This year, looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city and office life, our male part of the office decided to make their childhood dreams come true and visit Santa. We all know where Santa lives, but to get there and organize an unforgettable trip, we needed 4 things – maps, a compass, vodka, and a person who manages it all. And if it was not difficult to get the first 3 things, then Pavel was chosen as a guide, because he is originally from Estonia and the closest person to the Scandinavian spirit. Pavel, having an accounting education and an analytical mindset, was able to accurately calculate the number of provisions needed, booked plane tickets, and this is what came of it:

Friday morning we landed at the official airport of Santa Claus – Rovaniemi – the capital of Lapland and an urban city surrounded by arctic nature, where Lappish culture and a wide range of activities meet.  Many of us have landed on autopilot for the first time, and many of us are still thinking why don’t planes skid or spin out when they brake on a snowy runway? But in a few minutes later we were greeted by a beautiful winter landscape and frosty air. Here are some photos to express our first feelings:

Our first point of the visit was the village of Santa and, of course, Grandpa Santa Claus personally
Santa Claus Village is Lapland’s best-known attraction and a resort in its own right. It is home to approximately 50 draws in the form of activity companies, shops, restaurants and cafés. Husky and reindeer rides, snowmobile tours, design items and souvenirs, ice and snow constructions, an igloo hotel and holiday village accommodation can be found there.

Along the way to Santa Claus, we crossed the Arctic Circle (it runs through the village). The Arctic Circle is a circle of latitude that runs 66°33′45.9″ north of the Equator. It marks the southernmost latitude where the sun can stay continuously below or above the horizon for 24 hours – these phenomena are known as the Midnight Sun in the summer and the Polar Night (“Kaamos”) in the winter. That day we also spent time visiting souvenir shops and Santa Claus Main Post Office, sending letters to our families and friends. Evening time we all met near the fire pit, cooking the best-grilled meat, well known as “Shashlik”.

The next day started with a snowmobile adventure exploring the wilderness on a snowmobile tour we experienced the thrill of speeding through the snowy terrains. Lapland’s vast snowy landscape is perfect for snowmobiling, with over 3000km of snowmobile trails, there is no shortage of places to explore. After reducing the level of adrenaline, we tried our luck at ice fishing – hoping to catch Arctic fish such as grayling or trout. But only one of us was able to catch a huge 3kg salmon (before we woke him up)😊. We only realized that a “Harmony Day” and winter ice fishing perfectly fit together.

One of the most spectacular shows was gifted to us by the nature during returning back to our Chalet – the Northern Lights. Lapland is one of the best places in the world to witness the spectacular natural light show known as the Northern Lights. The best time to see them is between September and April. The experience of seeing the Northern Lights dance across the sky is truly unforgettable. 

Sunday morning we explored Finland’s landscape and wild terrain discovering Korouoma Canyon Natural Park, frozen waterfalls and wildlife. The frozen waterfalls of Korouma are an amazing natural wonder located in Korouoma Canyon. The canyon is approximately 30 kilometers long, and its walls reach up to 130 meters in height, creating a stunning backdrop for the frozen waterfalls.

Later, we immersed ourselves in the unforgettable outdoor experience – Snowy Husky Safari. It is an exciting and adventurous way to explore the winter landscapes of Lapland and involves riding on a sled pulled by a team of enthusiastic and well-trained huskies. Huskies are natural-born sled dogs and thrive in cold, snowy conditions. They are incredibly strong and agile, able to navigate through deep snow and difficult terrain with ease. You can feel the power of the huskies as they pull you through the snow-covered forests and across frozen lakes.

The real test for the “iron man” title was Ice Lake Swimming – an exhilarating winter activity requiring a dip in a frozen lake. Cold water and icy conditions have many health benefits, such as boosting the immune system, increasing blood circulation, and improving mental clarity. It also was a great way to challenge and test our limits and remained one of the unique and memorable ways to experience the beauty and power of nature in the wintertime. Undoubtedly, it left us feeling invigorated, refreshed, and proud of our accomplishments.

Also, there was a lot of laughter, friendly company, gatherings near an open fire, hot salmon soup, grilled sausages, a warm Finnish sauna and a lot of pride in our achievements.

Long story short, Lapland is a winter wonderland, a destination that offers a wide variety of adventures and experiences for everyone…
Lapland is breathtaking scenery…
Lapland is a destination to realize your child’s wishes and desires…