The minute Christmas approaches we start thinking Santa, decorations, Christmas markets, presents and the possibility of the white stuff! In reality, those of us that love snow, look further afield than the UK to see winter at its best. One possibility is to take yourself off to the northern territory of Finland, affectionately known as ‘Lapland’.
As soon as you start searching for your ideal break to this stunning location, you find that it is not a cheap getaway. As with most destinations, there is the luxury end with top class hotels in breath-taking surroundings, but there are also budget options. With a little research we have come up with two options; one high-end and the other a very acceptable alternative.
A Luxury Stay in Saariselkä
Saariselkä is a small village in Northern Lapland with about 350 inhabitants alongside the Urho Kekkonen National Park. It is the ideal destination to experience the natural Lapland:
- Snowmobile safaris
- Husky/reindeer ride
- Cross country skiing
- Northern Lights
The 5*Jávri Lodge offers luxurious accommodation with world class service and a matching price tag. They offer ‘celebrity treatment’ to all their guests along with the usual high end dining, custom-made beds, 2 saunas and a heated pool & spa, to name but a few of the highlights. A junior suite for 2 adults will set you back around £1,200 per night, including a lake view! Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included in this rate.
An Affordable Stay in Saariselkä
If, on the other hand, you wish to take your children on a ‘trip of a lifetime’ to Lapland, there are much cheaper options. An apartment would probably be the answer here giving you the convenience of preparing your own meals if you want to keep costs down. There are several options for a family of four for around £150 per night, but availability may be short coming towards the December period.
The 4* Kelotähti Apartments are a 5 minute walk from central Saariselkä. There are 2-bedroom apartments available with a sauna. There are all the usual facilities including a well-equipped kitchenette, and a balcony with a view! All this from £120 per night for the whole family, (depending on length of stay). The ski bus stops just 100 yards from the apartment and there is a ski-locker available should you need it. This property is rated a superb 9.6 on booking.com for stays with children.
Getting to Saariselkä
Ivalo Airport is 18 miles from Saariselkä, and indirect flights are available at present from £200 per person. Thomson Airways offers seasonal direct flights from the UK. You can grab a taxi or there is a regular bus from the airport to Saariselkä, if you want the cheaper option. Book in advance though, and this will, of course, be cheaper.
Finally, bear in mind that the temperatures will be very low, and you will need quality warm clothing. Consider travelling to this beautiful location in the spring, maybe towards the end of March. The benefit of this is that the days will be longer and temperatures not as cold, but the landscape will still be covered in snow!
Why not get your holiday off to a relaxing start and avoid rushing to the airport? Book a stay in an airport hotel with parking the night before you fly. Treat yourself to an airport lounge before your flight and enjoy the peaceful ambience away from the hustle and bustle of the airport terminal.