This was a special weekend break for our special birthdays - and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
We had a log cabin which was lovely It was very clean and had everything you could think off, including TV in English and a log fire, the description didn't give it justice at all - it even had its own sauna. Only down side was it was a good 15 mins walk from the main site - which was the only down side of the weekend (many of the cabins were close by, might have been down to who we had booked it with).
We did the Husky Safari which was fantastic (2 hrs, with an hr each Mushing the dogs) and a stop in a log hut with a beautiful fire eating fresh cooked sausages.
This followed later in the day with a Reindeer Safari, this was enjoyable but the only time I felt the cold (about an hr and half with your own Reindeer) followed with cooking your own sausages in an open fire in a Wig Wam and fresh cooked pancakes.
We also did the Snowmobile Safari - which was just fantastic - 2 hrs (1 hr each) reaching about 60 kph over frozen lakes and through snow covered pine forests was just fantastic. I would have loved to do the Safari which included fishing on a frozen lake, but this is only possible in the week.
That night was the Ice Hotel night (we chose for this to be our last night, otherwise, its the night you arrive), we had our dinner in the Ice Restaurant, the food was fantastic, unfortunately ate rather quickly due to a cold bottom !!! but we did manage pudding !
Then it was a night in the Ice Hotel - I can only describe this as camping in a tent on a very very cold night (kind off) it was an experience (possibly one you wouldn't repeat) but certainly worth doing. We both slept well and enjoyed the experience.
The hotel itself is very worth visiting, it is amazing to know how it was made and constructed and then melts each year.
The staff were totally fantastic and would do anything for you.
The food was excellent and the prices weren't that bad really - yes more expensive than the UK, but not ridiculous.
The temperature whilst we where there was -20, going up to -5 (classed as warm!!) possibly -30 downwards might have been tough to do.
We unfortunately didn't see the lights, but to be honest we weren't that disappointed as the experience was amazing anyway.
We flew from Manchester and only just made the connection at Helsinki (by 5 mins) & unfortunately our luggage didn't make it for 24 hrs - so all those specially brought thermals didn't get much use - the staff were fantastic in lending us thermal gear - apparently it happens often, so take as much as you can in your hand luggage. We only just made the connections on the return trip too !
I would love to do it again, and further explore Finland - maybe next time with the kids (we didn't tell them we were in Santa Land!) I don't fully understand any negative feedback regarding visiting Santa - but then going that far for one day is a tad extravagant - I would recommend a little longer.
PS I am a contact lenses wearer and I had no problems at all in wearing them in any of climates whilst there (I didn't sleep in them in the Ice Hotel)
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