Did you know that the one and only Santa Claus is from Lapland, not from the North Pole? Yes, he’s living in Korvatunturi which is a fell in Eastern Lapland, near Russian border in Finland.
If you want to meet with him, one to one meetings could be organized for example at Santa’s Resort in Kakslauttanen. To travel to Kakslauttanen, you have to fly to Ivalo (IVL) and then travel by car for 30mins (another option is to fly to Rovaniemi and then take a bus for three hours).
Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort is most famous of their glass igloos and that’s really something special; you watch the fantastic Northern light show from the comfort your bed all night long!
You might have heard about igloos made of ice; it’s cold inside and you cannot see outside… Glass igloos have room temperature inside and toilet facilities are also included; and some of the igloos also have showers.
Unfortunately no sauna in the igloos but you can use the common sauna facilities which are provided nearby. Full catering services are also available; what about enjoying some hot reindeer soup with mulled wine under the Northern Lights?
I would really recommend spending two nights in a glass igloo; then additional nights in a log cabin, all cabins come with traditional Finnish sauna, some of those come with outdoor Jacuzzi, how cool is that? (ok, when the outside temperature is -25 centigrade, of course the water is heated!).
Sauna is very nice after a long day of skiing (either downhill or cross country) or some other outdoor activities. Nice place to relax. You shouldn’t hurry.
Go to sauna, take a break and even do some snow angels in between (roll naked in snow). Or if you are brave enough; take a dip in a frozen lake. And have a cold beer or “lonkero” after sauna session when waiting your skin to cool down!
If you don’t want to enjoy the Northern Lights just from your own glass igloo, you should participate in an Aurora Hunting Safari. You can either do that in horseback riding, riding a sleigh, or with reindeers or huskies or by snow mobile. I’d opt for huskies, that would be super fun – lots of speed as well!
What is typical food in Lapland? Meat of reindeer of course. It could be fresh or cured, my personal favourite is cold smoked one. Of course lots of fish, mostly salmon. And if you are lucky, you can also get some lobster from the Arctic Sea.
And you should try local liquors flavoured with cloudberry, lingonberry or blueberry. Finns love to drink coffee. Same applies to Lapland. Coffee with some cinnamon roll or gingerbread cookie in the morning, afternoon, and after dinner.
Are you keen on gold? Especially in summertime there would be possibility for gold panning, if you are lucky, you might find some. You can keep it or exchange that for beverages in a local bar in Saariselka! Gold mining is very popular especially among Asian visitors.
Other popular activities are for example hiking and mountain biking in summer time, snowshoe hiking, ice fishing safaris and rally driving on a frozen lake – in winter time many car manufactures test drive their vehicles in the extreme conditions Finnish Lapland!
Northern Finland is a fantastic holiday destination; in the summer time you can experience nightless nights there; sun doesn’t set for a few months. I wintertime it’s totally opposite; sun doesn’t come up for a few months; it’s fairly dark all the time but you can experience amazing Northern Lights!
Lapland is a great destination for families but also very popular for weddings (think about all white wedding under the Northern Lights).