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Wonders of Lapland Christmas

Spend a White Christmas in Lapland
Santa, Finland © Kaisa Siren/Visit Rovaniemi

What better way to spend a white Christmas than in wonderful Lapland! From Helsinki, explore medieval Tallinn and travel to Oulu with its dazzling landscapes, then on to festive Rovaniemi and Lulea. Enjoy a special Christmas dinner and search for the Northern Lights. Santa Claus will be expecting you at Santa Claus Village. Visit a Sami reindeer farm for a sleigh ride, as well as a Husky Safari. A highlight of this winter adventure is the Sampo Icebreaker Safari, with a chance to swim in a flotation dry suit in the fresh Arctic waters of Kemi.

Itinerary

22 December Helsinki Arrival: Optional City Sightseeing tour

On arrival into Helsinki Airport, transfer to your hotel in Helsinki. A short welcome meeting will be held in the evening with your Tour Leader. Time at leisure and two overnights at Clarion Hotel Helsinki or similar.

This afternoon you may like to join the optional Helsinki City Tour, departing from the hotel at 16:00hrs. The locally guided sightseeing tour includes the Senate Square, the University and the Lutheran Cathedral. You will also see the colourful Market Square, Kaivopuisto Park, diplomatic residences, the imposing statue of Marshall Mannerheim, the Parliament Building, Finlandia Hall, the Orthodox Russian Church Uspenski and the Sibelius Monument. A visit is also made to Temppeliaukio Church – also called the “Rock Church” as it is carved into solid rock (the church reserves the right not to allow the entry of visitors in case of ceremonies). The tour ends at the hotel. Duration 3 hours.

23 December Helsinki - Tallinn - Helsinki

Early morning transfer to the pier of Helsinki. Board the 2 hour cruise to Tallinn. Meet your local guide for a city tour where you will discover the secrets of Tallinn's fairytale-like Old Town, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The walking part of the tour includes Toompea Hill, where you'll see the ancient Toompea Castle, the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. the Cathedral of Saint Mary, also known as the Dome Church. Continue to the lower part of the city, walking among beautiful historic buildings until we reach the Town Hall Square. Tallinn's Gothic-style Town Hall, built in the 15th century, is the oldest surviving town hall in the Baltic countries. Just a few steps away, you'll find the famous Town Hall Pharmacy, which has been operating in the same premises since the early 15th century. Stroll through the market squares adorned with twinkling lights and colourful decorations, where wooden stalls showcase an array of traditional handicrafts, locally made goods, and artisanal products. From hand crafted ornaments to cosy woolens and intricate lacework, there's something for every taste and preference. After the tour you will enjoy lunch at a typical restaurant, before the transfer back to the pier and return ferry to Helsinki. On board the ferry there is a variety of dining options for purchase. Upon arrival in Helsinki, late evening transfer to your hotel. Second night at Clarion Hotel Helsinki or similar.

24 December Helsinki - Oulu 

This morning embark on a journey through the heart of Finland, as you board the train from Helsinki to Oulu. As the train glides out of the bustling capital, the urban landscape gradually gives way to the serene beauty of the Finnish countryside. Through the window, picturesque scenes unfold like pages from a storybook. Upon arrival in Oulu, you will be transferred to your hotel for two overnights at Lapland Hotel Oulu or similar. Dinner at the hotel.

Nestled on the shores of the Gulf of Bothnia in northern Finland, Oulu exudes a unique blend of modernity and natural beauty, making it a captivating destination for travelers seeking both urban allure and outdoor adventure. At the heart of Oulu lies its vibrant city centre, where sleek modern architecture harmonizes with historic buildings, creating a dynamic urban landscape. Stroll along the pedestrian-friendly streets lined with trendy boutiques, cosy cafes, and cultural landmarks, immersing yourself in the city's lively atmosphere. 

25 December Oulu: Snowshoe Walk and Christmas Dinner

Merry Christmas! Today enjoy a guided 2 hour Snowshoe Walk. Put on your snowshoes and feel the crunch of snow under your feet. Capture the true feeling of winter in the northern woods as you explore the nearby white wilderness of forest and hills. Afternoon at leisure. Perhaps try a Finnish sauna, available at the hotel.

Tonight indulge in a truly immersive Finnish experience at Maikkula Mansion, where an evening of culinary delights and relaxation awaits amidst the tranquil countryside setting. Begin your evening with a delicious dinner featuring an array of traditional Finnish cuisine, prepared with locally-sourced ingredients. From hearty soups and savory smoked fish to succulent game meats and decadent desserts, each dish is a celebration of the rich flavors and culinary heritage of Finland. After dinner, prepare to unwind and rejuvenate in the mansion's private sauna, a quintessential Finnish tradition beloved by locals and visitors alike. Step into the soothing warmth of the sauna, and allow the stresses of the day to melt away as you relax and recharge in this serene sanctuary. Second night at Lapland Hotel Oulu or similar.

26 December Oulu - Rovaniemi: Reindeer Safari and Santa Claus Village

This morning, travel by coach to Rovaniemi, a captivating blend of natural beauty, cultural richness, and Arctic adventure. Upon your arrival, visit a local Reindeer farm, where you'll discover the magic of Lapland's iconic creatures. Meet the traditional Sami farmers who will tell you about the reindeer, and its importance to the Sami culture. Sitting in a two-person sleigh, pulled by your reindeer, you will experience a short ride in this traditional and peaceful way of moving through the white landscape where the only sound you will hear is the melody of reindeer bells. A typical local lunch is included at the farm. Then the day continues with a visit to the world-famous Santa Claus Village, the official home of Santa Claus. Take a step into this magical world and meet the man himself, send a letter from his Post Office, step across the Arctic Circle and more. Take a step into the magical world of Santa’s home and meet Santa himself. From Santa Claus Village it is a short journey to the hotel for check in. Two overnights at Santa's Hotel Santa Claus Rovaniemi or similar. Remainder of the day at leisure. Dinner at the hotel.

27 December Rovaniemi: Husky Safari, Optional Aurora Safari by Snowmobile

Today we visit a Husky Farm - the barking of happy dogs will welcome you, and the head 'musher' will tell you all about the life of these hard working Arctic dogs. Then enjoy a short 3km sled ride, riding in pairs, with one person driving and the other seated in the sleigh, on trails through the forest. Second night at Santa's Hotel Santa Claus Rovaniemi or similar. Remainder of the day at leisure. Dinner at the hotel.

This evening, you might also like to join an optional Aurora Safari by Snowmobile. Driving through snow-covered forests and over treeless fells (with a little luck), if the sky is clear, the moon, stars and Northern Lights may show you the way. Enjoy a warm drink and snack by the open fire before returning to the hotel. 2 persons share each snowmobile and each driver must have a full valid driver's licence. Duration 3 hours.

28 December Rovaniemi - Kemi - Lulea: Sampo Icebreaker Cruise

Today we head to the town of Kemi. First we visit to the fabulous SnowCastle*. Pure white snow walls surround the gigantic SnowCastle, the biggest of its kind in the world, and built entirely out of snow and ice, with a special snow slide and amazing snow sculptures. Enjoy a lunch onshore in the Seaview Restaurant, then board the Sampo Icebreaker for a cruise on this remarkable vessel, breaking though the ice of the northern Gulf of Bothnia. This extraordinary experience includes a guided tour of the ship with its massive engine room, communications room and bridge and ice swimming. In the middle of the largest ice field in Europe, you have the opportunity to jump in the sea and float! You will of course be fitted with a warm survival suit and those of you who dare will receive a certificate by the ship authorities to attest your courage. An unforgettable experience. Continue by coach to Lulea for one overnight at Clarion Hotel Sense Lulea or similar.

*Please note that the construction of the Snow Castle is dependent on the weather conditions and accordingly the Castle may not be open before the 19th of January.

29 December Lulea Departure

Transfer to Lulea airport and end of arrangements.


2024 departure: 22 December

Notes:

Maximum Group Size: 25 persons

All optional excursions must be pre-booked. Some excursions subject to minimum age and height requirements.

Airport transfers are shared with fellow arriving/departing passengers. Minor waiting times may occur.

Luggage allowance is 1 suitcase plus 1 piece of hand luggage per person.

Services of a bi-lingual tour escort, English and Spanish or Portuguese.

Child policy: children aged under 4 years are not permitted on this tour.

Up to 1 child 4 years and over can share a room with 2 adults and will sleep on a sofa bed.

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