Ranua - Festive Family Adventure
- Flights: return flights from London to Rovaniemi (via Helsinki). Flight routes are subject to change
- Transfers: return airport transfers
- Accommodation: 3 nights apartment accommodation
- Meals: 3 breakfasts, 3 dinners
- The following activities are included: entry to Ranua Wildlife Park, 3km reindeer sleigh ride and Father Christmas visit (order subject to change). Additional activities can be added. Please see the 'Personalise' section)
- Cold weather clothing for the duration of your stay
- Fully qualified wilderness guides and instructors for all activities
The run-up to Christmas gets a natural-world makeover with this three-night holiday at Ranua – festive fun, classic Finnish snow activities, and of course, plenty of animals!
Staying in delightful apartments next to Ranua Wildlife Park, you will be a short distance from its many different Arctic species: polar bears, moose, golden eagles, wolves, arctic foxes, otters, lynx, and elks being just a few! You will have unlimited access to the park during your stay so you can visit your favourite animals again and again.
Please note, in December, we will not be offering a full board upgrade to include lunch, but guests can arrange and pay for this locally. In our experience, the restaurant can become busy during the festive lunchtimes, with outside visitors to the park, and we have found that most families prefer to make their own lunch arrangements in their wonderfully equipped apartment kitchens. One free taxi ride to the local supermarket is included in your stay, and reception can arrange this for you either at check-in or the following day, so you can easily stock up on supplies. Breakfast and dinner are included in all our holidays.
A very special animal-related activity for this time of year is the short reindeer sleigh ride, which sets the mood for the holiday moment everyone will be looking forward to: the private meeting with Father Christmas! Meeting Santa is usually rushed because the man in red has a hectic present-delivering schedule. On this holiday, however, each family will get their own session with Santa in his woodland cabin when he is much more relaxed! Children will love hearing his stories and can ask him questions about his magical life. The whole experience is one they will never forget.
Wildlife, Father Christmas, and fun in the snow: a perfect Finnish getaway for the whole family!
Image Credit: Hotel Gulo Gulo
Day 1 Flights, Arrivals and Transfers
Upon arrival at Rovaniemi Airport, you will be transferred (approximately 45 minutes) to your delightful apartment accommodation, a short distance from Ranua Wildlife Park.
Your guide will outline the programme ahead, and you will also be provided with the cold weather clothing which will be yours for the duration of your stay. Dinner will be served in the restaurant.
If you are on a later flight, a cold platter of food will be waiting for you in your apartment and you will be provided with the cold weather clothing in the morning.Included Meals: Dinner
Day 2 Ranua Wildlife Park and Reindeer Sleigh Ride
Following breakfast, you will have time to explore Ranua Wildlife Park, home to a huge range of animals including moose, golden eagles, otters, Arctic foxes and of course polar bears!
The owners of the park have put a significant amount of effort into creating the spacious enclosures for these animals which are as close in design to their natural habitats as possible. Children will learn a great deal about the animals from the displays and can come back to see their favourites whenever they like, as you will have unlimited access to the park during your stay.
To get even closer to the animals, you can upgrade to a guided tour of the park. This special activity will take you behind-the-scenes and families may also be able to join in with feeding some of the smaller animals.
This afternoon, you will start getting into the Christmassy mood with a short reindeer sleigh ride. Relax as the calm reindeer draw your sleigh over a distance of about three kilometres, lasting around 40 minutes.
Once dinner is done, you have the evening to relax. As you’re in prime Northern Lights territory, why not book onto an activity that gets you out into the wilderness and on the hunt for the magical light display? View our ‘Personalised’ tab for more information on activities.
Day 3 Father Christmas Visit
After breakfast, you will have a free morning – why not head back to the park and revisit your favourite animals? Please speak to our Travel Experts for our full range of activities.
The holiday highlight will take place in the afternoon. You will be transported into the white woods on a snowmobile-pulled sleigh, eventually reaching a peaceful cabin among the trees. Welcome to the home of Father Christmas – you will be received by the man in red himself! Sitting by the fire he will chat with the children and listen to their Christmas wishes. Each family will get to meet Santa separately, making for a wonderfully personal experience. In total, this activity will last for around forty minutes.
Following this, you will be taken back to the Ranua Holiday Village. Dinner will be served in the restaurant, and you can go to bed with unforgettable Christmassy memories!
Day 4 Departure
After breakfast, you will check out and make your way to the airport. If you are on an early flight, a breakfast box will be provided for you.
Ranua, the animals and Father Christmas will be waiting to see you next year.
Included in price
Gulo Gulo Holiday Village
Located around 4km from the small town of Ranua, the Gulo Gulo Holiday Village takes its name from the Latin word for Wolverine, one of Finland’s rare native animals and is an ideal family base. The wildlife theme continues throughout due to the accommodation’s proximity to the Ranua Wildlife Park which guests have unlimited access to throughout their stay.
The holiday village offers families modern comfortable apartments which are very well equipped.
- Ranua Wildlife Park offers a wonderful opportunity to observe the lives of Arctic wild animals in their natural environments. Your ticket entitles you to visit the wildlife park as many times as you wish during your stay, something that our families always love
The simple but convivial restaurant is situated at the wildlife park itself which is just across the road from your accommodation. Here you will enjoy your breakfast and dinner, offering a selection of traditional Finnish foods and international dishes for all the family to enjoy, including a children's menu. Lunch is also available to guests (payable locally)
- Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the apartments
The apartments are beautifully decorated with all modern comforts for families. In total, there are thirty holiday apartments at Gulo Gulo, which are housed within ten semi-detached building backing onto a lovely forest landscape.
The ground floor accommodation comprises of an open-plan living room with flat screen TV, kitchen and dining area. The kitchen is well equipped with stove, microwave, dishwasher, fridge, coffee maker and kettle (you may want to take your own tea and coffee to enjoy in your apartment).
There is one twin bedroom downstairs as well as the bathroom which includes a shower, toilet and drying cabinet for clothes. There is also a private sauna which is a real treat. The accommodation also features a hairdryer and ironing facilities if required.
On the first floor, there is a second twin bedroom as well as an open loft area with two smaller extra beds (suitable for children) as well as a shower and toilet. All linen is of course provided.
The apartments have their own decking area which can come in very handy for viewing the local wildlife or (fingers crossed!) maybe even the Northern Lights.
Personalise this tour
Enjoy a thrilling snowmobile safari across Ranua’s surrounding wilderness. Your guide will give you full instructions before departure (two people per snowmobile) with a range of durations to choose from 30 minutes to 6 hours. The distance covered on each safari will vary and will be determined by the group’s ability.Read more
Please note: The driver of a snowmobile must be at least 18 years old and hold a valid driving licence. Children will travel in a sled pulled by the guide’s snowmobile on selected safaris where this is offered. Older children may be able to travel as pillion on the snowmobile but this is at the discretion of the guide. Single driver supplement applies.
Duration: approximately 30 minutes
Adult price: from £71
Child price (4-14): from £50
Duration: approximately 1 hour
Adult price: from £94
Child price (4-14): from £66
Duration: approximately 2 hours
Adult price: from £116
Child price: from £82
Duration: approximately 4 hours
Adult price: from £157
Child price: from £112From £71 per adult
From £50 per child
This is a truly wonderful way to journey across the snow-laden landscape of Lapland!
You will travel in a sled pulled by your own eager team of huskies (up to two adults and one child per sled) with the chance for the adults to take it in turns to drive depending on which length of safari you book (3km - 45km available). After your adventure, there will usually be a chance to pet the dogs and take pictures, as well as asking the mushers any questions you may have.Read more about this activity
Please note: All decisions are made on the day of the safari by the lead guide as to any guest’s suitability to drive their own dog sled. As a general rule, those aged 15 and over are normally able to drive their own team of huskies but the guide’s decision on the day will be final and in the interest of safety. On certain safaris, children under the age of 15 will either travel in a sledge driven by the guide or an accompanying adult.
Duration: approximately 15 minutes in total (approximately 3km of driving)
Adult price: from £37
Child price: from £24
Duration: approximately 20-30 minutes in total (approximately 5km of driving)
Adult price: from £57
Child price: from £37
Duration: approximately 60 minutes in total (approximately 10km of driving)
Adult price: from £88
Child price: from £47
Duration: approximately 2 hours in total ( approximately 20km of driving)
Adult price: from £117
Child price: from £65From: £37 per adult
From: £24 per child
Meet the polar bear
Enjoy a close up look at a polar bear on this exciting activity!
Your guide will take you to the polar bear enclosure and you will be able to view him from the other side of the fence. Your guide will give you lots of information about this beautiful animal as you watch from just a few metres away.
Duration: approximately 45 minutesFrom: £56 per adult
From: £42 per child
Northern Lights safari via horse-drawn sleigh
Enjoy the opportunity to seek out the Northern Lights as well as enjoying a wonderful horse-drawn sleigh ride (6 to 8 people per sleigh) through the snowy night-time wilderness. Travelling through the neighbouring forest you can enjoy the night sky which will hopefully come alive with the dancing colours of the Aurora Borealis.
Duration: approximately 2 hours
Image credit: Visit FinlandFrom: £83 per adult
From: £74 per child
Ice fishing via snowmobile
Your guide will give full instructions before you set off via snowmobile heading towards a nearby frozen lake. Here you will learn more about the long history of ice fishing and try your hand at it too. Warm drinks will be served around the fire and there will be the chance to cook anything that you may catch!
Duration: approximately 3 hours (30km)Read more about this activity
Please note: the driver of a snowmobile must be at least 18 years old and hold a valid driving licence. Children will travel in a sled pulled by the guide’s snowmobile on selected safaris where this is offered. Older children may be able to travel as pillion on the snowmobile but this is at the discretion of the guide. Single driver supplement applies.From: £136 per adult
From: £94 per child
Searching for the Aurora Borealis via Snowmobile
Heading out into the darkness via snowmobile is a wonderful way to explore the night-time wilderness and your guide will lead the way along the dark forest trails. There will be breaks to enjoy a hot drink and keep a keen watch on the sky in anticipation of a potential Northern Lights display.
Duration: approximately 3 hoursRead more about this activity
Please note: the driver of a snowmobile must be at least 18 years old and hold a valid driving licence. Children will travel in a sled pulled by the guide’s snowmobile on selected safaris where this is offered. Older children may be able to travel as pillion on the snowmobile but this is at the discretion of the guide. Single driver supplement applies.
Image credit: Antti PietikainenFrom: £136 per adult
From: £94 per child
One of the best ways to enjoy the wonderful forest neighbouring the wildlife park is to strap on a pair of snowshoes and head into the deep snow to explore. Your guide will offer lots of interesting information on the way on the local flora and fauna.
Duration: approximately 2 hoursFrom: £62 per adult
From: £52 per child
Explore the Arctic the ancient way – on cross-country skis! Your guide will teach you the various techniques of this activity before you head out to put your skills into practice. The ski tracks reside close to the Ranua Wildlife Park and will cover around 3km.
Duration: approximately 2 hours (3km)From: £62 per adult
From: £52 per child
Wild night safari
As darkness falls you will make your way to the wildlife park, using headlamps to seek out the gleaming eyes of the nocturnal animals. Your guide will lead the way to seek out those creatures who may be awake and there will be a chance to feed some of them.
After the excursion, you will enjoy a hot berry juice and be able to chat about your exciting experiences with the animals.
Duration: approximately 3 hoursFrom: £72 per adult
From: £51 per child
On this exciting evening excursion, your guide will take you into the darkness of the forest on snowshoes allowing you to enjoy the deep snow and night-time scenery. Keep a watch on the sky for hopeful sightings of dancing Northern Lights whilst enjoying a hot drink.
Duration: approximately 2.5 hours
Image credit: Antti PietikainenFrom: £63 per adult
From: £58 per child
Dates & Prices
We include more, no hidden costs
Adult (15+) price based on 2 adults sharing a two bedroom apartment with 2 children (aged 4-14)
Next season’s pre-sale dates and prices
Our dates and prices for 2022/23 are now available to book, so get in early and secure your places now. Our travel experts will happily provide you with a full quotation including any additional activities or accommodation upgrades. We will advise you of your flight details when they are confirmed.
Thu 01 Dec 2022
to Sun 04 Dec 2022
|Adult price (per person): £1455.00||Child (age 4 - 14): £1375.00||Enquire|
Thu 08 Dec 2022
to Sun 11 Dec 2022
|Adult price (per person): £1455.00||Child (age 4 - 14): £1375.00||Enquire|
Thu 15 Dec 2022
to Sun 18 Dec 2022
|Adult price (per person): £1650.00||Child (age 4 - 14): £1560.00||Enquire|
Please note: our holiday prices are based on the lowest available airline fares. These fares can sell out quickly and, as a result, prices may increase and supplements may be applicable. We recommend booking at the earliest opportunity in order to secure the best possible fares and flight times. This only applies to holidays that include flights.
For our full booking terms and conditions please click here
Holiday group size (approximate)
Minimum numbers required for this holiday to run vary from 4 to 8 people (depending on departure date). Maximum 42 people (approximately). Please speak to our Travel Experts for further information.
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.
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.
The order of activities listed in this agenda is provided for guidance only, your final and detailed itinerary will be provided either with your final travel documents (which are uploaded into your online account around a week prior to departure) or upon arrival.
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.
It is vitally important that you advise us prior to departure of any medical or dietary condition relating to any member of your party so that we may notify our local staff before you arrive. We recommend only drinking bottled water from bottles with unbroken seals and be vigilant about the use of ice in drinks and ice cream.
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.
The UK 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.
Booking activities locally
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 correctly 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.
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.
Terms and Conditions
Our full booking terms and conditions can be found on our website: https://www.activitiesabroad.com/booking-conditions
Anyone even contemplating whether or not to go... just do it. An experience you will never forget 13 December 2019 by The Hyatt Family
Wow! What can I say. A truly amazing experience that I will never forget. We booked for 3 nights and tried to do as much as possible. The accommodation was fantastic and to use the saunas is a must. There was lots of snow and my daughter insisted on being pulled everywhere on a sledge even round the Wildlife park. We went in search of the Northern lights being pulled on a sleigh by a Finn horse and spending 2 hours in the forest at night by a campfire. We had a sleigh ride with the Reindeer and also managed to fit in 2 hours of steering the Huskies on a sledge. The secret visit to Santa was magical but that's all I'm going to say as I promised him not to give too much away??
Thank you so much for an incredible family holiday that really was all we wanted it to be 08 December 2019 by The Taylor-Byrne Family
People so friendly and was a totally magical experience. Very hard to pick just one activity..all enjoyable for different reasons and so very enjoyable for all our family. The Santa visit was done so incredibly well I think it had to be one of the highlights, having 2 6 year olds and even as adults, the journey and surprise of finding the cabin and having Santa knowing all about the children and the intimate experience was so amazing. Our children were in no doubt that they met the real Santa. The nature was also so outstanding and all the animals.just wow. Any recommendations for improvement are to make it go from sensational to perfection. Thank you so much for an incredible family holiday that really was all we wanted it to be. The little touch of choccies from Graham were really appreciated. In fact everything from Graham was, all his recommendations and advice were spot on. Thank you.
People so friendly and was a totally magical experience. 08 December 2019 by The Taylor-Byrne Family
The Santa visit was done so incredibly well I think it had to be one of the highlights, having 2 6 year olds and even as adults, the journey and surprise of finding the cabin and having Santa knowing all about the children and the intimate experience was so amazing. Our children were in no doubt that they met the real Santa. The nature was also so outstanding and all the animals.just wow. Thank you so much for an incredible family holiday that really was all we wanted it to be. The little touch of choccies from Graham were really appreciated. In fact everything from Graham was, all his recommendations and advice were spot on. Thank you.
A Magical Trip 18 December 2017 by The Aiken Family
The whole trip was magical, everyone at Gulo Gulo couldn't have been any friendlier or more helpful. The staff there really made the whole experience amazing.
Exactly what we were looking for! 18 December 2017 by The Thomas Family
The Father Christmas visit was beautiful. It was so simple, magical and non commercial, exactly what we were looking for! Thank you!
We have had a very memorable trip to Lapland 19 December 2016 by The Parker Family
The reason for the food choice being good is because it was the same food each day for breakfast and lunch. It was very tasty and good quality, but the choice was limited. Without a doubt, the dog sledge and snowmobiles were a highlight. The way the visit to Santa was delivered was magical. Overall, the experience was one we will never forget.
Everything surpassed my expectations. 20 December 2015 by Stephen Burns
This way was our 9th holiday in 7 years as a family and without doubt the best. A big thank you to Amy who remained calm during my numerous phone calls worrying that I wouldn’t have the holiday I had dreamed up in my head. We were treated like royalty and everything surpassed my expectations. I asked Amy if she could organise this trip from top to bottom so I didn't have to lift a finger and she came up with the goods. Thank you very much Amy.
It was perfect! 20 December 2015 by Deborah Willans
Amazing holiday, everything we could have asked for. Support before travel was faultless and the staff at the resort were extremely helpful and informative. The accommodation was excellent and high quality equipment provided. We were also lucky in that our daughters dietary requirements were met by staff that were happy to help! Husky riding was truly magical, such well trained animals and so quiet racing through the picturesque Lapland countryside, through open fields and forests. The children also enjoyed meeting the huskies afterwards and the helpful guides answering their questions. It was perfect! Everyone that we spoke to that had booked with Activities Abroad, was always very complimentary and positive about the company. A very good reputation.
Fantastic trip 20 December 2015 by Alyson Marchant
Fantastic trip. Didn't want to come home. Planning another trip again, but next time for longer. All of it was great.