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Chasing the Northern Lights in Lapland

by Eddie Rayner

Lapland, Finland

Finnish Lapland is as close as reality gets to those who dream of a winter wonderland. The hustle and bustle of towns and ski resorts are just minutes away from the peace and quiet of the wild wilderness.

Flight time: 9 hours, 25 minutes

Lapland in figures:

190,000 reindeer
749 fells
1 Santa Claus

What to do

A Day at Santa Claus Village

Watch the joy on your children’s faces when they come face-to-face with Santa Claus in his Finnish Lapland home.

Price: Free entry to event
Suggested time: 6 hours

Pointers: Your family can get free entry to the Arctic Circle Husky Park where they can pet and hug huskies!

Witness the Magical Northern Lights

The more traditional ways to go Aurora spotting are snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, or snowmobile, and sledge dog touring.

Price: Free
Suggested time: 2-4 hours

Note: The northern lights are a natural phenomenon and sightings cannot be guaranteed.

Riding with Huskies and Reindeers

Lapland offers phenomenal rides – would you prefer to be shown around by a pack of happy hounds or Santa’s reindeer?

Price: AED566 for two people
Suggested time: 3 hours

Oulanka National Park

Welcome to Finland’s ‘Wild East’! There is evena chance to cross the Finnish-Russian frontier and visit Paanajärvi National Park.

Price: Free entry. Guided group tours are AED203 per hour
Suggested time: 4-6 hours

Hint: Pets are welcome!

highs of -3°C and lows of -9°C

What to eat

Karjalanpaisti (Meat Stew)

This ravishing meal is one of the world’s simplest comfort foods. It is cooked in a special pot for several hours, so the meatmelts in your mouth.

Karjalanpiirakka (Rice Pies)
A very popular pastry in Finland, Karjalanpiirakka is originally from the region of Karelia. The rye crust is traditionally filled with rice porridge and topped with egg butter.

Graavilohi (Cured Salmon)
Relish in this Nordic dish made from raw salmon, cured in salt, sugar, and dill, and often served as an appetizer.

Where to stay

Arctic Snow Hotel & Glass Igloos

Feel the Arctic cold on your face, savour a drink from a glass made of ice, and enjoy the Northern Lights.

Three-star accommodation

  • Number of people: 2 adults, 1child
  • Breakfast available
  • Multilingual staff
  • Family-friendly

Price: *AED1,500 per night for 1 room, 2 adults, and 1 child

Original Sokos Hotel Vaakuna

Located in the centre of Rovaniemi, this hotel is a high-class, international hotel featuring the finest Lappish hospitality.

Four- star accommodation

  • Number of people: 2 adults, 1child
  • Breakfast available
  • Multilingual staff
  • Family-friendly
  • Children’s activities

Price: *AED1,699 per night for 1 room, 2 adults, and 1 child

*Prices are based on the respective hotel’s website during Christmas and New Year weeks and are subject to change.