When snow falls and stays for a while, we call it a winter wonderland. It usually brings with it enormous inconvenience (if you live in Britain), but it’s okay because everything looks nice.
There is a place in the world where winter really is a wonderland and a large amount of snow is not inconvenient. It’s also where Santa Claus comes from. It’s Lapland.
If you’re considering a luxury winter break, but don’t want to head to the traditional ski resorts, Lapland in northern Scandinavia will impress you.
Lapland: A Truly Unique Luxury Experience
Dogs Sleds are used wherever there are inhospitable snowy wastes. In Lapland they are offered to visitors who are curious about this other way of life. Guests can book a single two-hour excursion in which they will meet the dogs – usually Huskies – and learn how they live and work, before experiencing a ride for themselves.
The more adventurous guests can book a week long excursion in which they learn how to drive a sleigh, how to care for the dogs pulling it and then head out for a two day trek in the wilderness. A ski chalet is provided as overnight accommodation. Some experience of adventure travel would be an advantage before booking a week long Husky Sled package, while the single, or full-day excursions are both great for families.
The Northern Lights are a frequent visitor to Northern Finland and one of the best places on Earth to see them is a tiny village close to the Russian boarder called Nellim. Nestled on the shores of Lake Inari, you can lie on the frozen ice and watch the electric green of the Northern Lights dance above you.
Big kids like big toys and with toys ranging from Snowmobiles to snow shoes to play with, doing an activity holiday will be like playing in a wonderland again.
Snowmobile safaris will introduce guests to this vital piece of winter-time equipment and they will enjoy driving through the forest trails and over frozen lakes.
Many packages offer a well-rounded taste of Finnish life, including the obligatory sauna and ice bath. Guests will be introduced to Reindeers at a Reindeer farm and learn about the important role these animals have played in the Lappish culture over the centuries.
They will also learn the basic techniques of cross-country skiing, which is both a mode of transport, as well as a sport in Lapland. Fall in love with cross-country skiing and it will get you into peak physical condition.
Bear in mind when booking an adventure holiday in Lapland that you are coming to a sparsely inhabited part of Europe, so expect fun in a relaxed atmosphere.
Just for Children
Lapland is the home of Santa Claus and he considers it only fair that if you have traveled to the very north of Europe, that he will greet you personally. You may even get a ride on his sleigh. But you must be good, or you might end up cleaning the Reindeer stalls. I hear Dancer and Prancer are particularly fond of naughty children who come to clean.
The word ‘unique’, is often used to describe remote parts of the world, but for Lapland, it’s truly and beautifully unique. A stunning spread of blue and white, as far as the eye can see. So, if you fancy a ski chalet break that takes you into a quiet, yet rich culture, consider Lapland.
This guest post was contributed by Marie-Paule Graham, a travel writer for Chaletfinder.co.uk where you can find last minute short ski breaks and luxury catered ski chalets throughout Europe and the USA.
Photography by Walter Schaerer from travelmemo.com