Helsinki and Rovaniemi Christmas holiday with Santa

“A magical Christmas family holiday awaits with a trip to the Arctic Circle, packed with fun activities including a chance to meet Santa himself. ”


Family Christmas holiday in Lapland | Helsinki | Christmas market | Night train to Lapland | Arctic Circle | See the Northern Lights from a glass igloo | Husky safari | Reindeer sleigh ride | Ice fishing | Snowmobiling | Cross country skiing | Snowshoeing | Sauna and outdoor hot tub | Visit Santa's Village |

Description of Helsinki and Rovaniemi Christmas holiday with Santa

Looking to do something a little different for Christmas this year? A family holiday in Finnish Lapland will enchant you.

Begin in the capital, Helsinki, when the city is at its prettiest, as you tour the Christmas market in search of traditional delicacies and handicrafts made by local artisans: the perfect stocking fillers.

Enjoy a sightseeing tour of Helsinki, including a yummy confectionery factory, before you head further north to Lapland, aboard a night train with connected family cabins: this is a wonderful experience in itself. You’ll arrive in Kemijarvi in time for breakfast, then the group will split into two, with the first moving on to the Joosula guesthouse, and the other to Salla, swapping over a few days later.

At Joosula a raft of exciting winter activities includes snowmobiling, cross country skiing, snowshoeing and ice fishing, with the promise of a sauna and outdoor hot tub afterwards!

In Salla, at Pan Village, you’ll have the opportunity to take a reindeer sleigh ride, a husky safari, and finally you will meet Santa Claus in his home for a very special present.

Add on to all of this the fact that you will stay the night in a family-sized glass igloo, and possibly see the Northern Lights dancing across the sky, and you have all the ingredients for a family Christmas holiday that will never be forgotten.

Small group tour: maximum 16 participants

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

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21 Dec 2021
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Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

In Finland the hotels as well as private people are recycling everything they can. Both the hotel entrepreneurs love their own neighborhood and try to keep it as clean as possible. Where-ever there is natural water, there are very strict regulations, how the waste management must take place. The other hotel is located by a lake and the other one on an island so both of them are carefully following environmental regulation.
In Helsinki our guests will visit a Christmas market, where products made by artisans out of natural ingredients as well as a lot food products made out of wild food are sold.
We'll use train for getting from Helsinki to Rovaniemi and collect these individual travelers as a small group of 8-16 people in order to be able to transfer them all together in a minibus. In Rovaniemi they will visit an exhibition telling about the effects of climate change and globalization to the Arctic nature.

The Impacts of this Trip

Our guests will experience Finnish Christmas traditions starting from the Christmas concert and Christmas market in Helsinki and ending in Christmas sauna, dinner buffet and visit of Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. They will meet artisans and food producers from the country side and taste traditional delicacies. The hotels are small family-run hotels in a unique out-of-the-city location serving great Finnish food. The group will have local guides both in Helsinki and in Rovaniemi. In Helsinki they will listen to a Christmas concert in the Rock Church together with local people. A local well-known men's chorus will be performing in the concert.
In Rovaniemi they will visit the polar circle and get a certificate for crossing it. A visit to the Arktikum will give a chance to have a deeper loo and learn about the lifestyles of northern people and the new challenges facing the region such as climate change and globalization. Only local service providers are used also in Rovaniemi.


3 Reviews of Helsinki and Rovaniemi Christmas holiday with Santa

4.5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 06 Jan 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Staying at a guesthouse and a log cabin in Lapland!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

To take appropriate clothing for snow and very cold temperatures!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Benefitted people yes but not really the other factors!

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

I rate it as one of the most memorable holidays of our family!

Reviewed on 02 Jan 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The most memorable part was definitely the husky Safari on Christmas Day - this was truly magical. I was quite nervous about driving the sleigh at the start but once I relaxed it was breath taking and something special that we will always remember. The local workers were also friendly and reassuring and the dogs also lovely for the children to play with at the end. We also thoroughly enjoyed the private trip to see Santa on Christmas Eve in his cottage. The children were enchanted by him and we couldn’t have asked for more to make their dream
come true.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

I would recommend booking this tour with families that you are friends with first as you do travel a lot with another family and have to share an apartment with them at one point. I would book early to ensure you get the accommodation in the glass igloos at Rovaneimi as this was special and was in walking distance to the attractions. I would recommend taking lots of thin layers of under clothes and only a few thicker jumpers as there are opportunities to wash clothes at the log cabins and this minimises luggage! Also take very good water proof ski gloves and lots of thermal socks as the temp did reach minus 30. Take a few supplies like milk, tea baths and wine/beer to the log cabins as it’s expensive to buy there as it’s in the middle of nowhere. Research Santa’s village and Santa’s
park (incl snowman’s world) before you go so you know where is best to go for
your age of children as there is t that much time to explore when you are there.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

The tour definitely benefitted locals as we stayed with locals in their family home and did most of the activities far away from the more commercial areas. All the animals used for the sleigh rides looked really well kept and happy; and the local area kept its beauty with sympathetic buildings.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Overall we had a truly special and magical holiday with everything we could have wished for. As we have young children and live in a warm country, we were keen for them to take part in the Santa experience and have fun in the snow; as well as for the whole family to have a good mix of culture and activities for all ages, which we felt this tour gave us. Activities were run by warm, friendly locals who gave us the personal touch at each different location. These included extremely
memorable and lengthy reindeer sleigh rides and husky rides; tobogganing; rides on snowmobiles; a private meeting with Santa; fun in Santa’s workshop and elf school at Santa Park; ice-skating and thrill seeking snow-sliding in snowman’s
world; as well as sight seeing in Helsinki; a trip to a circus; a taste of the Christmas markets and an opportunity to experience Finnish food and traditions (such as Christmas dinner, roasting sausages on a camp fire in the
wilderness and saunas / hot tubs).

Reviewed on 31 Dec 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The whole holiday was simply magical from the husky and reindeer rides to meeting Santa Claus in Lapland. Staying a night in the Snow hotel was also an experience of a lifetime! Finland is beautiful in winter, we spent a day walking in the woods and another skiing to really appreciate the outdoors. We also enjoyed Helsinki with it's beautiful architecture and cosmopolitan feel. Our children particularly enjoyed visiting the Feyzer Chocolate Factory there!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

We travelled from Helsinki to Rovaniemi by overnight train which was very comfortable and convenient and a good way to travel and not waste a day.
We also hired a car in Rovaniemi and drove to our cabin in Yllas. This gave us the freedom to go as we pleased and the vehicles are well equipped for the icy cold conditions so driving is very safe as long as you are sensible. Our tour operator was exceptional, she spent a lot of time planning our holiday to suit our needs and was happy to adapt the tours as we required. Riitta even met us personally on one of our tours in Helsinki. All in all a great experience from booking to the holiday itself!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

The Finnish people are extremely pro conservation. Many of the tours we went on were based on cultural conservation and eco-tourism. We noticed in particular how numbers are limited on many activities which ensure conservation of the environment.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


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