Our very own leisure travel consultant, Debbie, visited Lapland at the most wonderful time of the year! Lapland is the largest, northernmost region of Finland and the ultimate winter wonderland.
While Finland is renowned worldwide for cold weather, as soon as we landed at Ivalo airport it was evident that the frostiness didn’t extend to the people. We were greeted by Santa’s helpers who guided us to our transport for the short drive to the charming village of Saariselka. After enjoying some breath-taking scenery en route, we arrived in Saariselkä, where we collected our snow friendly clothing (snowsuits, boots, socks and gloves) before continuing to the Star Arctic Hotel.
The Star Arctic Hotel, located on top of a fell, boasts remarkable decor inside and out, as well as postcard-worthy views of the surrounding wilderness. The cosy bar and restaurant are perfect for relaxing in after an activity-filled day. With 3 room options all taking design inspiration from log cabins, you have the option of a scenic suite, a scenic suite featuring a built-in sauna or a romantic glass cabin where you can stargaze in bed and maybe catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights.
A vast array of stories from Lapland covering Aurora Borealis, crazy reindeer golf and everything in between were enjoyed during a gala dinner in the wilderness on our first evening. After enjoying the ice bar, we relaxed with a nightcap in the hotel bar before heading up to bed for some much needed rest.
A hearty Finnish breakfast fuelled us the next morning for a non-stop day, beginning with a snowmobile safari. After a brief lesson on how to use the snowmobiles we spent 90 minutes exploring the beautiful woodlands and galloping into the wild in the middle of Lapland’s natural environment.
The afternoon consisted of a reindeer sleigh ride through the woodland before being greeted by Santa’s elves. The elves took us to a cosy wooden cabin where we met the one and only Father Christmas! Our children had previously written to Father Christmas and he was prepared with their letters and perfect gifts to give them while we all enjoyed the magical atmosphere. Husky sledding was next on the list, and it was a genuinely exciting experience at the helm of the husky sledge! We got to know the adorable huskies, while experiencing the pure natural environment where these loyal companions are born, raised and live.
We couldn’t leave without exploring the village of Saariselkä. It’s a wonderful little place with a supermarket and plenty of gift shops which ensured that we had something special to remind us of our amazing trip to Lapland. It is the most magical destination I have had the pleasure of experiencing.