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Lapland visit 2014

(48 Posts)
helenlouisey Sat 28-Dec-13 15:29:08

I thought I'd post this while hopefully there's lots of people still around. We're hoping to take our 6 year old and nearly 3 year old to Lapland next year. We want to go a non commercial tucked away resort and it will be to also celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary so I want it to be extra special. Budget not much of an issue as will start saving now. Any recommendations on the following

- travel companies to book through?
- when to book to get best deals?
- any particular resorts recommended?

Any other tips would be really appreciated



everydayaschoolday Sat 28-Dec-13 22:24:08

watching, as we're looking for the same for Dec 2015.

jamtoast12 Sun 29-Dec-13 11:05:46

We went last year and it was amazing! I've written replys to a few similar posts if you do a quick search. I'd consider waiting a few years, dds were 7&5 and I'd say the 5 yr old was a bit young, it's very tiring for them!

Shinyshoes1 Sun 29-Dec-13 11:15:32

Me too I'm watching for Dec 2015

ChristmasSocks Sun 29-Dec-13 18:02:45

There won't be any non commercial resorts. The resorts only exist to make money from tourism.

jamtoast12 Sun 29-Dec-13 18:17:14

Saariselka wasn't commercial in any way.

helenlouisey Sun 29-Dec-13 18:18:30

Jam toast12, did you find your 7 year old still believes ? That's what's worrying me about leaving it till he's 7, I'm afraid we'll miss the window of opportunity when he truly believes. I'll search out your replies now. Thanks.

ChristmasSocks I'd heard that some resorts were very commercial, others more authentic.

desertmum Sun 29-Dec-13 18:48:24

We went with ours - used Canterbury Travel - log cabins in the woods, in the middle of nowhere - there were no 'extras' being pushed down our throats, just searching for Santa, It was awesome, can't recommend them enough.

MooseBeTimeForSnow Sun 29-Dec-13 18:57:33

Have you considered the Ice Hotel at Jukkasjarvi? I know it's commercial but it is small and beautiful. It even has an ice chapel, so maybe you could renew your vows? You can only usually spend one night in an ice room. The rest of the time you stay in "aurora" cabins. They have windows in the roof to watch the Northern lights.

You can go dog sledding, ski dooing, etc. You can even dog sled transfer from the airport.

We booked it ourselves with the hotel directly and the flights online. We flew into Stockholm (also beautiful) and then on to Kiruna.

4yoniD Sun 29-Dec-13 19:02:42

Can I bump to also ask, at what age will they not believe?

42notTrendy Sun 29-Dec-13 19:04:32

We went to Saariselka, travelled with Esprit (think the Lapland side is called Santas Lapland). Our hotel was part of the Tunturi, the Gielas wing. It was just fantastic! So well organised, not at all commercialised just very very Christmassy and truly magical.
The 'Santa' day was just wonderful.
Ds was 5. He still believes now (he's 7) and I think going helped keep the 'belief' (and magic of Christmas in general).
It was very tiring as the flight was early, ds was a bit of a pain as he was tired. If you can, I'd stay an extra day (we did 2 nights/3 days) as an extra day would give you chance to catch your breath. There is a fab toboggan run, which we did the day we got there but didn't stay long due to being knackered from journey! Would be nice to have more time to walk round the village.
I read some bad reviews about Canterbury travel who were recommended to us, I think the recession hit them quite badly and the service suffered.
You need to avoid Rovaniemi as that's the commercial one. Get as far North as possible.
I wish we could afford to do it again, it was fantastic. So snowy and pretty, but wild too, you really feel like you've been to the North Pole!

jamtoast12 Sun 29-Dec-13 22:52:59

Dds now 8&6 and fully believe ...most of their friends have siblings upto age 10 who still believe so I'm hopeful for a couple more years yet. Tbh given the cost the actual winter activities are more the reason to go, mine had so much fun on the activity day that they forgot the reason we were there was for Santa! Most of the extra activities that you can book in resort for have a minimum age of four. The huskies adventure excursion (not the included one) was the best thing I've ever done in my life it was so magical! Go for minimum four days as exhausting with cold, darkness etc. just dressing the kids takes ages! Saariselka only has 4 hotels!

Phoebe47 Mon 30-Dec-13 17:08:26

Thinking of doing this next year with our children. What clothes would you recommend we take? Was thinking ski type clothing. Would that be suitable?

42notTrendy Mon 30-Dec-13 20:50:27

The travel company will provide outerwear, gloves, socks and boots, you need to take lots of layers. We wore thermals, jogging bottoms, long sleeve cotton top, fleece and fleece jacket. The hotels and restaurants are very warm so you need to shed layers easily as soon as you get inside (and get out quick when you're all togged up!).

Ambassadoryouarespoilingme Mon 30-Dec-13 20:59:49

We've just been to Olos, booked through Monarch / cosmos. It was out of this world. It's a small resort with one hotel and a ski school, so very quiet and beautiful. Our girls are just 6 and 4 ( she had a birthday while we were there and the reps made her day very special). The 4 year old did struggle a bit with the cold : it was minus 22 most of the time. But I'd go again in a heartbeat. Start saving now.

Hotbot Mon 30-Dec-13 21:45:36

I have just had a sod it moment and booked with espirit for dec for the 2dc.
So glad you loved it 42nottrendy as I think we have booked the same as you.

42notTrendy Tue 31-Dec-13 08:09:10

Ooo fab hotbot!
Room in your suitcase for 3 more? grin
You will love it, the year won't go quick enough!
We didn't tell ds until we picked him up from school early on the day before we flew (we stayed overnight at the airport as we had to check in at 4am!). Can highly recommended keeping it secret, and film their reaction when you tell them!

Hotbot Tue 31-Dec-13 17:15:29

Oh, I am beside myself already and the company haven't yet confirmed.ive just filled in a website thinggy.

SE13Mummy Wed 01-Jan-14 21:56:55

I'd recommend Saariselka, with Esprit - we spent Christmas there this year with our DDs (aged 9 and aged 4). The hotel we stayed in was the Holiday Club which was chosen because it has a swimming pool thus meaning that there is no need put on all the outerwear to go for a swim.

The thermal suits, boots and mittens will be provided. Definitely take balaclavas, thermal base layers for the DC and wristies. I actually made 'wristies' for my DDs using old bed socks that had holes in them - they worked brilliantly as a way of keeping snow from getting up the sleeves of the suits.

If you're going to be staying in a hotel, take a small tupperware or two with you so you can make up some cheese sandwiches at breakfast and feed them to hungry DCs mid-morning.

It's an amazingly magical holiday and Father Christmas was wonderful.

worldcitizen Wed 01-Jan-14 22:07:50

The main city in Lapland (can't come up with the name) and Riga in Latvia will be European Capitals 2014.

There will loads of events planned for 2014.

So more people than usual might be visiting?

worldcitizen Wed 01-Jan-14 22:25:16

It's Umea

And this is what the EU Commission press release from 2 days ago says:

The launch of Umeå 2014 will take place over the weekend of 31 January to 2 February, day and night, with the opening 'Burning Snow' ceremony on Saturday as a high point. The city's residents will gather with guests from all over Europe to witness the launch of the year.

The main events will be held on and around the Umeälven River, with a choreographed festival of light, music, song and movement. The 'City of Winter' will be transformed with burning pillars of ice and fires to provide light, warmth and meeting points. The heart of Umeå, Rådhustorget, will be turned into a Sami village with glowing cauldrons and reindeer.

Whity74 Tue 11-Feb-14 19:16:01

Never been to Lapland personally but would LOVE to go! When we go skiing we normally find a self catered ski chalet or apartment on as it tends to work out cheaper. Not sure if they have anywhere in Lapland though. Every Lapland holiday I've seen (pre packaged up) seems horribly expensive : (

Whity74 Tue 11-Feb-14 19:19:31

Just checked, doesn't look like [[ ]] has any accommodation in Lapland. Looks like Thomson do them though?

Whity74 Tue 11-Feb-14 20:28:03

Now you've set me off...

Jdub Thu 13-Feb-14 15:27:35

I had the privilege of taking my family to Lapland (DC then aged 2 and 5) in 2011. We booked via Inghams Travel and stayed at a hotel in Levi. I can honestly say it was THE most magical perfect holiday EVER, and the whole experience was so magically and tastefully done that you were made to feel SO special. There wasn't a hint of commercialism, tackiness or a feeling of being rushed. It was wholly magical, and the excitement and sparkle it made us feel, was and always will be a joy.

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