In Search of Christmas: The magic and wonder of Santa's Lapland
|Welcome to Santa's Lapland. All photography is the property of SantasLapland.com unless specifically noted.|
Deep within the forests and fells of northern Finland, nestled in hills laden with snow beneath a canopy of stars and emerald lights, awaits an enchanting Lapland holiday, a land filled with the magic of Christmas—Santa's Lapland. If you know me, then you know how much I love Christmas with all its festive traditions celebrated around the world but a visit to this winter wonderland that is Lapland is quite extraordinary and magical! When I stumbled upon Santa's Lapland, I just had to share this enchanting place that lies far above the Arctic Circle. What child could resist a visit to meet and spend a few days with Joulupukki as he is known in this part of the world? I may just run out and adopt a few to take along with me. If you're too old for Santa Claus, perhaps a visit to Santa's Lapland with your family this holiday season will reignite the hopes and dreams and the magic of Santa. Imagine seeing the wonder of Christmas through a child's eyes or a sleigh ride through the snow-covered hills with only the sounds of jingle bells ringing softly in the winter silence. Wouldn't a visit to this enchanted realm be the ultimate Christmas present?
|The Northern Lights dance above forests laden with snow in Santa's Lapland. Photo: VVV84.|
Getting to know Lapland
Also known as the home of Father Christmas, Lapland is the northernmost province of Finland encompassing more than 30 percent of the entire nation but yet only 3.5 percent of country's population, including 7,000 Sámi (formerly Lapps), the only indigenous inhabitants of Scandinavia who subsist on reindeer herding just as their ancestors have done for centuries.
|Did you know that Lapland is the home to Father Christmas?|
Since most of Lapland lies above the Arctic Circle, to say it's cold here is certainly an understatement because temperatures range from minus 20 to minus 31 F (minus 7 to minus 35 C). But if you bundle up in your thermal suits and partake in an occasional mug or two of piping hot berry juice, you're sure to keep warm!
|Twilight hours in Lapland. Photo: WikiMedia.org.|
Above the article circle, summers and winters are quite different from what most of us are accustomed to. In the summer, Lapland becomes the land of the midnight sun while in the winter there is only four to five hours of daylight with two to three twilight hours before and after. While that may seem a like a long time in the dark, it creates the perfect setting for Christmastime.
|Did you know there are more reindeer than people in Lapland? Our numbers are greater than 200,000 while the residents who call Finland home total 190,000! Isn't this photo hilarious?|
|Your reindeer-driven sleigh awaits for your nighttime sleigh ride to see the Northern Lights. Photo: RukaKuusamo.com.|
|Husky sledding is just one of the many snowy adventures that await in Santa's Lapland.|
Located in Saariselkä, approximately 125 miles north of from Lapland's capital Rovaniemi, Santa's Lapland becomes the perfect destination to celebrate Christmas. From husky sledding and reindeer sleigh rides to snowmobiling and being awe-struck by the Northern Lights; Santa's Lapland is bursting with snowy adventures for you and your children including downhill or cross-country skiing, ice hockey, tobogganing, exploring magical igloos and even a personal meet 'n' greet with the big guy himself. To find out more about the 3- to 4-night packages, visit Santa'sLapland.com for all the information you need to plan your Christmas holiday in the winter wonderland of Lapland, Finland.
|One of Finland's indigenous Sámi dressed in traditional costuming.|
|Cross-country skiing is one of the many activities to enjoy in Lapland.|
Know before you go:
- Bring LOTS of warm clothes, layers and gloves. Santa's Lapland does provide thermal suits for their guests to keep them snuggly.
- Photographers: Camera batteries can freeze in these temps so bring backups and keep them warm.
- There is only ONE ATM in all of Saariselkä and if it breaks down, there are no other options to withdraw cash. Although credit cards are widely accepted, bring spare cash as well.
Isn't it time you believe in Santa again?