Lapland with European Christmas Markets

A winter break in snowy Scandinavia

Simon Mustoe

Simon Mustoe

Writer, photographer and founder of Wildiaries

The perfect balance of organised and independent travel

Travelling anywhere remote requires a bit of careful planning. All the more when you're visiting somewhere like the Arctic where heavy snowfall and dark conditions mean may places are closed.

Here is an example of a trip we recently assembled for a couple who wanted a well organised but independent trip to Lapland.

By choosing accommodation to suit their budget, we were able to beat the prices they could find online (most of the deals online lock you into certain providers, but we have more flexibility).

Experience the magic of the Nordic

Lappish Luxury

The tour itinerary listed summarised below includes a hint of 'Lappish Luxury'. You'll stay in luscious chalets and if the sky stays clear have the best possibilities in experiencing the Auroras in a unique place where there is no light pollution and a clear view of the sky.

On the shore of the River Juutua you'll immerse in another culture and leave with lasting memories of arctic nature and the indigenous way of life. The Hotel was recently fully renovated, showcasing Scandinavian decor, and is located just 500m from the Sami Museum.

Enjoy fresh seasonal produce at the award winning restaurant with views of the river and another ideal location to view the Northern lights.

Aurora Village

Continuing to the Aurora Village, you're met with millions of stars illuminating the night sky. There is no noise. No traffic. Only the wilderness. Hundreds of kilometers above the Arctic Circle, in Lapland, this small authentic local accommodation site is where you may experience pure white snow, clean arctic air and meet a pack of reindeer living in the village. Grab a pair of snowshoes and take a calm walk at your own pace in the snowy forests around us and enjoy the silence of nature!

Even your cabin offers a fantastic view from the comfort of your bed towards the northern sky where the Northern Lights most often appear dancing on the sky.

Aurora borealis (the northern lights) in winter in Lapland
Aurora borealis (the northern lights) in winter in Lapland

Next morning your husky musher will pick you up from reception and take you to a farm nearby. You will get to greet the dogs and know details of the life of Alaskan Huskies. A team of huskies will take you on a 20-minute ride on a customised summer wagon. You’ll be served coffee in a traditional wooden Kota-building at the husky farm.

No trip to Lapland is complete without a walk in Kekkonen National Park. It is Finland’s second largest national park and the area named Koilliskaira is one of the last wilderness regions left in Western Europe. 


Back in Helsinki, enjoy your beautifully decorated Style room, inbetween trips out to the serenely quiet nearby streets, or the hustle and bustle of the best restaurant and bars Helsinki can offer.

Discover the must-sees of charming Helsinki including the Rock Church and the Old Market Hall on a private walking tour of its most famous sights. The Finnish capital is a compact city where the most important sights can easily be explored on foot. Through the streets and squares of Helsinki you will hear fascinating stories from the city’s past and present and also get suggestions on what to do and where to go during your stay.

Aerial view of Esplanade park, Helsinki, with Christmas decorations.
Aerial view of Esplanade park, Helsinki, with Christmas decorations.

Crossing the Esplanade Past, and past Railway Station, one of the main landmarks, we will arrive to another square, Kansalaistori, which showcases the pulse of modern Nordic city. Our walk will continue through the Töölö district to pay a visit to the Rock Church, a Lutheran shrine build inside a solid rock in the 1960’s and the most visited site of Helsinki. We will return to the city centre like a local by tram. A panoramic tram ride passes through south Helsinki’s Art Nouveau and diplomatic districts.

A day trip into Estonia

Next you visit the historic city of Tallinn. Find your way to the harbour to check in for your cruise in Star Comfort Class.

This private walking tour goes through the two sharply contrasting parts of the Old Town: the Lower Town, once a free trading town and member of the Hanseatic League with its guild houses, warehouses, a unique Gothic Town Hall, dwellings of prosperous merchants, and churches with charming slender towers; and Toompea or the Upper Town, the seat of German landlords and their houses from the 18th-19th centuries.

Christmas Market, Tallinn, Estonia
Christmas Market, Tallinn, Estonia

You also visit the biggest churches: the Alexander Nevski cathedral, an active Russian orthodox church, built just over 100 years ago, and the Dome church, the church of the local German nobility for centuries, which contains a valuable collection of their family coats of arms. The church itself is one of the oldest in Estonia and is built in the Gothic style. From the viewing platform you can see a panoramic view of not only the Old Town but also the rest of the city.

You return to Helsinki by ferry and settle in for your last night before your next day's onward journey. 

Our service guarantee

As we will continue to impress on you, there is really no such thing as a 'special offer', only the best price you can get at any time. This is a great example of a trip that beats most 'unbeatable' priced tours advertised online. The fact is, even the wholesale airfares for this holiday were unavailable online. The group benefited from over $1,000 in flight savings alone. The added value and service, from the moment they spoke to us, to when they returned ... priceless.

This is what makes it all so worthwhile and why we'd love to help you plan your next trip. 

Lapland reindeer in the snow
Lapland reindeer in the snow

Your particular style of travel

Remember, our destination pages contain tours and itineraries. Every trip is different, so you're not locked into booking a particular place. You tell us what you're looking for and we'll build something that suits you. We'll even check out accommodation you've found, to ensure it's safely booked and secure.  

Example itinerary & cost

Based on two guests travelling for 10 days in late 2023 the price was AU$3,200 pp twin share. Economy return airfares at the time were about $3,000 return but usually vary plus or minus $500.

Contact us for the most up to date and best prices

Day 1

  • Depart home to Helsinki.

Day 2

  • Private transfer from Ivalo airport to Hotel
  • Arctic Chalet incl. breakfast -
  • Northern Lights Cruise

Day 3

  • Hotel, River Suite including breakfast
  • Entrance to Siida Museu

Day 4

  • Private transfer to Ivalo
  • Stay: Aurora Village Double Cabin including half board
  • Husky Wagon ride
  • Hiking in the UKK National Park

Day 5

  • Transfer to Airport
  • Stay: Helsinki - Style room including breakfast

Day 6

  • Day at leisure exploring Christmas market

Day 7

  • Tour: Helsinki - Private City Tour

Day 8

  • Cruise Tallink Silja Line - Star Comfort Class one way Helsinki to Tallinn
  • Tallinn City Sightseeing - Guided Walking Tour
  • Cruise: Tallink Silja Line - Comfort Class one way Tallinn to Helsinki

Day 9

  • Flight departing Helsinki

Day 10

  • Arrive home

About the Author
Simon Mustoe

Simon Mustoe

Writer, photographer and founder of Wildiaries

Simon is CEO of DeluxeLife. He is also an ardent conservationist and has been studying and observing wildlife for over 40 years. He's written a book called Wildlife in the Balance. He loves taking his worldwide travel experience to help people discover new and exciting places to visit,as well as contributing to science and conservation.

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