Get ready for six days pure joy and adventure in Lapland. Enjoy a delicious king crab in Kirkenes, meet the Sami tribes, learn to use the lasso and ride a sleigh pulled by reindeers, then, pay a visit to Santa Claus before embarking on an icebreaker across the sea. All this and more awaits on this tour.
Languages: English & Spanish.
Overnight: Kirkenes four-star Hotel Thon.
Arrival to Kirkenes airport KKN.
There are regular transfers from airport to hotel.
Overnight: Saariselkä four-star Hotel Santa’s Tunturi.
Morning: King Crab Safari.
Afternoon: Transfer to Saariselkä. Visit the Sami Cultural Centre and Parliament.
Kirkenes is located in the North East of Norway, in the border with Russia. One of the most popular activities in Kirkenes (besides contemplating the aurora borealis) is the King Crab Safari. King crabs can measure two metres or more and are a world famous delicacy.
After the safari, we head on to Saariselkä to visit the Sami Cultural Centre. Sami people Self governance and their own parliament which allows them to maintain their culture, education and traditions. Having said that, modern living and high technology are welcomed within Sami’s culture.
Overnight: Sinettä four-star Hotel Arctic Snow Glass Igloos.
Morning: Visit the Sami farmers.
Evening: Optional sauna experience.
Today we pay a visit to the Sami farmers on the way to the town of Sinettä. We will meet the reindeers and have a try with the Suopunki (a Sami-style lasso). We will also experience a ride on a reindeer pulled sleigh to admire de beautiful winter landscapes. After this, lunch three course lunch would be served following the Sami cook tradition. Weather permitted, we may have opportunity to see the northern lights.
In the evening you can enjoy a typical dinner in a Kota, a typical Lappish timber tent in ways similar to a tipi. In addition, you can enjoy a traditional Finnish outdoor sauna as an option.
Overnight: Rovaniemi four-star Hotel Santa Claus.
Morning: Excursion to Rovaniemi.
Afternoon: Lunch at farm.
Upon arrival we check in at the famous Santa Claus hotel, from here we will visit the Husky Farm to experience a run in the forest in the company of these cute animals. Afterwards, a traditional lunch would be served, based on grilled sausages cooked over a campfire. And of course, a visit to Rovaniemi can’t go without a visit to Santa Claus’ Village. In the evening we have the optional excursion on snowmobiles to visit the aurora borealis camp.
Overnight: Rovaniemi four-star Hotel Santa Claus.
Morning: Transfer to Kemi.
Afternoon: Optional excursion.
Today we get ready for a new and exciting experience: The icebreaker cruise. Departing from the port of Kemi, the icebreaking ship will navigate the waters of the Gulf of Bothnia, through an incredible ice field extending endlessly across the waters. At some point during the journey, you would be able to disembark and walk on the ice plains, and If you so desire, you can jump into the water and experience floating in full survival suit. Those brave ones who do would receive a certificate of accomplishment.
Back in Rovaniemi, we’ll have the option to visit the “Magic of the Arctic Circle” for a dinner and (if weather allows) have a view to the wonderful aurora borealis.
Departure from Rovaniemi airport RVN.
What's Included in the Tour
5x Nights accommodation in four-star category hotels with breakfast:
- 1x night in Kirkenes Hotel Thon.
- 1x night in Saariselkä Hotel Tunturi.
- 1x night in Sinetta Hotel Arctic Snow.
- 2x nights in Rovaniemi Santa Claus hotel.
- 5x Buffet-style breakfasts at hotels.
- Snowshoe Safari.
- Sami reindeer farm and sleigh ride.
- Husky farm visit and ride.
- Icebreaker experience with ice swimming.
- Special clothing for outdoor activities.
- Transfers airport-hotel-airport.
- Coach with climate control for the entire journey.
- English and Spanish leading guides
Hotel ratings are shown according to the date of this publication. Bear in mind customer reviews may vary.
The Best of Lapland.
Our journey begins in Norway, specifically the region of Finmark. This is the northmost point in the Norwegian geography and home of the delicious King Crab. This particular crab can easily reach a 2 meters span from leg to leg and it is a delicacy particular to this region. During the safari you are expect to catch (and later eat) your own king crab, so don't be afraid to get your hands dirty.
After lunch, we'll take our coach and head on towards Saariselkä, a small village of the Finnish mountains. They say the last ice age ended here more than 9000 years ago, but since we are here in winter it doesn't make much different if that ice age never ended at all. Having said that, there is a community that learned to live in harmony with this climate: The Sámi.
The Sámi people have been part of these lands for thousands of years. Their territory extends above the Arctic Circle and around the globe, including parts of Russia, Finland, Sweden, Norway and apparently, North America as well. In 1973, the Finnish Sámi parliament was established and on this tour we won't just visit it, but we will meet the Sámi people and learn more about their traditions and culture, which include: skills with the lasso and sleigh ride with reindeers.
When in Lapland, there are at least two things you "must-do", the first of which is to observe the Aurora Borealis, or northern lights. This is more easy to say than to accomplish. To find them you need a really clear sky but also, solar flares. Both those conditions are random, A bit of luck, patience and being indoors in your glass igloo and a cup of tea always help. And who knows, we might be able to get that perfect instagram shot.
So we mentioned the first must-do in Lapland, well the second is, of course, to pay a visit to Santa Claus. Yeap, He was originally from Korvatunturi but in 1985 moved operations to Rovaniemi where he processed (with a little help) 17 million letters from every corner of the world. So, (unless you've been a bit naughty) you've been receiving presents year after year so now it might be a good time to come in and say "thanks Santa! my life is perfect, I can even afford a trip to Lapland" ;-)
By the way, something we should probably mention here is food. Of course, we already talked about the king crab, but it doesn't stop there. Finland is famous for fine, naturally sourced, local foods. You would rarely see any processed food here (if at all!). Food is one of the key ingredients to this trip so we can look, smell, hear, and feel Lapland in all its dimensions.
Speaking of dimensions, the last leg of our trip holds something really big indeed. We set sail on an full-size icebreaker across the sea (the Gulf of Bothnia to be specific). In normal conditions, the ice forms layers so thick you can walk or even drive on it. However, we have to admit that years of global warming have left their scar on the Arctic Circle and there is a probability of little or no ice. But that doesn't mean that you can't jump in and have a swim into the icy Nordic waters. The Finns would certainly encourage you to do so because they do it all the time, and you are in Finland so, why not?
Of course, you won't jump just like that, willy-nilly into the water. You will be wearing an engineered thermal suit, which in addition to provide isolation from the weather, it also gives you great floatability, so rather than swimming you just buoy yourself around. And, to celebrate your bravery, you will be recipient of a certificate of accomplishment that you can frame and hang somewhere when you get back home. Cool!