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5 days - Escorted tour of Finland, celebrating Christmas traditions, in the Northern Lights region.
Looking for a white Christmas in Finland, meet Santa and his Elves and stay in a glass Igloo?
Head up high into the Arctic Circle to enjoy the Christmas period in Northern Finland. A landscape of snow, the chance of the Aurora Borealis and Finnish Christmas traditions combined with Santa and his elves will set your imagination soaring.
This is a rustic wilderness experience in the remote forests of northern Finland, away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. We provide snow, private log cabins, fun activities and beautiful scenery for you to make the most of this unique holiday.
Note that the cabins and glass igloos do not have a TV or Internet access, and there is limited ‘entertainment’ for young children. This Christmas experience is best suitable for families with children who enjoy the tranquillity of the pristine wilderness above the Arctic Circle. Read here for more details about staying in a glass igloo.
This trip runs on specific dates and books up early. The departure on 22nd to 26th December 2019 is exclusively hosted by one of our staff members. Read reviews about this tour here.
Our tours stay in the new West Village side of the resort. __Our Nordic+ option stays in the new Kelo Glass Igloo Log Cabins for the entire 4 nights (pictured below). __
- 50 Degrees North Escort
- Overnight in a Glass Igloos, perfect for star gazing and Northern Lights viewing
- Visit a traditional Sami Village and enjoy a reindeer sleigh ride
- Venture out on snowmobiles in search of the Northern Lights. Experience an exotic Arctic evening by driving through snow-covered forests and over treeless fells
- Day 1
- Arrive to Lapland and check in to your Glass Igloo
- Day 2
- Reindeer Safari & Evening Snowmobiling in Search of the Northern Lights
- Day 3
- Enjoy the Christmas spirit with Santa and his Elves
- Day 4
- Husky Safari
- Day 5
- Depart to Ivalo airport for flight onwards
- Start/End Place
- Ivalo, Scandinavia
- Destinations Visited
- 5 Days
- Special Interest
- Adventurous Christmas tour suitable for families with older children
Local transfers, dog sleds, snowmobile safaris and transfer from local airport, Ivalo.
- Standard: 3 nights in a traditional log cabin with its own fireplace and sauna + 1 night in a Glass Igloo
- Nordic+: 4 nights in Kelo Glass Igloo Log Cabin & luggage service
- Daily breakfast and 4 dinners (including a Christmas Eve dinner)
- Return transfer between Ivalo airport and Kakslauttanen
- Aurora Snowmobile Safari (3 hrs)
- Husky Safari (2 hrs)
- Reindeer Safari with visit to Traditional Sami Village
- Winter clothing for the entire stay (thermal overall, boots, warm hat & gloves)
- 50 Degrees North Representative on hand
International flights to/from Helsinki, domestic flights, travel arrangements in Helsinki, meals other than specified, items of personal nature, beverages.
Day 1 - Arrive to Lapland and check in to your Glass Igloo
Arrive to Ivalo, located about 250km north of the Arctic Circle. Upon arrival at Ivalo airport, transfer to Kakslauttanen. Check in to your Glass Igloo!
Dinner at hotel then get ready for your night in under the stars - and hopefully the Northern Lights.
You will be spending this night in a Glass Igloo, providing a unique opportunity to admire the Northern Lights and the millions of stars of the crystal clear sky in a comfortable room temperature. Built from a special thermal glass, the temperature inside the Igloo always stays at a normal level. It also prevents the glass from not getting white frosted, hence keeping the view clear even when the temperature outside drops to under -30°C. Every igloo is equipped with a toilet and comfortable beds.
AccommodationOvernight in a Glass Igloo
Optional Add Ons
Day 2 - Reindeer Safari & Evening Snowmobiling in Search of the Northern Lights
After breakfast, head out on a reindeer safari. We will visit a traditional Sami Village and enjoy a reindeer sleigh ride.
In the afternoon, check in to your private Log Cabin. Each of these traditional rustic wilderness cabins is equipped with a fireplace, shower/toilet, kitchenette and own sauna. The cabins are located far enough apart from each other so that each one has its own peaceful outdoor area.
Dinner at hotel then get ready for your 'Search for the Northern Lights'.
After dinner you will venture out on snowmobiles in search of the Northern Lights. Come and experience an exotic Arctic evening by driving through snow-covered forests and over treeless fells. With a little luck, if the sky is clear, the moon, stars and even the Northern Lights may show you the way.
AccommodationOvernight in your private Log Cabin.
Day 3 - Enjoy the Christmas spirit with Santa and his Elves
In Scandinavia we celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve – 24th of December. This is how your Christmas Eve at Kakslauttanen may look like: After special Christmas breakfast you will visit Santa's house. Enjoy hot drinks and gingerbread with Santa's Elves and reindeer. For lunch you will get to try the traditional Finnish Rice Pudding with plum custard.
A Christmas sauna in your own cosy log cabin (we Finns have this tradition of having a sauna bath before dinner on Christmas Eve). In the evening a special Finnish Christmas Eve dinner will be served. After dinner Santa Claus arrives in his reindeer sleigh to deliver presents.
AccommodationOvernight in your private Log Cabin.
Day 4 - Husky Safari
After breakfast, get ready for today's husky safari - an unforgettable journey through breathtaking winter scenery.
On arrival to the husky farm we will provide you with a warm outer thermal suit, gloves and hat and then we will present your very own husky team. You will be given a lesson on how to drive the sledge and how to observe important hand signals given by your leader.
Each team consists of about six dogs, you, the driver, and your passenger, who is comfortably seated in the wooden sledge. The driver and the passenger can change places during the safari.
Dinner at the hotel. After dinner you can join one of the optional Northern Lights safaries such as Northern Lights Hunt by Snowtank, Horse Carriage - ask us for options if you are interested.
Alternatively you can enjoy a relaxing evening with your fellow travellers at the igloo restaurant.
AccommodationOvernight in your private Log Cabin.
Day 5 - Depart to Ivalo airport for flight onwards
Breakfast at hotel. Transfer to Ivalo airport for your return flight to Helsinki.
Price per person. Adult price based on 2 adults travelling together. Contact us for prices for larger families. Standard tour includes 1 night in glass igloo and 3 nights in log cabin.
26 Dec 2019
26 Dec 2019
Availability is limited over Christmas, and a non-refundable 20% deposit is due within 7 days from the date we confirm the booking to you.
We are also happy to add pre or post nights at Helsinki and assist with the flights to/from Ivalo. Please ask more details.
New Year's Eve is celebrated in Scandinavia with massive firework shows and gala dinners. In particular, the capital cities of Oslo, Reykjavik, Helsinki and Stockholm put on great shows that are scattered across the town. Let us know if you are interested in extending your trip to enjoy this fabulous night in the city of your choice.
Interactive Tour Map
Travelling with young children
Here are some suggestions and tips from our staff who have kids themselves, for travelling in Scandinavia with younger children. We hope that you will find this advice helpful and be sure to ask us for more information before travelling as our staff have all grown up in Scandinavia.
In general, Scandinavia and Finland are very child-friendly destinations and if you have any special requests or questions while here, please contact the staff at your hotel immediately. Almost all restaurants can be considered child-friendly with baby chairs and sometimes also drawing utensils, books or toys, and when using public transport, Scandinavia offers some great support for families with younger children. Baby changing tables in public toilets, play equipment and play rooms at airport terminals and family wagons in trains with playing area for the little ones are common place.
When possible, we suggest arriving to Scandinavia or Finland a day or two earlier before your holiday program begins so that your younger children can adjust to the time zone. Young children arriving from the Southern Hemisphere generally wake up at around 4 - 5am for the first few mornings before they get accustomed to the new time zone. Be sure to have breakfast provisions ready for this, as it is unusual for anything to be provided from the hotel at this early hour. We suggest bringing packages of the child's favourite breakfast cereal from home plus tea bags etc. to help in those first few days. Likewise, quiet entertainment for those early hours might be a good idea as well.
Hotel rooms in Scandinavia more likely than not, only have twin beds pushed together to make a double if required. The spare children's beds are often foldout beds. Generally, it is easy to arrange at reception for the cots but be sure to ask for help if something doesn't seem right. We were provided a cot without a mattress once - very uncomfortable indeed if we hadn't chased that up!
Also, in Scandinavia it is not common practise to have tea or coffee provided in the room, and even if there is a kettle, there might be nothing else. We suggest travelling with a small supply of your own tea bags/coffee, and asking directly at reception for a kettle on arrival.
Feeding your children adequately is probably the hardest thing to do on an arranged holiday - kids are out of wack with jetlag, fussy and hungry for their own comfort food. When hotels and packages provide set times for meals and buffets, it is important to come prepared.
It is handy to take a small cooler bag already from home filled with snacks, utensils and fresh food. From the breakfast buffets it is usually acceptable to take a small amount of fresh food such as boiled eggs, rolls and fruit for morning and afternoon tea for the little ones.
We would also suggest that you give your kids a taste of what’s to come before their holiday on some foods that they are likely to get in Scandinavia. Meatballs, European flavoured sausages, soups & then treats like cinnamon buns and waffles are typical children's menu items. Cinnamon is a very common flavour used in Scandinavia and Finland.
If you are part of an arranged program, be sure to ask at reception if you need anything in particular. The hotel staff will be more than happy to warm up baby food and organise more snacks or fruit.
We recommend seeking all available information from the reception or activity provider when considering what optional activities will suit your younger children. These activities can be cold and involve a transfer a certain distance from the hotel. If you are uncertain why the activity is being run at a particular time, please ask for clarification as there is often a reason that you might be unfamiliar with. We all know as parents that children generally perform better earlier in the day than later, however, the activity providers might have a safety, logistic or climate reason for picking a certain time.
In Scandinavia, it is often left up to the parents to make decisions about age limits and suitability (unlike other regions where everything is stipulated) so be sure to ask reception or other guests who have done the activity for further advice.
We usually don't recommend winter activities, such as longer husky safaris, snowmobile safaris and late evening Aurora Hunts to children under the age 4-5. This of course depends very much on a child as every child is different, but for younger children we recommend shorter excursions as it can get very cold sitting still in a sled. Some operators also do not take children under the age of 5 on their tours, so please ask us specifically before travelling about these limitations.
This is going to make or break your holiday in Scandinavia in the winter. Be sure to refer to our comprehensive packing list provided in your pre-departure information and be on the look out for the best protection for your children in the cold. Winter is great time for kids to play outside and snow-based activities will keep the young ones entertained for hours as long as they have appropriate clothing.
Extra (non-cotton) layers that can be added or taken away when needed, heat warmers and slip on crampons for the older children are recommended. Mittens where all fingers except the thumb are together are often warmer than gloves, and extra pair of mittens will come in handy after building a snowman or two. A balaclava type of hat that covers both the neck and ears and which can also protect part of child’s face if needed, is also great under a warm and windproof beanie.
The base-layer next to skin should be either wool or synthetic blend, never cotton. With perspiration cotton turns quickly damp and then cold, no matter what other warmer clothing items are layered on top of it.
Many of the hotels and activity providers also do offer warm outer clothing for hire, but if traveling with small kids, please do check beforehand that correct sizes are available.
- Heat warmer pads for inside gloves and boots. Please note that these should not be used directly against the skin, hence for hands, you will need to use the pads in between the two pairs of gloves/mittens recommended in our packing list
- Good boots and warm woolly socks for your little ones
- Bags & suitcases that can easily be carried by one parent if the other is carrying children. Many of us use Trunkies for our travels so that our kids can sit on them, or sometimes the kids can pull the cases themselves. If your child is small enough to be carried, we highly recommend a baby or toddler carrier that leaves your hands free for handling the luggage.
- Provisions for the first day or two whether it is snacks, nappies or fruit drinks.
- Books, drawing pencils or other tranquil inside activity and your child’s favourite teddy!
Travel insurance is compulsory for all tours with 50 Degrees North. Please ensure that you have this organised as we will need to see proof of this upon issuing your tour documentation. Please contact us for a quote or visit http://www.suresave.net.au/
Practical Information for travelling and packing for Scandinavian Winter
- Warm wind and water proof jacket and trousers large enough to fit thick woollen jumper/clothing underneath
- Rain trousers – waterproof and breathable material
- Warm windproof cap/hat
- Warm gloves or mittens. Mittens where all fingers except the thumb are together are often warmer than gloves.
- Windproof gloves or mittens, which you can pull over the warm gloves
- Warm scarf
- 2 pairs of long woollen underwear (Merino wool in a few different thicknesses is perfect)
- 1-2 warm woollen jumper(s), or one jumper and a warm fleece
- Woollen or fleece trousers
- 2-3 pairs of warm woollen socks
- Warm & sturdy footwear with good grip
- Clothes for indoors, i.e. a shirt, T-shirts and jeans or cotton trousers
- Back pack for day trips (approx. 30 litre)
- Light footwear/trainers (mainly for indoors)
- Sun screen & Lip salve (the sun reflects off the snow and the air is dry)
- Hand warmers
- Nordic Grip anti-slip soles for walking on ice
- Personal medication
- Water bottle - thermo, or include a cover to keep warm (or you can stick it into a warm sock)
- Travel documents (including insurance)
- Photo ID
- Note book and pencil
- Camera, memory cards and charger
- Chargers for other gadgets
- Extra batteries for your cameras as they are used fast in cold conditions.