A 4 day Father Christmas Holiday Adventure in Inari, the mystical homeland of the Sami people immortalised by Philip Pullman in His Dark Materials. Here in this arboreal oasis of peace and tranquillity (well ok quiet and natural if you’re not into poetry) you'll snowmobile across frozen tundra, ride a sleigh pulled by Rudolph, Donner or Blitzen, mush a team of huskies and meet with Father Christmas not once but twice. You'll also search for, collect and decorate your own Christmas tree, bake cookies in traditional Finnish fashion, snow shoe and tobaggon on vahca*. All at Muotka Wilderness Lodge where Jouko and Mari Lappalainen’s hospitality infuses everybody and everything, so it’s as if they’re around looking after you, even when they’re not.
* Sami for loose new snow.
Muotka Wilderness Lodge sits alongside a frozen river a zillion miles away from anything urban: noise, lighting and people. Close to Inari, home of the indigenous people of Sapmi (Lapland), you'll have the chance to meet & mingle with them whilst sledding with reindeer, mushing huskies, snowmobiling and searching out Father Christmas. What makes this adventure beyond special is the envelope of comfort that co-owner Mari Lappalainen has turned the lodge into; the sheer awesomeness of the surrounding forest with frozen crystal snow cleaving to pine & birch and the mushing, sledding and snowmobiling. (Not forgetting the 200 or so average number of times the Northern Lights show themselves).
Fly to Ivalo in Finnish Lapland via Helsinki, transfer on arrival to Moutka Maja, the cabin between the fjells, and check in to your selected accommodation. Try on your thermal clothing which will be ready in your room, take a welcome hot berry juice and supper in the hotel and should you fancy it, walk down alongside the Lodge’s adjacent stream for an inaugural sighting of the Northern Lights (possibly, hopefully, maybe!)
Take breakfast and then it’s time to snowmobile out to Armi Palanoja’s reindeer corral and meet Rudolph, Donner & Blitzen. Arni or one of his family will show you how to lasso a reindeer and then you’ll take a short sleigh ride through the ‘can’t hear a pin drop’ snowscape. Return to the Lodge for lunch after which it’s party time with tobogganing, ice fishing, snow shoeing and cross country skiing outdoors, blended with cookie baking and decorating a Christmas tree indoors. Buffet supper in the Lodge.
This morning its time to visit a local husky kennels where the dog’s handlers will introduce you to the dogs (literally – they all have individual names) and explain the role of the lead, swing, team and wheel dogs and show you how to balance a sled, brake, steer and generally handle your own dog team. Children will tuck up on a sleigh behind your musher and you’ll set off into the forest; the dogs pulling you along a snow carpeted trail along which the silence is broken only by the whooshing sound of the slicing sleigh runners. Half way along the trail you’ll stop for a hot lingonberry juice and swap mushing positions should you wish. Return to the Lodge for lunch after which you’ll be taken individually as a family to visit Father Christmas and his elves in his cabin at a secret location in the forest known only to your guide. and where children can make known their wishes. Time for children to re-charge their batteries before a valedictory traditional Sami Christmas buffet supper culminating in a visit from Father Christmas to make earlier wishes come true.
Time for some last minute tobogganing and fun in the snow before transferring to Ivalo for your return ﬂight(s) via Helsinki to the UK
Scheduled Finnair return flight(s) from the UK via Helsinki to Finnish Lapland
All airport departure taxes and passenger service charges
Complimentary beverages & Pay on Board food service
Carriage of luggage (I pc Cabin 1pc Hold)
Return private group hotel/airport transfers in Lapland
Wilderness Lodge accommodation as per itinerary
Lodgings in suite or cabin with private Sauna, WC/Shower
Husky Mushing Safari as detailed in itinerary
Reindeer Corral visit & sleigh ride as per itinerary
Fun in the Snow programme as detailed (tobogganing, ice fishing & fun snow shoeing)
TWO MEETINGS WITH FATHER CHRISTMAS (one privately in his cabin & a farewell one over dinner)
Small Christmas present & ‘smuggled parental present’ facility
Full Board as described including valedictory traditional dinner
PROTECTIVE CLOTHING PACK (THERMAL ONESIE OR TROUSERS & JACKET, DEER FLAPPED HAT, LINED LEATHER GLOVES, RIBBED SOCKS & BOOTS)
December 13th & 16th
£ 1395 per adult*
£ 995 per child*
* Guide prices are in part based on our mid-level contract air fares which are veriable in real time unlike our ground supplier contract costs which are generally fixed. We don’t do fancy lead in prices and the time you confirm your booking always use the lowest air fare available. This may mean the confirmed price of your holiday being slightly less or more than the guide price in which case a proportionate reduction-supplement will apply. Carpe Diem = the earlier you book the better, especially for public & school holidays.