Lapland, Finland

A few years ago, I saw a viral post on Facebook of seeing the Northern Lights from your own glass igloo in Lapland, Finland. I immediately filed it under “bucket list places to stay”. We’ve been wanting to see the Northern Lights for years! We even took our winter honeymoon to Iceland for 8 days – where it was cloudy and snowy every night. We never saw them. When I saw Ryanair advertising a new route, London Stansted to Rovaniemi – direct – I knew I had to jump on it! I quickly purchased flights for a holiday weekend in November.

Now before I continue, let me start by saying we loved our trip to Finland. BUT, we went at the wrong time of the year. Traveling to Lapland in the middle of November means it too rainy (muddy) to do fall activities, and it’s not snowy enough for winter activities. I had hoped for a considerable amount of snow in the Arctic Circle, but that’s not what we got. If I had to do it over, I’d go in late December or January. Many of the places I saw when I was researching the trip, were not open yet for season. I got trigger happy on cheap flights and should’ve done my research first. Our sled dog ride ended up being canceled because there was no snow, and the ground was too wet and muddy. There is also an outdoor ice skating track that looks absolutely incredible – but it doesn’t open until mid December. As a former figure skater and hockey player, it’s my DREAM to go skating through the woods on a track. Also, the nearby Ice Hotel and Ice Bar would’ve been great to visit, but it wasn’t open either. That said, Lapland is beautiful, just don’t make the same mistakes we did.

Once we had flights, it was time to book a place to stay. Turns out those full igloos you see circulating on social media are super expensive. We are all for a splurge every now and then but 700 a night was out of our budget, especially since we like to travel monthly. I did find the perfect alternative, which was not only incredible, but more affordable. We stayed at Apukka Resort in one of their Aurora Cabins. These cabins were half glass, with the bed facing a glass wall/ceiling. They were also equipped with a full bathroom (with floor heating), a mini fridge, and a couch. Lo and behold, we saw the Northern Lights on our first night, from the comfort of our cabin! Our stay included a massive breakfast spread that was so delicious, and an Aurora Alerts app to use during our stay.

Our first day, we visited the Santa Claus Village Resort, something that Rovaniemi is known for. You can visit and participate in the attractions even if you aren’t staying there. The site has reindeer rides, husky rides, Santa’s Mail room (you can send a postcard or mail that is postmarked from the Arctic Circle), visit Santa, visit and feed Santa’s reindeer, shop, and much more. The resort also has several restaurants ranging from a coffee shop to fine dining. We grabbed a burger and fries for lunch on our first day and it was ok. I don’t think people come to Santa Claus Village to eat – they go because their kids want to see Santa.

We stopped at Santa Claus Village to see the reindeer. For 5 euros a person, you can


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