- Winter activities
Enjoy incredible activities in Ruka, from reindeer safaris to snowmobiling – or even visit Santa.
- Northern Lights
Salla is north of the Arctic circle, so there’s a good chance you’ll see the Northern Lights - a real treat.
- The Snow Village
From Ylläs and Levi you can explore incredible buildings and sculptures made entirely out of snow.
So what's it like?
Think ‘winter holiday’ and Lapland is probably one of the first destinations that comes to mind. Up in the north of Finland, it’s known as the land of extremes – with temperatures that can drop below -30°C, a population dominated by reindeer and miles of rugged, unspoiled landscapes. And if Santa Claus can make his home there, then it must be pretty special.
Santa Adventure Weeks
Lapland has long been known as Santa's home, so it'd be sinful to go to Finland and not pay a visit to the big man himself. Our Santa Adventure Weeks, in Iso-Syotë, Ruka, Salla, Levi and Ylläs, let you do just that, on top of experiencing a host of other once-in-a-lifetime activities.
We'll bundle together your flights, transfers and a week's accommodation, then throw in three or four wonderful winter activities (depending on the resort), and even thermals to keep you nice and toasty when you're out and about in the Lappish wilderness.
Throughout the week you'll get to drive a gorgeous pack of huskies through forests and across open marshlands and meet Rudolph himself and enjoy a relaxing reindeer sleigh ride across snowy terrain. You can race across the wintery Finnish landscape on a snowmobile and, of course, meet Father Christmas at either his secret cottage or his Elves' Secret Hideaway.
Best for families – Salla has quiet runs for getting the kids going on skis, plenty of fun stuff for them to do away from the slopes and everything you need easily accessible from the accommodation.
Best for après – Levi can get pretty lively by Finnish standards – especially around holiday times – with bars like Vinkkari at the base and several other nightclubs in the purpose-built village.
Best for beginners – Ylläs is the country’s largest resort with 53km of pistes across two sides of the mountain, although most of it is at a forgiving gradient perfect for learning to ski on.
Best for intermediates – Hard to choose between Iso-Syotë and Pyhä for this one, as both have a wide range of often-deserted runs, solid snow records and lots of friendly instructors.
Best for advanced – More adventurous skier and snowboarders will enjoy flying around Ruka’s two terrain parks, complete with a superpipe used for the 2005 Freestyle World Championships.
Many options here are essentially self-contained mini-resorts, with everything you’ll need either indoors or a short walk away. Many of our accommodation options are in traditional Finnish wood cabins, with most facilities in a nearby hotel - like free access to shops, cafés, bars, pools and spas.
These cabins will be well-equipped themselves though, providing all you need for a self-catering holiday, or with half-board dinners in the hotel. All will be equipped with a proper log fire (many with wood provided) and a sauna - something of a national institution after a full day on the slopes.
There are some great deals too, for instance all holidays to Pyhä are lift pass inclusive, meaning everyone can get on the slopes with the minimum of fuss.
Finland is a fantastic place to learn to ski – there’s excellent English-speaking ski schools, plenty of gentle slopes and consistent snow coverage all the way to May. Those progressing to intermediate and advanced won’t be bored either – there are steeps worthy of World Cup slalom races, off-piste runs through magical frozen trees and some of the finest terrain parks in the world.
If you fancy something different, why not have a go at cross-country skiing – it’s practically the national pastime in Finland and it’ll give you a chance to explore more of your beautiful surroundings.
Families and adventurers love coming to here because of the huge range of other winter activities on offer. From dog sledding to reindeer sleigh rides, snowmobile safaris to ice fishing – plus a chance to see the Northern Lights – you’re sure to go home with some incredible memories. You can also visit the incredible Ice Hotel, and of course, if you come at Christmas time, a visit to Santa in his secret cottage is a must.
Food and drink
Mealtimes are made for the Arctic Circle – warm up with a hearty reindeer steak or stew, washed down with hot chocolate, or traditional blackpot coffee.
Given the height of the mountains, you’re never that far away from a range of restaurants and bars at the base, plus there are often little log-built shelters with open fires – called kotas – dotted around the mountain, where you can warm up and cook your own food.