Northern Lights Family Christmas in Lapland
Child (7-11) from £1795; Child (12-14) from £2015.
Under 7s welcome but may not be able to take part in all activities.
Description of Northern Lights Family Christmas in Lapland
This magical Christmas holiday is in Finnish Lapland with all the seasonal excitement, but without the Santa element as we know this isn’t for everyone. Note, however, this is still a trip very much aimed at families, the age recommendation being eight plus, due to the nature of the wilderness activities. If you are keen to seek out Lapland’s other natural highlights, however, this one is for you, with the village of Menesjärvi an ideal location to see the Northern Lights. Remote and with little light pollution it is a definite Aurora Zone place to stay, and with several after-dark activities included in the itinerary, we will try our utmost to help you spot them.
Some of the daytime adventures on this holiday include snowshoeing, kick sledding, cross-country skiing and also sleighing, not pulled by Rudolph, but by a snowmobile, as you dash through the snow of this winter, wilderness wonderland. You will meet reindeer at the local Sami farm, just one of several activities where you can learn about the extraordinary cultural heritage of the indigenous Sami people who live here.
Menesjärvi is a traditional reindeer herding community and the hotel where you stay is in the former village school which is family-run and offers a fine welcome. There is all the equipment you will need such as snowshoes, cross-country skis, kick sleds and so on. There are books and board games, and the food is traditional, hearty fare which is perfect after a day out in the white wilderness all around. There are also saunas, which are free of charge. With only 27 rooms, all varying in style and size, they are all ensuite.
The price of this holiday includes return flights from London Heathrow to Ivalo (via Helsinki), transfers, 7 nights’ accommodation, equipment, winter weather clothing, guides and instructors. Activities: Snowshoe hike, kick sleds, cross-country skiing, Aurora workshop and Aurora snowshoe, morning with a reindeer herder, wilderness skills, winter fishing by snowmobile, Aurora kota dinner, husky safari, visit to the Sámi Siida Museum and Christmas festivities.
Photography: Ville Heimonen, Timo Halonen
1 Reviews of Northern Lights Family Christmas in Lapland
Reviewed on 03 Feb 2019 by Angela Hancock
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
The whole holiday was just amazing. I loved being able to explore the vast, white wilderness which was just the most quiet and peaceful place I have ever
been. Doing this via snowmobiles, skis, snowshoes and huskies was very special. Seeing the aurora twice during our stay, with a dancing, swirling light show on our last aurora camp, has to go down as one of our most memorable and special moments of our stay. I also need to mention the very friendly and knowledgeable guides, the welcoming, warm, cosy and comfortable hotel, and the very hardworking chefs who served us the most delicious food.
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
I would definitely recommend this holiday. My teenagers and I had the most special time. Read the pre-holiday information and 'what to pack' guides, which were very helpful. Take a merino balaclava as well as a hat; glove liners and gloves to wear under the mittens that are issued; plus some disposable hand warmers. A head torch is useful. Our clear (cycling) glasses proved very useful for our husky ride, in a blizzard! M&S 'maximum warmth thermals' were fine and toasty, if you don't like merino next to your body.
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
Planet and peopleTourism in Finnish Lapland has become the main source of employment and income, replacing traditional industries such as forestry. Working within this growth industry in rural and remote areas means that we must take a great deal of responsibility; socially, environmentally and economically. We fully appreciate the impact of tourist visits on local communities and their residents and strive to ensure that we are having a positive effect.
The wilderness hotel in Menesjarvi is owned and run by a local family, whose Sámi routes have been in this area for centuries. They have a strong sense of tradition and we encourage all of our clients to respect and embrace the lives and culture of all Menesjarvi’s local inhabitants by learning a few important words: hello, goodbye, please, thank you etc. We have also included activities with a cultural base. In addition, we always encourage our clients to get involved in local events and activities which help to sustain traditional values and customs.
In all of our destinations we ensure that we use local accommodation, transport and activity providers, enabling locally owned businesses and the economies in which they work to benefit directly. The hotel in Menesjarvi also serves as much local produce as possible and stocks locally made souvenirs. Through the tourism multiplier effect, this all helps to generate incomes and employment where the drift might otherwise be towards larger employment areas such as towns and cities. In a small and remote village such as Menesjarvi the effects of such a drift could be devastating.
The use of small family run hotels and businesses means that the tourism income, generated by our presence stays where it should, in the local economy. We firmly believe in paying a fair price for all the services provided by our suppliers regardless of where they are in the world.
Our holidays rely on visiting beautiful and un-spoilt areas, and they don’t come more un-spoilt than Menesjarvi. Naturally we wish to maintain the natural settings in which we work, not just for the future of our company, but also for future generations. We will always insist that our local providers are equally conscious of this need.
We do appreciate that some may feel that snowmobiles should not be included in such itineraries however in areas such as Menesjarvi they are a way of life. They are the only means of keeping in contact with remote reindeer herders and communities as the road infrastructure is not extensive. All trails are well managed. The alternatives to snowmobiles would in most cases be large, gas-guzzling off road vehicles. All snowmobiles are regularly serviced and kept as fuel efficient as possible. The snowmobile service industry is also another vital source of employment in these remote areas.
We always ensure that all litter is removed from any of our activity sites, we strongly encourage group transfers to reduce traffic volumes and we make our clients aware of their obligation to the environment.
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