Destination Europe

Day 3 – Our Final Day at Santa's Lapland

Posted on
December 21, 2017

The final day of our visit to Santa’s Lapland was a nice relaxing day in comparison to the busyness of the Search for Santa day the previous day.
Check-out time at the Saariselkä Inn is 10am, so we got up, dressed and packed everything up before we had breakfast so we could make the most of the time we had left.
We had been given a coach time of mid-afternoon and were able to leave our cases at the pub, where we have breakfast, where they would be looked after until it was time to leave.
The first thing on our to-do list for the day was tobogganing!
Saariselkä is home to the longest toboggan run in Northern Europe at 1.2 kilometers long and a vertical drop of 130 meters and we were determined to get to the top and do it all and best of all – its FREE!
We picked up our toboggans from outside the pub and tool the ten minute walk through the town to the bottom of the toboggan run – well, when I say walked, Hubby and I walked and the kids hitched a lift!
The bottom of the toboggan run is quite busy and there are some small sheds with toboggans in if you have forgotten to pick one up on the way.
The kids couldn’t wait to get started and were all soon whizzing down the hill and then climbing back up again.
The higher up the run you go, the quieter it gets, although it is quite steep, especially for those with little legs so Sebastian ended up being pulled up the hill by me.
It was soon apparent that the little ones were not going to make it to the top of the run, so I stayed halfway along with them as it was a nice quiet spot and Hubby took Isaac on the 20 minute walk to the top.
Hearing their whoops and giggles as they came down the hill each time made everyone stop and smile and everyone cheerily moved out-of-the-way as steering is a little tricky, although they did get the hang of it in the end.
It wasn’t long before Daddy and Isaac rejoined us, having got up quite a bit of speed on the way down!!
The heavier you are, the faster you go!!
We spent a good couple of hours playing on the toboggan run. At the lower end is a fun bumpy run which we all thoroughly enjoyed bouncing over.
On the way back to the Saariselkä Inn, we stopped to admire the church, which has a stunning floor to ceiling window at the back, to take in the magnificent views of the mountains behind.
Of course the kids got a lift back the only way they know how!
At the Saariselkä Inn we changed out of our snowsuits and packed them all up in the bags provided and warmed up with a tasty hot chocolate in front of the fire.
Hot Chocolate
We then headed back out to have a look around the village’s souvenir shops, which are full of a wide range of traditional hand-made Lappish items and clothes, Christmas gifts, decorations and toys.
We selected some Christmas decorations to bring home as a memory of our stay which now have pride of place on the Christmas tree.
It was also our last chance to take photo’s and after the previous days snow, we were treated to a gorgeous pale pink sky.
Santas Office
Our coach back to the airport picked us up bang on time and we watched the sunset over the mountains as we drove to the airport.
Check-in with smooth and painless and I have to say that Ivalo airport is like no other. It is a small airport with a little cafe and a small gift shop but it is the most comfortable one I have ever visited.
Ivalo Airport
They even provided boxes of wooden toys for the children to play with, which were a godsend during our hour long delay!
Ivalo Airport
The flight home was not as full of fun as the journey out there, but the kids were just happy to talk about everything they had seen and experienced over the short break.
In hindsight, I do wish I had booked a four-day break instead of a three-day as we would have liked a free day to explore the local area and take in another experience, which includes a longer husky dog sled ride or reindeer ride, but it is still a holiday we will remember forever!!

We booked our holiday with Santa Claus Trips and I cannot fault their customer service. To get the best value and take advantage of free child spaces it is recommended to book your trip as soon as the dates become available, which is typically in the October, the year before you intend to travel.

  1. Reply

    Hannah Denton

    December 21, 2017

    Oh that looks so magical and amazing! Such a good idea to give the kids toys to keep them occupied too!

  2. Reply


    December 21, 2017

    Oh wow this just looks like the most magical trip ever! Lapland is certainly on my list of places I want to visit 🙂

  3. Reply

    Lynne Harper

    December 21, 2017

    This is the trip of dreams for me. I’m such a Christmas lover and my guys would love going here just to experience the magic. The photos all look amazing, now to talk my hubby into letting us go next year

  4. Reply

    hannah wood

    December 21, 2017

    Wow oh wow this place looks so amazing and good for the kids sure captures the sprit of Christmas

  5. Reply

    Sonia Cave

    December 21, 2017

    Sledging is such fun and a laugh but it’s bloomin hard work too!!! Your hot chocolate in front of the fire looks very cosy

  6. Reply


    December 21, 2017

    Oh I’m so tempted! Looks so much fun

  7. Reply

    Sarah Bailey

    December 22, 2017

    Oh to be a child again and get to hitch a ride on a toboggan, something wonderful about that. It sounds like you had an amazing time at Santa’s Lapland and it is a really magical place.

  8. Reply

    Yeah Lifestyle

    December 22, 2017

    This looks super duper fun!! Kids looks they had a blast sledging, and now I know they cant wait to get back home for Christmas and to unwrap the presents.

  9. Reply

    Charlotte Braithwaite

    December 22, 2017

    Oh my goodness Kara!
    This looks like so much fun, look at their little faces. I remember always wanting to go somewhere like here when I was little.
    I have to take the boys.
    Thanks so much for sharing hopefully in the next few years I can take them.
    Charlotte x

  10. Reply

    Rhian Westbury

    December 22, 2017

    The tobogganing sounds so much fun and at least there’s an advantage to being heavier having a faster slide haha x

  11. Reply

    Becca Talbot

    December 22, 2017

    This post is bringing back so many memories of my trip to Finland in 2015 with some other bloggers! It’s an amazing place, and you’re so lucky to have visited. I love the sound of that toboggan run too, I’d spend hours on that! x

  12. Reply

    Rhiannon D'Averc

    December 22, 2017

    Everything looks so beautiful! The tobogganing sounds like so much fun as well.

  13. Reply


    December 22, 2017

    Now that is what I call sledging. Though you did have to drag two of them along behind you. Definitely deserved the hot chocolate.

  14. Reply

    Tanya Brannan

    December 22, 2017

    I have loved reading your Santa story as its just such a special way of making memories with your family. I would love to go to Lapland and its high up on my bucket list!

  15. Reply

    Laura H

    December 22, 2017

    Yknow I’ve never been tobogganing before so I’m super jealous! This looks like the dream winter vacation.

  16. Reply


    December 22, 2017

    I’m loving your Lapland posts as I came back from there last week. Stayed at the Riekolinna hotel in the same area. That toboggon hill is very fun

  17. Reply


    December 23, 2017

    Wow this looks like such an amazing seasonal trip and your photos came out beautifully!

  18. Reply


    December 23, 2017

    Wow, I haven’t been on a sledge since I was a kid but then, I don’t think it’s snowed that much since then. Looks gorgeous there!

  19. Reply

    Fashion and Style Police

    December 23, 2017

    This trip sounds amazing. My kids would love to experience this.

  20. Reply

    Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes

    December 23, 2017

    This trip looks simply magical! The sledging looks sooo much fun!

  21. Reply


    December 23, 2017

    This place just looks so magically. I want some snow!

  22. Reply


    December 23, 2017

    The sledge look so much fun and I would be more than happy spending the day riding them. I’ll bet your we’re all shattered from it after wards though. But the hot chocolate would be perfect to warm back up

  23. Reply

    Linda Hobbis

    December 23, 2017

    What a beautiful place. I suspect after the amount of mince pies I’ve been eating I’d be down that tobaggan run like greased lightening -never seen such a cosy airport either!

  24. Reply


    December 23, 2017

    Oooh, it looks like fairy tale and magical. Such a best place to be this time of the year.

  25. Reply

    Ali - We Made This Life

    December 23, 2017

    I really want to visit Lapland with the children, I’ll definitely have a look at Santa Claus Trips, thanks for the recommendation.

  26. Reply


    December 24, 2017

    This looks like so much fun! I’ve always wanted to visit Lapland. It looks so magical!

  27. Reply


    December 24, 2017

    I cannot wait to visit here someday, it looks so magical and pretty at this time of year! Fab photos! It’s made me want to go x

  28. Reply

    Nayna Kanabar

    December 24, 2017

    Lapland sounds wonderful, such as a nice treat for the kids to enjoy.

  29. Reply


    December 28, 2017

    What an amazing trip you have had. My kids would love to go taboggining!

  30. Reply

    Leigh Travers

    December 28, 2017

    Oh wow! It looks like you had an absolutely magical time. I would love to visit Lapland!

  31. Reply


    December 28, 2017

    Oh, wow! It looks like you had an incredible last day. I’d love to take my youngest tobogganing one day – he’d love it!!
    Louise x

  32. Reply


    December 29, 2017

    The longest tobogon run sounds like a lot of fun. All these photos are making me want lots of snow now.

  33. Reply

    Jake Ferrer

    December 29, 2017

    Oh this looks so much fun and the kids looks so happy. Too bad i cant experience this for now. There is no snow here in Philippines.

  34. Reply

    Super Busy Mum

    December 29, 2017

    This looks like the COOLEST holiday EVER! I have never been on a toboggan but what an awesome thing to do!

  35. Reply


    December 30, 2017

    Looks like an amazing trip, beautiful photos !

  36. Reply

    Amy Deverson

    January 3, 2018

    Gorgeous pictures – I would have loved to experience snow like that this winter! Looks amazing.

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Are we nearly there yet? is a new online blog run by me, Kara Guppy, and is named as such thanks to my daughter Eliza who always asks that very question when we are less than 5 minutes up the road heading off on our adventures. You may know me from my other family blog