a 4 day clutch of snowy adventures for grown-ups as much as children with a ride on a snow sledge to see Father Christmas in his forest cabin and a valedictory visit from him before you leave. Arranged as an ‘UNTOUR’ for you to be together as a family when you want to and with likeminded people when you need to .
The untouched 1000 year old tunturi wilderness of western Finland overlooking Lake Jerisjarvi in Harriniva’s Jeris’ Cabins with a day at Torasseippi Reindeer Corral and its Magic Kingdom village made entirely of ice and snow or ‘snice’ as the children like to call it. A reindeer sleigh ride in the forest surrounding a reindeer farm dating back over 150 years; a mush behind a pack of Siberian huskies reared at Harriniva; a snowmobile safari across frozen lakes, mogul littered mires and forest pathways. And mini snowmobiling, ice fishing, tobogganing, snow shoeing all sprinkled with magic star dust.
come in three types all of which are privately owned, vary in décor accordingly and which we like to refer to as Type Ahti, Brita and Camilla and the hotel somewhat more prosaically as A, B & C.! Type A cottages are generally located closest to the main hotel building and consequently ideal for families with small children. Varying in size, all sleep up to four people: two in an alcove off the main room and two in a pull out sofa bed. Each has a wood burning stove, clothes drying cupboard, kitchenette, TV, WC/shower and private sauna. Type B sleep from four to six and are ideal for larger families of four or those with older children. Each has a living room area with kitchenette and wood burning stove, one bedroom for two people and a loft area which can sleep up to four more. Whilst varying in size all are equipped with a wood burning stove, clothes drying cupboard, TV, WC/shower and private sauna. Scattered in the woods surrounding the main hotel building; the furthest is no more than 15 minutes from it. Last but by no means least, C cottages are the largest, sleeping up to seven people in two separate bedrooms downstairs and up to 3 in a loft sleeping area. Each has a wood burning stove, clothes drying cupboard, TV, WC/shower and private sauna.
fly from London Heathrow with Finnair, Santa's official airline, to Kittila in Finnish Lapland. Transfer by private coach to Harriniva’s Hotel Jeris by the lakeside at Jerisjarvi. On arrival your luggage will be taken to your cabin where your thermal clothing will be ready so the children can step outside and throw a snowball or two without delay. Welcome Supper in the hotel’s Lakeside restaurant.
after breakfast, start the day by meeting your Elf guide who takes you in search of ‘A Magic Christmas tree’ under which children can leave a special wish. As they do so, they’ll discovery an invitation to meet Dancer & Dasher hidden in a bag of reindeer food. Set off according to the invitation’s instructions to Torassieppi, a vast reindeer corral and farm where you’ll meet a Reindeer Herder. He’ll tell you something of his life and times, show you to how to lasso a reindeer and introduce you to Dancer and Dasher along with Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Dunder, Blixum and of course Rudolph. Tuck yourself up on a sleigh behind one of them and take a ride through the forest reciting ‘Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all’ as you watch the forest go by. On your return, walk through a magic ice village for lunch around the Aihki Kota’s open hearth fire: the village is built entirely of ‘snice’ (snow, ice, and a mix of the two) with illuminated sculptures, igloos and even an ice chapel, all of which melt away in spring. Fortified and rejuvenated, set off through the arboreal forest mushing your own team of Siberian huskies surrounded by what we call Lapland’s unique ‘sound of silence’, one amplified by contrast with the excited barking of the dogs. Return to the kennels to look round and meet the rest of the dog pack: black & white ones, white & black ones, brown & white ones, puppies to cuddle, all sorts. Dinner at your hotel.
after breakfast, leave for nearby Tonttu Kota where you’ll meet some of Father Christmas’ Elves who (who with the Head Elf’s permission) will share their felt and wood making skills and help you make a small something of your own as a keepsake. If the work makes you peckish they’ll also share pancakes, sooty coffee and berry juice with you. When done, and with children safely tucked up under insulating reindeer hides on a sleigh towed behind your guide, scoot off on your snowmobile for a high speed safari across frozen lakes, mogul littered frozen mires and along frozen trails with the air chilling your nostrils and adrenaline pumping through your veins. After lunch make your ‘once in a lifetime’ private pilgrimage to see Father Christmas in his cabin at a secret location in the woods known only to the Elves, one of whom is specially deputised to escort you to him. You’re driven on a snowmobile sled out into the forest along a trail marked by lanterns hanging in the trees at the end of which you meet with Father Christmas’ most senior Elf. He guides you to his giant log cabin where Santa lives, up to his front door and…. the rest is a secret until you meet him! Whilst waiting for the Elf children enjoy special mini snowmobile rides; toboggan; learn to snow shoe, tandem ski, fish through the ice and bake traditional gingerbread cookies. And before the day is done collect a tree from the forest to put up and decorate before your valedictory dinner of Sami Christmas specialities, during which Father Christmas will visit and distribute small presents for everyone.
breakfast in your hotel with time for some last minute tobogganing, snow shoeing and cookie baking before an early lunch and private group transfer to Kittila airport for your return flight(s) to the UK.
Scheduled return flight(s) from London Heathrow to Finnish Lapland
All passenger service charges & airport departure taxes
Pay on board cabin service
Private group return Airport/Hotel transfers
4 nights accommodation at Harriniva’s Hotel Jeris
Lodging in a private cabin with wood burning stove, clothes drying cupboard, kitchenette, television, shower room, toilet and private sauna
4 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 4 dinners including a special festive Christmas dinner with traditional Sami/Finnish specialities on final evening
Safaris by Reindeer (3km), Husky (6km), Snowmobile (15km) as detailed in the itinerary
Meeting with Reindeer Herder at Torassiepi Reindeer Farm and Corral
Snow fun activities including mini snowmobiling as detailed in Day 4 of the itinerary
Privately guided family visit to and audience with Father Christmas
Return visit from Father Christmas during dinner on final evening
Small gift from Father Christmas
Smuggle Father Christmas your own present facility (how this works is you bring a present for your children and we smuggle it to Father Christmas who will hand it over so that, as if by magic, he knows what they want)
Complete set of protective thermal clothing: protective salopette& jacket or coat; gloves, mittens, ribbed socks, snow boots, scarf & deer flapped hat for duration of stay
Services of Courier and local guides
December 17th 4days/3 nights LHR 10.20 - KTT 1515/KTT 12.10 - LHR 17.10 £1349 per adult/£959 per child. Price based on Type A cabin. Type B Cabin supplements £25 per person. Type C Cabin supplements £45 per person
Finnish Lapland hasn’t quite reached the state of a New York department store that once advertised “Six Santas – No Waiting’ but there’s no question some mass market places have more than a hint of Alton Towers in the snow about them. So we think we have the answer with our ‘Un Tours’ which aren’t, in the accepted mass market sense of the word, really tours at all. We set the scene in family owned places that play out traditional Lutheran customs in a commercially unsullied way. We take groups of seats on flights rather than charter a whole plane so we can take small groups of like-minded people. We arrange the story we have to tell the children over two or three days with relaxing intervals. We take you with your children to see Father Christmas in the forest and also arrange for him to come and visit you. Our reindeer herders are genuine Sami ones rather than people dressed up for the occasion; our huskies live in kennels where they were born and our snowmobiles are 4 stroke turbo charged ones with comfort rear suspension. [If the latter description leaves you cold it means you can enjoy a ride without your coccyx being jammed up your throat]. Where things need to be done in a group they’re organised that way and when they’re not, you can keep yourself to yourself as much as you please. Our couriers work rather like Club Med GO’s (gentils organisateurs, if you haven’t been) who are there to give you as much of a hand as you want or need, and no more. Because we’re on first name terms with Father Christmas, we arrange for him to come down from Korvatunturi on different days to Harriniva’s Hotel Jeris, the Hotel Lodge Korpikatarno by Menasjarvi and Hotel Kultahovi in Inari: remote villages in the snows where traditional Finnish Lutheran customs are still played out on a small scale. Where everybody can enjoy snowmobile rides, husky mushing, reindeer safaris and children get to visit Father Christmas; where you’ll find tobogganing & snowmobiling not discos; ice-fishing not fast food; pine clad rooms or open-fired log cabins not soulless cell blocks and herds of huskies not people. We think seeing Father Christmas should be magical, mystical and very, very special for both you and your children.
Father Christmas lives in the Finnish part of Lapland on a fjell or hill called Korvatunturi, which means ‘the hill with ears’, because of its shape. It is from there that he listens to wishes from children all over the world and, if they have been good, tries to make them come true. Some American children think that Father Christmas lives at the North Pole which is really rather silly, because if he did, Rudolph, Prancer and Dancer and all the other reindeer would have nothing to have to eat because there is only snow and ice at the North Pole. He shows himself only to children who believe in him and who are lucky enough to be taken to see him. Some grown-ups never, ever see him because they don’t believe he really exists. In December his elves help him move to the fjells further south because it gets very cold in Korvatunturi and he needs to be really warm before he sets off around the world on Christmas Eve.