Riding a snowmobile is a bit like riding a motorbike across snow and icy lakes. You can reach top speeds of up to 50mph, so we reckon this James Bond-style form of transport would definitely appeal to Jeremy and the Grand Tour team. This isn’t just a daytime excursion either – you can join a special night snowmobile safari where you’ll hurtle across slopes and past snowy silhouettes led only by your headlights. If you’re lucky you might catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights, too.
If you want to get behind the wheel of a snowmobile, you have to bring your full UK driving licence to Lapland, but it’s not just for over 18s – kids aged 12 and under can ride as a passenger, and younger kids can travel in a snowmobile-pulled sleigh.
Lapland is the home of the husky-sled ride – you can’t miss the chance to meet cuddly husky pups and then whizz along on a once-in-a-lifetime sleigh ride. This experience is led by a team of dedicated elves, just to add that festive touch, and starts at a husky camp where you’ll learn all about the lives and training of the hard-working Arctic dogs. You’ll then take the reins, turn on your head torch, and lead your three passengers on an exhilarating journey. Or, if you’d prefer to all be passengers, there are big sleighs in Rovaniemi driven by experienced guides that you can hop on to.
These Santa-style reindeer rides are a much more leisurely and slow-paced experience than the husky rides or the snowmobiles and, best of all, you get to be just like the big man himself. You’ll glide past dreamy storybook scenery, including frozen lakes and snow-capped fields. And, after your trip you’ll warm up around an open fire and learn all about reindeer herding with a hot berry juice and traditional Lappish snack.
Lapland was made for winter sports (and Christmas fun), so of course cross-country skiing is an option, too. There are, in fact, 10 kilometres of downhill ski runs and 220 kilometres of cross-country trails for you to explore. Finland’s biggest snowboard park is also right in Yllas, so boarders can practise their moves, and most trails and runs are floodlit into the evening. The courses are perfect for beginners and intermediates so you don’t have to be a champion skier, but there’s also a ski school available if you need a confidence booster.
Ok, so we know hiking probably isn’t how Jeremy and co. would choose to get around, but this unique winter walk is a great way to get to grips with the landscape. You’ll be equipped with special snowshoes, that look a bit like giant tennis racquets strapped to your feet, and get to explore the awesome scenery the eco-friendly way. Your experienced guide will even provide some hot drinks and fab stories along the way.
The is right in the heart of Rovaniemi, so you’ve got shops, restaurants and bars at your fingertips.
With an indoor pool, visits from Captain T, and plenty of activities, the The Snow Elf Hotel & Apartments make a great family-friendly pick.
The Hotel Snowflake and Apartments are set-up for sports fans – tobogganing, snowmobiling and skiing starts from your doorstep.
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