9 December: Depart Malta
Meet at Malta International Airport to board our flight to Helsinki with a transit at Munich airport. According the the current flight schedule we will transit in Munich for 4.5hrs, arriving in Helsinki at 23.10hrs. Upon arrival we will check-in our hotel, and then settle in our rooms for a good rest.
10 December: Helsinki (B = Breakfast , D = Dinner)
Today we will explore Helsinki, the capital of Finland, on a guided walking tour. As the snow falls, the town is replaced with something completely magical. The first substantial snow usually arrives in time for Christmas in the Finnish capital, draping the city in white and creating an appropriately festive ambience. The aroma of mulled wine, or glögi*, and shop window decorations warm the soul during the Christmas period. And what makes Helsinki even more unique is that the city changes into one big ice rink. You can just skate in the middle of the city along the streets and between buildings. Walking on the frozen Baltic Sea is another experience to remember. Just pack a thermos full of hot chocolate to make it perfect.
*Glögi is a traditional Christmas drink, made from spiced wine with a sprinkling of almonds and raisins and, whenever possible, a dash of vodka.
Following our walking tour around this magical city, we will allow some free time before we meet for early dinner. After dinner, we will head to the train station to start our Lappish adventure.
And to start with, we will board on overnight train. The train is equipped with cabins and each cabin consists of a bunk bed that fits 2 people. Public restrooms are founf in every wagoon. We will organise ourselves in cabins and start our journey to Rovaniemi, the capital of Lapland. On our way to Lapland we can enjoy the scenery, rest or sip in a hot drink from the restaurant cart. We are expected to arrive in the morning as the journey takes around 12 hours.
11 December: Santa Village, Traditional Sauna Experience (B)
Rovaniemi, the capital of Finnish Lapland, is a town right at the Arctic Circle and where Santa Claus lives. Upon arrival we will get off the train and go for breakfast together. After breakfast, we will cross the Arctic Circle to visit Santa Claus and his little helpers at their village; the elves and reindeers. It is also possible to meet Santa Claus and take pictures with him. Here, you can find Santa’s post office and send your greetings to your friends with a special stamp. This place is full of magic and the Christmas spirit.
Later in the afternoon we will depart to our resort where we will be spending the next 4 adventurous days. To make the experience even more authentic we will be staying in traditional log cabins fully equipped with a kitchen, bathroom, and a fireplace. We will sleep in cottages that take 4 people. Each cottage also consists of 2 private twin rooms with bunkbeds. On most evenings we will relax and unwind by the fireplace sharing memories in wonderful company. Transfer is expected to take around 3 hours.
Then it is time for a traditional sauna experience – a must do activity when visiting Finland!
Throw water on hot stones and enjoy the spreading heat just in the middle of the snowy fields. Jump into the icy water, roll into the snow, make snow angels and experience the authentic Finnish ice bath. Wash yourself by soft river water the traditional way and enjoy the wooden sauna. The sauna is heated by burning natural wood which gives a special aroma to the sauna. The Finnish sauna is by far the most popular sauna globally.
12 December: Arctic Survival Day
At 9 o’clock we will depart for our Arctic Survival Day!
Today you will learn about the basic skills of surviving in the Arctic: making a fire without matches, building a cover overnight, catching fish through the ice hole… These are the skills that are needed here above the Arctic Circle! Will you survive and who will be the next Bear Grylls?
After a morning of survival, we will head back to our resort. We will allow some free time to explore the village. You can opt for a traditional Lappish lunch, do some Christmas shopping, explore the village on foot, or enjoy sipping a traditional drink as you take in the beautiful scenery around.
Next is our Snowmobile Safari
Snowmobiles are a convenient means of transport beyond the Arctic Circle. Locals use them anywhere from going to a grocery store, to paying a visit to a friend who lives behind the hill. This afternoon we will go on a snowmobile safari (a driver’s license is required). Each snowmobile is shared between 2 persons, so both can drive for about 45 minutes each. The route takes you to hidden places out in the wilderness, surrounded by beautiful landscapes. Following this, we will head back to our cottages for a nice warm shower. Today is a great opportunity to set up the fireplace and enjoy a cosy dinner.
Or else, if you feel like some more adventure, you can dare to try one of the oldest ways to travel in Lapland! Our guides will show you the Cross-Country skiing technique so you will be ready to try the 4km track on your own. This optional activity is suitable for beginners.
13 December: Lappish Adventure
Get ready for another very exciting day! Today we will go on a reindeer safari, snowshoe in the wilderness, and finish off with Aurora Hunting!
We will start our day by visiting a small family-owned Reindeer Farm. We will greet, meet and feed the reindeers and we will also meet the real Saami people. We will have a short reindeer sled ride. A visit to the farm will be not only entertaining but also educative because it’s a great way to get acquainted with the life of Finnish people.
Next is our Snowshoe Adventure
Snowshoeing is one of our most enjoyable activities as this will give us the opportunity to enjoy what the National Park has to offer. It’s a great chance to challenge yourself in the picturesque Lappish scenery. It is also possible to see the Northern Lights or even spot wild animals. Remember to bring a cheerful attitude and clothing that is suitable for having fun in deep snow. Following this we will head back to our village to get ready for this evening.
And if the weather permits, we will then go searching for the Northern Lights. The Aurora borealis, is an amazing show put on by mother nature and only visible to 2% of the world’s population. During our tour, our guides will truly be hunting for the best spots to enjoy and photograph this unique light show. Chances get better when we drive away from artificial lights, so cross your fingers and let’s hope that Sky TV is showing us the Prime Time program when we hit the scenes. (NB We have kept this activity as optional as booking it or not depends on the weather conditions on that particular night.)
14 December: Of sleighs and huskies (D)
This morning we will check out. However, our adventure is not over yet! Have you ever dreamed of going on a husky ride? As this is what you will be doing today!
Huskies are cheerful and strong dogs who really love to pull the sled! After a brief instruction lesson, the huskies will take you for a tour through the snowy landscapes. These leds are shared with 2-4 people, and the distance is approximately 5km.
As we leave Finnish Lapland, we will head back to Rovaniemi for an early dinner before we take the night train back to Helsinki.
15 December: Helsinki (B)
We are expected to arrive in Helsinki in the morning. On our arrival, we will head to the hotel for breakfast. The rest of the day is free for you to enjoy some final shopping, or to continue to explore the city. Check-i is in the afternoon.
16 December: Back home (Packed Breakfast)
An early wake up call awaits as our flight back home is expected to depart at 07.20am. Packed breakfast will be prepared for all.
We ultimately hope to Experience all of this with you!!