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6 days - Independent Christmas tour for families
This action packed independent Christmas holiday is perfect for families looking for a magical experience in Finland. Taking part in safaris with huskies and snowmobiles and a visit to a real reindeer farm, you have got the main modes of transport covered.
With snowshoeing, children's snowmobiles, cookie baking, a private visit with Santa and his elves and lunch in an ice restaurant there is plenty for the whole family to enjoy. Staying in intimate cosy cabins or a family hotel, this tour will give you wonderful family memories to last a life time.
- Head out to make Christmas wishes by the magic Christmas tree, toast marshmellows around the fire and bake traditional Finnish cookies together
- Meet Santa on your own private family visit
- Enjoy a Christmas buffet before Santa arrives with a sack full of presents
- Lunch in a snow hotel and eat on tables and chairs made of ice
- Adventure out in the the winter wonderland, snowmobiling, husky sledding and meet reindeers
- Day 1
- 23 Dec: Welcome dinner
- Day 2
- 24 Dec: Santa & his elves and cookie baking
- Day 3
- 25 Dec: Reindeer farm and Winter village, Christmas Eve Celebrations
- Day 4
- 26 Dec: Engines on, it's snowmobile time
- Day 5
- 27 Dec: Huskies and snow fun
- Day 6
- 28 Dec: Departure day
- Start/End Place
- Kittilä, Finland
- Country Visited
- 6 Days
- Special Interest
- Easy Christmas tour - suits families with children of all ages.
Transfers from Kittilä airport (for scheduled flights).
- 5 nights in a shared double/twin room, family cabins and single supplement available
- Full board incl. Christmas Eve dinner and lunch in an ice restaurant
- Airport transfers from/to Kittilä Airport on days 1 and 6 (for scheduled flights).
- All activities listed in the itinerary: Mini Snowmobile, snowshoes, Santa's search on snowmobile, dogsled drive, reindeer sleigh ride and snowmobile ride.
- Winter clothing provided - Thermal winter suit, winter boots, woolen socks, inner and outer gloves, winter hat and balaclava.
- 24-hour emergency service
- Taxes and service fees
International flight tickets, meals other than described, alcoholic beverages and soft drinks, travel insurance, visas, gratuities and any items of personal nature.
Day 1 - 23 Dec: Welcome dinner
Arrival at Kittilä airport and transfer to your hotel. After a meeting with your guide to explain the days ahead you will collect the much needed thermal clothes (thermal winter suit, winter boots, woollen socks, inner and outer gloves, winter hat and balaclava).
Dinner in the main hotel restaurant and overnight in cozy rooms or cabins.
Day 2 - 24 Dec: Santa & his elves and cookie baking
After breakfast we will head out to make our Christmas wishes by the magic Christmas tree. Marshmallows will be toasted round the fire. Cookie baking follows with a chance to try the Finnish traditional gingerbread. Lunch will be in the main restaurant. Then the highlight of the day: off we zoom on the sleigh pulled by snowmobiles in our search for Santa. A warming kota awaits us where we will have pancakes and hot drinks and Elves will lead us through the forest for your private family visit. Dinner will be taken in the hotel.
Day 3 - 25 Dec: Reindeer farm and Winter village, Christmas Eve Celebrations
After breakfast we head out to the local reindeer farm by bus. Here you can try your hand at lasso-throwing and learn about the reindeers in the small museum. After taking a 3km safari through the silent forest we will feed the reindeer before saying our good byes. Who knows, maybe Rudolph or Dasher will be there. Next we visit the snow hotel, with its snow rooms, ice restaurant, bar and ice sculptures. After a tour around this impressive structure we will enjoy a nice warm lunch served in the ice restaurant where even the tables and chairs are made of ice!
The rest of the afternoon is free to explore the hotel and surrounding area. Tonight the festivities continue with a Christmas buffet - and watch out for the surprise guest of the night with a sack full of presents. You can be sure he will have a small gift for everyone.
Day 4 - 26 Dec: Engines on, it's snowmobile time
After breakfast it's Christmas morning at leisure to enjoy some time as a family. Lunch will be in the main restaurant.
In the afternoon we will head out on the snowmobiles, adults driving their own with two sharing and children pulled behind the guide in a sleigh and wrapped up in blankets. 20km will be covered before returning to the hotel for a Christmas day evening buffet.
Day 5 - 27 Dec: Huskies and snow fun
Today we head out to the local husky farm, with a tour of the farm and a chance to have a cuddle with some of the young pups. A 6km safari follows with adults having the chance to mush their own team and children being taken in the local guide's sleigh.
Lunch will be served in a small traditional wooden restaurant with open fire. Returning to the hotel, it's time for some fun in the snow. Snowshoeing, cross country ski, tobogganing and for the children a chance to drive their own mini snowmobile under supervision.
Day 6 - 28 Dec: Departure day
Breakfast and departure to Kittilä airport.
Price is for 2 adults & 1 or 2 children (4-12 years old) sharing quad cabin. Reduction applies for kids aged 2 to 3. Please contact us for a personalised quote for larger families. 2019: Wait list available and early price is indicative.
28 Dec 2018
28 Dec 2019
Remember to bring a gift for Santa to deliver. Please note that included lunches in Scandinavia are often hearty soups with bread.
Interactive Tour Map
Travelling with young children
Here are some suggestions and tips from our staff who have kids themselves, for travelling in Scandinavia with younger children. We hope that you will find this advice helpful and be sure to ask us for more information before travelling as our staff have all grown up in Scandinavia.
In general, Scandinavia and Finland are very child-friendly destinations and if you have any special requests or questions while here, please contact the staff at your hotel immediately. Almost all restaurants can be considered child-friendly with baby chairs and sometimes also drawing utensils, books or toys, and when using public transport, Scandinavia offers some great support for families with younger children. Baby changing tables in public toilets, play equipment and play rooms at airport terminals and family wagons in trains with playing area for the little ones are common place.
When possible, we suggest arriving to Scandinavia or Finland a day or two earlier before your holiday program begins so that your younger children can adjust to the time zone. Young children arriving from the Southern Hemisphere generally wake up at around 4 - 5am for the first few mornings before they get accustomed to the new time zone. Be sure to have breakfast provisions ready for this, as it is unusual for anything to be provided from the hotel at this early hour. We suggest bringing packages of the child's favourite breakfast cereal from home plus tea bags etc. to help in those first few days. Likewise, quiet entertainment for those early hours might be a good idea as well.
Hotel rooms in Scandinavia more likely than not, only have twin beds pushed together to make a double if required. The spare children's beds are often foldout beds. Generally, it is easy to arrange at reception for the cots but be sure to ask for help if something doesn't seem right. We were provided a cot without a mattress once - very uncomfortable indeed if we hadn't chased that up!
Also, in Scandinavia it is not common practise to have tea or coffee provided in the room, and even if there is a kettle, there might be nothing else. We suggest travelling with a small supply of your own tea bags/coffee, and asking directly at reception for a kettle on arrival.
Feeding your children adequately is probably the hardest thing to do on an arranged holiday - kids are out of wack with jetlag, fussy and hungry for their own comfort food. When hotels and packages provide set times for meals and buffets, it is important to come prepared.
It is handy to take a small cooler bag already from home filled with snacks, utensils and fresh food. From the breakfast buffets it is usually acceptable to take a small amount of fresh food such as boiled eggs, rolls and fruit for morning and afternoon tea for the little ones.
We would also suggest that you give your kids a taste of what’s to come before their holiday on some foods that they are likely to get in Scandinavia. Meatballs, European flavoured sausages, soups & then treats like cinnamon buns and waffles are typical children's menu items. Cinnamon is a very common flavour used in Scandinavia and Finland.
If you are part of an arranged program, be sure to ask at reception if you need anything in particular. The hotel staff will be more than happy to warm up baby food and organise more snacks or fruit.
We recommend seeking all available information from the reception or activity provider when considering what optional activities will suit your younger children. These activities can be cold and involve a transfer a certain distance from the hotel. If you are uncertain why the activity is being run at a particular time, please ask for clarification as there is often a reason that you might be unfamiliar with. We all know as parents that children generally perform better earlier in the day than later, however, the activity providers might have a safety, logistic or climate reason for picking a certain time.
In Scandinavia, it is often left up to the parents to make decisions about age limits and suitability (unlike other regions where everything is stipulated) so be sure to ask reception or other guests who have done the activity for further advice.
We usually don't recommend winter activities, such as longer husky safaris, snowmobile safaris and late evening Aurora Hunts to children under the age 4-5. This of course depends very much on a child as every child is different, but for younger children we recommend shorter excursions as it can get very cold sitting still in a sled. Some operators also do not take children under the age of 5 on their tours, so please ask us specifically before travelling about these limitations.
This is going to make or break your holiday in Scandinavia in the winter. Be sure to refer to our comprehensive packing list provided in your pre-departure information and be on the look out for the best protection for your children in the cold. Winter is great time for kids to play outside and snow-based activities will keep the young ones entertained for hours as long as they have appropriate clothing.
Extra (non-cotton) layers that can be added or taken away when needed, heat warmers and slip on crampons for the older children are recommended. Mittens where all fingers except the thumb are together are often warmer than gloves, and extra pair of mittens will come in handy after building a snowman or two. A balaclava type of hat that covers both the neck and ears and which can also protect part of child’s face if needed, is also great under a warm and windproof beanie.
The base-layer next to skin should be either wool or synthetic blend, never cotton. With perspiration cotton turns quickly damp and then cold, no matter what other warmer clothing items are layered on top of it.
Many of the hotels and activity providers also do offer warm outer clothing for hire, but if traveling with small kids, please do check beforehand that correct sizes are available.
- Heat warmer pads for inside gloves and boots. Please note that these should not be used directly against the skin, hence for hands, you will need to use the pads in between the two pairs of gloves/mittens recommended in our packing list
- Good boots and warm woolly socks for your little ones
- Bags & suitcases that can easily be carried by one parent if the other is carrying children. Many of us use Trunkies for our travels so that our kids can sit on them, or sometimes the kids can pull the cases themselves. If your child is small enough to be carried, we highly recommend a baby or toddler carrier that leaves your hands free for handling the luggage.
- Provisions for the first day or two whether it is snacks, nappies or fruit drinks.
- Books, drawing pencils or other tranquil inside activity and your child’s favourite teddy!
Travel insurance is compulsory for all tours with 50 Degrees North. Please ensure that you have this organised as we will need to see proof of this upon issuing your tour documentation. Please contact us for a quote or visit http://www.suresave.net.au/
Practical Information for travelling and packing for Scandinavian Winter
- Warm wind and water proof jacket and trousers large enough to fit thick woollen jumper/clothing underneath
- Rain trousers – waterproof and breathable material
- Warm windproof cap/hat
- Warm gloves or mittens. Mittens where all fingers except the thumb are together are often warmer than gloves.
- Windproof gloves or mittens, which you can pull over the warm gloves
- Warm scarf
- 2 pairs of long woollen underwear (Merino wool in a few different thicknesses is perfect)
- 1-2 warm woollen jumper(s), or one jumper and a warm fleece
- Woollen or fleece trousers
- 2-3 pairs of warm woollen socks
- Warm & sturdy footwear with good grip
- Clothes for indoors, i.e. a shirt, T-shirts and jeans or cotton trousers
- Back pack for day trips (approx. 30 litre)
- Light footwear/trainers (mainly for indoors)
- Sun screen & Lip salve (the sun reflects off the snow and the air is dry)
- Hand warmers
- Nordic Grip anti-slip soles for walking on ice
- Personal medication
- Water bottle - thermo, or include a cover to keep warm (or you can stick it into a warm sock)
- Travel documents (including insurance)
- Photo ID
- Note book and pencil
- Camera, memory cards and charger
- Chargers for other gadgets
- Extra batteries for your cameras as they are used fast in cold conditions.