Holidays to Kuusamo serve up some stellar, snow-blanketed scenery – this peaceful town’s a great spot to see the best of Finland’s natural beauty.
Kuusamo is nearby Ruka’s more peaceful sibling – nature takes a front seat in this place, whether you’re talking scenery or activities. Walking trails weave through forests of snow-smothered pines and vast frozen lakes. Or, if you want to spend some time indoors, you can visit the Hannu Hautala Nature Photography Centre. This exhibition hall’s the first of its kind in Finland, and showcases some seriously impressive pictures.
This town offers plenty of opportunities for you to get up close and personal with the local wildlife. You can spend an afternoon visiting a reindeer farm. You’ll get the chance to feed them, and learn all about Santa’s sleigh-pullers. Or, you can see bears, wolves, and lynxes at the Predator Centre.
Kuusamo plays host to some top-drawer natural sights, and Hossa National Park’s one of the best of the bunch. It’s pretty new – this place officially became Finland’s 40th national park in June 2017. Frozen-over rivers, plunging ravines and snow-capped forests are just some of the highlights. The Stone Age Varikallio cave paintings are well worth a visit, too. You’ll find them on rock faces along the edge of Lake Somerjarvi. These paintings of hunting and shamanic rituals were painted at least 3,500 years ago.
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Once you’ve landed at Kuusamo Airport, you’ll be handed your thermal gear, before being whisked off to your hotel in Kuusamo and Ruka. You’ll have the rest of the day to explore – you could opt to grab a toboggan and hit the slopes, or take a stroll through snowy fields and forests.
Your morning line-up includes a husky and reindeer sleigh ride, which means you can sit back and take in the snow-dusted views. Next, you’ll warm up around a roaring campfire with some snacks and hot drinks, while one of Santa’s elves tells you a story. In the afternoon, it’s time for the main event – a trip to see the man in red. Your visit will kick off with a tobogganing lesson with the elves, followed by a light bite of sausages and piping-hot juice. Mr and Mrs Claus’s house is next up, where you’ll get to listen to Santa tell tales about his life. After that, you’ll have some free time to fill with your choice of activities.
Now that you’re an official elf-in-training, it’s time to pay a visit to Santa’s secret cottage. Here, you’ll polish off your lessons before it’s time for the main event – meeting the man in red. After Santa’s taken note of everyone’s Christmas wishes, you’ll all gather round to listen to him tell tales about his magical life. You’ll then get to play snowy games with the elves on Santa’s frozen lake. If you’re on a 3-night trip, you’ll finish off your day with a festive finale, which includes a traditional Christmas dinner and games, and a festive fireworks display.
Those of you on a 4-night trip have today as free time. You can opt to spend it playing in the snow, or choose to book a place on one of our excursions. Visit excursion.tui.co.uk to find out more. You’ll have your festive finale – complete with fireworks and a traditional Christmas dinner – to round things off in the evening.
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