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Lapland is the definitive snow scene on the Christmas card. It’s the place Santa hangs out, more so than his alleged home of the North Pole (it’s less isolated in Lapland and he’s a sociable fellow).

With its pine forests, yard-deep snow, indigenous reindeers and huskies, the region never fails to overwhelm the Christmas spirit of plane-loads of kids and kids-at-heart disgorging out of the Ivalo airport and being taken from reindeer riding, to storytelling by the local Sami tribes, to skidooing, to husky sledding, to tobogganing, to meeting the great man himself.

Granted, a lot of it is geared up for kids, but we sneaked up on Santa while he was sorting the Christmas lists and found out what  Lapland has to offer for grown-ups…

The best months to go to Lapland are December and January, when it’s cold but bearable, and there’s guaranteed snow - although there is usually snow cover from October to May. Temperatures reach -40 here, so understandably, Lapland even has its own sauna society. Most homes have one, and the Finnish take a sauna every morning like we would a shower, usually running out in the snow afterwards and rolling about in it naked. Or at least that’s what they tell tourists so you have a go while they laugh at you.

Tip: During the day, lots of thin layers are better than a few thick ones, and a ski outfit is not enough for the safari excursions or on most trips, be they on snowmobile, reindeer or by husky. But don’t worry, you’ll be provided with the correct clothing so frost bite won’t distract you from the fun.



Destination: Lapland
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