Christmas Trip to Northern Lapland, Saariselkä (22.12.2016-28.12.2016)
- Departure 22.12.2016
- End date 28.12.2016
- Availability over 8
- Price from 355€
Discover the magical Lapland in the northernmost ski resort of Europe! Visit the Santa Claus village in Rovaniemi, a reindeer farm hosted by Sami people, the beautiful Arctic landscape and if you are lucky, the Northern lights! There is a variety of winter sports you can try – snowshoes, skiing, husky sledding, snowmobile driving, swimming in the Arctic Ocean – and all this with student discounted prices! The group will accommodate in atmospheric cottages on the slope of the Kaunispää-mountain, which is a perfect place for spotting the Aurora Borealis!
SAARISELKÄ SKI RESORT & DOWNHILL SKIING or TELEMARK or SNOWBOARD
from 25€ // 1-3hrs // Warm clothing Recommended
Nestling at the foot of Kaunispää fell and partly located within the borders of Urho Kekkonen National Park, the village of Saariselkä is one of Finland’s most exotic and popular ski resorts. Apart from downhill skiing/Telemarking or snowboarding on a choice of six slopes you can also go on a snowmobile safari or try your hand at husky sledding. The landscape is simply breathtaking! Timetravels students get discounted rates, by mentioning our discount code at the entrance to the resort.
TOUR OF THE ARCTIC OCEAN
from 55€ // Full day // Comfortable clothing recommended
A one-day bus tour during which you’ll not only experience breathtaking landscapes, walk on the shores of the Arctic Ocean and even swim in it, but you’ll also meet and learn about the indigenous peoples who’ve lived in this cold and inhospitable region for thousands of years – the Sámi (Lapp) people and the Finnish Kven’s in the fishing village of Bugøynes. You’ll also get the chance to taste traditional fish soup in a local restaurant. The 550-kilometre tour takes around 8 hours. A definite must-do for your bucket list!
THE CROSS COUNTRY SKIING + SPA
from 40€ // 2hrs // Outdoor winter clothes Recommended
Apart from being Finland’s national sport, cross-country skiing is also a lot of fun. Our guides will prime you in the basic skiing techniques, and then you’ll be off, striding and gliding through amazing scenery along the best cross-country ski trails in the world – the very same trails that famous professional skiers come all the way to Finland to practice on! The program finishes with a tasty traditional Finnish soup lunch, after which we recommend a visit to Saariselkä spa for a relaxing sauna and jacuzzi! Feel like a real Finn!
THE NIGHT SNOWSHOE TRIP TO THE SAARISELKÄ FELL
from 39€ // 3hrs // Warm clothing Recommended
On snowshoes, in the wilderness, with the help of a map and clues from your guide, each team attempts to be first to find the treasure hidden deep within the forest! On the way, you encounter challenges that can only be met by pooling your survival skills and pulling together as a team! So, let the best team win! If you’re lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights while you’re trekking through the trees. After the adventure, the fun continues in with a tasty two-course dinner in a restaurant with a happy Lappish atmosphere.
REINDEER AURORA SAFARI
from 85€ // 2hrs // Clothes provided by service provider
Sitting in a sleigh being pulled quietly through a snow-covered forest by trotting reindeer is a wonderful way to enjoy the peace of the wilderness. A warm, cosy sleigh is the perfect place from which to hunt the skies for the Northern Lights. After moving deeper into the forest, we pause a while beneath the trees to enjoy a hot drink and cookies beside a blazing camp-fire and listen to the reindeer man telling tales of reindeer and the natural wonders of magical Lapland.
THE NIGHT SNOWMOBILE SAFARI
from 95€ // 3 hours // Clothes provided by service provider
Snowmobiles are one of the most convenient ways of getting around beyond the Arctic Circle. The locals use them to go to the grocery store or to visit friends on the other side of the hill. Although you don’t need a license to drive a snowmobile, previous driving experience is recommended. Our snowmobiles are two-seaters, which means that both of you will have the chance to drive for about 45 minutes. Surrounded by beautiful scenery, the route takes you to hidden places way out in the wilderness, from where you may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights! For people who like a little adventure in their lives!
THE HUSKY SAFARI
from 65€ // 2hrs // Warm clothing Recommended
Siberian huskies are strong cheerful dogs that really love pulling sledges! After you’ve had a quick lesson in the basics, the huskies will take you on a magical tour through the snowy landscape. The sledges accommodate two people and both of you will have the opportunity to drive for about 5 kilometres. The safari ends back at base camp with a hot snack and a warming cup of tea.
Preliminary trip program
DAY 1 - Departure day
21.00 Departure from Helsinki railway station square (In front of the Casino)
21.50 Departure from Riihimäki (Matkakeskus)
22.30 Departure from Hämeenlinna bus station (Wetterhof tourist bus stop)
23.30 Departure from Tampere railway station square
DAY 2 - The Kemi Snow Castle , Santa Claus Village , Arrival in Lapland
01.45 Departure from Jyväskylä Matkakeskus
06.30 Departure from Oulu bus station
07.00 Departure from Oulu university
08.00 Arrival in Kemi, shopping and breakfast stop at Citymarket shopping center & grocery store
10.00 Visiting the Kemi Snow Castle
11.30 Departure from Kemi Snowcastle towards Rovaniemi
14:00 Visiting the Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi. In Santa Claus village you can take pictures with the SANTA, cross the magical Arctic circle, have lunch in one of the restaurants, buy souvenirs, send postcards from the Santa’s official post office and have a lunch (we recommend SHELL gas station across the street). Duration 2,5 h. Departure to Saariselkä at 16.30.
19:30 Arrival in Saariselkä, briefing and lodging in apartments. Free time for saunas etc. Hint! In the evening the best place to see Northern lights is the local mountain, from the top of it you can see 360 degree panorama all over. You can easily reach the mountain by foot from your cottage.
DAY 3 – OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES: HUSKY AND SNOWSHOE TOUR, SNOWMOBILE SAFARI AND REINDEER AURORA SAFARI*
09:30 Meeting at the cabins, transportation to the Husky and Snowmobile activity
10:00 Husky Safari, overall duration with briefing, kennel tour etc. 1,5 hour
19:00 Departure for the Aurora Snowmobile Safari, Remember to take your credit card for deposit (only in the case of accident up to 900€). Duration 3 hours. Departure from meeting points at 18:30.
19:45 Departure for Reindeer Safari. Duration 2,5h. Departure from meeting points at 19:15.
DAY 4 – CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING & SPA + SNOWSHOE SAFARI*
10:00 Cross-country skiing + SPA. Departure from the cottages by bus to the starting point. The program includes a two hour trek by skiing + voucher to the Holiday Club SPA (worth 18 €) 12:30 End of the program
18:30 Departure for the Snowshoe Safari. Duration 3-4h.
DAY 5 – TOUR OF THE ARCTIC OCEAN IN NORWAY*
07:00 Day trip to Norway. Departure from the cottages.
Crossing the border to Norway. Near ocean coast we continue to village Bugoynes (60 min break, possibility to swim in the ocean). A soup lunch inclusive in a local cafeteria. Swim in the Arctic ocean! Back to Finland, last break in Näätämö village (shopping).
20:00 Arrival back to Saariselkä. Free time.
23:00 Student Party in Tunturihotel (until 3.30). Free entrance, cloakroom 3 €.
DAY 6 – FREE TIME IN SAARISELKÄ + DEPARTURE HOME
10:45 Check-out. Free time for own activities, you can go shopping, dining, sledding, SPA, downhill skiing. No structured activities. Bus will stop at ski resort at 11.15 and at SPA 11.30. (You can leave your luggage at your bus)
17:00 Departure from the meeting point for home journey. Gas station stop at 21.00 in Rovaniemi for 45 minutes.
DAY 7 – ARRIVAL HOME
00:00 Arrival in Oulu, 04:00 Jyväskylä, 06:00 Tampere, 07:00 Hämeenlinna, 07:30 Riihimäki, 09:30 Helsinki
*Estimated arrival times
What is included
A round trip by bus to Rovaniemi & Saariselkä from chosen departure place
Accommodation in 3-14 person cabins with sauna 4 nights
Visit of the Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi
Visit of the Arktikum Museum
Tour guide services in the destination
Package price does not include
Catering, meals, breakfasts
Bed linen (can be rented in Saariselkä for 15€/trip)
- Extra activities as described in the itinerary (can be booked online until 7 days before departure)
Spend a week like a Finn! Your accommodation is arranged in comfortable apartments/cottages for 4 to 14 people, sized from 40m2 to 300 m2. Cottages may differ by size, plan, location and furniture but they are all of the same price level. All apartments/cottages are equipped with
- Own Sauna
- Bathroom (in larger cottages there can 1-3 bathrooms)
- Kitchen or kitchenette
- Plates, mugs, glasses, forks, knives etc.
- Frying pans, kettles and other cooking accessories
- Matresses and pillows
Good to know
Q: Are there any meals included?
A: In order to get the trip price as low as possible, we stay in cottages with self-catering. Lunches or breakfasts are not inclusive. There are good kitchen facilities in every cabin and groceries are not more expensive than in Southern Finland.
Cooking at the cottages; There are basic kitchen facilities in the living room of the cottages and dorms. Kitchens are equipped with plates, glasses, mugs, knives, stove, and fridge. The meals are not included, but we stop for buying groceries in Rovaniemi City Market. You can for instance decide with your cabin group what you are going to cook together and share the groceries and costs. There is no oven in the cottages though, so don’t buy any groceries such as frozen pizzas, chickens etc.
Grocery shopping; We recommend doing all the shopping on the way to Lapland. Your groceries will not freeze in the bus’ trunk, unless we will get a -35 C temperature. In Kemi or Rovaniemi groceries can be way cheaper than in the Southern Finland. In Inari there is also a SIWA and K-market but no ALKO. If you would like to purchase beverages, please do it in Rovaniemi. You can save a lot of money, if you decide together with your roommates what would you like to cook together.
Q: Is there a possibility to travel by train?
A: The Night train option is convenient only if using sleeping compartments which is quite expensive. Travelling on seats mean the same or less comfort than the overnight bus trip according to our experience. Travelling by train is therefore not possible to be ordered in our tours, but if you want extra comfort you can book the train with sleeping cabin yourself at www.vr.fi and join the trip in Rovaniemi for instance.
Q: We are a group of 8 people, can we stay in the same apartment / cottage? Should we book the trip together?
A: All rooming wishes will be taken into consideration. If you know your roommates when signing up, just indicate their names in the message field but please notice – they will have to book and pay for the same accommodation category to make this possible! If you want to book 8 places at once, you should pay everything in one invoice. If it is not convenient for you, please do separate bookings.
We will send an email with a cabin sign-up document to everyone who has signed up for the trip about a week prior to the departure. There you can choose in which cabin you would like to stay in and with whom you would like to share it with. If you don’t receive this email, please check your spam folder, ask your friends to share it with you or contact our Customer Service Team.
Q: Is there Wi-Fi available in apartments / cottages?
In Saariselkä there is a Wi-Fi- connection in the SIULA building, about 1,5 km from the cottages. You can also find free Wi-Fi in the pubs, which are located in the center of Saariselkä and in Holiday Club Spa -hotel. Please note, that there is no WI-FI or Internet in the cabins!
Q: What should I bring with me?
A: At least the following:
- Warm clothes (Cloth can also be rented for 12€/set/day or 7€/day for only overall and boots)
- Bed linen or sleeping bag (Bed linen are not included, but can be rented from the reception for 15€/trip)
- Swimming suit & tower (unless you want to do it the Finnish way)
- Anything else you may need during the trip: cash, credit card, medicine etc.
- Student card for discounts
- A small pillow or a special neck cushion for the bus trip
Q: What if there is no snow?
A: The reason why we use North Lapland as our main destinations is the fact that with high possibility there is plenty of snow starting from the beginning of November. However, we cannot take responsibility for the weather conditions. If the snow depth will not allow performing some activity, we will offer a substitute or possibility to have full refund for it.
The company arranging the snowmobile safaris will from now on require credits cards to be left as deposit when attending this tour. We would kindly remind, that causing damage to snowmobile by crashing it towards a tree is not only dangerous but has to be compensated with minimum deductible 850 EUR to the event organizer. If you will follow guides instructions and stick with the group nothing these accidents can easily be averted. Safari organizer will collect credit cards as deposit during this activity and return them to you once the tour is over.
Q: Should I go to Lapland in fall or spring semester?
A: Spring semester is of course more enjoyable because there is more snow and more sunlight. Due to its popularity, the spring semester is slightly more expensive. If you can choose, we recommend traveling in February, March or early April. During fall semester there is a small risk of having less snow. Besides, the short period of daylight brings some restrictions to the schedule, for instance early waking in the morning.
Other Answers you might be looking for:
1. All mobile phones work normally in Lapland
2. There is all kitchen equipment, forks, knives etc. in the cabins as well as toilet paper, soap, dishing liquids etc.
3. Buy ONLY groceries, salt, sugar, spices, but not frozen pizzas or anything which requires an oven!
4. Best place to do shopping is in Rovaniemi or Kemi (on outward journey) - In Saariselkä there is also a K-market, Siwa and Alko for last minute shopping.
5. Prepaid activities are considered as tour package so there are no partial refunds, if you have changed your mind! You can still sell your place for some of the activities to someone else.
6. If something goes wrong, immediately contact the Timetravels Tour Leader(s). They will do all their best to solve your matter!
7. The bus trip will be overnight from Helsinki to Lapland, so we recommend taking a sleeping pillow with you.
Timetravels reserve right to changes in the program and prices. Itinerary is a preliminary one and final itinerary is sent to passengers a few days prior to the departure, as some activities are subject to weather conditions.