This year me, my wife and two children were lucky enough to spend a few days before Christmas in very snowy Lapland using Santa's Lapland tours. Within the arctic circle, we were a concerned about -20 degree temperatures. As it happens we had a mild -7 to -9 for most of the trip.
Thursday 22nd December
Getting up at 3am for a flight from Manchester Airport is hard enough without two children under 10 to keep awake and happy. Thankfully my kids are resilient and easy going.
My notoriety must be greater than I knew, being allocated seats from 1A up at the front with extra leg room! (Joke). Though when this door is open, you really want to disembark as soon as possible and not be kept waiting!
We were treated with fantastic views over Sweden, Norway and Finland.
After a two and a half hour flight we arrived at Ivalo airport before taking a 20 minute transfer to our hotel Riekonlinna.
After orientation, we headed next door to pick up our snow suits to go over our thermals. Layers are your friend! Not too thick! Sweat = moisture = cold!
Friday 23rd December
This was our main day for activities and spent at husky sled ride, reindeer sleigh ride, skidoo rides, snow hockey, elf igloos, tobogganing, ice fishing and Santa's secret cabin to see the real Santa!
Taking photos was made difficult by the fact that daylight was no more than a twilight between around 10am and 2pm outside of which it was usually dark.
Saturday 24th December
With our flight transfer leaving at 10am, we decided to fit in some very early morning sledging, starting at 7.30am before breakfast. Fortunately the taboggan run was next door to the hotel.
On Christmas Eve the temperatures returned to what is considered normal for the region.. cold!
Upon arrival back at Manchester Airport our worries about border force being on strike were unfounded. With the Navy stepping in to act as Border Force as well as very few flights arriving on Christmas Eve, we flew through border control and baggage reclaim in record time.
Such a magical experience, arriving back just in time for Christmas day!