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4 nights luxury breaks in Kuusamo
There's a huge Santa industry in Finnish Lapland, with charter flights flying in from all over for rushed day trips. In my opinion, many of them are over-commercialised, hurried and far too stressful for families. Here's our antidote: a marvellously magical four-night trip in the beautiful snow-topped fells of Lapland, meeting huskies and reindeer and a relaxed day in Father Christmas’s house, meeting the man himself, baking biscuits and enjoying the festive cheer!
Flights, Arrivals And Introduction
You will be welcomed at the airport by a driver before being transferred directly to your accommodation in Kuusamo which is only a short drive away.
Our 7th December departure will be served a welcome meal at the hotel, and our 14th and 19th December departures will receive a welcome basket with sandwiches, fruit, snacks and drinks, in your apartment.
Please note that the order and start times of the activities and meals are subject to change and this agenda agenda should be read as a guide only.
Included Meals: Dinner
Husky And Reindeer Safari, Snow Sculptures, Snowmobile-Pulled Sled Ride & Traditional Lappish Dinner
Your holiday gets off to a fabulous start today as you encounter some of Lapland’s most well-known residents - huskies and reindeer.
The huskies will greet you with eager anticipation but they’ll soon calm down once you are sitting comfortably in the sled and they are leading you on this short but memorable husky safari (approximately 5km and takes around 30 minutes). This is a lovely experience for the family and is always one of the highlights of the trip. You will also have plenty time for cuddles and photographs with the huskies afterwards. Adults will drive the sleds with the chance to swap drivers during the safari.
Next, you will meet the reindeer, the most magical of Christmas creatures and, of course, Father Christmas’s most important animals. Wrapped up warmly under blankets, you will sit in the sleigh and enjoy a wonderful reindeer-pulled sleigh ride. Your ride will be short (approximately 300-400 metres) but you’ll have the chance to go around again if you wish to do so.
Lunch will be enjoyed at a local restaurant and back at the hotel you will have time to relax and take advantage of the pool facilities.
This afternoon, at approximately 4:30 pm, you will be picked up by your guide and taken on a magical journey deep into the wilderness where you will enjoy an evening of fun and games and traditional Lappish food. The journey will take around 45 minutes, driving through snow-laden forests and past beautiful rolling fells while your guide will provide entertainment for the children along the way.
Upon arrival, your guide will take you for a spot of snow sculpting, so that each family can get creative before you head off on a very important mission. The elves need your help in providing the forest animals with some Christmas dinner, so you will travel in a snowmobile-pulled sled into the forest and deliver some seeds and nuts for the local birds and some carrots for the rabbits.
After you’ve enjoyed your time in the forest, you will sit down for a cosy, traditional Lappish meal in a beautiful hidden restaurant. You will then be transferred back to the hotel, arriving at approximately 9:15 pm.
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Snowshoe Search For Father Christmas & Tradional Lappish Dinner
After breakfast, your guide will take you out for some fun and games in the snow with toboggans, kick sledges and snowshoes.
Your guide will be able to tell if Father Christmas has passed this way recently so you will head off on your snowshoes to see if he’s still around. You will look for signs of him and his campfire but as he will be getting ready to deliver all of his presents, he is unlikely to be spotted today.
Father Christmas will have left some cookies and juice to enjoy around his fire though and he will be sure to have issued an invitation for everyone to meet him tomorrow and have lunch at his secret house. How very exciting!
You will have the afternoon free to relax or maybe enjoy the hotel’s pool or soft play area. Later on this evening, at approximately 6 pm, you will be taken to another wilderness lodge where you will enjoy a fantastic traditional meal in the most magical of settings: a classic winter experience! You will return to the hotel around 9 pm.
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
A Meeting With Father Christmas
Today is the main event and absolute highlight of the trip for both children and adults alike.
An elf will come to the hotel to collect you so you can all go to Father Christmas’s beautiful lakeside house where Mr and Mrs Claus are waiting to welcome you to their home.
There will be fun and games for everybody young and old along with stories by the fire. You’ll then head out onto the slope next to the house and down to the frozen lake. This is the perfect place for a sledging race – watch out for those elves, they are pretty speedy!
Mrs Claus will have made everyone a delicious lunch and Father Christmas will teach everyone his favourite song. You’ll also help Mrs Claus with some baking and you’ll make greetings cards for friends back home which Father Christmas will sign. You will spend a total of around five hours at Father Christmas' house enjoying this wonderfully genuine and unhurried day, creating memories to treasure for many years.
After such a magical afternoon you will head back to the hotel for dinner. Everyone should sleep very well tonight after so much excitement.
Please note: On our 14th December departure, you will visit Father Christmas for either lunch or dinner, as our groups will be divided between the two times. The activities and inclusions will remain exactly the same, however. Depending on your mealtime with Father Christmas, you will have either lunch or dinner back at the hotel.
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Sadly it’s time to say goodbye to Finland today but everyone will be waiting to welcome you again on your next visit to this wonderful place.
Included Meals: Breakfast
Child age: 4-12
The hotel has several modern, semi-detached winter cottages, which are located a short walk away from the main hotel building, amongst the trees (approximately 400-500 metres).
Recently built, each semi-detached cottage has two bedrooms: one with a double bed, which can be made into two single beds and one with two single beds.
Each cottage has excellent amenities, including wood-burning stove (with firewood provided), wet room and private sauna (with hairdryer), drying cabinet, washing facilities, a small but well-equipped kitchenette (with kettle), TV and free Wi-Fi. There is a glazed terrace area with lockable storage room.
Meals are served in the main hotel building and linen, towels and end of stay cleaning are included.
Full pool access is provided for guests throughout. Pool towels can be rented poolside for approximately €6 or guests can simply use the towels from their accommodation.
For larger families, there is also a selection of two-bedroom apartments available, which can fit up to six people, with a sofa bed accommodating two children or one adult. The apartments are decorated in a similar style to the cottages and have the same amenities, plus an extra toilet.
One of the main attractions for families is the wonderful pool area. The pool complex includes a 45-metre water slide, a pool for young children, a waterfall, water jet massage stations, two hot tubs and a resistance current river. There is also a wonderful sauna complex to enjoy
The hotel is connected to the Angry Birds Activity Park, which is a huge hit with families
Breakfast is served at the hotel and usually consist of a buffet of international cuisine with some Finnish options for guests to try
The hotel has three restaurants and so if you want something outside of your inclusive meals you can try Café Piazza, the Mango Restaurant or the Sports Bar which offer a variety of snacks and food
There is a small shop in the main reception area which sells tea and coffee, as well as other snacks and drinks
Kuusamo is nearby Ruka’s more peaceful sibling – nature takes a front seat in this place, whether you’re talking scenery or activities. Walking trails weave through forests of snow-smothered pines and vast frozen lakes. Or, if you want to spend some time indoors, you can visit the Hannu Hautala Nature Photography Centre. This exhibition hall’s the first of its kind in Finland, and showcases some seriously impressive pictures.