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Visit Santa in Lapland... or at one of his other homes!

We’re off to the north! Relive the magic of childhood as you jet off on a winter break to the Arctic

The festive season is a time of enchantment and wonder in Finland. Highlights like the unspoilt landscape make for unforgettable moments during your escape to Father Christmas’s homeland. You’ll enjoy a break like no other throughout your trip, as it takes you from the bright lights of Helsinki to the Northern Lights of the Arctic. Feeling tempted by this idea? Follow our suggestions to recapture the spirit of Christmas in Lapland, or enjoy the festive season in more southerly climes.

Helsinki, Finnish

Between the land and sea, Helsinki has many faces...

The rocky coastline and the countless islands of Helsinki are guaranteed to leave a lasting impression. As you return from the fortress island of Suomenlinna, the ferry drops you back off in the heart of Helsinki. Warm yourself up with a fresh salmon soup at the city’s central market hall before taking a short stroll across the canal to the Art Nouveau neighbourhood of Katajanokka. Don’t forget to sample the spa-like ritual offered by the Sauna Kotiharjun, the oldest public sauna in the Finnish capital before setting off for the wide open spaces of Lapland.
Lapland, Christmas

Beyond the Arctic Circle, enjoy the splendour of the Northern Lights at Christmas

Lapland is home to reindeer, wooden huts adorned with twinkling lights and, of course, Santa’s elves! Rovaniemi, the home of Father Christmas himself, is an enchanting place where your childhood festive fantasies will come to life before your very eyes.

Meanwhile, in the National Park of Urho Kekkonen, the frozen silhouettes of trees weighed down with snow stand out against an icy backdrop. As shimmers of blue and green pierce the Arctic night sky, reflected on the frosty surface of the lakes, take in the lights and magic of the Aurora Borealis.
stopovers, Santa, christmas

Some unexpected stopovers for Santa...

Each December, Father Christmas has a habit of turning up in the most unexpected places. Why not bump into Santa Claus away from his home in Lapland by visiting one of three hidden-gem Christmas markets?  

From the Ibis Hôtel Ulm on the shores of the Danube, take a short stroll to the Old Town where the ornate and romantic Christmas market garlands shimmer beneath the façade of the magnificent cathedral.

Alternatively, why not head for Colmar in Alsace, where the historic centre is illuminated by the Christmas market’s lights? You’ll find pretty, decorated trees, old-fashioned carousels, delicious gingerbread and moreish sweets. After experiencing the festive scenery, continue your relaxing break in the sauna of the Mercure Colmar Centre Unterlinden Hotel.

For something a bit different, opt for a snowy escape to Switzerland. On the northern shores of Lake Geneva, Lausanne is home to three Christmas markets. Within the peace and tranquility of your room at the Novotel Lausanne Bussigny Hotel, reflect on your visit to the traditional huts of the Place Saint-François, the arts and crafts of the 'Marché des Créateurs' and the delightful food and drink you sampled at the 'Marché du Terroir et de la Vigne'.

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