Christmas Wonderland in Finnish Lapland
- Duration:4 nights
- Suitable for: Anybody aged 5 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
- Duration: 4 nights
- Flights: return flights from London to Kittilä (via Helsinki). Flight routes are subject to change. Regional and non-UK departures available on request
- Transfers: return airport transfers
- Accommodation: 4 nights' hotel accommodation
- Meals: full board
- Activities: a private meeting with Father Christmas, cookie baking and Elf Kota, reindeer safari and lunch in the ice restaurant*, 6km husky safari, 20km snowmobile safari, snow fun activities. The order of activities is subject to change
- Cold weather clothing for the duration of your stay
- Fully qualified wilderness guides and instructors for any activities
- Services of our local representative
Surrounded by deep, soft, powdery snow, in the heart of Finnish Lapland, Harriniva lives up to every idyllic image you have seen of a winter wonderland. During this festive family short break, you will have the magical opportunity of a private meeting with the man in red, after searching for his log cabin hidden in the wilderness and chatting to some of his trusty elves.
Though the untouched snow looks too good to disturb, with all the Arctic experiences on offer you’ll certainly want to make tracks straight away. From cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, tobogganing and snowmobiling, the whole family can enjoy making the most of this winter wonderland.
You’ll also encounter two of the Arctic’s most-loved animals. During a visit to the on-site dog sled centre, you will experience a safari through the wilds and even get to cuddle some of the puppies. There’s also the nearby reindeer farm, where you can try your hand at lassoing before a peaceful sleigh ride through the frozen forest.
Harriniva’s family-friendly hotel along with their activity specialists makes for a perfect base for any winter holiday but by travelling over the festive period, you’re in for a Christmas the whole family will cherish for years to come.
Credit: Antti Pietikainen, Kimmo SyväRi, Jani KäRppä, Flatlight Films and Visit Finland
Day 1 Arrival and introduction
You will be met at the airport and transferred to your accommodation in Harriniva. There will be time to settle into your room before dinner and a welcome meeting with your representative who will be on hand to answer any questions you may have.Included Meals: Dinner
Day 2 Huskies, Snow Fun and Santa with his Elves
After breakfast, your winter adventure gets underway with a visit to the onsite husky farm. You’ll tour the farm and have the chance to cuddle with the puppies before going on a brilliant 6km safari into the wilderness. Adults will drive their own team while the children can enjoy the brilliant views from the guide’s sleigh.
Following lunch, you’ll make the most of this winter wonderland with some fun in the snow. Try your skills at snowshoeing and cross-country skiing - some of the most popular pastimes in Finland. Next, see who can be the fastest when you toboggan down the slopes and finally, let the children take the driver’s seat on a mini snowmobile.
This afternoon, it’s time to embark on a wonderful search for Father Christmas. You will travel in a sleigh pulled by the guide’s snowmobile to reach a traditional kota (tepee). Here, you will find the elves who will give you pancakes and hot drinks before going to Father Christmas’s cabin for a very special private meeting.
Tonight is Christmas Eve and as is the tradition in Finland, the main festivities take place on this day. The restaurant will serve a Christmas buffet and there may even be a special guest carrying a present for everyone.Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 3 Snowmobiling and Elf Kota on Christmas Day
Following breakfast, it’s time for an adventurous exploration of the frozen landscape. Adults will drive their own snowmobile (two people per machine) and children will ride in a cosy sleigh pulled by the guide’s snowmobile as you head out for approximately 20km to see more of the wilderness. Please note, you must be at least 18 years old and hold a full driving licence to drive a snowmobile.
After lunch, you will head to a nearby kota where you will make your own keepsake elves to take home with you. There will also be an open fire to toast marshmallows and enjoy hot drinks before making Christmas wishes to throw on the fire.
Tonight, enjoy Christmas together as a family with a special dinner in the restaurant.Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4 Reindeer Farm, Lunch in an Ice Restaurant, Cookie Baking and Crafts
After breakfast, you will be transferred by bus to a nearby reindeer farm. Here you will try lasso-throwing and learn all about the history of these wonderful animals in the museum before enjoying a sleigh ride through the winter forest. You will have time to feed the reindeer before your lunch at the wonderful snow hotel. Walk around the awe-inspiring snow rooms with ice sculptures before taking a seat in the ice restaurant* for some warm food.
Upon returning to the hotel, you can enjoy making traditional Finnish gingerbread cookies and Christmas crafts before dinner in the restaurant this evening.
* Lunch in the ice restaurant is weather dependant. Should the ice restaurant not be ready or the temperature be extremely cold lunch will be served around the fire in a traditional kota.Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5 Departure
After a leisurely breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport to make your way home.Included Meals: Breakfast
Included in price
Harriniva Wilderness Hotel
Harriniva offers families a friendly and comfortable base for an Arctic adventure. The hotel is owned and run by the Pietikäinen family who owns four hotels in the area. All their hotels offer the same warm atmosphere and Finnish charm that keeps families entertained every season and ensures they are some of our most sought-after destinations.
- The focal point of the main building is the restaurant, which consists of three dining areas. The food served here is simple but hearty, with a varied buffet for breakfast and the evening meal generally consisting of a buffet of salad starters and dessert and a set main meal (please let us know any dietary requirements in advance). Food generally consists of both local and international dishes, suiting all tastes
- Next door to the restaurant there is a small bar area which generally stays open until around 11 pm
- Coffee and tea are available from the reception, but there is a charge for this, so we would advise taking a travel kettle and supplies if hot drinks are of importance to you
- There are separate sauna facilities for male and female guests and these are free of charge in the evening and generally heated for around three hours
- Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel and a PC is available at reception for guests to use
- There is a small souvenir shop in the reception area which sells a small selection of gifts and snacks
- You will find the Aurora Wellness Centre on the banks of the river which offers a wide range of therapies and treatments. Availability can be limited, so we would advise booking these in advance
Standard rooms: there are 64 rooms at the hotel, all of which are en-suite with shower rooms. These are comfortably furnished in wooden Scandinavian décor. The rooms are cosy and have a hairdryer for guests’ convenience. There are no televisions in the rooms but there are TV rooms available should you want to sample some Finnish TV.
The hotel has a small number of room upgrade options available. Please contact us for a quotation and to check availability.
Wilderness plus rooms: these rooms include double/twin beds and an unfolding sofa suitable for 1 adult or 2 children. Decorated in traditional Scandinavian style, all rooms have an en-suite shower room and a hairdryer, as well as a small seating area.
Image credit: Ruth Sole
Dates & Prices
We include more, no hidden costs
For our full booking terms and conditions please click here
Holiday group size (approximate)
Minimum 2 and maximum 40 people (approximately)
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.