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Dec 2013 Northern Lights/Santa Claus Visit

Singapore
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Dec 2013 Northern Lights/Santa Claus Visit

Hello there

My family and I (a total of 3 adults) are trying to plan a holiday to Finland in Dec 2013. We will be flying in from UK to Rovaniemi, looking to spend around 5 days in Rovaniemi. The information on the forum/internet is mind boggling, information overload! Not too sure where to start.

Below are the activities that we want to do when we are in Rovaniemi:

1. See the Northern Lights

2. Say hello to Santa Claus and his reindeers

3. Go on husky tour

4. Simple trek to enjoy the wonderful Finnish outdoors

Will you be able to recommend a place to stay in Rovaniemi (Preferably 3 adults in a room, looking at around Euros 150/night) ? And any other additional recommendations?

Thank you

Madeline

Rovaniemi, Finland
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1. Re: Dec 2013 Northern Lights/Santa Claus Visit

For a longer than just overnight stay, and especially for a group, I would definitely recommend a cottage over hotel rooms. They are self catering, but so much more relaxed and gives you much better chance to spend quality time together - which is very important on a holiday. When travelling with friends, or even with our sports team, we usually try to find a cottage first.

There are some private cottages arond Rovaniemi. You can search from them through www.visitrovaniemi.fi but best holiday villages around here:

http://www.santaclausholidayvillage.fi/

http://www.ounasvaaranlakituvat.fi/

http://www.ounasvaaranpirtit.fi/

Santa Claus Holiday Village is the latest and gets great reviews, but loaction in Santa Claus Village is a bit remote from the town centre. Ounasvaaran Lakituvat and Ounasvaaran Pirtit are within 2-3 km from Rovaniemi. Ounasvaaran Lakituvat is almost at the top of hill Ounasvaara. Very nice but a tad pricy. Ounasvaaran Pirtit is situated by river Kemijoki. Quite a nice spot and have spent some nights there also.

My choice for hotels would be:

http://www.hotelsantaclaus.fi/

http://www.cityhotel.fi/

laplandhotels.com/EN/hotels-and-restaurants/…

Sky Ounasvaara is exactly on top of hill Ounasvaara, others exactly in centre of Rovaniemi. CityHotel is a warm, family owned hotel with a good restaurant. Hotel Santa Claus is probably the top quality hotel here, but that shows also in rooms prices.

Try using www.booking.com for best deals. It's seems to be the partner programme our local hotels most commonly prefer.

Singapore, Singapore
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42 posts
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2. Re: Dec 2013 Northern Lights/Santa Claus Visit

Hi Madeline, I'm from Singapore and thinking of visiting Finland too with my family (including my wife and my 5-year-old boy) for about 8-10 days. I've been doing a lot of research on the Internet and would like to do the following activities:

1) Stay at Kakslauttanen Glass Igloo

2) Drive a reindeer sledge

3) Ride on a husky sled

4) Drive into the wilderness on snowmobiles

5) Campfire in the wilderness

6) Ice fishing

7) Catch the Northern Lights

8) Get on the Sampo ice-breaking cruise

9) Try a traditional Lappish lunch

10) Visit Santa Claus and his elves, of course!

11) Visit Helsinki & Turku (optional)

Have you found anything yet?

Edited: 10 July 2013, 08:06
Oulu, Finland
Destination Expert
for Helsinki, Oulu, Lapland
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3. Re: Dec 2013 Northern Lights/Santa Claus Visit

Kakslauttanen is not in Rovaniemi, it's near Saariselkä in Inari municipality. For going there you should be looking for flights to Ivalo instead of Rovaniemi. Sampo Icebreaker and Kakslauttanen are in the opposite corners of Lapland, almost 400 km apart. If you only want to sleep in a glass igloo, you can do the same also in Levi in Levin Iglut ( http://www.leviniglut.net/en/ ), they are located about 10 km from the centre of Levi, approx. 170 km from Rovaniemi. From Rovaniemi there are organised day excursions to the Sampo icebreaker: sampotours.com/english/cruise-info/day-excur… .

Singapore, Singapore
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4. Re: Dec 2013 Northern Lights/Santa Claus Visit

Hi, I am interested in viewing the northern light in December 2013. However, report showed that the optimal months will be late January , February to March. Do you all know where to view the weather report as clear skies are required to catch Northern light. The possibility is lower in December compared to Jan to March? Anyone people have view northern light in December?

Rovaniemi, Finland
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2,222 posts
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5. Re: Dec 2013 Northern Lights/Santa Claus Visit

Actually optimal time for Northern Lights would be weeks around Equinox. And if you wish the night time to be a bit longer, then it's weeks after September Equinox and before March Equinox. There's a small statistical difference, but in reality all winter months are ok.

Usually less cloudy during spring months than in fall, so that's one to consider.

For weather radar: en.ilmatieteenlaitos.fi/rain-and-cloudiness

And also: http://www.yr.no/

Auroras Now has a service to monitor magnetic disturbance level: http://aurora.fmi.fi/public_service/

Singapore, Singapore
2 posts
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6. Re: Dec 2013 Northern Lights/Santa Claus Visit

Thanks for your reply!

I was thinking of visiting Rovaniemi.

In late December, it would snow more frequently which made the sky more cloudy as compared to late Feb?

Since you had stayed there, it would be amazing to be so near and chances to view the Northern Light would be so much higher.

Rovaniemi, Finland
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2,222 posts
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7. Re: Dec 2013 Northern Lights/Santa Claus Visit

December isn't a particularly rainy month, or snowy, but November and December are the cloudiest. It has something to do with our geographical position, and how weather fronts often arrive from south west.

As a local the cloudiness is not something you take notice of (except weather in November cam be pretty bad), but it shows up in statistics.

G'Day
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2 posts
7 reviews
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8. Re: Dec 2013 Northern Lights/Santa Claus Visit

G'Day all,

My wife and I were considering a 1 week visit either at the start or end of december, which is better? To chance a viewing of the northern lights and go ice fishing, husky ride, rain deer etc….

We have been looking online on how to get there, where to stay etc, fairly involved. At this point we want to stay in lapland but aren't sure where. We want to stay somewhere that offers a bunch of activities listed above.

If anyone has any experience/advice that would be appreciated.

Regards

Gray

Rovaniemi, Finland
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2,222 posts
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9. Re: Dec 2013 Northern Lights/Santa Claus Visit

Absolutely end of December is much better. If you can reach it to end of March even better! It's something I always would like to say to visitors who are planning their dream Christmas holiday in Lapland, that on a Christmas day give your family a gift, that in a couple of weeks you are going for a holiday in Lapland... :)

But for those activities you mentioned any resort will do. Rovaniemi, Levi, Ylläs, Saariselkä, Luosto, Ruka... Any destination is a safe choice. For Northern Lights it's pure luck. Statistically weeks around equinox are the best.

Getting here is easy. Take the cheapest flight to Helsinki and then check which one Norwegian or Finnair gives you the best deal for a connecting flight to Lapland. All major resorts are connected to airports.

G'Day
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2 posts
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10. Re: Dec 2013 Northern Lights/Santa Claus Visit

thanks for the feedback, much appreciated! Still looking at options, considering even the train (if even possible). Being from Australia the train experience is appealing as our train systems are terrible in comparison.