Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Yes I visited Lapland in one day – was I mad? By Ellie Sales


My eldest son, Oliver, is getting to the stage where he is beginning to think that Santa may not be the real deal! So I thought if there was ever a time to visit Lapland it was now.

There are a number of options for travelling to this magical winter wonderland. From 3 to 4 days trips to a one day excursion with Newmarket Holidays. We opted for the Newmarket one day trip visiting the Swedish side of Lapland (Lapland is located across both Finland and Sweden).  Santa Claus’ homeland is the stuff of fairy tales. Cue snow-dusted forests that stretch for miles, cosy log cabins that look like they’ve been plucked from a storybook, and a population that’s made up of more reindeer than people.

With an early 6am flight we decided to stay over at the Sofitel Gatwick. This impressive hotel, its reception situated in an internal atrium, is a fabulous way to relax and start any holiday. With three restaurants and a funky bar on the mezzanine in reception we enjoyed a lovely Pan Asian dinner before retiring to our spacious family room.

The 4am start wasn’t fun, especially as I had enjoyed some prosecco in the bar the night before, however as the hotel is directly joined to the airport and its monorail we were able to quickly check in for our specially chartered three and a half hour flight.

You fly direct to Pajala, the heart of Lapland and 80 km beyond the Arctic Circle, this flight is the only 'Santa' flight to Pajala that day as numbers are strictly limited so you can appreciate every moment of your trip. Carol singing and a warm breakfast is also enjoyed on the plane.

Obviously the kids were excited at the sight of rolling snow covered woodland as we came into land. You are instantly aware of the low temperature as you disembark the aircraft and head towards the small wooden cabin airport. Temperatures are always below freezing and can be as low as -35. We were told that for the previous three weeks there had been cloud cover with snow and a temperature of -10.  But not today, the sun was shining, making for a beautiful back drop, but the temperature had plummeted to a cool -25.

Our Lapp hosts greeted us dressed in traditional Sami costume, before we made the short, warm and comfortable coach journey to Santa's Home. On arrival at the Winter Village you are escorted inside and provided with all-in-one body suits, boots and gloves. There’s a large selection available of all sizes.
 

Activities included in your 6 hour stay;

A 'secret path' through the forest following the twinkling lights to Santa's log cabin home, where he'll be waiting to greet you personally. (You can purchase a very reasonably priced picture at the shop afterwards, or even have it emailed for free)

A traditional sleigh ride pulled by reindeer, a husky-drawn sledge safari, and a thrilling ride on a snowmobile.

With all that excitement, you're guaranteed to work up an appetite, so you can tuck in to the delicious two-course lunch of Swedish meatballs and mash. Hot berry juice is also available throughout the day, to drink and cup your hands around.

Between the organised activities, there’s plenty of time to enjoy some fun in the snow, with toboggan rides, snowman building and plenty of snowball fights if you’re brave enough!

Was it a long day? Yes.
Did the kids enjoy it? They had an excellent time
Would I recommend it? Wholeheartedly

We were accompanied by my Sister and her family, my Brother and his family and my Mum. A day we will not forget and memories I hope my children will cherish for a lifetime.

Newmarket Holiday are freezing (excuse the pun) their prices for next year until March 2017 so if you want to treat a family member next Christmas get in touch with a member of our team. 02088820141 

London Gatwick on 2nd December 2017 price per person £529


Call us to book your place as they always sell out. If you, like me, want to arrange a large group booking we will try our best to get you the best rate possible!  
National departures also available.

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