Lapland is not just for children!
Holidays to Lapland offer a truly magical adventure to a fantasy world. At Kittila Airport we were met by our elf, Cranberry, who accompanied us to the huge warehouse to collect our protective thermal clothing for our three day stay in Lapland.
Cranberry the elf remained our guide for the week, accompanying us on trips, which were all included in the cost of our holiday to Lapland. The holiday price also included a husky ride, a 10 minute ride in a reindeer led sleigh, and a snowmobile ride.
We booked a 2 hour snowmobile ride as an optional extra on Christmas Eve. We ventured through the snow drenched forest and over icy, white frozen lakes. We stopped in an opening amongst the dense trees and everyone gathered in a large fire lit tepee to enjoy some hot berry juice and ginger biscuits to warm us for the ride back to resort.
We also booked the optional husky ride. We were first taken to the husky farm where we saw husky puppies being trained into their future roles. Again, this excursion took us through the forest, but this time we were driving our very own husky sleigh! We all stopped for a break and enjoyed a hot berry juice once again. This was such a fun experience, and so different to anything we had ever done before.
Our hotel was called the Yllas Saga, as featured in the First Choice brochure. It was a very pretty hotel, with sparkling icicles sparkling in the warm light of the lamps. The hotel was based in the picturesque resort of Yllas, a fairly quiet and tranquil resort with powdery white snow as far as the eye could see. In areas off the beaten track the snow reached our waists, and was so much fun to wade through! Perfect for a never-ending snowball fight! Just a short distance from the hotel, two adjoining mountains form Yllas’s ski centre, boasting some of the longest runs and best skiing in Lapland. We found the slopes, lifts and other facilities were fantastic, especially for a smaller resort, it the slopes were nice, quiet and always powdery. Be careful towards to top of the mountain though, as there is very little lighting – a slight hazard considering Lapland is always dark! A courtesy bus ferries people to and from the mountain throughout the day. A smaller slope is used mainly for sledging. The hotel provides free sledge hire and this gave people of all ages hours of fun filled enjoyment.
The Yllas Saga hotel have us a very warm welcome (literally!), and its staff were extremely friendly. The hotel had a heated indoor pool, which is a great way to relax and unwind after a busy day out in temperatures as low as -30oC and we then followed this up by taking advantage of the open fire in the lounge making it very warm and cosy and a great place to enjoy a relaxing beverage or two on an evening.
Christmas Day arrived and we spent the morning at Santa’s workshop decorating the cookies and making fabulous Christmas decorations. Shame we didn’t see Santa, but I guess he was busy preparing for the big day, and delivering all this presents! There was also time for some more sledging, which never gets boring, even for us adults, and then we went onto do the Arctic Circle Crossing where we held a crossing ceremony and all received a certificate for our achievement.
On our return to the hotel later on in the day we started getting ready for our traditional Christmas dinner which was to be held later in the evening. After our Christmas dinner there was still time to visit Santa one last time. As you can imagine the incredible, magical looks on the children’s faces and every one is so full of excitement, not just the children.
It was an action packed Christmas to say the least, the most fun we’ve ever had. Everything felt to exciting, it was as though I was little all over again. This was an amazing and unique experience, and I’d highly recommend everyone to do it, should you get the opportunity. We thoroughly enjoyed our fantastic experience in Lapland, and though we’d never been away for Christmas before, we would now definitely recommend it to everybody and we will without a doubt return for another magical Christmas time again in the future.