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Huskies, reindeer and luxury igloos: why magical Lapland should top your bucket list

Ainhoa Barcelona
Content Managing Editor
February 23, 2016
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Lapland gives the phrase "winter wonderland" a new meaning. Visitors have been flocking to the Finnish region for years with the dream of meeting Father Christmas and the hope of catching the Northern Lights. Coupled with a few days on the slopes, a holiday in Lapland is every bit different to any other snowy escape.

But skiing, Santa and the magnificent Aurora Borealis are just half the story.

lapland sleigh © Photo: Instagram

When HELLO! Online visited the resorts of Levi and Ylläs in February under the guidance of tour operator Inghams, we experienced the rise in popularity of those "other" winter adventures. Reindeer sleigh rides, husky safaris and snowmobiling across a frozen lake at 60mph were just some of the highlights. An overnight stay in a luxury igloo was the cherry on top.

Read on to find out why magical Lapland should top everyone's bucket list...

my husky © Photo: Instagram

Husky safarisOnce upon a time husky-drawn sleds were the only means of travelling vast distances above the Arctic Circle. Nowadays, a husky ride is one of the Big Three snow adventures that draws most visitors, alongside reindeer sledding and snowmobiling.

At Polar Lights Husky, a short drive away from Levi resort, we were met by the sounds of yapping and howling. The huskies (a mix of the traditional Siberian husky and the high endurance Alaskan huskies that are best for racing) were raring to go, impatient to start their run. After some essential instruction about our safety and the safety of the huskies, we set off on an eight-kilometre safari, driving through the snowy wilderness and vast empty spaces – at sunrise. It's a magical experience and requires just a bit of concentration to steer, but otherwise is straightforward and easy. You ride two adults to a sled, or more if you have children.Husky super safari (8km driven by guests) costs £55 for an adult, £29 for a child.

reindeer facing © Photo: Instagram

Reindeer sleigh rides

This was the ultimate, epic Lapland experience – being pulled in a sleigh by a reindeer, who, miraculously, followed the track and didn't stop to munch on snow or lichen. As stubborn animals, they can sometimes veer off course but we were lucky enough to have well-behaved "poro" ("reindeer" in Finnish) at the Ounaskievari farm, Levi. Driving through the forests is an enchanting and romantic experience, and it won't be long before you're leaning back, wrapped up with a cosy blanket, and dreaming of Narnia.

sami and reindeer

The Sami are extremely knowledgeable about their herd and explain how reindeer play a central part in Lappish lifestyle. Their fur is made into clothes and rugs, their meat features heavily on the menu, and their antlers are crafted into jewellery and knife handles. The Sami also make their artefacts by hand, including a pair of leather reindeer boots, which can cost a whopping £350.Reindeer super safari (3km driven by guests) and Sami farm visit costs £39 for an adult and £25 for a child.

snowmobiling © Photo: Instagram


Snowmobile safari (2 hr excursion) costs £75 for a single adult, £49 per adult for two sharing and £9 for a child.



Daytime snowshoe safari costs £29 for an adult, £15 for a child.

skiing2 © Photo: Instagram

Downhill skiing

Three days of adult ski school at Levi Ski School can be booked via Inghams for £75pp.

cross country skiing

Cross-country skiing

Cross country three days tuition (1.5hrs per day) costs £69 plus the cost of cross country ski hire.

ice karting

Ice karting

Ice karting (2hr excursion) costs £55; drivers must be over 12 years old.

snow hotel

Visit to a snow hotel

Building of the snow hotel, with its walls spanning a width of two metres, starts in November and impressively takes only three weeks. Ice is, however, collected from nearby rivers as early as March and stored in containers over the summer. Day visits are also available and more popular than an overnight stay; last year 30,000 tourists walked in and stayed for a meal in the dome-shaped restaurant.Visit to the Lainio Snow Hotel (3hr excursion with 1.5hrs at the Snow Village) costs £25 for an adult and £15 for a child.


Where to stay:Golden Crown Igloos


Each luxury igloo has an ensuite shower and toilet, a kitchenette with a fridge and a basic form of entertainment – a CD player. Yes there's no wifi, which means, as our host Kristiina said, you have to talk to each other! The igloos are becoming so popular that Kristiina, whose father owns the land, is having four more igloos built to meet demands. Book early if you want to stay – and you should!One night stay in a Luxury Glass Igloo from £209 per person based on two sharing. Igloos are located 10km from Levi, continental breakfast and transfer from Levi accommodation is included. For more information or to book visit or call 01483 791 114.

levi suite

Levitunturi Spa Hotel

Inghams is offering 7 nights half board at the 4.5* Levitunturi Spa Hotel, Levi from £729 per person departing 8 January 2017. Price includes return direct flights from London Gatwick to Kittilä and resort transfers. For more information or to book visit or call 01483 791 114.

log cabin © Photo: Instagram

Yllås Log Cabin

Inghams is offering 7 nights self-catering at the 4* Yllås Log Cabin, Ylläs, Lapland from £519 per person departing 8 January 2017 based on eight sharing. Price includes return direct flights from London Gatwick to Kittilä and resort transfers. For more information or to book visit or call 01483 791 114.

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