Looking for the perfect Christmas: Lapland #PerfectChristmas

Flash Mob in Edinburgh on December, 2011
The Christmas atmosphere is unique. At this time, it is essential for many people to find this so magical atmosphere to celebrate a family sharing time. But if we decide to change our habits and seeking the atmosphere of Christmas, somewhere else? What are the best places? Immerse us closer to the landscapes so remote that make Christmas a point of reference, a tradition.

if I could, I would choose...

Last wilderness in Europe and birthplace of the only Aboriginal people in Europe: Lapland

In the far north of Sweden, we find the largest, most striking and most spectacular untouched wilderness in Europe. Much of this magnificent natural treasure is easily accessible to those seeking the tranquility, the poetry and emotion of the Arctic landscape. Other places can be reached by hikers and adventurers!

You can visit Lapland throughout the year but know that in winter the temperature is between 0°C and -40°C, we must take precautions. The average in January is -14°C. But the cold is not biting because the air is dry. There may be up to a meter of snow and it usually lasts until May. The cold Arctic climate demands extra warm clothing, especially since you will be standing still outside and watching the northern lights for extended periods. You need above all to good thermal long underwear and thick then something warm wool or fleece. Above, you will need good clothes that are preferably waterproof and windproof. The key is to be totally covered from head to toe. If, for example, you are not wearing anything on your head, you cold even if you are otherwise perfectly dressed for the far north. It is also very important to ensure that we keep his clothes dry inside and out. This is especially true for socks. Always wear clean socks, preferably not cotton because cotton tends to be wet cold.

The kaamos is the mysterious dark period which extends from December to January and the sun never rises. However there are a few light hours between 10:00am and 3:00pm (this time of clarity takes about five hours). The white snow accentuates the brightness. Every day about 2:00pm, there comes a time where the sky and the snow turn blue for 15 minutes. This unique natural phenomenon occurs here in the far north and can not be found anywhere else in the world. So great! It could be an unforgettable experience for a Christmas!

The Saami people (indigenous people) live in an area that covers northern Sweden, Norway, Finland and Russia (Kola Peninsula). Their roots go back to the end of the last glacial area, there are about ten thousand years. The Saami handicraft is made ​​from high quality natural materials. Each piece is unique and is a wonderful gift.

Several mammalian predators, such as the brown bear and wolverine/glutton (he attacks female reindeers and babies) inhabit Lapland. But the animal most emblematic of this region is certainly the reindeer. There would be more than 40,000 estimated. This trip would be a good opportunity for a sleigh ride! I let you imagine the joy in the eyes of child and also adults! Dog sled rides or reindeer sledges racing, pony rides, snowshoeing or snowmobiling are organized from stations in the south as Ounasvaara or small towns like Ivalo in the north.

Source: google.co.nz via Treasure on Pinterest

The region is well equipped for winter sports, whether it be skiing, surfing or skiing. Stations like Levi or Ylääs offer all the facilities and necessary infrastructure. Finally, for lovers of the unusual, do not miss an exceptional show: a cruise on the Sampo, an icebreaker anchored in Kemi, in western Lapland is one of the few in the world to accept travelers.

The traditional Scandinavian cuisine is sometimes so present in manners that we forget its specificity as the famous cranberries used to flavor sauces but also for its proper preservation. Many of smoked fish including salmon and herring but also zander, perch and whitefish, mixed dishes as reindeer, elk, sheep and also of the ptarmigan with various vegetables and small purees but also many berries. The specialties are "lapkkok" (based on liver and bone marrow) and "renklämma", a leavened bread with caraway seeds in rolled into a cone around a thin slice of reindeer.

How to enjoy the Lapland experience?
Prepare yourself for a memorable night-time experience...
Abisko, in the middle of the auroral zone, is considered to be the best place on earth to see the Aurora Borealis. With its fresh, clear air and its practically permanent cloud-free sky, the prerequisites in Abisko are optimal. More or less active northern lights can be seen almost every night. You can see spectacular eruptions and later at night, calm pulsating aurora. 

Source: universetoday.com via Treasure on Pinterest
Many people have heard the Aurora Borealis. It’s uncertain if the strange sounds really come from the aurora itself, but with amplifiers you can actually listen to the voices of space. Inside the Aurora Sky Station, an aurora exhibition emphasizes observing and understanding the northern lights. The observations are made with the help of radio receivers and cameras. A scale model of the solar system helps to better understand the Aurora Borealis. Imagine following the charged particles from the sun into the Earth's atmosphere. Learn how these particles are captured by the magnetic field and driven to the poles. Every night there are guided tours to the universe of Aurora Borealis (northern lights). If possible, do not shower or take a sauna prior to going up to the Aurora Sky Station. And don't use water-based moisturisers on your face, they can cause frostbite. Turn out the light and look out into space! To see the Aurora Borealis (northern lights) is to see the meeting between space and Earth. We know today that it's formed where we see it, of particles from the sun colliding with the outer parts of the atmosphere. Christmas is also the best time to view the Northern Lights. They are visible from late August to late April.

Stop at the village of Santa Claus
Capital of Finnish Lapland, Rovaniemi is above all a good starting point for exploring the area. Completely destroyed in 1944, is today a modern city, where you can visit the Lappia-Talo, futuristic concert hall. The Arktikum is the main attraction of the city, it houses two museums: one devoted to the culture of Sami People, the other fauna and flora of the Arctic.
8 km north of Rovaniemi, you can cross the polar circle (called Napapiiri in Finnish) during an initiation ceremony in the village of Santa Claus, step very touristy, but unavoidable in Winter! More information: http://www.santaclausvillage.info/
A 80 km south of the capital Lapland, nature lovers can visit the natural park of Ranua, which houses over 60 species of mammals and birds, including Hirvi, elk Finnish, unfortunately in danger of extinction...

Hiking trail in the Pallas-Ounastunturi National Park

Established in 1938, this park covers the area of ​​Mount Pallastunturi, located east of Lapland. It allows to cross the most beautiful scenery in the country, with its hiking trail that stretches 60 km long, between the village of Hetta and hotel Pallastunturi. Accessible to all, the trek lasts three or four days and you can stay in one of the many shelters set up for walkers.

See the real Lapland there for years!

With only 550 inhabitants, the small village of Inari is an historic site for Saami. Place of exchange and trade in the fourteenth century, this is where the first church was erected in 1646. Another curiosity not to be missed: the Saami Museum, where wooden houses have been reconstructed, where you will find the best craft.

TOP 3 of unusual hotels  «My favorites

  • Want to eat and drink in plates and glasses of ice, and sleep in a room of snow and ice where it maintains a temperature of -5°C: IceHotel
  • Around Lulea, there is also the TreeHotel whose rooms, as the name suggests, are perched in trees. This is a collection of luxury cabins, including the UFO, the Room with a View, the mirror-Cube, the Sauna in the tree or the Bird's Nest.
  • Sleep Under the Northern Lights! The Hotel is located in the mountain area of Saariselkä. The igloo glass can see the northern lights and the millions of stars in the clear sky of Lapland in a comfortable room temperature: Kakslauttanen hotelWhat have sweet dreams! 
In 1990, Finland was evaluated the most expensive country in the world, just before undergoing a recession. Now, prices are more accessible. All depends on the type of accomodation you choose.

I hope to have the opportunity, to go for a such magical journey!

Have you already plan your Chritsmas Trip? Are you expected to find the Christmas' magic? 
Where was you best Christmas' travel? #PerfectChristmas

This entry was posted on Aug 15, 2012 and is filed under ,,,,,,,,,,. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

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