Bearhill Husky Kennels
Snowmobiles and huskies all in one morning. Can it get any better? Er, well seeing the Northern Lights would be great but for now, I’m as happy as I can remember.
We’re given instructions by our guide Miika on how to operate the brake pedal (dogs only have one speed: stop and start). The yelping of excitement (the dogs and me) is a sign they are ready to run. And off we go! It takes focus and energy if you’re musher (we swap half way) since the magical winter landscapes we pass are intoxicatingly beautiful. The Huskies here clearly love their life and are well cared for by owners Valentijn and Veronika. We get cuddle time afterwards… I’m in love. And.. we get to see some of the new puppies. Thank you for such a beautiful experience Bearhill Huskies.
LUMI Resort by Arctic Lifestyle
Later that day we’re at the Lumi Resort near Rovaniemi, looking out of their panoramic restaurant windows onto the snow-filled vista below. It’s dusk but the bright lights of an ice karting rink are beckoning me.
Adrenaline pumped post our sliding and karting session, we enjoy a sauna and hot tub with stunning views across the valley before a superb meal of fresh salmon and a berry dessert. Lumi Resort has plans for accommodation next year, but before that private and bespoke tours will be available including the Lumi Husky Camp (December 2019) and the Lumi Wilderness Camp (Arctic glamping). In addition to the safaris, there will also be private meetings with Santa Claus!
Santa Claus Village, Rovaniemi
Talking of the big man, no visit to Lapland would be complete without a chat with Santa Claus himself. Located just 8km from Rovaniemi, Santa Claus Village is a full immersion into the Father Christmas phenomenon. And is also the Big Man’s home. The most popular attraction in Lapland – Santa Claus receives visitors every day – and you can even cross the Arctic Circle here at 66°33′45.9″. And stay in the special Santa Claus Holiday Village in the resort centre.
We’re like kids as we have our private (pre-public opening) visit with Santa Claus. Feeling shy and surprisingly anxious, my brain is telling me this is a man dressed up with a long white beard and giant buckled shoes. But my heart is telling me this guy really is Santa Claus.
We have a chat and a photo and I’m speechless. Everyone else looks the same. I post a card to my folks at the Arctic Circle post office. Santa receives around 32,000 letters a day at Christmas!
Why visit Lapland?
As you’ve guessed, the elusive Northern Lights didn’t deign to make an appearance during my Lapland safari. But frankly, I’m not that disappointed. The excitement and adrenaline rush of the snowmobiling, husky and reindeer sledging and walking around the blindingly white pristine wilderness that is Lapland was a dream come true. And staying in beautiful wilderness luxury lodges and cabins, and eating the most fabulous fresh food warmed my heart and soul. Over and over.
If you’re looking for a holiday that combines stunning nature and wilderness, myriad adventure sports and the chance to digitally detox, then make Lapland your next vacation destination. English is widely spoken and they’re a friendly bunch – and very proud of their country. In fact, Finland has just been voted the Happiest Country in the World 2018 by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN).
Kiitos Finland! I’ll be back in the autumn…
- Visit Levi: www.levi.fi
- Visit Rovaniemi: www.visitrovaniemi.fi
- Visit Yllas: www.yllas.fi/en/
- Lapland Hotels Bulevardi: www.laplandhotels.com
- Kultá Kitchen & Bar: www.kitchenkulta.fi
- Northern Lights Ranch: www.theranch.fi
- L7 Luxury Lodge: www.luxurylodge.fi
- Arctic Light Hotel: www.arcticlighthotel.fi
- Arctic Treehouse Hotel: www.arctictreehousehotel.com
- Arctic Snow Hotel: www.arcticsnowhotel.fi
- Golden Crown Igloos: www.leviniglut.net
- Lumi Resort by Arctic Lifestyle: www.lumiresort.fi
- Octola Lodge: www.octola.com
- Lapland Hotels Snow Village: www.laplandhotels.com/snowvillage
- Wild Motion Husky Safaris Ylläs www.wildmotion.fi
- Bear Hill Husky Kennels Ylläs: www.bearhillhusky.com
- Kinos Safaris Snowmobile Levi: www.kinossafaris.com
- Aurora Emotion Electric Snowmobiles: www.auroraemotion.com
- Santa Clause Village: www.santaclausvillage.info