Lapland tips(10 Posts)
Has anyone been to Lapland and would be able to share any advice?
For example, which location is best to stay in, do you recommend hotel or lodge, how many days, how much did you pay, ideal age of children (I'm thinking of 2020 with a 5 and 7 yo)....
Any advice much appreciated.
Go with Canterbury Travel to Luosto and stay in the log cabins - we did the 5 day trip over Christmas and was everything and more I had imagined. You’ll need to book a year in advance as soon as it is available to get the cabins with Canterbury. It was a trip of lifelong memories for us.
Depending on the time of year you go you might need sunglasses!
We went one February half term and the combination of snow and sunlight was blinding.
Most travel companies will provide snowsuits and boots, but you will need several layers to wear underneath. And gloves must be waterproof.
waterproof thermal gloves
3 thermal layers per person to wear under the snow suits - don't buy cotton because sweat doesn't wick away from the body
Decathlon were excellent for all the above
We went for six days this year in February half-term. We went to Levi in Finland and booked it independently.
It was very cold! That seems obvious, but we're a family that skis every year and we're used to cold weather. We had all the gear and we were still bloody frozen, so bear this in mind when looking at the length of trips and how long you will be outside. Some excursion companies are better than others and provide protective outer wear, others don't. My advice would be book the short excursions as young DC particularly can get extremely cold when it's more than -20 degrees (which is not unusual there). The locals simply don't feel the cold in the same way!
If I went again I'd do a package, I think, as food and eating out were very expensive. Excursions are also extremely expensive, so factor those costs in if you go independently. We booked directly with the tourist office in Levi, but many UK companies add in all your excursions and also the overall prices are high I think they probably work out good value in the end.
We went with Artisan Travel to Finland. We stayed in a lodge overlooking a frozen river which was attached to a hotel so ate there for our meals. The hotel had its own husky kennels so we didn't have to travel anywhere to do a husky safari. I'm glad we were away from the hotel as my kids are teenagers and the hotel was full of very excited children who were there to see Father Christmas and it could get very loud.
I agree also with PP wjo said book shorter excursions if you have young children, it was minus 27 when we were there. Some of the younger children were in tears on our snowmobile trip as they were so cold.
"Some of the younger children were in tears on our snowmobile trip as they were so cold."
Same here. Anyone under 15 had to be pulled along on a sledge. DD said that sitting still on a cold sledge for two hours at night was one of the worst experiences she has ever had. She genuinely thought she was going to get frostbite.
DD said that sitting still on a cold sledge for two hours at night was one of the worst experiences she has ever had. She genuinely thought she was going to get frostbite.
Yes, this was exactly the issue we had. We went on a reindeer safari - 11km each way - all of us sitting on these horribly uncomfortable wooden sleighs with no more than a thin blanket over us and one single reindeer skin to sit on. It was 'only' -10 and it was daytime, but DS1 (aged 11), was in tears by the end and couldn't feel his feet. We had to demand access from the owners to a room where we could take his boots off and get his feet warm - they were very reluctant to do this and allowed us into a sort of anti-room to the toilets! His feet were absolutely white and he couldn't feel them. I had to put his feet up my top so my bodily warmth could thaw them out - he was in agony and crying as the blood slowly returned to his feet. It was AWFUL!
My DSis (early 40s) also had a bitterly cold experience on a night-time pony trek to see the Northern Lights. She said she was so fucking cold that she didn't give two hoots about the NL after an hour - all she wanted to do was go somewhere to get warm! It was -28 degrees that night and she was out for three hours!!
We went with Thomson in 2012 and had a great time on our 3 day stay, was -27C outside. Ours were 5 and 7 and that was a perfect age for it, anything between 5 and 10 works very well.
You get given snowsuit etc and the included excursions I think the maximum time outside was 2 hours which is plenty in that cold and there was always somewhere warm you could go on all the trips like a restaurant. Our 7 year old and us coped fine with the weather, DS who was 5 and ASD had a bit more trouble but was fine if taken to the restaurant. I would not do long excursions out. We stayed in hotel and that worked well for us, the lodges looked gorgeous but where a trek from facilities and daylight hours are short and its -27C out. We had a children's playground, swimming pool, sauna etc, restaurant all on site. Some under 5s were crying but everyone else was having a great time - personally wouldn't take under 5 but its more difficult if you say have 3+ kids. The food is expensive there in the winter (we went in summer and much cheaper) but we got breakfast included, a 3 course gala dinner with fireworks and a lunch so didn't need that much food. Plus luggage allowance was a huge 20kg each so its worth taking some snacks and drinks with you.
Our hotel wasn't noisy, rooms were fairly basic - similar to Premier Inn but was fine for us. If you don't plan on using pool etc then lodges are prettier. It was very full days as well especially if you add in pool / children's playcentre which was great for us but some younger kids were getting tired. I think prices have risen a lot since we went - ours was £2.2k for 3 nights, flights, hotel, transfer, snowgear, gala dinner with fireworks and santa arriving on sleigh with reindeer, husky riding x2, reindeer riding x 2, snowmobiles, santa, elf workshop, gingerbread making etc. We stayed in Santa Sport Hotel, hotel is nothing special but pool is great and has spa parts and children's playcentre on site (fee). Very warm in hotel and restaurants, about 25C so take layers, thermals are useful too. Indoor pool was 28C. If doing independently take care with daylight hours - they are extremely short in winter.
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