A Magical Search for Father Christmas
- Duration:4 nights
- Suitable for: Anybody aged 4 years or over (younger children may join the holiday, but may not be able to participate in all the activities). Please see terms for details
- Flights: London Heathrow to Kuusamo (via Helsinki). Regional departures on request. Flight routes are subject to change
- Transfers: return airport transfers
- Accommodation: 4 nights' accommodation in a two bedroom winter cottage (8th December departure) or a two bedroom apartment (15th December departure)
- Meals: 4 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 4 dinners
- The following activities are included: husky safari, meeting the reindeer, snowmobile-pulled sled ride, snow sculpting, feeding the winter animals with the elves, Snow fun with snowshoeing and kick sledging, Angry Birds Activity Park entrance for one day, snowshoe search for Father Christmas, a meeting with Father Christmas (the order of activities is subject to change)
- Cold weather clothing for the duration of your stay
- Fully qualified wilderness guides and instructors (and elves!)
Kuusamo is a firm favourite with families and we think we’ve designed an absolute gem of a holiday here. At Kuusamo, you will find a holiday with real integrity throughout, including the informal and magical Father Christmas experience. This is no mass market experience and you will spend time with Father Christmas at his house, baking, telling stories and being looked after by the wonderful elves.
The area around Kuusamo is known for its natural beauty and is characterised by fells, forests, lakes and rivers, all of which are laden with snow during the winter. The views from the top of the fells stretch across the winter wonderland, as far as the eye can see (in some cases this is into Russia!).
Your base will be an apartment or winter cottage at the delightful Kuusamon Tropiikki Hotel which is very family friendly. It has a superb swimming pool and soft play area which can be enjoyed in between your activities and adventures.
This holiday includes some of the most well-loved activities which have been tailored to suit young children. The unforgettable experiences include a dog sledding trip and a reindeer-pulled sleigh ride, as well as the chance to enjoy magical, traditional meals deep in the wintery wilderness.
This holiday is sure to provide wonderful memories for children and parents alike and we do all we can to make this a magical and genuine experience for all.
Please note: the order of the agenda is subject to change, as larger groups will be split into two. In this situation, the special dinners and activities may be re-ordered for each group, in order to ensure that the experience remains intimate and just as magical.
Image credit: Helen Schoeb (client - Christmas 2016)
Day 1 Flights, Arrivals and Introduction
You will be welcomed at the airport by a driver before being transferred directly to your accommodation in Kuusamo which is only a short drive away.
Upon arrival at your hotel, you will have the chance to settle into your surroundings before enjoying a welcome dinner with the group. This is the perfect chance to get to know the families you will be sharing your upcoming adventures with.
Make sure you get a good night’s sleep because the excitement really begins in the morning.
Please note that the order and start times of the activities and meals are subject to change and the agenda below should be read as a guide only.
Day 2 Husky and Reindeer Safari, Snow Sculptures, Snowmobile-Pulled Sled Ride and Traditional Lappish Dinner
Your holiday gets off to a fabulous start today as you encounter some of Lapland’s most well-known residents - huskies and reindeer.
The huskies will greet you with eager anticipation but they’ll soon calm down once you are sitting comfortably in the sled and they are leading you on this short but memorable husky safari (approximately 5km and takes around 30 minutes). This is a lovely experience for the family and is always one of the highlights of the trip. You will also have plenty of time for cuddles and photographs with the huskies afterwards. Adults will drive the sled, with a chance to swap drivers during the safari.
Next, you will meet the reindeer, the most magical of Christmas creatures and, of course, Father Christmas’s most important animals. Wrapped up warmly under blankets, you will sit in the sleigh and enjoy a wonderful reindeer-pulled sleigh ride. Your ride will be short (approximately 300-400 metres) but you’ll have the chance to go around again if you wish to do so.
Lunch will be enjoyed at a local restaurant and back at the hotel you will have time to relax and take advantage of the pool facilities.
This afternoon, at approximately 4:30 pm, you will be picked up by your guide and taken on a magical journey deep into the wilderness where you will enjoy an evening of fun and games and traditional Lappish food. The journey will take around 45 minutes, driving through snow-laden forests and past beautiful rolling fells while your guide will provide entertainment for the children along the way.
Upon arrival, your guide will take you for a spot of snow sculpting, so that each family can get creative before you head off on a very important mission. The elves need your help in providing the forest animals with some Christmas dinner, so you will travel in a snowmobile-pulled sled into the forest and deliver some seeds and nuts for the local birds and some carrots for the rabbits.
After you’ve enjoyed your time in the forest, you will sit down for a cosy, traditional Lappish meal in a beautiful hidden restaurant. You will then be transferred back to the hotel, arriving at approximately 9:15 pm.
Day 3 Snowshoe Search for Father Christmas and Traditional Lappish Dinner
After breakfast, your guide will take you out for some fun and games in the snow with toboggans, kick sledges and snowshoes.
Your guide will be able to tell if Father Christmas has passed this way recently so you will head off on your snowshoes to see if he’s still around. You will look for signs of him and his campfire but as he will be getting ready to deliver all of his presents, he is unlikely to be spotted today.
Father Christmas will have left some cookies and juice to enjoy around his fire though and he will be sure to have issued an invitation for everyone to meet him tomorrow and have lunch at his secret house. How very exciting!
You will have the afternoon free to relax or maybe enjoy the hotel’s pool or soft play area. Later on this evening, at approximately 6 pm, you will be taken to another wilderness lodge where you will enjoy a fantastic traditional meal in the most magical of settings: a classic winter experience! You will return to the hotel around 9 pm.
Day 4 A Meeting With Father Christmas
Today is the main event and absolute highlight of the trip for both children and adults alike.
An elf will come to the hotel to collect you so you can all go to Father Christmas’s beautiful lakeside house where Mr and Mrs Claus are waiting to welcome you to their home.
There will be fun and games for everybody young and old along with stories by the fire. You’ll then head out onto the slope next to the house and down to the frozen lake. This is the perfect place for a sledging race – watch out for those elves, they are pretty speedy!
Mrs Claus will have made everyone a delicious lunch and Father Christmas will teach everyone his favourite song. You’ll also help Mrs Claus with some baking and you’ll make greetings cards for friends back home which Father Christmas will sign. You will spend a total of around five hours at Father Christmas’s house enjoying this wonderfully genuine and unhurried day, creating memories to treasure for many years.
After such a magical afternoon you will head back to the hotel for dinner. Everyone should sleep very well tonight after so much excitement.
Please note: On our 15th December departure, you will visit Father Christmas for either lunch or dinner, as our groups will be divided between the two times. The activities and inclusions will remain exactly the same, however. Depending on your mealtime with Father Christmas, you will have either lunch or dinner back at the hotel.
Day 5 Departure
Sadly it’s time to say goodbye to Finland today but everyone will be waiting to welcome you again on your next visit to this wonderful place.
Included in price
The Kuusamon Tropiikki Hotel is situated on the outskirts of the town of Kuusamo, ensuring a warming oasis nestled amidst magnificent landscapes in Finnish Lapland. The hotel is an ideal family base with plenty to enjoy both inside and outside the hotel.
- One of the main attractions for families is the wonderful pool area. The pool complex includes a 45-metre water slide, a pool for young children, a waterfall, water jet massage stations, two hot tubs and a resistance current river. There is also a wonderful sauna complex to enjoy
- The hotel is connected to the Angry Birds Activity Park, which is a huge hit with families
- Breakfast is served at the hotel and usually consist of a buffet of international cuisine with some Finnish options for guests to try
- The hotel has three restaurants and so if you want something outside of your inclusive meals you can try Café Piazza, the Mango Restaurant or the Sports Bar which offer a variety of snacks and food
- There is a small shop in the main reception area which sells tea and coffee, as well as other snacks and drinks
(15th December departure only)
The hotel has several modern, small-scale apartment blocks, which are located a short walk away from the main hotel building, amongst the trees (approximately 350-450 metres).
Recently built, each apartment block has a lower and upper floor, with external entrances to each individual apartment. The apartments have two bedrooms: one with a double bed, which can be made into two single beds and one with two single beds. There is also a sofa bed in the sitting room, which can comfortably accommodate two children or one adult.
Each apartment has excellent amenities, including wood-burning stove (with firewood provided), wet room and private sauna (with hair dryer), drying cabinet, washing facilities, a small but well-equipped kitchenette (with kettle), additional toilet and sink, TV and free Wi-Fi.
Meals are served in the main hotel building and linen, towels and end of stay cleaning are included.
Full pool access is provided for guests throughout. Pool towels can be rented poolside for €6 or guests can simply use the towels from their accommodation.
(8th December departure only)
These two bedroom, detached cottages sit just behind the Petäjälammenranta apartments and are located slightly further away from the hotel (another 50-100 metres). The cottages have been recently built and each one contains the same amenities as the apartments, except they have one toilet and sink, instead of two.
As with the apartments, all meals are served in the main hotel building and linen and end of stay cleaning are included.
PLEASE NOTE: images are taken from both the apartments and the cottages and therefore reflect both types of accommodation offered.
Dates & Prices
We include more, no hidden costs
Adult price based on two adults (12+) sharing a 2 bedroom apartment. Child (4-11) price based on sharing with two adults.
Next season’s pre-sale dates and prices
To secure your holiday for next season, you can make a pre-sale booking and fix the price of your trip at the pre-sale price displayed below. Simply by paying an initial deposit of £50pp, you will protect yourself from any package price increases. The departure dates and itineraries remain preliminary and we will contact you when the final dates and itineraries are confirmed, you will then have 14 days to decide if you would like to go ahead. A further deposit payment of £350pp is due by 01 April 2019 or at the time of us confirming the trip details to you, whichever is sooner. If you decide not to travel, we will refund your initial £50pp payment. We reserve the right to charge supplements where there are significant changes to an itinerary or increases in flight costs. Any non-package rates remain subject to change.
Sat 07 Dec 2019
to Wed 11 Dec 2019
|Adult price (per person): £2090.00||Children (4-11 years): £1460.00||Enquire|
Sat 14 Dec 2019
to Wed 18 Dec 2019
|Adult price (per person): £2115.00||Children (4-11 years): £1470.00||Enquire|
|One adult sharing with one or more children (children pay standard rate)||£305|
|One adult sharing with one or more children (children pay standard rate)||£325|
For our full booking terms and conditions please click here
Holiday group size (approximate)
8th December: Minimum 8 people and maximum 25 people (approximately – groups of more than 25 will be split into two to ensure there are no more than 25 people per group)
15th December: Minimum 16 people and maximum 25 people (approximately – groups of more than 25 will be split into two to ensure that there are no more than 25 people per group)
We always try to provide an approximation of the group size you can expect to be with for the duration of each of our holidays. It may be that you are joined by others for parts of your holiday (such as transfers and particular activities) but the above number reflects those you can normally expect to be with from beginning to end. If group size is something which is particularly important to you, please speak to our Travel Experts and they can suggest the best holidays for you.
Tailor-made holiday group sizes will vary for all activities as will the group size for any additional activities you book.
Minimum numbers required for a holiday to operate
Some of our holidays require a minimum number of participants to operate (as listed in the ‘Group Size’ section). If your holiday departure has not yet reached the minimum number, you will be told at the time of booking. In the unlikely event that your chosen date is not guaranteed by nine weeks before your scheduled departure date, we will contact you to discuss the available options as per our booking conditions.
The order of activities is always subject to change and you will be provided with your final itinerary upon arrival at your destination.
Please note that some of our holidays may incur a single supplement. Please speak to one of our Travel Experts who will provide you with a quotation.
Medical history and advice
We want our holidays to be accessible as they can be and will do our best to accommodate any special requests and requirements where possible. We have a wide range of holidays and destinations and so our travel experts will help find the best holiday for you.
In order to give us the best possible chance to do this we ask that if you or any member of your party has any medical condition or disability which may affect your holiday or has any special requirements, that you tell us at the time of enquiry or booking. You must also promptly advise us if any medical condition or disability which may affect your holiday develops after your booking has been confirmed. You may need to provide a doctor’s note and proof of insurance in some cases as the health and safety of our clients is absolutely paramount.
In providing this information you are allowing us to work with our expert local partners to ensure that your whole party can enjoy the holiday. By letting us know in advance we can discreetly work with you to adapt any part of the holiday which may potentially be challenging. Being able to prepare for this in advance makes an incredible difference to what we can offer and minimises any impact on your party and the rest of the group.
Unfortunately, if you choose not to share this information with us in advance then it may limit some or all of the itinerary you have booked, and we cannot be held accountable for any additional costs or missed activities resulting from this.
Insurance is not included in your holiday, but it is a pre-requisite to travelling with us. You will need to ensure that you have cover for all the activities that you will be participating in during your holiday.
It is extremely important that you take out a suitable travel insurance policy at the time of booking. Plans do sometimes change, and you will need this policy should you need to cancel your holiday.
If you are struggling to find a suitable policy then details of our preferred provider, who will cover you for all the activities we offer, can be found on our website by clicking here. Please note that this policy is available to EU residents under the age of 75 only.
If you have a reduced level of mobility, then please contact our travel experts to discuss the suitability of this holiday in relation to your requirements.
Experience and fitness
Most of the activities we offer have been designed for beginners who have no prior experience and are of all age ranges and fitness levels. Our guides provide expert advice, tuition and instructions prior to any activity going ahead. Activities are designed to be enjoyed and not endured, but some, do require a more basic level of fitness than others. If you have any questions, then please contact one of our Travel Experts who can provide first-hand advice.
The only holidays which are not as suitable for complete beginners are the multi-night safaris which involve several days in wilderness cabins travelling by either snowmobile or husky safari. Again, this all depends on the individual taking part, but some prior experience and understanding of these types of activities can be very helpful and a greater level of fitness is recommended.
Guides & Safety
When partaking in any activity, it is imperative that everyone in your group listens very closely to the instructions provided by the guide and that they are abided by at all times. Our guides are experts in their field and no one knows the environment better than these highly knowledgeable and experienced providers.
Prior to starting any activity, please make it clear to your guide if there is any element of the safety briefing you are unsure of or would like to clarify before you set off.
Our guides will always take local conditions into account when considering whether an activity can go ahead. This is, in part, why your itinerary is subject to change at short notice. This rarely happens, however, if it does, we will always endeavour to reschedule the activity for later in your holiday. If this is not possible then the cost of the activity will be refunded to you when you return home.
Our guides' word on activities is always final and your safety is their principal concern at all times; please respect their decisions. By following their instructions, your safety and enjoyment during each activity will be greatly enhanced.
NB: In order to participate in our holidays, all guests must be able to understand instructions given in English. These instructions may be delivered verbally or in writing and will include vital safety information and ongoing instruction during activities.
Minimum and Maximum Age
The minimum age for this holiday can be found in the ‘Key Facts’ section of the holiday overview.
Younger family members may be able to participate but may not be able to take part in all activities. Please contact one of our Travel Experts if you have any questions.
Booking activities locally and equipment hire
Additional activities can be booked locally in almost all our destinations. However, as per our booking conditions, we cannot be held responsible for any injury or loss incurred through participation in activities which are booked at your destination outside of our holiday itinerary (see our ‘Terms and Conditions’ for further details).
When arranging any such activity please always ensure that safety is your primary concern.
In some of our destinations, you can borrow or hire equipment for use in your free time. You do so entirely at your own risk. You must ensure that you are properly prepared, have the necessary equipment and knowledge (maps, etc) and ensure that where applicable, you follow marked routes. We recommend discussing your plans with the local teams who will be able to advise on the most suitable options for you.
Always let the reception/guide know where you are planning to go and take a torch and mobile phone (with the hotel/guide’s phone number stored). It is also a good idea to leave your contact number and the time you expect to return to the hotel should the hotel need to contact you.
If your trip includes car hire the named driver must have a credit card registered in their name which they can present when they collect their car along with their driving licence, as a deposit will be held on the credit card. Please see your trip dossier for full details.
Travel Safety and Foreign Office Advice
Our clients’ safety is at the centre of everything we do, and our operations team continually assesses and monitors the destinations we feature. We carry out thorough risk assessments and work closely with all of our suppliers to continually follow best practice. For up to date travel advice the UK government offers its Travel Aware website as well as the advice detailed below.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office Advice
We receive all updates from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) with regards to travel advice and we always ensure that we follow this advice in our operations. The FCO issues travel advisories for countries based on a very wide range of factors. They may provide notification about things as simple as a football match and crowds, or they may go so far as to advise against all travel to a region. We ask all our clients to refer to the relevant Travel Advice by Country for the destinations they are visiting in order to make an informed decision on the safety of the destination based on the details provided. It also provides vital information regarding entry requirements, embassy information, local laws and customs as well as specific safety and health. Guests should take responsibility for keeping themselves up to date with this advice. Please also ensure that, if you are transiting through another country, you have read the advice and meet the entry requirements for that destination too.
The FCO travel advice is applicable to British Passport Holders. Most governments will issue their own travel advice for a region and, if you are not a UK resident then you can find some helpful links below:
Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/ New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade http://www.safetravel.govt.nz/ Canadian Consular Affairs Bureau http://voyage.gc.ca/ The U.S. Bureau of Consular Affairs http://travel.state.gov/content/travel/english.html
If the FCO deems that there is an unacceptable level of risk for UK citizens then, together with the government, they may issue an advisory against all travel to a region or country. If such an advisory is published, then we will act accordingly, and this may require the cancellation, curtailment or amendment of a holiday itinerary. These decisions are made on the basis of ensuring our clients’ safety and will affect all clients on the holiday, regardless of their nationality.
If one of our local experts suggests an amendment due to a situation which develops locally then we may also take the decision to amend an itinerary appropriately.
If we have to cancel your holiday prior to departure you will be offered the option of an alternative trip (where any price difference will either be refunded to or covered by you) or a full refund of the monies paid.
If we have to curtail a holiday, then you will be refunded for any costs for the elements we have been unable to deliver, where we have been able to secure a refund from our suppliers. If we must reroute a holiday, then any basis for refund is determined on a case by case basis and dependent on whether the central holiday experience was provided or not.
Flight schedule changes and connecting transportation
On your documentation, we will confirm your flight schedule. Sometimes the flight number, routing and timings might change prior to your departure. If the change is classed as a significant change then we will contact you to discuss this. Please see our booking conditions for details.
Flight schedule changes can impact on your pre and post-holiday travel arrangements if these have been booked separately to your holiday. We strongly recommend that you do not book transport (such as trains or transfers), car parking or non-connecting flights to the departure point for your holiday until you have received your final confirmed travel times when your final travel documents are issued. We are not responsible for the effect of any schedule change on your pre or post travel arrangements. We strongly recommend that you do not purchase non-flexible or non-refundable tickets to avoid cancellation and penalty charges.
Booking your own flights - cancellation disclaimer
If you have chosen to book your own flights, then you will need to wait until we confirm to you that the holiday departure has met the minimum numbers required to run (if applicable to your chosen holiday). Once the holiday is guaranteed to run, you will be informed and you can then make your arrangements.
If transfers are included in your holiday, please ensure that any potential flights will be met by our standard transfers (speak to one of our Travel Experts for advice) otherwise private transfer supplements may be applicable. Once your flights are booked, please send us a copy of your detailed flight itinerary.
Please be aware that most tickets are non-refundable in the case of cancellation. For this reason, we strongly advise you check the rules of the ticket and check the limitations of your cancellation insurance before booking. We cannot be held liable, in the unlikely eventuality that we should be forced to cancel or amend your trip, for losses incurred relating to any flight booking you have made.
Children and snowmobiles
For safety reasons, children under the age of 16 will typically travel in a sledge pulled behind the guides’ snowmobile on any snowmobile tours. From approximately 15 years onwards, children may be allowed to ride pillion on the back of a parent’s snowmobile. The guide will make a decision on the day as to where each individual child shall travel, and this may depend on the child’s height and the guide’s confidence in their ability to travel safely as a pillion for the duration of any safari. The guide’s decisions are final.
The driver of a snowmobile must be 18 years or over and have a valid driving licence. If an adult is unable to share a snowmobile with either a child or another adult in their party, they will be required to pay a single snowmobile supplement as all prices are based on two people sharing.
A really good balance of exciting activities 15 December 2018 by The Shanks Family
Day 1 was the best day, a really good balance of exciting activities and a nice surprise to do sledding at the reindeer farm. Santa was obviously a highlight for the kids and it was nice that this was not rushed.
The time with Santa was really good 15 December 2018 by The Anderson Family
Well Organized Holiday, loved the fact we were a small group, lovely families in our group. The time with Santa was really good, unhurried and special.
We enjoyed the entire holiday 15 December 2018 by The Plowman Family
The accommodation was modern, warm, comfortable and we had a super view over the frozen lake. We were very impressed that everywhere we went, the people providing food knew about a special dietary requirement for one of our party. The visit to see Santa Claus was brilliant, we spent several hours with him and the children enjoyed their baking with Mrs Claus. We were made so welcome wherever we went, the holiday lived up to all our expectations and we have no hesitation in recommending it.
In all there wasnt anything we didn't enjoy thoroughly. 15 December 2018 by The Abel Family
My wife and I enjoyed the husky ride the most. Our daughter loved the Angry Birds activity Centre and pool. In all, there wasn't anything we didn't enjoy thoroughly.
The Beer Family's Magical Search for Farther Christmas 08 December 2018
We would definitely book with you again 02 December 2017 by The McAteer Family
The whole holiday was fantastic and we would definitely book with you again. The huskies were great (particularly for the adults!). The visit to Santa was great and the food was amazing.
A real once in a lifetime experience 19 December 2016 by The Schoeb Family
The children absolutely loved it! Seeing the reindeer, sledging and building snowmen were all brilliant. The husky trip was amazing but the main highlight was definitely the day with Father Christmas. It was so special to spend so much time there, listening to his stories, baking, making cards and having lunch together. It was a real once in a lifetime experience that will be remembered forever. Our children were 5 and 7 years old which we felt were the perfect ages. They were young enough to appreciate the magic of Christmas and old enough to thoroughly enjoy all the activities. The villa accommodation was great and the swimming pool and Angry Birds Activity Park at the hotel were a bonus.
All Activities were enjoyable! 23 December 2015 by Lasanthi Gunaratne
This was a magical trip for us. It was our first holiday package (We travel independently) and the company was excellent from pre departure admin to the holiday itself. Every individual's needs were catered to, specially the dietary requirements! It was unbelievable the extent you guys have gone into in this magical holiday package. Our kids enjoyed very much and so did we! Also we got to know a lot of snow how and about Finland too! Thank you for the wonderful time!
Everything was enjoyable - it was magical. 19 December 2015 by Christopher Warman
Visting Santa's cottage was the stand out activity for so many reasons but I also enjoyed the Husky pull. Whilst we were there we also went on a Ski-doo trip which was great fun. Everything was enjoyable - it was magical. The order of the activities, the free time that was available, the courtesy of the guides, the beauty of the location and the time spent in the company of Santa made this a truly once in a lifetime experience that anyone with children between 3 - 10 would thoroughly enjoy.
The time with Santa was exceptional... 19 December 2015 by Graham Harris
I am a fuss pot so it would be difficult to please me with food. The Gluten free options were very good wherever we were so 100% for that. Enjoyed all the activities - the fact that we were a small group so all able to join in together and not spend half the time queuing was brilliant. The attention to detail, Santa's tracks on the lake where we went on snowshoes to find their presents. The time with Santa was exceptional the children loved every minute and the whole experience was believable.
Superb from start to finish. 19 December 2015 by Lisa Walker
Wow! This holiday exceeded my expectations in every way. Superb from start to finish. I could not fault a thing. It is hard to choose (favourite activity), as they were all great. However, the visit to Father Christmas has to be the best bit. I could not fault this trip.
Perfect trip in every way 18 December 2015 by Angela Zilioli
We cannot fault this trip, from start to finish everything was perfect. The staff here on booking and everyone in Finland were lovely and friendly and all did their best to make it a perfect trip. All the activities were well planned with children in mind, and the highlight of the trip, meeting Santa, was fantastic. It felt really personal and Santa spent time with each individual child. We can’t recommend this trip enough.
What an amazing trip, from start to end. 15 December 2015 by Mary Bliss
What an amazing trip, from start to end. The people, the scenery, the food.......Thank you so much Activities Abroad for making my husband's surprise 50th absolutely perfect, from a Christmas tree in our villa to Santa singing Happy Birthday, a magical break for everyone from 5 to 50! Breathtaking :-)
A well-oiled set up! 03 August 2015 by Ruth Deans
We enjoyed a thoroughly well organised and well run holiday. Absolutely everything was carefully considered and carefully thought through, it was obvious this was a well-oiled set up! The week ran like clockwork - there was no hanging around and we had fast-track access through the queues at Saklikent. All equipment was in good condition and there was just the right balance of organisation and free time. We are a family of disparate sporting abilities - ranging from highly proficient to novice. We booked activities to suit our individual preferences and managed to achieve the perfect balance for all of us. Harry and Hughie particularly enjoyed the biking, Alice loved the Lazy Boat Day and I was just happy that everyone was happy. Well done and thanks to everyone who had a hand in organising our holiday. We were lucky that the group we travelled with all had older teenage children - which gelled the teens and suited the parents.
It really was a first class holiday 06 January 2015 by Paul Plowman
It really was a first class holiday that the whole family enjoyed from the youngest to the oldest. We found the Finns delightful people who couldn’t do enough for us and were constantly aware of any potential limitations to our comfort throughout. The activities were well judged for small children, they stayed warm at -25C and they were monitored throughout by the activity guides as well as ourselves. There was always somewhere warm to go and something warm to eat and drink and we were frequently asked if we were warm enough on outdoor activities. We felt the lengths of these activities were judged just right. The coach drivers who transferred us about were excellent as were their spotless coaches. The hotel was excellent. The food provided was varied and highest quality and the service was very good in the restaurant. We stayed in cabins, which were 10-15 minute walk away from the hotel. They were excellently equipped, warm, and comfortable for our three families. It was a really good choice. Each was incredibly modern, clean and had wireless internet. We loved all the snow activities but the real highlight for us all was the half day with Father Christmas! We spent nearly an hour on the toboggan slopes at his house, which was in the most perfect setting overlooking a frozen lake and forests in the distance. We met Santa in his house mid-morning and the children were mesmerised as he put them at their ease, and explained his history and his work. There were lots of photo opportunities for each child and groups of children with him and Mrs Claus, and their patience was endless. They then rolled out gingerbread and shaped Christmas buns with help from Santa and Mrs Claus and their biscuits and cakes were cooked in a huge bread oven in the corner of the room, and they were able to take them home. There was card making and Santa wrote individual messages that the children wanted included. This was then followed by a wonderful buffet lunch all artistically made by Santa’s family from local produce. We chose this holiday mainly for this extensive Santa experience and it was just perfect. We thought the holiday was really well done. The afternoons were free to undertake other activities (free entry to the hotel pool and the Angry Birds play area) that went down well with the children, and we oldies could relax. We thought that this holiday would be a special Santa experience for our three families and it was absolutely brilliant. Thank you very much and thank you to your team who provided all the information and made the arrangements beforehand.
The holiday was totally perfect in every way 05 January 2015 by Gavin Downie
The holiday was totally perfect in every way. Thank you.
All the activities were amazing 02 January 2015 by Julie Fishleigh
All the activities were amazing, Father Christmas, tobogganing, evening safari, snow sculpting and of course the reindeer and huskies. We all enjoyed everything so much. Tanya and Jordan were fantastic and it was clear it mattered to them a great deal that we were enjoying ourselves and put so much effort into each day. Father Christmas was amazing, so giving of his time to talk and take photos. What a fabulous house and setting and a great meal there too. Nothing could be described as least enjoyable because it was all fantastic. Keeping the group to a reasonable size is a really good thought as we all got to know each other and everyone was so nice and we all got on so well and helped each other. The children made friends and even swapped emails to contact each other. In a bigger group that wouldn’t happen. Thank you everyone at Activities Abroad for a truly memorable holiday organised so well.
I couldn't recommend this trip enough 01 January 2014 by Rebecca Richards
After researching a few trips to Lapland and reading the reviews I decided to go with Activities Abroad because they had such positive feedback. I travelled as a single parent with my 7 year old daughter.This trip was billed as relaxed, unhurried and very traditional but I was worried that it might not be magical. My daughter is at the age where if meeting Santa was not handled carefully could ruin many Christmases to come. I needn't have worried. The whole experience was put together beautifully, building up to the crescendo of spending the day with the man himself. Santa was very generous with his time given we met him on 22nd December. He assured us his elves were getting everything ready for the big day! He spent the entire time with us, chatting to the children, telling them stories and giving out facts of just how he manages to deliver presents to children around the world.Kids and adults alike thoroughly enjoyed the many snow related activities we could try, my personal favourite was the husky ride. This was an exhilarating trip through the spectacular Finnish scenery with a team of Huskies pulling you along. I even had the opportunity to drive the team myself, something I never imagined I would ever do!The group was made up of just four families including our own so we had chance to share our experience with just a few others. Never did we feel rushed and the schedule of morning activities followed by free time in the afternoon was the perfect balance. We used the pool three days in a row (the kids loved the slide!) and the new Angry Birds facility was enormous although a bit pricey to use. A spot of bowling on the last night finished the trip off beautifully. There were opportunities to try additional snow related activities in the afternoons at additional cost but the kids - who had all made friends with each other - just wanted to go in the pool.The elves, who were particularly playful, started a fun snow ball fight on the first day (and) were excellent. Santa has so many of them, there were rarely any with us two days in a row. Tanya elf was particularly helpful and engaged with the children well with stories of the work she does for Santa.The other guides were also brilliant with explaining the activities and being helpful - always happy to take photos or push the kids on the kick sledges - a real help to me being on my own.All in all, I couldn't recommend this trip enough and whilst I wouldn’t do the Santa trip again - it is meant to be a once in a lifetime experience after all - I would certainly consider going back to Activities Abroad for future trips. Thank-you you made it a very special experience for me and my little girl.
It succeeded in converting a beach loving family to a winter activities family 07 January 2013 by Emma Kern
Wow what a trip; this really was a trip of a lifetime. The whole trip was amazing. The organisation was slick from start to finish. Never did we have to wait for a coach to collect us or a guide to meet us, they were always there on time with a nothing is too much trouble attitude. The guide Risko was brilliant and always made sure that we were happy by going over and above on every activity. The facilities for the children was superb, our youngest was only 4 years old yet every activity was suitable for him.The group we shared the trip with consisted of 23 people (and) was the perfect number. (We) still cannot believe that we never came across another group while we were there, which made the trip feel even more exclusive.This was the trip where dreams came true and it succeeded in converting a beach loving family to a winter activities family.A magical way to meet Father Christmas with memories children will treasure forever. Worth every penny.
It (was) just a magical experience that we will never forget 07 January 2013 by Emma Bradshaw
We had a wonderful holiday in Kuusamo and it met up to all our expections. As you said small exclusive group, which is what we got, and non commercial. It was very well organised and well planned. Tanya Elf and Hristo were fantastic with adults and children. It (was) just a magical experience that we will never forget. Thank you
Spending so much quality time with Santa in a small group was excellent 21 December 2012 by Philip Wood
Visiting Santa (and) spending so much quality time with Santa in a small group was excellent.
Nothing felt rushed or commercial 10 February 2012 by Caroline Baker
Wow. What a brilliant trip. We were initially apprehensive about going on one of these ‘Lapland’ experiences, as a quick search on the internet had rather mixed reviews about the potential experience (notably from other companies!). We didn't want anything tacky, commercial or rushed. We stumbled on the Activities Abroad website and the fact that the holiday only involved small groups, and Kuusamo seemed a smaller and quieter place then some of the other places, made us feel more comfortable. We phoned the helpline to ask a few questions, and were impressed that the phone was answered immediately. The gentleman on the helpline had obviously been on the trip before, and answered all our questions with confidence and ease.The booking process was straightforward and a small problem with uploading some details via the website was quickly resolved. Timings of the flights were just ideal for travelling with young children. Not overtly impressed with the choice of lunch on the flight. A sandwich or nothing! Can't blame the company for this, as flight with Finnair and think they seem to be the only airline that flies to Kuusamo.We were met at the airport by our guide and then met our elf on the way out of the airport. This fascinated the kids on the trip. I won't spoil all the fun by saying too much, but each day was well thought out to keep the children entertained and surprised. Guides were fantastic and engaging. Snow outfit/boots were great for keeping warm, and I wish we had brought some back with us to the UK! Nothing felt rushed or commercial.Hotel accommodation was clean and comfortable. Swimming pool (was) a good bonus to keep children entertained in the evening, as well as the playroom, bar games, ten-pin bowling, and of course the snow! Only slight issue at the hotel was that it wasn't obvious that there was a specific menu at dinner we could choose from if you didn't fancy the buffet. A quick chat at reception resolved the confusion.Meeting Joulupukki (Father Christmas) on the penultimate day was really a fantastic experience. We had a whole day of fun and games, with an amazing slope to go sledging down. Best Xmas Turkey I have ever eaten!I would have no hesitation in recommending this trip and this travel company to others (we already have!)
It was especially fantastic to spend so long at Santa's house 01 January 2012 by Gillian Allan
Our family (2 adults plus 5 year old twins) went to Kuusamo between 18th and 22nd Dec 2011. We were all extremely excited to be going to Lapland to see Santa and the trip didn't let us down at all. From the moment we arrived to the minute we left, we were looked after fantastically well by brilliant guides (and elves). With (a) special mention to Hristo and Tanya the elf, both of whom had loads of stories to share with both adults and kids alike and boundless energy and enthusiasm. All the equipment was great and we were all nice and warm and dry for the whole time (if anyone had any problems with the sizes during the trip they could easily exchange them without any fuss). All the excursions were brilliant and have given us so many memories. It was especially fantastic to spend so long at Santa's house (~5 hours) in a small group doing various different things, this made it even more magical for the kids and it didn't feel at all commercial or pressured or rushed. We thought that the length of the trip was perfect as well, so we had activities everyday but enough time to just relax so it wasn't too tiring for youngsters. We had a brilliant time and would thoroughly recommend this trip to anyone and will likely be looking to book other trips with Activities Abroad in the future since this one was so good.
Fantastic holiday, cant wait to go again 28 February 2011 by Mick Hughes
We found it a very personalised experience. The lady, who met us at the airport, took the time to learn our children’s names. There was only one other family with us, which meant we had a nice small and friendly group, and all the guides took the time to learn and remember our first names. Small things, but it means a lot. Especially, as we are so used to going on package holidays and being treated as a piece of meat! Fantastic holiday, can't wait to go again. Many thanks.
The best holiday we have ever had 28 December 2009 by Hilary Anderson
Overall Holiday Rating: Excellent. I could go on and on and on......in a good way!.....but won't.....and will simply say that it was the best holiday we have ever had.It was a superb holiday, very special, I would recommend Activities Abroad to anyone that would listen to me. The package and quality of holiday that you had put together was completely brilliant. Everything worked, the equipment and clothing provided was of fantastic quality, and the hotel was perfect.
It was a most memorable experience 28 December 2009 by David Pieterse
Overall Holiday Rating: Excellent.Least enjoyable activity? Nothing - everything was most enjoyable.Is there anything you believe we could do to improve this holiday? No - it met all expectations. It was a most memorable experience and I have already recommended it to colleagues and friends.
What a fantastic holiday 21 December 2009 by Paul Basford
Overall Holiday Rating: Excellent.Comments: What a fantastic holiday, didn't expect it to be that good.Least enjoyable activity? Leaving!!