Vuokatti - Finnish Lakeland Christmas Adventure
- Duration:5 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: return flights from London to Kajaani via Helsinki (flight routes subject to change)
- Transfers: return airport transfers
- Accommodation: 5 nights in a Hill View Suite (upgrade to Lake View Suite available for a supplement, subject to availability)
- Meals: 5 breakfasts and 5 dinners
- The following activities are included in the holiday: husky safari, snowmobile tour, Katinkulta Spa tickets, Northern Lights snowshoe and ice fishing (the order of activities is subject to change)
- Fully qualified guides and instructors during activities
- Winter clothing for the duration of your stay
Vuokatti is a picture-perfect winter wonderland located in the Lakeland region of Finland. The setting is true winter wonderland stuff. The area is very popular with Finns from the country’s south, who consider it something of a hidden gem for family holidays and it really is a magical place for a Christmas holiday.
The range of winter activities in Vuokatti is fantastic and they are operated by passionate and knowledgeable guides. We have included some of our favourites but there is also leisure time provided for you to tailor your time and we have a wealth of additional activities to choose from. There are also downhill ski slopes located nearby and a free ski bus picks up at the hotel.
If ever there was an activity which creates lifelong family memories then it is a husky safari. There are no better companions than a team of eager sled dogs, they’ll be super excited before you set off but after the safari, there will be time for some husky cuddles.
There's also nothing quite like travelling over the winter landscape on a snowmobile and during your trip, you'll explore the idyllic snowy scenes of the Vuokatti Hills.
You'll have time to sit back and enjoy the serenity of your surroundings, particularly when you try the popular pastime of ice fishing.
Your evenings will be spent at Hotel Vuokatti and Suites which combines modern comforts with a picturesque setting close to the frozen lake. One of the 3 hotel saunas offer fantastic views of the night sky and it is not uncommon to witness the Northern Lights in this part of Finland. For this reason, we have also included an evening search for the Aurora Borealis. You will strap on your snowshoes and follow the winter trails in search of any flickers of light in the night sky.
This holiday is the perfect escape for families looking to enjoy a white Christmas in a relatively undiscovered region of Finland. It will no doubt be a Christmas which will never be forgotten.
Image credits: Vuokatti Safaris, Matt Robinson, Jani KäRppä & Flatlight Films & Visit Finland
Day 1 Arrival and Welcome
Following your arrival into Kajaani Airport, you will be transferred to Vuokatti Hotel and Suites which is approximately 40 minutes away. The evening is yours to spend at your leisure, so you may simply want to settle into your surroundings and enjoy the winter views from your apartment. There is plenty of space for children (and adults) to play outside in the snow and the hotel even has toboggans for guests to use.
Dinner will be enjoyed at the cosy hotel restaurant which also has a bar area and lounge.Included Meals: Dinner
Day 2 Husky safari
After breakfast, it is time for your unforgettable husky safari which is sure to be a favourite with both parents and children alike. The husky centre is about five minutes’ drive from the hotel and on arrival, your guide will introduce you to the eager dogs, who will welcome you with their excited howls and barks.
After learning how to harness the dogs and receiving a full safety briefing and instructions, you will set off on the trails, travelling 2 per sled (typically one grown up driving the sled with the second person enjoying the views from the sled) on a 6km trail towards the Vuokatti hills.
The excitable barking of the huskies will swiftly be replaced by the gentle pattering of paws as you glide along the trail. Following on from this truly memorable activity, you will have the chance to have a hug with the huskies before departing. The whole activity lasts around two hours and includes between 30-40 minutes on the trail with the dogs (depending on conditions). Hot drinks are included during the activity.
After the activity, you will have some free time. You may wish to add in further activities (please see the ‘personalise’ section for details) or head to the nearby downhill ski slopes (500m walk or a ski bus trip away); the options are varied.
Of course, a real highlight for many guests visiting the area with young children is the chance to meet with Father Christmas. If you would like to include this in your stay then please see the ‘personalise’ section for details.
Regardless, you’re sure to have worked up an appetite and dinner will be served in the hotel restaurant this evening.Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 Snowmobile to the Vuokatti Hills
Today you will experience snowmobiling, one of the most effective ways to travel over the snowy terrain and explore this wonderful landscape. You will head to the hills where the views from the tops are quite spectacular, and you can see just how big this wilderness area is.
After a safety briefing and instruction on how to drive the snowmobile, adults will set off travelling two people per machine whilst the children travel in a sleigh pulled by the guide’s snowmobile. In total, you will be out for around two hours.
Drivers must be 18 years and over with a valid licence. There will be the chance for you to swap drivers during the trip.
The remainder of the day is yours to spend at your leisure. If you would like to explore Vuokatti further then there is a range of additional activities which you can add to your holiday, including an evening search for the Northern Lights by husky or snowmobile. Please see the ‘personalise’ section.
The Finns traditionally celebrate Christmas on the 24th December and so, a festive dinner will be served in the restaurant this evening to mark the occasion.Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 Vuokatti Katinkulta Spa and Northern Lights Snowshoe
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel restaurant during a leisurely morning. Today we have included tickets to the Vuokatti Katinkulta Spa which has a wonderful swimming pool with a water slide and numerous jacuzzis. A free ski bus leaves from the hotel approximately every two hours between 9 am and 4.30 pm so you can choose when you would like to visit and return.
Following your evening dinner in the hotel restaurant, you will strap on your snowshoes and search for the Aurora Borealis. A local expert will lead you into the winter forest towards the best locations for potentially viewing the Northern Lights. The tour will last for approximately two hours, and following the walk, you will enjoy some hot drinks and snacks as you patiently watch the sky.Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5 Ice fishing
The Finns love ice fishing, and this Lakeland region offers some fantastic locations.
After breakfast, you will head to a frozen lake and assist your guide in drilling a hole through the thick ice. You will then lower your line into the dark waters below and wait patiently for a fish to bite. Hot drinks will be served whilst you enjoy The Great Outdoors. In total, you will be out for around 1.5 hours.
Following the tour, you will be transferred back to the hotel where you can enjoy some family time.
Dinner will be served in the hotel restaurant.Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6 Departure
After breakfast, you will say goodbye to Vuokatti after a memorable Christmas adventure in the Finnish Lakeland. You will then be transferred to the airport ready for your flights home.Included Meals: Breakfast
Included in price
Vuokatti Hotel and Suites
Hotel Vuokatti enjoys a prime location close to Lake Nuasjärvi in the Kainuu Province of Finnish Lakeland. This wonderful hotel has 18 spacious rooms and 29 modern suites offering a high quality, peaceful environment from which to enjoy your holiday. It is a wonderful location for children and free use of the hotel toboggans always provides hours of entertainment.
Within easy reach of shops and the ski slopes of Vuokatti (both around 500m), this is the ideal location for families looking to combine winter wilderness activities with modern amenities.
A free ski bus stops at the hotel, so getting around is nice and simple and it allows you to tailor your free time together.
- You will enjoy your breakfasts and evening meals in the hotel restaurant, which has an impressive lookout over Lake Nuasjärvi. Here a range of local ingredients such as moose, pike and reindeer are served alongside some more international options
- There is also a small café and lobby bar area which serves coffees, drinks and snacks
- Lunches are not included to give you the freedom to explore independently during your free time. There are a selection of cafes at the ski centre. You may also prefer to make use of your suite’s kitchen facilities and visit the local supermarket.
- For children, there are a number of toboggans provided by the hotel which are free to use
- The hotel has numerous saunas for guests to use. There is even a large sauna with panoramic glass windows looking out onto the frozen lake. NB: the panoramic sauna is not open every day (reception will provide details) and so we cannot guarantee access to this during your holiday
- There is a small but well-equipped gym for guests to use should you wish for some indoor exercise during your stay
- Free Wi-fi is available throughout the hotel
Vuokatti Hill View Suites:
These well-equipped suites are ideal for families and offer a high standard of accommodation. They are situated in an annexe, a very short walk from the main hotel building.
The Hill View Suites are 49.5m2 and offer two bedrooms. The largest bedroom comes equipped with a double bed and the small room features a sofa bed for 1-2 people. There is a second sofa bed in the sitting room which again can sleep 1-2 people. Whilst the suites can sleep up to 6 people, we find that they are most suited to families of 4.
All the suites have a kitchen with modern appliances (dishwasher, oven, microwave, coffee machine), a living room with smart TV, dining area, a shower room and a private sauna. As the name suggests, these suites offer views of the surrounding hills from their glazed terrace.
Bed linen, towels and end of stay cleaning are of course included (guests are asked to simply ensure that the dishwasher and the bins are empty). If you would like to have a mid-stay clean or a change of linen during your stay, then this can be arranged for a supplement.
Vuokatti Lake View Suites:
For those who would like a little extra space, then the Lake View Suites are ideal. They offer 58 square metres of space and two good sized bedrooms. Again they are in the separate annexe building just a short walk from the main hotel.
Both bedrooms have a double bed, and there is a sofa bed for 1-2 people in the living area, so in total, they can sleep up to 6 people.
Personalise this tour
Meeting with Father Christmas
Santa’s Village is located in the winter forest a short drive from the hotel.
After arriving at a clearing in the trees, you will be greeted by Father Christmas in the warmth of a traditional Mongolian Yurt. You’ll enjoy a private meeting and shall receive a family photograph as a souvenir. Children will also be given a small gift to take home.Read more
Outside the yurts, you will find Petteri and Rudolf, two of Father Christmas’ reindeer, and the elves will provide you with reindeer food so you can feed them.
There is a selection of yurts in Santa’s Village, so whilst you wait for your meeting, the elves will make sure you are kept toasty warm inside. Drinks and snacks will be served and there is an area for drawing and writing Christmas letters.
Duration: Approximately 1 hour
Min group size: 2 people
Availability: Afternoons on 23 and 25 December, and between 30 Dec and 02 Jan
Credit: Vuokatti SafarisFrom £48 per adult
From £26 per child
If you would like to explore the scenery further during your stay, then we can arrange for you to enjoy a snowshoe hike in the hills around Vuokatti.
Your guide will point out any animal tracks you stumble across, and you can explore off the beaten track, using your snowshoes to keep you from sinking into the deep snow.
Hot drinks and snacks will be served during the trip
Duration: Approximately 2 hours
Min group size: 2 people
Availability: Monday and Thursday at 10.30am
Credit: Vuokatti SafarisFrom: £61 per adult
From: £44 per child
Dates & Prices
We include more, no hidden costs
Price based on: two adults sharing a Hill View Suite with two children (4-12 yrs)
Sun 22 Dec 2019
to Fri 27 Dec 2019
|Adult price (per person): £1545.00||Child (age 4 - 12): £1375.00||Book|
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 a deposit of £400pp, 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. 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.
Tue 22 Dec 2020
to Sun 27 Dec 2020
|Adult price (per person): £1655.00||Child (age 4 - 12): £1470.00||Enquire|
For our full booking terms and conditions please click here
Holiday group size (approximate)
Minimum 8 people and maximum 30 (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.
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.