Santa’s Igloo Village: Hotel Kakslauttanen

Whether you believe in Santa or are just planning a vacation with someone who does, this is the place you need to go. I can think of no other resort that can lay claim so realistically to being Santa’s true home than the Winter Wonderland that exists at this spot in Lapland. This part of Finland, above the Artic Circle is home to the indigenous Sami people who have herded reindeer for centuries, and whose native dress could inspire the fashion of many an elf in Santa’s service. They have recently opened glass igloos in addition to the snow igloos and log cabins that have been available at Santa’s resort.  These are open from December through April and offer an unparalleled view of the Northern Lights. Activities include an elf-guided tour of Santa’s home, reindeer herd and gold creek where his Gold Elves pan for gold, which explains the mystery of Santa’s income. There are more traditional Winter activities like sleigh rides, snowshoeing, skiing, ice fishing, snowboarding and dog sledding. For the brave souls there’s also ice swimming which, yes, means swimming under the ice. In a regular swimsuit. Thankfully, there are traditional smoke saunas, restaurants and lots of blankets too. Hard to think of a more appropriate Christmas vacation.

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