notoriously fickle. Because of these natural forces, we cannot guarantee you will see the aurora on your Northern Lights Adventure. However, it will still be a fantastic experience in the serene snowy atmosphere of Lapland. It is one of those things that you need to do at least once in your life. The magic of this natural phenomenon with colours dancing in the skies has to be seen to be believed.


Rudolph’s Reindeer Run

Combine the unique adventure of driving your own reindeer sleigh with the strong cultural traditions of the local people. Rudolph’s Reindeer Run is an ideal experience for those wishing to enjoy the beauty and tranquillity of the Lapland wilderness and the interaction with these beautiful animals.

  • Duration: 1 – 1.5 hours (30 minute sleigh ride)
  • Pricing: Adults £106, Children (2-11yrs) £82
  • Saving £10 each on normal prices in resort!

Santa’s reindeer

Santa’s original eight reindeer are Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen. The story of Rudolph originates from 1939 when he came to Santa’s aid on a foggy Christmas Eve and guided the sleigh with his red nose. You may not meet the actual Rudolph on Rudolph’s Reindeer Run but you will have chance to ride in a sleigh pulled by one of his friends.

About reindeer

Reindeer are naturally timid animals but prior to the arrival of the snowmobile have been the main mode of transport for centuries. Although most reindeer roam freely around Lapland, some are kept trained for sleigh rides. Both males and females grow antlers which fall off between December and the summer depending on the age of the animal. Hoofs are adapted to the climate and in winter shrink and tighten exposing the rim of the hoof, to stop slipping and helping them dig through the snow whilst looking for their favourite food, lichens, sniffed out by their sensitive noses.

Learn about the reindeer

The trip starts with an introduction to the reindeer and how the Sámi people identify which reindeer belong to them. You will see that they are shorter and stockier than horses and how their build is suited for life in the snow and also how the herder lassoes the animals to catch them. Reindeer mating occurs from late September to early November when the males lock antlers for access to the females. The calves are born the following May to June and will keep suckling until the autumn although they can start eating grasses after about 45 days.

Rudolph’s Reindeer Run

The reindeer run sets off with one reindeer pulling a sleigh and the family sitting inside, snuggled under blankets to keep warm. One person has to drive which is not too difficult as reindeer are sensible animals and do not race and overtake each other. The bells on the sleigh jingle and you hear the clops of the reindeer and the sleigh gliding across the fresh snow. It is just the most magical experience.


Husky Heaven

If our included husky sled-ride whets your appetite, this additional trip gives you longer to feel the thrill of driving your own team of huskies. You are picked up from your hotel and then driven to the husky farm where full instruction is given on how to drive the sled and command the huskies. The sleds are driven by one adult who controls the brake whilst another adult and child or 2 children sit in the sled. Hot berry juice is provided during the visit and if there are 2 adults who want to drive then there is a chance to swap drivers.

  • Duration: 2 Hours (Available on my Magic breaks only), 30 minute sleigh ride
  • Pricing: Adults £114, Children (2-11 yrs) £88
  • Saving £10 each on normal prices in resort!

A traditional way of travel

Nordic people have traditionally used teams of dogs for hunting and travel as they are perfectly suited to the conditions that you find in Lapland. Huskies are renowned for strength, speed and endurance and there are many breeds throughout the Northern Hemisphere. Compared to other dogs they have a thicker coat with a dense undercoat and a longer topcoat to give full protection against the Arctic winter. Generally they are highly intelligent and come in a variety of colours and patterns according to the breed.

Teams of dogs

The huskies work together as a pack and there is a very definite role for each dog within the team. There is always a leader who is the most experienced and intelligent dog and he or she is positioned at the front and will listen out for the commands. In the middle are the youngest and more inexperienced dogs whilst at the back are the strongest dogs who also keep a watchful eye on the younger dogs in front of them.

Take control of a team of huskies

It is easy to control a team of huskies and the guide explains the commands and exactly what you need to do. The driver stands on the back of a wheel-less vehicle or sled and there is a brake which can slow down the dogs and stop them. There is a ‘pack-instinct’ for one team of dogs to want to overtake the team in front but use of the brake and commands to the lead dog will keep you in control. There is room for one or two people to sit inside the sled and during the break, positions can be swapped and somebody else can have a go at driving.

Husky Heaven

You receive all the necessary equipment including the winter clothing and then receive a full brief on how to control the sled and the dogs. It is then time to meet your team before driving off through the pristine countryside. Use the brake to slow down the team and sometimes you will need to jump off and give them a little bit of help with a push on some small uphill sections. There is a stop for a rest and to swap drivers if required. It is an amazing experience that will be both exhilarating and relaxing as you charge across the snowy wilderness. At the end, don’t forget to thank your huskies, starting with the ‘top dog’ of the team.


Family Snowmobile Safari

Children travel in a sleigh which is pulled by a separate snowmobile and adults can drive their own snowmobile (if booked with a single driver supplement). The convoy then starts, driving along recognised snowmobile tracks out in to the beautiful, snowy and natural environment of Lapland.

  • Duration: 1- 1½ hours (Available on all my Magic and Aurora breaks), 45 minute snowmobiling
  • Pricing: Adults £79, Children (3-11 yrs) £66, Adult sole driver £114
  • Saving you £20 each on prices in resort!

Find the wilderness of Lapland

The wonder of a snowmobile safari is that you can go out in to the wilderness and find areas untouched by roads and habitation. There are thousands of miles of snowmobile tracks in Lapland giving you the opportunity to find the best views, the amazing shapes of snow frozen on the trees and the beautiful pale colours of the open skies. It is an Arctic Adventure of a lifetime to find the unspoilt, sunning scenery for which Lapland is justifiably well known. A snowmobile is a machine designed to be driven on snow or ice without the use of a road. Designs vary as some models are more suitable for deep snow and forests but most are used on open terrain including frozen lakes and paths or trails.

Use of the snowmobiles

They were originally intended as a winter utility vehicle to go where other transport couldn’t go and were used by hunters and workers transporting people and materials across the snow covered land. Now they are used more for recreation and getting out in to the wilderness of Lapland. The design has evolved so that most snowmobiles carry two people (driver and pillion passenger) with windshields and leg protectors and even warmers on the handlebars.

Snowmobile safari with safety

Helmets are supplied and the driver must have a full driving license. There are very strong rules with snowmobiles and safety, consumption of alcohol is completely forbidden and there are dedicated snowmobile trails with ‘Give Way’ signs just as on a road. Children who are not large enough to travel as a pillion passenger all travel together in a sleigh pulled by the guide’s snowmobile. One guide will lead the group who follow in order. It doesn’t mean that the group drive like ‘Sunday Drivers’ and there is speed and times when you can open the throttle but safety is a priority on these safaris especially as many people have not driven them before.


Adult Snowmobile Safari

An unforgettable adventure for adults only, with either two sharing or driving individually (for a supplement). Enjoy zooming through the pristine, snowy landscape of Saariselkä while keeping an eye out for some local wild animals along the way.

  • Duration: 2 hours (Available on all my Magic and Aurora breaks), 1- 1½ hours snowmobiling
  • Pricing: Adults £101, Adult sole driver £137
  • Saving you £10 each on prices in resort!

Find the wilderness of Lapland

The wonder of a snowmobile safari is that you can go out in to the wilderness and find areas untouched by roads and habitation. There are thousands of miles of snowmobile tracks in Lapland giving you the opportunity to find the best views, the amazing shapes of snow frozen on the trees and the beautiful pale colours of the open skies. It is an Arctic Adventure of a lifetime to find the unspoilt, sunning scenery for which Lapland is justifiably well known. A snowmobile is a machine designed to be driven on snow or ice without the use of a road. Designs vary as some models are more suitable for deep snow and forests but most are used on open terrain including frozen lakes and paths or trails.

Use of the snowmobiles

They were originally intended as a winter utility vehicle to go where other transport couldn’t go and were used by hunters and workers transporting people and materials across the snow covered land. Now they are used more for recreation and getting out in to the wilderness of Lapland. The design has evolved so that most snowmobiles carry two people (driver and pillion passenger) with windshields and leg protectors and even warmers on the handlebars.

Snowmobile safari with safety

Helmets are supplied and the driver must have a full driving license. There are very strong rules with snowmobiles and safety, consumption of alcohol is completely forbidden and there are dedicated snowmobile trails with ‘Give Way’ signs just as on a road. Children who are not large enough to travel as a pillion passenger all travel together in a sleigh pulled by the guide’s snowmobile. One guide will lead the group who follow in order. It doesn’t mean that the group drive like ‘Sunday Drivers’ and there is speed and times when you can open the throttle but safety is a priority on these safaris especially as many people have not driven them before.


Lapland Downhill Skiing

Skiing on the slopes of Saariselkä is great fun as you glide through perfect snow with the whole wilderness of Northern Lapland around you. The resort opens in November every year with runs for all levels from complete beginners to experienced skiers and boarders. They have snow cannons on every slope but they are not really needed! The ski centre is just a short bus ride from the resort of Saariselkä and there are bus stops at the Hotel Riekonlinna, the Holiday Club (opposite the Saariselkä Inn) and at the Hotel Tunturi/Gielas.

  • Duration: 3 hour session
  • Pricing – Adults £62, Children (7-16 yrs) £52, Under 7 yrs £29 (Includes equipment hire and lift pass)
  • Private lesson package (with 90 minutes lesson, lift pass and equipment hire included)*: 1 person £113, 2 people £185, 3 people £256, 4 people £327. Prices are per instructor depending on the number of people. *Prices may vary at the time of booking.

Ski Centre Facilities

At the ski centre, everything you need is on hand. There is a ski shop with an excellent range of skis and ski boots plus snowboards and boots for hire. Even telemark skis can be rented. The shop also sells goggles, gloves and ski helmets are readily available. There are 11 runs of which 5 are illuminated for some floodlit skiing in to the evenings. For snowboarders there is a Freestyle Park with half pipe to try out tricks and jumps and there is a Kid’s Park in the centre especially for children. If you need a drink or a snack then there is a Ski Bar at the bottom of the slopes and a restaurant at the top of Kaunispää fell.

Skiing in the wilderness

Skiing in Saariselkä is a beautiful experience as you are surrounded by the stunning Arctic wilderness and snow laden spruce trees. The uncrowded pistes of Saariselkä really make it a perfect place for anybody putting on skis for the first time. Tuition is available locally and the instructors speak excellent English. The immaculately groomed pistes allow intermediate skiers plenty of scope to work on technique with beautiful tree- lined runs and no lift queues. Saariselkä offers a unique skiing adventure with a distinctive Lappish flavour. (Note: Only available on my Santa Magic and Aurora 4-day breaks.)


Snow-shoeing

Hiking with snow-shoes allows you to explore the wintry nature of Lapland in a quiet and ecological manner. Using snow-shoes is easy and you do not have to be a skier to learn how to do it. All you need is reasonable balance and warm clothes and a thermal suit is supplied for your use when you arrive in Lapland.

  • Duration: 1 hour (Available on all my Magic and Aurora breaks)
  • Pricing: Adults £38, Children (6-11yrs) £25

Are snow-shoes tennis racket type devices?

Many people, before trying snow-shoeing believe that they are like tennis rackets strapped on your boots for walking on snow. Maybe some cartoon has encouraged this belief but they work on the principle that a larger surface area spreads the weight of the body over the snow so you can even walk over fresh snow and not fall in up to your waist.

How to use snow-shoes?

Snowshoes were originally intended to assist people to cross snowy landscapes and the indigenous Sámi people used a form of snow-shoe for their hunting trips. Now they are used as a recreational pastime and are made up of lightweight metal that is larger than your boot (and actually about the size of a large tennis racket) with straps to secure them to boots and enable you to walk. There are different styles but most have spikes on the bottom to avoid slipping and most let the heel move up and down to make it easier to walk. The snow-shoe is also turned up at the front to help when going downhill.

Snow-shoeing

Snow-shoeing is generally slower than walking, although the shoes allow you the freedom to go where you like, whether uphill, downhill or in to fresh snow. You have two ski poles to help balance whilst you are walking so you can concentrate on the nature and the beauty around you. There are marked trails and beginners are recommended to follow these as they are well marked and circular routes can be followed. If you feel like making fresh tracks through deep and unbroken snow and climbing a small peak for some fantastic views then ensure that you have a map and compass with you. Santa’s Lapland optional snow-shoeing excursions start with a guide explaining exactly how the snow-shoes work and the best techniques before setting off.


Cross-Country Skiing

Cross-country skiing is an ideal way to explore the tranquility of Lapland’s pristine winter wonderland, with the company of a guide so you can fully explore Saariselkä’s wilderness. All you need is reasonable balance and warm clothes and a thermal suit is supplied for your use when you arrive in Lapland.

  • Duration: 1 hour (Available on all my Magic and Aurora breaks) 30 minutes skiing
  • Pricing: Adults £38, Children (6-11yrs) £25

Skiing in Stunning Lapland

Cross-country skiing is easy to learn as well as a great way to enjoy the scenery at your own pace. It’s a gentler way to take in the fresh pine scents, the sparkle of frozen lakes and the sheer tranquility and beauty of winter in the mountains. Similar to ice skating, you’ll learn to glide across the vast network of maintained cross-country ski trails in the area.

The History of Cross-Country Skiing

Born in the snowy woods of Scandinavia, cross-country skiing was an important method of transport in the winter before cars. To this day, it remains the favourite pastime in Nordic countries and features prominently in the Winter Olympics, with several events including the sprint, team relay and biathlon.


Aurora Hunt by Snowmobile

Seeing the evening colours of the Northern Lights dancing across the sky is one of the highlights of any trip to Lapland. Discover the Northern Lights with this Snowmobile Safari as your guide takes you to the best places to view the Aurora Borealis.

Start from Hotel Star Arctic on a hunt by snowmobiles for the Northern Lights. You will visit Northern Lights spotting areas but snowmobile and the guide may use multiple locatons to find the best viewing position. Adults can share a snowmobile or drive individually (for a supplement) whilst the children travel in a special sled puled behind the guide’s snowmobile.

  • Duration: 2 hours (Snowmobile driving for 1 hour 30mins)
  • Pricing: Adults £120, Children (4-11 yrs) £81, Adult Sole Driver £172
  • Saving £10 each on normal prices in resort!