How to Visit Santa Claus’ Hometown This Winter
This piece originally appeared on Travel + Leisure.
For yuletide fanatics who can’t wait another minute for Christmas to arrive, there’s a place on Earth where tidings of joy happen all year long.
On a stretch of Finnish Lapland, near Rovaniemi and just a short drive from the Arctic Circle, is a clutch of Christmas Chalets, run by Luxury Action. These wintry wood cabins boast an always-roaring fireplace, a private porch, two bedrooms, a kitchen and living room, a sauna—and a decorated Christmas tree.
Luxury Action is a private travel company specializing in Arctic travel (Finland, Greenland, the North Pole), and offers travelers to these charming cottages custom Arctic itineraries packed with traditional Christmastime activities.
Guests can spend days conjuring the Christmas spirit by baking biscuits, crafting snow and ice lanterns, tobogganing, or riding a reindeer-helmed sleigh. And at night, there are outings to look for the Northern Lights or to drill through the ice for dinner.
Courtesy of Luxury Action
Of course, there’s a private chef on hand to prepare any fresh-caught fish, as well as all other meals. Toboggans and snowshoes, house wine and firewood are available to guests at all times, and guides provide snowmobile adventures, ski trips, dogsled rides, and meetings with Santa Claus and his elves.
“We noticed a growing need for undisturbed family time,” Liisa Kokkarinen of Luxury Action told Travel + Leisure, describing the demand for off-season Christmas travel.
And what else could create cozy holiday memories of snow days and lazy afternoons spent with the family faster than cross-country skiing and a visit to Santa Claus Village? Because Lapland is basically a guaranteed winter wonderland year-round, Christmas really can happen in the middle of July.
“For many parents, this is like a journey to their childhood,” Kokkarinen said. “In no time they join the children, building snowmen and making snow angels.”
Chalets can accommodate up to six guests, and the all-inclusive multi-week adventure begins at €13,400 (approximately $14,285). For an even more over-the-top experience travelers can add-on a night stay in a thermal glass igloo or make a reservation at an ice restaurant.