7D Nordic Itinerary: Chase Northern Lights, Ride Husky Sleighs, Visit Santa’s Hometown & More!

7D Nordic Itinerary: Chase Northern Lights, Ride Husky Sleighs, Visit Santa’s Hometown & More!

This winter, live your childhood fantasies of visiting Santa Claus and check the Northern Lights off your bucket list.

Lapland is the northernmost region of Finland, bordering Norway, Sweden, and Russia. It is commonly associated with Christmas due to its cold weather and snow-clad conifer trees.

It is the prime location to watch the Northern Lights, with its remote, tranquil and all-natural landscape. Brave the cold as you make the journey to visit Santa Claus along the Arctic Circle and experience wildlife in its natural habitats. From Helsinki to Kirkenes, be transported into a surreal frozen world with natural marvels in Finland – you will remember forever.

In your quest for the elusive and magical Northern Lights, join this 7 days Winter Lapland Package by Nordic Unique Travels.

Experience Helsinki, Santa Claus’s hometown, reindeer rides, a husky farm and fjords when you take this tour from Finland to Norway.

Learn more about 7D Winter Lapland Package

Travel period: Jan–Apr 2020

Day 1: Soak in Helsinki’s European old town charm

After a restful flight to Helsinki, Finland, enjoy an easy stroll in the city. Helsinki’s architecture is a treat on the eyes, with its unique mix of romanticism, neo-classical and modern styles.

Finland

Image credit: LHOON

One such icon is the Helsinki Cathedral, which sits atop a flight of stairs in Old Town. During the winter season between December and January, it lights up with a multitude of colours and designs, complementing the Christmas stalls that pop up in front of it.

Following the row of pop-up stores and light decorations down the street, you will be led to the harbour and market square within 10 minutes.

Finland

Image credit: Ninara (top) and Alicia Chong (bottom)

This square is surrounded by other interesting sights, including the Upsenki Eastern Orthodox Cathedral and the Helsinki Art Museum. I highly recommend buying your souvenirs and trying their fresh seafood here. At Old Market Hall, also try out Finland delicacies like salmiakki (salty licorice, a popular treat in Nordic countries). Do note that some of these are acquired tastes and might take more than a few bites to like!

In the evening, take the night train from the famous Helsinki Railway to Rovaniemi.

Day 2: Pay Santa a visit to his hometown and post office

Have you ever wondered where Santa Claus lives? Legend has it that he lives somewhere along the Arctic Circle, in a little village in Rovaniemi – right here in Finland! This village is now called Santa Claus Village — no surprises how the name came about!

Finland

Image credit: Santa Claus Village

Let the inner child in you come alive as you visit Santa at his post office. You will be able to share the magic of the moment by posting letters to friends and you can even request Santa to write them! Don’t forget to sample the warm, freshly baked gingerbread cookies and say ‘Hi’ to the elves at their school.

At the village, you can also cross the Arctic Circle, the northern part of the Earth where the sun never sets in the summer (hence the term ‘Midnight Sun’). You will receive certificates and stamps to commemorate the moment.

Day 3: Get up close to wildlife in their habitats

Finland

Image credit: Santa Claus Village

Since you have been such ‘nice’ travellers, you will get to ride on sleighs at a reindeer farm.

Finland

Image credit: Maxpixel

Other than being ferried by reindeer, animal lovers will be pleased to learn that you can try a different sleigh experience with huskies too!

Finland

Image credit: Rorolinus

After a morning well spent at the farms, you will be taken to the Ranua Wildlife Park which has housed over 90 species of wild animals since it began in 1983. Wander around the park to see bears, lynx, wolverines, moose and many different types of birds that aren’t usually found in Southeast Asia!

Day 4:  Dance with the Northern Lights in Saariselkä

Once a gold mining site, Saariselkä is a town in Finland with an outdoor winter activities centre and ski resort between the Urho Kekkonen National Park and Kaunispaa Hill. You will get the chance to hug the oldest pine tree, which is nearly 530 years old, in the centre of the village!

In a more sombre mood, visit the Piispankivi War Memorial, which remembers a bishop and his travelling companions who died in an attack during World War II. The Pyhan Paavalin Chapel is also another popular tourist site with a view of the snow-clad wilderness seen from the window behind the altar.

From Magneetimäki (“magnet hill”), witness an optical illusion (created by the natural landscape) that makes vehicles appear to accelerate naturally while ascending the slope.

Finland

Image credit: Finnish Tourist Board

Speaking of natural phenomena, there is no better place than here to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights in Finland. The surreal waves of light in hues of green and red will have you dancing for joy (or heat, to ward off the cold). Don’t fret if you don’t see them tonight though, this tour will give you the opportunity to look out for them every other night.

Day 5: Immerse yourself in Inari’s indigenous culture

For culture and history buffs, visiting Inari to learn about the indigenous Sámi people of Finland is a must. The traditionally nomadic group has a parliament and church in this little village, making it the Sámi capital of Finland.

The Siida Museum also has exhibits and handcrafted Sami gifts that you can buy for souvenirs.

Finland

Image credit: Ninara

After a day of picking up new information and appreciation of the local culture at the museums, stretch out your limbs when you visit Lake Inari and maybe even have a go at ice fishing for your lunch!

Day 6: Food and fjords in Kirkenes, Norway

Finland

Image credit: Maxpixel

Fjords are deep and narrow bodies of water with an opening to the sea, created by glaciers. Norway is home to eight famous fjords, including the UNESCO World Heritage Site Geirangerfjord.

Finland

Image credit: Maxpixel

This fjord is home to the “Seven Sisters” waterfalls, tucked amid mountains that are up to 1,700 metres high!

Finland

Image credit: Maxpixel

As a special treat, a trained diver will be on site to hunt for fresh King Crabs and sea urchins, just for you. Get ready to feast to your heart’s content, yum!

Day 7: Wander freely in Kirkenes or Rovaniemi

Finland

Image credit: Needpix

After six days of being on the road, enjoy a free day to do whatever tickles your fancy! Choose between staying in Kirkenes or heading to Rovaniemi for the day. I would suggest checking your camera roll to revisit which spots made your heart feel full!

Day 8: All good things must come to an end

Wipe your tears before they crystallise in the cold, as you bid goodbye to your new friends and exchange contacts. This Finland tour ends with a night train from Rovaniemi to Helsinki, where you’ll board your flight back home.

Interested in going for this 7-day tour of Lapland? For just 1,999 per pax, you can make this incredible journey anytime between January and April 2020, inclusive of 1 King Crab lunch and 8 breakfasts!

So what are you waiting for? Remember to send us a postcard from Santa!

Enquire about 7D Winter Lapland Package


Brought to you by Nordic Unique Travels.

About Author

Alicia Chong
Alicia Chong

Besides dreaming of far-fetched locations, Alicia enjoys training herself and others on ice in figure skating.

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