Meet Santa at the
Northern Lights Village
3 & 4 nights at Northern Lights Village
Saariselkä was all that I envisioned from a family holiday in Lapland. I was immediately filled with an overwhelming desire to explore. The Northern Lights Village offers a fantastic range of winter activities designed to capture the imaginations of all family members. I fulfilled a lifelong dream and met a team of huskies before embarking on a thrilling safari across the snow. I’m not sure who found the activity most exciting, the dogs, the kids or me…….probably me! - Ali McLean
Meet Santa at the
Northern Lights Village
3 & 4 Night Itinerary
* The 4 night itinerary is as below with an extra day.
Day 1 - Arrival at the Northern Lights Village
On arrival at Ivalo Airport, you will be transferred to your accommodation at the Northern Lights Village and can check into your Aurora Cabin. You will be served an evening meal in the restaurant.
Day 2 & 3 - Included activities
Searching for Father Christmas
Join some of Father Christmas’s elves on an enchanting festive adventure to seek out the big man in red.
Before setting out, a very friendly elf will meet you for some baking of gingerbread in the hotel restaurant. These cookies are Father Christmas’s favourites and taste delicious.
You will then be taken to meet some of Father Christmas’s reindeer and will enjoy a short reindeer-sleigh ride.
One at a time, families will then depart with an elf for their private meeting with Father Christmas. The great man will be waiting in his cabin. It is deep in the forest and so your elf will help you in your search. You will travel in a cosy snowmobile-pulled sleigh searching for any flickers of light behind the trees.
The lights from the cosy cabin will soon be visible and you will all enjoy a private meeting with Father Christmas lasting up to 15 minutes (times will vary depending on the size of the family). You can all share your Christmas wishes and he will even provide you with a small gift as a memory of the day.
The guests who are waiting to meet Father Christmas will spend time with one of the elves at the reindeer paddock and will enjoy hot berry juice.
After all of the families have met with Father Christmas, you will return to the Northern Lights Village together.
NB: Children can write a letter to Father Christmas in advance and it can be given to the guides so that he will already have their letter when they arrive for their meeting.
Duration: 3 hours approximately
During this two-hour excursion, you will be given expert tuition on how to handle your snowmobile and you can test your skills as you drive across the snow. Travelling two adults per snowmobile, you will stop for hot drinks and snacks along the way.
Children will enjoy the winter wonderland from the comfort of a heated sled.
Please note: The driver of a snowmobile must be at least 18 years old and hold a valid driving licence. Children will travel in a heated sled pulled by the guide’s snowmobile. Children 4 years and under must be accompanied in the sleigh by one parent. Adults are entitled to a discounted price when travelling in the sleigh. Older children may be able to travel as pillion on the snowmobile but this is at the discretion of the guide and the child must be at least 140 cm tall. Children will pay the adult price if riding on the snowmobile.
Duration: 2 hours approximately
Reindeer Sleigh Ride
Reindeer are synonymous with Lapland and winter. A sleigh ride is something which will capture the imaginations of both children and adults alike. It is an experience which can be hard to comprehend until you actually do it. You generally only see such things on TV, but the reality is much more enchanting. The landscape is draped in a perfectly white blanketed and the only sounds are of crunching snow. So Idyllic is the landscape and so fresh is the air, that you could be forgiven for thinking you had entered some fairy-tale realm.
Duration: 25 minute approximately
A husky safari is a favourite here with everyone at Activities Abroad. The excited yelping of the dogs as the sled is been prepared is infectious and you’ll doubtless find that your family are just as eager to get going. Once the dogs get down to business and you glide over the snow-covered landscapes the yelping is replaced by the gentle pattering of paws as they focus on the road ahead. It is quite surreal when you take a moment to process what you are actually doing in comparison to your daily life. Driving a team of dogs in a Lappish wilderness is such a contrast, that is unless you happen to be a professional musher.
Duration: 1 hour 45 minute trip (20-30 minutes safari)
Day 4 - Departure
Today it is time to bid farewell to Lapland and you will be transferred back to Ivalo after breakfast for your return flights home. If you are on the early flight, a packed breakfast will be provided.
Saariselkä Northern Lights Village
Located in North East Finland, the Northern Lights Village sits on the outskirts of the ski resort of Saariselkä. Tucked away from the town and separated from it by dense forest, the location is ideal for viewing the Northern Lights but is still within walking distance (around 1000m) of the town’s amenities. The ski slopes can be accessed via a shuttle (small charge applies) or a pleasant walk of around 40-50 minutes.
The Northern Lights Village offers accommodation in Aurora Cabins which are half-roofed with glass. The twin or double beds are situated beneath the panoramic roof and provide the chance to view the Northern Lights from your bed! It’s not often that folk prefer a sleepless night but here it’s not considered to be a huge inconvenience as it provides the chance to potentially witness Mother Nature’s greatest light show!
There are 80 cabins in total, all of which are within a 5-10 minutes’ walk of the Village’s central facilities which include the restaurant where you’ll enjoy breakfast and dinner.
The village restaurant is an atmospheric place, inspired by traditional wooden kotas (Finnish teepees). Breakfast is a buffet of continental options and some hot dishes. Evening meals are a buffet with starters of soups and salad, a choice of local meat or fish will follow (the reindeer and white fish in this region are delicious!). Typically a cake will be served for pudding, keeping you well-fuelled for your nocturnal Aurora hunting adventures. Dietary requirements are all well-catered for as long as we are informed at the time of booking.
The Northern Lights Village has an onsite reindeer farm and all activities (including the reindeer safaris) start in the village so there is no need for time-wasting transfers. Basically, because we want to make your holiday as uncomplicated as possible, life is made very easy here.
The Northern Lights Village is home to a herd of reindeer and you can watch them go about their business as you eat breakfast in the restaurant.
Saariselkä is around a 20-25 minute walk from the Northern Lights Village (40-50 minutes to the ski slopes) which means that all of the amenities, shops, cafés and local restaurants are within easy reach.
For all Northern Lights activities, an expert guide will provide you with photographic tuition. If you do not have an SLR camera and tripod then they can both be rented locally. The guides sometimes take pictures throughout the activities which can be purchased on your return to the village, if they take any.
The Aurora Cabins have a half-glass roof and all face north. The design is based on the traditional wooden kotas (teepees) of Finland and has been specifically created for the village.
Each cabin has twin beds (which can be made into a double) and a sofa bed, suitable for an additional adult. There is a shower room (with underfloor heating) and a toilet, as well as a luggage storage area. Tea and coffee making facilities, a hairdryer and a minibar are also included.
Importantly for duvet-based Aurora hunting, a timer switch can be used to heat the glass roof should your view be obscured by snowfall. It takes approximately 5-10 minutes to heat and melt the snow so there’s no need to go and sweep the roof in your pyjamas!
Cabins are not cleaned between arrival and departure unless requested from reception. Additionally, towels can be exchanged at reception if required.
Wi-Fi is only available at the onsite restaurant.
Located in the wild mystical north of Lapland, close to Russia and just a few hours from the Arctic Ocean, Saariselkä is an exceptionally friendly uncommercialised resort with a unique frontier atmosphere. With magnificent Arctic wilderness scenery just on the doorstep, it makes an ideal resort for an all-round winter wonderland adventure. The skies are often a deep hue of pink and purple, the pine trees heavily laden with snow, and being so far north there is a good possibility of seeing the Northern Lights too.