I was a bit sceptical about going to Lapland, I had preconceptions of a gimmicky resort which would leave us disappointed. I was so wrong! After 3 nights, I was in love with Lapland, and I’m sure if you give it a chance, you will be too…
Hi everyone! I’m Sukie, I work for Coop Travel I am passionate about sharing amazing experiences and this blog felt like the best place for me to reminisce about a family trip I took to Lapland at the start of last December. I’ll share with you my tips for those thinking of braving the cold, sledging and the magic of meeting Santa.
Leave your preconceptions at the airport
Now, I’m not going to lie to you; when my daughter told me she wanted to meet Santa I dreaded the idea of going on a cold sludgy holiday (more of a sun person) and worried that it would be too ‘gimmicky’ and fall short of her expectations. To me, it was just one of those parenting things that I needed to grin and bear. I was so wrong! It was one of the best family holidays we’ve been on and I can’t rave enough about how much there was to keep the grown-ups entertained as well as the kids!!!
The initial panic set in that we didn’t own any proper ski suits or boots, and the idea of forking out on that stuff for one trip was a lot! I was being a little naïve, of course the tour company had thought of these things! The hotel transfer from the airport included a stop to pick up all these items, so if you get the right package, you don’t need to worry about buying all the gear.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pack loads of hats / gloves / thermals etc. Once you think you’ve packed enough – PACK MORE!! The last thing you want is to feel cold and miserable because you’ve had to lend your last spare pair of socks to your Mother-in-Law!
There were 5 of us in total, we went for 3 nights to Levi, Finland. Three nights should be your minimum! There was so much to do and see that you really would struggle to fit it into only a 2 night/3 day trip. Nanny and Gramps were given a room in the main building of our hotel, close to the restaurants and bars which was perfect for them. We had a family room in another building. The room was ideal, it had a separate bunk bed area which we could curtain off and it meant we didn’t have to worry about keeping our daughter awake after putting her to bed.
Our stay was Full Board and it honestly was a lifesaver! We were packing so much into our holiday that it was nice not to have to think where we would get lunch from, we could just come back from whatever fun we were having and tuck straight in. Bonus; there was more than enough choice to keep a certain fussy someone happy and her tummy full.
Non-stop family fun
There were loads of attractions to keep us busy! Riding snow mobiles was something I’d never even thought of doing but I would do it again in a heartbeat. It was such an adrenaline rush to be going so fast on snow and when we stopped to admire the views, they took my breath away.
Can it get more laplandish than Husky dog sledding! I must admit, I spent most of it sat down and one of the guides did the driving but it was such fun. All the falling over and laughing at each other definitely created some memories and some stories which I’m sure will be brought up at many a family party!!
Tobogganing is one of those things I’ve not done in years! There’s never enough snow fall or hills around our house and somehow I always miss out on those moments if they ever do occur. It was, therefore, brilliant to all mess around in the snow together and generally just have some fun family time. When you arrive at the resort you’ll probably notice the crazy number of abandoned sledges just lying on the ground; they’re from people buying them and having to leave them behind. Grab one for yourself as soon as you can and use it for your stay. Otherwise you’ll end up paying €25 for one and you’ll still have to leave it behind.
And last but not least… Santa!! (and his village)
There are so many different ways you can meet Santa in Lapland (naturally). As part of the package you go to Santa’s village and see where the presents are made, Santa’s house, and the school for the elves. In the evening back at the hotel there was a Christmas party for everyone—we all got presents! Kids still love seeing Santa and, I did think maybe we should have booked a private visit with Santa. I can just imagine the smile and excitement of walking into his cottage and seeing him sat there waiting for her.
All the activities felt like they flew by and most were only short durations/tasters We considered purchasing extra time on some of them, but because there is so much extra stuff to do, we didn’t bother. We filled our afternoons with sledging, snowball fights, walking and generally relaxing.
I can’t recommend Levi enough as a destination for family holidays, we even got to see the Northern Lights!! We had such a magical time and whether we’d stayed 4 days or two weeks we could have filled every day. The shops, bars, ski slopes and all the other things in the local area have me certain that we will be going back again one day. Even our departure saw the whole coach in high spirits, singing carols, laughing and generally having fun.
I only hope my daughter wants to go again soon, because I can’t wait!!
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