Saariselkä, Lapland Holidays
Saariselkä is one of the best and most unspoilt places to take a trip to find Santa in Lapland, a small and pretty village, with only about 180 inhabitants, surrounded by forests. With just a 25 minute transfer from the airport your time here it is perfect for families searching for Father Christmas on their holiday.
Santa’s home village really is a friendly place and you can walk everywhere in a couple of minutes, toboggans are provided by the council for anybody to use so the location of your hotel does not matter. There are just a handful of souvenir shops and a couple of bars and a small supermarket! Busy elves are everywhere and the deep snow gives an enchanted, magical feel.
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Private Meeting with Santa
The most important event! You will travel by skidoo pulled sleigh on a trip across a frozen lake and deep in the woods to his simple log cabin where Santa with greet each child by name for your private family meeting. It is a simple log cabin with a realistic feel, way off the department store Santa experience and managed seamlessly so there is virtually no queue. Santa will discuss with your children their letters and give them each a present.
Activities in the snow
A husky sled drive, mini skidoo's for children, ice hockey, ice fishing, tobogganing, reindeer lassoing, tandem skiing and kick sledding are all included plus optional extras such as a skidoo trip to see the northern lights, the longest toboggan run in Finland, a reindeer ride, longer husky ride and skiing. The reindeer sleigh ride finishes at the Igloos, where you will find the ice bar in one and Igloo Fantasia where the Elves put on a show for the children (and adults) in the other. Just for the children there are mini skidoo’s.
Staying in Saariselka, there are an abundance of toboggans provided free of charge to all guests to be used at any time.
Which Lapland Hotel is best for families?
Santa Hotel Riekonlinna.
One of our favourite hotels. Very nice rooms in the main hotel with various apartment options in blocks around the hotel – not as big as the Holiday Club apartments (see below) but nicer furnishings. This is also the ideal hotel if you have mobility issues as there are lifts to all floors in the main building.
There is a small playroom with balls, slides etc. for children, sauna and it’s own Northern Lights viewing room. Nice bar area and restaurant.
Santa Hotel Tunturi.
We love this hotel for families too. The hotel has a choice of restaurants and has the reputation for offering the best food!
All the accommodation is in the annex buildings which are just a coule of minutes walk of the main building.
The new Gielas suites are in their own block and are modern in design and furnishing although smaller than those in the traditional annexes. Breakfast is served here but dinner is in the main building. These do always sell out quickly.
Santa's Hotel Holiday Club.
Great heated pool area with a lazy river, wave machine, kid’s area and toboggan slide. The pool is free for hotel residents but guests staying in other hotels are able to use at a charge(in 2014 a family of four costs 48 Euros)
The standard rooms are located in the main hotel with various apartments in blocks around the hotel. These rooms are functional but fine given you spend hardly any time there anyway. The apartments are spacious with many different room configurations. Some have DVD players (you can request one) which is handy as there are no English TV options.
Rakka is a good a la carte restaurant as long as you bear in mind that gourmet food is not the reason you have come with reasonable prices. The buffet restauratn which is included in the half board offers a good selection with a kids option too. Breakfast is buffet with the usual suspects and a fresh waffle station. The gala dinner is held at the Hotel Tunturi, just a couple of minutes walk away.
There is also a bar and disco, located away from all the rooms so you would never know it was there unless you looked for it.
You can access the Angry Birds Activity Centre just next to the hotel. This is a huge play space with indoor soft play equipment and virtual games aimed at adults and children alike. This is at extra cost - 16 Euros per person with under 4's being free.