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Top 5 reasons why Lapland is the ultimate winter and Christmas holiday destination.

December 4, 2017 Tour Operator No Comments Email Email

Where is the big red friendly bearded man really comes from? Some call him Santa Claus, Kris Kringle, Saint Nick or Father Christmas. http://www.granmonte.com/Whatever his name is, every country has traditions and stories, and Scandinavia tops the list. North America’s leading Nordic Travel Specialist, 50 Degrees North has a bundle of festive experiences north of the 50th parallel to immerse visitors into winter wonderland. Many of which can shed light on the puzzling question.

From Northern Lights viewing, Husky or Reindeer Sledding, to ICEHOTEL or Arctic TreeHouse lodging, and Gingerbread baking, the Nordic countries have all the ingredients to ignite travellers’ inner child over the holiday season.

1-Venture into Santa Claus’ country

Small and big kids can have a close encounter with Santa. In Finnish Lapland, Santa can be found across the magical Arctic Circle at Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi, however 50 Degrees North prefers to engage with Santa more privately by booking special and private visits to Santa’s cabin – accessed by reindeer ride, of course! These magical grounds are truly where Santa and his reindeers, elves and trolls keep the magic of Christmas alive.

2-View Aurora Borealis from a heated glass igloo

Visitors can see the glow of the ‘blue light’ shining from the comfort of a heated glass igloo or near an authentic log cabin, all bundled up by a bonfire while sipping a warm cup of traditional glögg. Some may prefer enjoy the magic of the Northern Lights during a dogsledding or cross-country skiing excursion. The haunting beauty of the aurora provides fantastic photo opportunities for amateur and professional photographers alike.

3- Experience authentic Nordic winter sports and activities

Locals and foreign visitors can explore the vast winter playground each Nordic country offers. Amongst many options, the Husky Sledding excursion is visitors’ favourite, followed by snowmobiling and ice-skatingScandinavia has the world’s best natural ice conditions for long distance tour ice-skating. The extensive network of lakes offers an unbeatable ice-skating terrain to explore.

4- Soak in traditions and Sami culture

Visitors have the opportunity to experience first hand the indigenous culture of the northern people. The Sami culture is rich in traditions and can be experienced  on various sites throughout the north. One of most rewarding and authentic ways is with a visit to family owned and operated reindeer farms. The cultural immersion and intimative connection with Sami people in such pristine environment  leave long lasting memories. The Sami Museum and Nature Center in Siida, in the heart of Inari Village in the Nordic countryside offers a window into their identity and cultural pride.  In Fantasyland, the Icelandic Yudle Lads, Swedish Tomtes and Norwegian Trolls know how to charm visitors and add to the magic of Christmas.

 5- Tour Christmas markets and feast on traditional dishes

A visit to Christmas markets is a must when visiting Scandinavia at this time of the year.  It is a quintessential  tradition for locals across Northern European countries. Christmas markets in larger cities such as Stockholm, Gothenburg and Copenhagen rank amongst the world’s best. Roasted chestnuts, gingerbread cookies, sugar roaster almonds and old fashion candies are some delicacies that can be found at Chistmas markets.

Northern cuisine has become characterised as delicacy served plates and rather minimalist servings, however, when it comes to festive season, traditional smörgåsbord buffets come to the fore. Traditions Christmas meals tend to differ across regions. Norwegians feast over reindeer stew, mashed potatoes and lingongerry while others Nordic countries perfer baked ham, roasted pork, salads and whole bakes salmon.

“There are many reasons why North Americans are attracted by Scandinavia in the winter and over Christmas, starting with our century-old traditions, vast and pristine wilderness, architecture & design, healthy lifestyle and progressive politics. All is appealing to travelers these days”, says Tietse Stelma, 50 Degrees North’s Director and Co-Founder. “The staff in our Norwegian office, all born and raised in Scandinavia know the destination inside out and their local knowledge and expertise is reflected in the itineraries and tours we operate”, added Stelma.

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