Editors Note: For those who are curious, Lapland is in Finland. It isn’t a separate country though there is some talk of Santa’s Elves having a revolution.
You might have filed Lapland next to Dorothy’s Oz and Peter Pan’s Never Never Land, in your mental list of mythical places, but this winter wonderland actually exists. Lapland holidays can prove it to you. Here are some of the things a trip to snowy heaven will let you discover for yourself:
1. There are hotels made entirely of ice.
That’s right – even the bed you’ll sleep on is frozen. But don’t worry, have a drink at the ever-so-cool ice bar, wrap yourself in some local furs and you’ll stay nice and toasty.
2. The sky turns rainbow-coloured at night.
If you’re outside at the right time of the evening, between October and March, you might get the chance to see those famous Northern Lights. The twinkly Christmas display in your local town might have impressed you, but just wait till you see the natural greens, reds and purples of Aurora Borealis.
3. People strap tennis rackets onto their feet to go for walks.
Perhaps they’re a little more technical than the wooden racket you had imagined, but snowshoes are as common as muck in Lapland. Putting on a pair and going for a wander is a great way to see the sights, and if you’re brave enough, you could even hike to and stay in a mountain hut to try out the simple life for 24 hours.
4. You don’t need a boat to cross the rivers.
In winter, Lapland’s rivers are your playground, because a thick layer of ice means they are quite safe to travel across. Rent a snowmobile and ride it along the river into the wilderness, or hire some skates and practice your pirouettes.
5. Locals ride to work on dog sleds.
The Sami people have been husky sledding for centuries, and in Lapland, you’ll get the chance to try it out for yourself. Admittedly, your guide probably still sleds to work because his work is teaching people to sled, but that doesn’t make it any less fun to shout “Mush!” and watch some beautiful dogs guide you through some beautiful scenery.
6. Rudolph lives there.
Okay, so he might not know his name. Or be able to fly. But go on a reindeer safari through one of the national parks and, among the 200,000 reindeer living in Lapland, you are sure to find one with a red nose (even if it’s just because he’s caught a nasty sniffle).
7. Santa lives there.
At least, there’s a man living in Lapland who looks just like him and spends all year giving presents to children. If you arrange a visit with the kids, you can guarantee they’ll be convinced they’ve met him, and you never know, you might even get caught up in the magic, too.
If you’re dreaming of a white Christmas, stop dreaming and have a look at the late deals . You could be singing jingle bells from a real life sleigh before you know it.