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Suggested itinerary to Finland in December 2014

Singapore River...
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Suggested itinerary to Finland in December 2014

Hi, am looking at a 10 days itinerary to Finland in December 2014.

Activities that I plan to do is:

1. Northern Lights

2. Sampo Icebreaker

3. Snow mobiling

4. Stay in SnowHotel/Igloo

5. Santas Claus Village and Artic Circle

6. Ice fishing

7. Reindeer and husky

8. Amethyst mine

Understand that most of the activities are in Lapland. Can someone recommend which airport should I fly into Lapland? If I take rail, I would be stopping in Rovaniemi right?

Intend to fly home from Helsinki so appreciate if someone can recommend an itinerary. Is it better to take rail or fly or drive?

Thank you.

Rovaniemi, Finland
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1. Re: Suggested itinerary to Finland in December 2014

Doable, but you would have your amethyst mine in Luosto, Sampo icebreaker in Kemi, Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi, igloos in Levi or Saariselkä...

To limit excess travelling and changing hotels after each night, I would first set my base in Rovaniemi for a couple of days. A flight or a night train here - it's up to you. A flight is often cheaper.

In Rovaniemi you'll have Santa Claus Village and Arctic Circle, maybe some of those other activities too. But it would also be really easy to arrange day trips to Kemi and Sampo Icebreaker and Luosto and Amethyst mine. Kemi is reachable by a train and a bus. Luosto by a bus. About 1.5 hours to both destinations.

Then for the rest of your trip I would go either to Levi or Saariselkä. For activities and Northern Lights it doesn't really matter which resort you choose. For your number 4. option Saariselkä has Kakslauttanen, which offers both snow and glass igloos. Levi has Levi Igloos and Lainio Snow Village.

But in Rovaniemi and Santa Claus Village they also have an igloo hotel called Arctice. It could be convenient, as I bet you wouldn't be spending more than one night in there. Then as you get to Levi or Saariselkä you could focus more on your activities. Snow castle in Kemi opens in January, so that's unfortunately not an option.

All ski resorts are reachable by bus. Getting back to Helsinki there is no need to go via Rovaniemi anymore. Levi has Kittilä airport and Saariselkä Ivalo airport. Norwegian (www.norwegian.com) flies to both. With just one-way tickets it's preferable to use Norwegian than Finnair.

Singapore River...
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2. Re: Suggested itinerary to Finland in December 2014

Hi PasiRoi,

Is it possible to self-drive from Rovaniemi to these places to do the activities listed below? Or is it better to based myself in Rovaniemi and join day tours from Rovaniemi for these activities?

Rovaniemi, Finland
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3. Re: Suggested itinerary to Finland in December 2014

Totally possible to go DIY.

If you are not tight on your budget, I think the best is to hire a car for a couple of days. It is winter, but roads are maintained and in good condition, so don't worry about that. Good studdes tires on all rental cars. The next best thing is to use public transport, buses and trains.

If you do little research on schedules etc, I don't see what extra organized day tours can offer. Other than meeting other guests of course, and saving you the extra of doing research.

But I'm more a DIY person and actually like reading time tables, and planning my trips using public transport. It's not always (or ever) the most convenient way, but on a plus side, you are forced to make contact with the locals and feel more connected to the place you are visiting.

Consider also Ranua Wildlife Park. About an hour from Rovaniemi. December is good time to visit, as they are mostly arctic animals living in huge shelters. It's not like a typical zoo.

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4. Re: Suggested itinerary to Finland in December 2014

I am sourcing for airtickets to Finland and it seems like the travel dates will be as follows:

11 Dec 2014, 0700hrs: Reach Helsinki International Airport

23 Dec 2014, 0000hrs: Depart Helsinki for Singapore

I will have 13 days in Finland.

Been thinking if it is possible to go St Petersburg for the 1st 3 days. Any recommendation on what to see in St Petersburg?

If not, where else can I visit in Finland besides the activities in Lapland. I found that SampoTours commence its ice breaking cruise on 19 Dec and the Snow Village commences on 10 Dec...so i have to plan in such a way that i am in rovaniemi during that period.

WOuld like to check if anyone has any advice to where i can visit in St petersburg or where else in finland i can visit?

Singapore River...
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5. Re: Suggested itinerary to Finland in December 2014

Hi PasiRoi,

Is it better to go Kilpisjärvi instead of Rovaniemi?

Rovaniemi, Finland
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6. Re: Suggested itinerary to Finland in December 2014

That's a tough question. For a simple touristic tour? No. Kilpisjärvi is a small village with a shop and a gas station. Unless you enjoy exploring the nature on your own, there is not much to fill your day. You'd need to be a little adventurous to enjoy your trip there.

But then the place is quite unique also. Nature is pretty barren up there. I would say somehwere after Kaaresuvanto you really start to feel, that you are entering a different place. After Kilpisjärvi the road going to Norway is almost an alien-like environment until it descents to the fjords.

Taking a bus from Rovaniemi to Kilpisjärvi you would see a lot, but it's not something I would recommend for a casual tourist. But if you feel like it, go for it.

Edited: 01 June 2014, 10:09
Singapore River...
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7. Re: Suggested itinerary to Finland in December 2014

Hi PasiRoi,

Thanks for the advice. I will stick to Rovaniemi and Levi or Saariselkä.

Will check with you on my detailed itinerary once I work it out.

Singapore River...
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8. Re: Suggested itinerary to Finland in December 2014

Hi PasiRoi,

Any comments to my draft itinerary below:

Day 1 (14 Dec): Depart Singapore for Finland

Day 2 (15 Dec): Domestic flight from Helsinki to Rovaniemi

- Collect rental car

- Visit Santa Claus Village and Arctic Circle

- Shopping in Santa Claus Village and/or Rovaniemi centre

- Hunt for Northern Lights

- Overnight in Rovaniemi

Day 3 (16 Dec): Depart Rovaniemi for Lanio

- Visit Amethyst Mine

- Overnight at Lanio Snow Village

- Hunt for Northern Lights

- Is there other activities to do in Inari?

Day 4 (17 Dec): Depart Lanio for Inari

- Visit Siida Museum / Sami culture

- Hunt for Northern Lights

- Overnight in Inari?

- Is there any activities to do in Inari?

Day 5 (18 Dec): Depart Inari for Saariselka

- Snow tobaganning (where to do?)

- Is there any activities to do in Saariselka?

- Hunt for Northern Lights

- Overnight stay in snow igloo

Day 6 (19 Dec): Depart Saariselka for Rovaniemi

- Visit Rauna Wildlife Zoo

- Shopping in Rovaniemi

- Hunt for Northern Lights

Day 7 (20 Dec): Depart Rovanimei for Kemi then back again to Rovaniemi

- Sampo Tours

- Any other activities?

Day 8 (21 Dec): Domestic flight from Rovaniemi to Helsinki

- Any recommendations to do in Helsinki?

Day 9 (22 Dec): Sightseeing in Helsinki

Day 10 (23 Dec): Sightseeing in Helsinki and then late night flight back to Singapore.

Rovaniemi, Finland
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9. Re: Suggested itinerary to Finland in December 2014

Great planning! Your itinerary looks mostly good to me.

Some notes though. On day 3 you could visit Amethyst Mine and still reach Lainio Snow Village in one day. It's about 270 km drive total, and you should count something like 2 hours for the mine + lunch. So doable. But Amethyst Mine is located in Luosto and Lainio Snow Village near Levi. It would be another 250 km drive the following day from Lainio/Levi to Saariselkä/Inari. If you are staying a night also at Kakslauttanen, I would give Lainio another thought. But if you are fine with driving, go for Lainio also.

While in Inari, as you have a car, it's better to set your base initially in Saariselkä. Village of Inari itself has a couple of hotels, but otherwise Saariselkä has better services and more lodgin options for visitors. It's about 1 hour drive from Saariselkä to Inari to visit Sami Museum Siida.

On day 5 consider also, if you really want to do snowy activities and stay in a snow igloo the same day... :) After a day playing in snow, you might want to hang your gear to dry. But they have glass igloos also, that should be with normal room temperature.

Day 6 another long ride, but again if fine with driving, doable in one day. It will be some 340 km from Saariselkä to Ranua. About 2 hours should be enough to tour the park + lunch. But do leave early. You should reach Ranua ideally before noon, to still have some daylight. Then about 80 km back to Rovaniemi.

Singapore River...
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10. Re: Suggested itinerary to Finland in December 2014

Hi PasiRoi,

Really appreciate your advice. Thanks for your great help!