Finnish Lapland is one of those destinations you have to see with your own eyes to believe. Especially in Winter when everything is covered in a massive packet of snow. A true winter wonderland. And if you are lucky, you might even bump into Santa.
Traveling to Finnish Lapland
I was lucky enough to go together with 50 other travel agents, press, and tour-operator Vrij Uit, Voigt Travel and Transavia to Finnish Lapland for 2 days. This trip was to celebrate the 40 year anniversary of Vrij Uit Travel.
We flew early in the morning, from Amsterdam to Kuusamo with the Dutch Airline Transavia.
The flight took only around 3 hours and around lunchtime, we landed in Kuusamo, Lapland. From the plane, we witnessed a stunning sunset… Wait, what? You just said we landed around lunchtime ( 12.00 )… Yep, the sun was setting around Lunchtime and after a long twilight, it was pitch dark around 15.00.
As soon as the airplane doors opened, we knew we were in for some cold weather! Temperatures up to -30 degrees are not rare, but you forget all about that if you see Lapland’s stunning scenery.
We got welcomed by a massive snowman at Kuusamo airport, and everything went very quick and smooth, as it is only a small airport.
Exploring Finnish Lapland on a snowmobile
The first thing we did in Finnish Lapland was inspecting the Holiday Club Tropikki in Kuusamo.
After a tour around the hotel, we got a delicious Finnish lunch, which was well needed after our trip and the first impressions of Finnish Lapland.
After lunch, we drove to Ruka, where we were up for a big adventure: A 2.5-hour drive on a snowmobile! We drove 25 kilometers through the beautiful Winter Wonderland of Lapland. My hands were about to fall off when we finished our trip, but men, what a great experience!
A night out in Ruka
After our snowmobile safari, we went to our accommodation; Ruka suites, where we enjoyed a hot shower to heat up and refresh after the day.
For dinner, we went to restaurant Kontioluola in Ruka. This is a massive underground restaurant with seating up to 300 people! There was an ice bar where we enjoyed a welcome drink, but as it was so freezing cold, we went inside pretty quickly to enjoy a delicious dinner. Santa even joined us for a while!
After dinner, we had a presentation about Vrij Uit and explored the small center of Ruka.
Another day in Finnish Lapland
The next morning, we got up early to do a few other accommodation inspections. We went to Hotel Rukahovi and the Ruka Maston Aitio Chalets, both great accommodations offered by Vrij Uit.
After the accommodation inspections, we went to Lisakki Village, where we had a local lunch. At Lisakki Village, they honor the Finnish Traditions in every aspect. You can go here for private parties, activities, meetings, lunches, and dinner.
We had lunch at the Lisakki House, which is the main building and full of Finnish Traditions and history. Up to 54 persons can have lunch or dinner in the main dining area and 20 people upstairs.
A must do on your bucket list | A husky Safari
After lunch we experienced two amazing and unique things in Finnish Lapland; A reindeer and a husky safari. Two things checked off the bucket list √
I absolutely love Husky Dogs, but the Husky dog as a pet and the real Finnish Husky dogs in Lapland, are two completely different animals. Some weren’t very keen on petting and you would be surprised how powerful and strong those dogs are. I mean, they go pretty fast, and that in those extreme temperatures is unbelievable. The husky’s where very excited to go.
With the sun setting in the most amazing colors, the silence, and the beautiful white landscape around, you really are in a Winter Wonderland.
Ho Ho Ho!
After the Husky Safari, we could heat up with a cup of tea, served by a typical Lappi Man in a Lappi Hut.
Then we did a short reindeer safari, which was also really cool. Of course, I had a reindeer really close behind me, which wasn’t so cute as the world famous Rudolph, but this one seemed a bit rushed and wanted us to go out of the way!
My instinct was saying; HO! STOP! HO! But saying Ho Ho Ho to a reindeer, makes the deer even run faster! – We all know Santa Saying Ho Ho Ho – 😉 Well at least I had a close encounter with a reindeer and my colleagues behind me had a good laugh 😉 Not your daily experience I would say.
After our amazing Husky and Reindeer Safari in Finnish Lapland, we went to Hotel Sokos in Kuusamo for our dinner.
At 20.00 we flew back from Kuusamo to Amsterdam with Transavia, which was a fun flight with champagne and chatting around with everyone, as the whole plane was reserved for travel agents, tour operator staff, and press.
What an amazing trip we had to Finnish Lapland, short but definitely worth every single minute. Here is some other information about Finnish Lapland ↓
Finnish Lapland is cold, very very cold
In summer, Finnish Lapland is the total opposite of their winter wonderland scene and temperatures can reach 25 degrees plus, and it stays light till far after midnight, but in winter you might put a big fat minus – in front of that number.
We had temperatures of -28! MINUS 28. Never experienced such cold before, but with 5 layers of clothes ( thermo underwear – shirt and legging – jogging suit and fleece jacket – ski suit and another ski/outdoor suit for extreme cold weather provided by Voigt Travel. Oh and ski boots, gloves ( 2 pairs ) and 2 shawls.
A different winter sports experience in Finnish Lapland
Finnish Lapland is perfect for people who want a totally different winter sports experience.
Although there are ski piste’s in Finnish Lapland, they are not comparable with the once in France, Switzerland or Austria. Especially not for very experienced skiers.
But if you are looking for that unique experience, doing things you can’t do in South European winter sports destinations, then Finnish Lapland is perfect and untouched.
Same with the Apres Ski, it’s not comparable, but there are a few nice (ice ) bars around.
Where to stay in Finnish Lapland
Holiday Club Tropiikki
Is perfect for families with children. There are many facilities for every age. A nice big pool with water slides, a sauna, and spa, tennis, a disco and more.
There is not much going on in the surroundings, but if you are doing the typical Lapland Excursions during the day, and you have all your facilities in your hotel, what else do you need?
This is where we stayed during our work trip to Finnish Lapland. The apartments are luxurious and cozy located in Ruka’s center. The apartments at the back of the building have stunning views.
Chalets Ruka Maton Aitio
Perfect for people who want to experience the remoteness and the silence of Finnish Lapland, but still want to be close to Ruka ( 2km)
The chalets are very cozy, have stunning surroundings and a private sauna.
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