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A Finnish Family Winter Experience

Our Finnish family winter experience has been designed to offer you a unique experience of Finland and how the wilderness is very much part of everyday life. That is why Finns head to their cottages both winter and summer and why the infamous ‘Kota’ and sauna becomes such an integral part of life in Finland along with reindeers, the Sami people and fresh food normally prepared over a crackling fire.

As the seventh largest country in Europe with a population of just 5.5 million there is plenty of space, most of which is in the Arctic Circle. As you move further north the more remote it becomes and the more the light pollution gives way to the wonder of the Northern Lights. If you are looking for an adventure that exposes you to the wonders of Lapland then this is the holiday for you and your family.

This itinerary is designed to offer the whole family a unique opportunity to experience life in the Arctic from skiing at Finland’s largest ski resort to trying your hand at dog sledding. This trip is about exploration and understanding how a culture has materialised working with the harshness of the Arctic environment and developing a lifestyle that is both unique and fascinating.

At a Glance

  • Ski in Finland’s premier resort-Levi before heading out into Lapland’s wilderness
  • Stay in a peaceful cabin with nothing but the noise of the Arctic wind as a distraction,
  • Be a local and try a smoke saunas followed by an icy dip in a frozen lake for the ultimate in experiences
  • Learn how to drive a team of enthusiastic husky dogs through the forests and across frozen lakes
  • Spend the night in a glass roofed ‘igloo’ and watch the Northern Lights

 

  • Learn all about Sami culture and the life of a nomadic reindeer herder
  • Take reindeer sleigh ride through the forests for a less frenetic ride
  • Experience polar nights and the Northern Lights as they dance overhead
  • Sample traditional Finnish cuisine, locally sourced and freshly prepared

Gallery

Location

Sample Itinerary

Day 1 - Collect your hire car and drive to short distance to Taivaanvalkeat

Collect your hire car and drive to short distance to Taivaanvalkeat

Stay 4 nights in two en-suite rooms on bed and breakfast. Taivaanvalkeat (Lappish for Northern Lights) is located in Köngäs village 8 km from Levi on the banks of the Ounasjoki River. The hotel consists of 13 newly renovated double/twin rooms traditionally built and offering a truly authentic experience. In the grounds there are Elves’ Cottages and a larger dining hall suitable for larger parties. Down by the river you will find a traditional sauna and Jacuzzi after which the brave can take a refreshing ice dip through an ice hole in the invigorating waters of the river below!

Day 2 - Head to Levi and experience skiing Finnish style

Head to Levi and experience skiing Finnish style

Take a private ski lesson with the Levi Ski School and enjoy the convenience of this small but well serviced Finnish ski resort. Afterwards enjoy some après ski at any number of the local bars and restaurants all easily accessible from the slopes. Return to Taivaanvalkeat for a soak in the Jacuzzi or a sauna and ice dip and then a delicious freshly prepared dinner before a peaceful sleep perhaps under the Northern Lights, weather permitting of course!

Day 3 - Visit Tundra Huskies in Köngäs

Visit Tundra Huskies in Köngäs

Start from Tundra Husky’s base and head out on husky sledges towards the uninhabited wilds of the north. This is a great opportunity to experience the thrill of driving your own team of dogs. If you would rather take time to look at the surrounding wilderness then wrapped yourself up in up in warm furs and sit back while your speed through the forests. During the tour you will visit several frozen lakes whose only inhabitants are the indigenous animals of Lapland including reindeer, moose and eagles. After the safari enjoy traditionally cooked Lapland sausages and hot chocolate prepared over a crackling fire and served in a traditional Laplander’s hut or ‘Kota’. Distance 25km, duration 3-4 hours (other options both shorter and longer available).

Day 4 - Today you decide!

Today you decide!

Today is all about what you would like to do. Perhaps you would like to alpine ski, take a cross country ski lesson, tour around the Levi mountain before heading back to your hotel for a sauna or take the time to meander through the narrow streets and enjoy local arts, crafts and local cuisine. You can easily try snow shoeing in the peaceful pine forests, go ice fishing for Arctic Char or head back to the Tundra husky farm for another thrilling dog sledding trip and a meeting with some of their more curious inhabitants including a part wolf and an albino reindeer who just loves ginger biscuits!

Day 5 - Drive to a wilderness resort

Drive to a wilderness resort

Drive towards Mouono and Torassieppi (approximately 2 ½hrs) a real wilderness resort next to the Pallas-llas National Park. Stay 3 nights in a free standing cabin (sleeps 4-6) scattered in natural pine forest with a central dining room where you can enjoy hearty breakfasts, freshly prepared meals and chats with locals about life in the Arctic over a steaming mug of fresh coffee. Located in a area with no light pollution it is one of the best places to watch the Northern Lights and a place where all your senses are reawakened. There are numerous activities available from snowmobiling to cross country skiing.

Day 6 - Visit a reindeer farm

Visit a reindeer farm

At the reindeer farm and have the chance to meet and feed these fascinating animals. Learn to throw a lasso and hear more about the life of the reindeer and the nomadic Sami reindeer herders. After a 3km reindeer safari through the mystical and peaceful forests you will have lunch around a fire in a nearby Kota. In the afternoon you can take a wander around the Winter Village with its impressive snow rooms, icebar and restaurant before relaxing with a good book with nothing but the crackling of a fire to distract you.

Day 7 - A day of winter sports

A day of winter sports

Spend the day exploring the local area on snow shoes or cross country skis or perhaps take a snowmobile safari into the surrounding wilderness. In the evening join a 9km husky safari and learn how to drive the dogsled through the night hopefully under the dancing Northern Lights.

Day 8 - Time to head home

Time to head home

Enjoy your last day in Lapland with a gentle drive through forested landscapes keeping an eye out for local wildlife including reindeer and wolverines before leaving your hire car at the airport and flying back to the UK.

Accommodation

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