Santa's News

Win tickets to Ideal Home Show at Christmas!

We’re looking forward to being part of Ideal Home Show at Christmas in a couple of weeks time – 25th to 29th November at Olympia in London.

To celebrate, we’re giving away three pairs of tickets for the day of your choice!

Win tickets to Ideal Home Show at Christmas

This is a great opportunity to discover more about our magical trips and ask any questions you may have. Come visit us at stand D465 – we can’t wait to see you!

All you have to do is visit our Facebook page, and like, share and comment on this post – we want you to tell us your favourite thing about Christmas!

The competition closes at midnight on Tuesday 17th November. We’ll announce the winners on the morning of Wednesday 18th November.

Good luck!

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Terms and Conditions

This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, a third party. You are providing your information to Santa’s Lapland and not to a third party. The information you provide will only be used for administering the promotion, contacting winners and subscribing to the Santa’s Lapland newsletter.
1. The promoter is: Santa’s Lapland (Company No. 350786) whose registered office is Mountain House, Station Road, Godalming, Surrey, GU7 1EX.
2. Competitions open only to residents of the UK.
3. No purchase necessary.
4. No cash alternative to the prizes will be offered. The prizes are not transferable. Prizes are subject to availability and we reserve the right to substitute any prize with another of equivalent value without giving notice.
5. The closing date for entry will be 23:59 on Tuesday 17th November 2015. After this date no further entries to the competition will be permitted.
6. Winners will be chosen by Santa’s Lapland and will be based on those who have “Liked”, “Shared” and commented on the competition Facebook post.
7. Th winners will be notified on Facebook within 12 hours of the closing date. If a winner cannot be contacted or do not claim the prize within 24 hours of notification, we reserve the right to withdraw the prize from the winner and pick a replacement winner.
8. Santa’s Lapland’s decision in respect of all matters to do with the competition will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.
9. Employees of Hotelplan UK are not eligible to enter.
10. Santa’s Lapland does not accept responsibility for lost prizes.
11. Events may occur that render the competition itself or the awarding of the prize impossible due to reasons beyond the control of Santa’s Lapland. Santa’s Lapland reserves the right to change or withdraw the competition and/or prize at any time and the entrant agrees that no liability shall attach to Santa’s Lapland as a result thereof.
12. All costs incurred in travelling to/from the show and other incidental costs incurred on the day are the responsibility of the prize winner, not Santa’s Lapland.

Disclosure statement
When you enter our competition you can be assured that the information you have provided will be used solely by Santa’s Lapland for the purposes of contacting you regarding the competition, for any future competitions and for future holiday and merchandise offers. We will never share your information with, or sell it to, anyone else. Any information you have provided will be used by Santa’s Lapland to contact you regarding this competition, future competitions, holiday and merchandise offers.

Photographing the Northern Lights

The Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, are one of nature’s greatest visual spectacles and viewing this wonder is a very special experience. Capturing a picture of the Northern Lights for prosperity is surely an ambition of everyone lucky enough to witness them.


If you are planning on photographing the Northern Lights you will need to carefully consider the equipment, camera settings and composition in order to truly capture this natural wonder. At first seemingly complex, once familiar with the basics, photographing the Northern Lights is both easy and a lot of fun. So where do you start?

Essential Kit

Firstly, make sure you have the right equipment for the job. You don’t need to invest in expensive or professional gear but you may find you require more equipment than you usually use for your standard holiday snaps.

It is important that you are able to adjust the ISO, aperture and exposure time to photograph the Northern Lights. Any camera with a manual mode will give you this control and a DSLR is recommended. A DSLR is likely to have a larger frame and a higher ISO capability which will reduce noise (visual degradation) in your photos.

The added benefit of a DSLR is that you can also change the lenses. And if you are looking to invest in any equipment for your Northern Lights photography this should be where you focus your budget. A lens with a fast aperture is ideal. A fast aperture allows more light into the camera reducing the amount of time it takes to capture a photo. A wide-angle lens (around 24mm) is also preferable for capturing the scope of the landscape.

A tripod is as essential as your camera when photographing the Northern Lights. You will be taking photographs at slow shutter speeds and it is important to avoid blurring the image by having a sturdy tripod to support your camera. Similarly, a remote trigger or cable release for your camera will allow you to take photographs without touching the camera body and avoid any unwanted vibrations.

Don’t forget to bring spare batteries with you to Lapland. Batteries drain especially quickly in cold temperatures. Have at least one spare camera battery with you or run the risk of not being able to turn your camera on!

While concentrating on all the necessary camera equipment it can be easy to forget to pack appropriate clothing. It is important that you keep warm and the more layers you wear the better. I can recommend from experience investing in a pair of fingerless or silk liner gloves so you can continue to make fiddly adjustments. Your camera equipment is pretty useless when you have no feeling in your extremities. A head-torch is also required for changing settings in the dark and low light.

Camera Settings

So you’ve got the equipment – now what? There’s no automatic way to shoot the Northern Lights. Everything will need to be set to manual, including disabling your flash. Knowing what camera settings are required to capture the Aurora Borealis can appear confusing at first but is actually fairly simple.

Start with manually focusing your lens; auto-focus should be switched off as it will struggle to fix on the Northern Lights. Like the moon and stars, the Lights are some distance away and you may get away with setting the focus to infinity. However, this will not always give you the sharpest image. It will be best to base focus on a far away object on the distant horizon.

The ISO adjusts how sensitive the camera sensor is to light. As you’re shooting in a dark environment this setting will need to be kept high but not too high. Higher ISOs tend to lose image quality to noise. Aim to shoot at around ISO 400 to ISO 800 where possible. Increasing the ISO should only be considered when the aperture and shutter speed are at their maximum and yet the image is still too dark.

Open the aperture on the lens as wide as possible. This will depend on the lens you are using. Aperture f/2.8 is optimal but you should also get away with f/4.0 with longer exposure times. The next step, selecting the shutter speed requires experimentation. You should aim to keep the shutter speed between 5 – 30 seconds. Consider how quickly the Northern Lights are moving across the sky, you don’t want them to become blurred. If the Lights are moving quickly keep the time to between 5 – 10 seconds.

It is recommended to shoot your photos in a RAW image format rather than as JPEGs. This retains more information on file and makes the photographs more suitable for editing at a later date.


Your kit’s all set-up and you’re ready to shoot. When photographing the Northern Lights carefully consider the composition of your picture. Avoid shooting just the sky. You will naturally want to make the Lights the focus of your picture but this risks becoming a boring image. Try to include aspects of the surrounding scenery such as trees, hills or a log cabin and use these to frame the Lights. This will add context to your photograph as well as showing the scale of the sweeping, colourful ribbon of light that is dancing across the sky.

Perhaps the greatest tip of all for photographing the Northern Lights is to put away your camera completely. It is far too easy to become obsessed with getting the perfect photograph and miss seeing the spectacle with your own eyes. When viewing the Northern Lights for the first time (or second, or third…) make sure you take the time to stand and stare. The display in front of you is one of nature’s most amazing wonders – make sure you give it the attention it deserves. With or without your camera.

If you have any questions or suggestions, drop us a line in the comment box below.

Welcome to Saariselkä!


Hi everyone! Hope you’re getting excited as Christmas nears! I thought it would be useful to let you know what to expect when you arrive in Saariselkä on a magical trip with us.

After your short transfer from Ivalo airport, the first thing you will do is get kitted out in your thermal arctic suit, along with thermal boots, mittens and woollen socks. These will make your exploration of snowy Saariselkä much more comfortable!

Once you have explored your hotel, you can get changed (don’t forget your layers, hats and buffs – see here for more on what clothes to bring) and head out to discover what the town has to offer.



Don’t miss the gift shops for some unique souvenirs for you to take back, not only for others but for your family tree as well! For some afternoon fun, work up an appetite for dinner by heading to the toboggan run and race each other to the bottom!

Snacks can be purchased at the supermarket or convenience store if you’re peckish, and there’s nothing better than a hot chocolate back at the hotel after being outside in the cold! There is also a small chapel near the toboggan run should you wish to visit.

Map Saariselkä Resort


You’ll be kept busy on your magical break in Lapland with your included husky and reindeer rides, search for Santa snowmobile ride, guaranteed private meeting with Santa, our Elf & Igloo Fantasia and snow and ice activities – we can’t wait to have you join us in Saariselkä!

See you soon!

Nokki   elf-prints

Getting to Saariselkä!

When visiting me in Lapland, I want to make your journey as simple and convenient as possible. For 2016, there are more departures than ever before and you can now fly direct from 19 local airports!

After a flight time of around four hours, you will land into Ivalo Airport, in the North of Finland. It gets so cold in this part of the world, that the airport has a long heated landing strip and the small terminal surrounded by snow. Make sure to wear sensible footwear and have a coat with you. The magic begins right away with one of my furry reindeer waiting to greet you at the airport. Watch out for those cheeky Elves who sometime pay a visit as well!


My friendly and knowledgeable Lapland Rangers will also be there to greet you and point you in the right direction for your transfer to Saariselka, just 30 kilometres away. The short journey is around 25 minutes on a coach and the excitement builds as you approach the resort with your fellow guests. This also gives you a perfect opportunity to spot the local wildlife and appreciate the beauty of the snow covered fields and forests along the way.

landscape view

Once you arrive into Saariselkä you will stop to collect your thermal clothing. You will then be taken right to the door of your Hotel where one of Santa’s Hotel Representatives will greet you and direct you to your accommodation. If you are staying in one of my Christmas Cabins the coach will take you as far down the road as possible leaving a very short walk to your cosy log cabin and your welcoming Cabin host. They’ll be ready to greet you with warm drinks and yummy cake!

Let the festivities begin!

Gone to see Santa

If you have any questions, please give one of my helpers a call on 01483 791 945.


Santa’s Lapland 2016

UPDATE! Friday 23rd October 2015 – Santa’s Lapland 2016 is now on sale!

We are pleased to announce that you can now book for Christmas 2016!

What’s New:

Click here for the full list of airports and departure dates!

While we make important updates to our website, you can only book over the phone

Call us now on 01483 345 593.

Or order a brochure, for more information.

We can’t wait to welcome you!

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9th October 2015 –

If you are already planning your trip to see Santa in Lapland in 2016, we have great news for you…

It won’t be too long until our 2016 holidays are on sale!

In the meantime, you can email us at and we can keep you up to date with any developments.
If you had a particular property or holiday in mind, email us with your details, and we may even be able to hold this once available to ensure you can book your perfect Lapland break.

Whilst last year, we were delighted to announce that we were flying from 14 airports, for 2016, we will be flying from even more…keep an eye out as we will be releasing details soon! Sign up to our Newsletter at the bottom of the page for all of the latest updates.
Why not brush up on your Finnish skills (not essential for the holiday, we promise!) or learn more about the activities on offer in Lapland.
In case you needed any more inspiration… watch this amazing video, made by some previous Lapland guests. It may be a few years old now, but we still love it!

Santa’s Lapland from Leafstorm Playground on Vimeo.

I can’t wait to see you in Lapland in 2016!

What is your favourite Christmas Book?

Just before bed, a Christmas book can be a magical way to calm excited children (and elves) so they can visit the land of nod! Here are some of our favourites, perfect for the lead up to the big day and to fill everyone with the Spirit of Christmas. Grab some milk and biscuits and read together!
  The Snowman – Raymond Briggs
  This fabulous wordless picture book is the story of a young boy’s delight in the snow, the snowman he builds and their magical adventure.
  How the Grinch Stole Christmas – Dr. Seuss
  A classic Dr. Seuss story with rhymes and his signature illustrations, this tale depicts the story of the unhappy Grinch and his mischievous and evil ways to steal Christmas from the residents of Who-Ville.
  A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
  Ebenezer Scrooge is a miserly old skinflint who hates everyone, especially children… But at Christmas three ghosts come to visit scaring him into mending his ways. Scrooge soon discovers that friendliness brings its own reward!
  Christmas Carol
  The Jolly Christmas Postman – Janet Ahlberg
  An interactive Christmas book, the Jolly Christmas Postman delivers letters to several famous fairy-tale characters such as the Big Bad Wolf, Cinderella and the Three Bears. Containing letters, cards and more, this wonderful book lets children discover what the fairy-tale characters are sending to one another for Christmas.
  The Polar Express – Chris Van Allsburg
  Enchantment and mystery exist in this story where a small boy boards a peculiar train that waits for him is bound for the North Pole where magic awaits!
  The Night Before Christmas – Clement C Moore
  A well-loved Christmas poem (and one of Rudolph’r favourite due his his starring role!) The Night Before Christmas details the visit of Santa to a family. Before flying away he wishes everyone a “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”
  Night before christmas
  The Nightmare Before Christmas – Tim Burton
  With a different flavour to the others in my selection, this book puts a creepy twist on the Christmas festivities. With plenty of freakish presents and a skeleton dressed in Santa Claus clothes, it makes for a fabulously spooky holiday story!
  Which one is your favourite Christmas book?
What is your favourite Christmas book?

  If your favourite isn’t listed here, let me know! I would love to get a new Christmas story book for our shelves!


Understanding our Thermal Suits

Your thermal suits are a key item in your Santa’s Lapland inclusions. Think of a snug, outdoor onesie! Whilst you won’t win any glamour competitions, your thermal suits are vital for helping you make the most of your time in Saariselkä.

Thermal Suits


Under your suit, make sure to wear LAYERS – we can’t stress this enough! Layers are the best way to help you control your body temperature, rather than just one bulky jumper. That goes for the bottom half as well, thermal base layers under comfortable trousers are essential.

Layers of socks also to go underneath the woollen socks provided is the best way to keep your tootsies toasty, and we will finish that off with thermal boots so that you can frolic in the snow as much as you like. Please also wear sensible shoes on arrival as it can be very icy at the airport, and bring some comfortable indoor shoes to wear in your hotel.

Gloves with liners are also a sensible option to wear underneath your provided thermal mittens, and a balaclava or buff is a great way to keep the wind chill off your face. Don’t forget a bright cosy lined hat!

Children do get cold quickly so please ensure you wrap them well in layers, and our Lapland Rangers will keep them busy at the Arctic Circle Centre with songs and games to keep them moving. A family game of snow hockey is great way to keep you all warm!

For more information, take a peek at our handy Comfort PDF where you can find out additional information about the clothing you take to Lapland.


Understanding the Northern Lights

Seeing the Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis as they are officially known, is a must-do on bucket lists all around the world. In fact, it’s right up there with meeting Santa!

This spectacular event draws people to Lapland all year round, year after year. Their unpredictability makes them all the more special…and all the more frustrating!


So what exactly are the Northern Lights?

Northern Lights

The Northern Lights are caused by the interaction of the solar wind – a stream of charged particles escaping the Sun – and our planet’s magnetic field and atmosphere. As the solar wind approaches, it distorts the Earth’s magnetic field and allows some charged particles from the Sun to enter the Earth’s atmosphere. Then, as these charged particles interact with gases in our atmosphere, they make them light up! The colours and patterns are from the types of ions or atoms being energised as they collide with the atmosphere and are affected by lines of magnetic force. (Very scientific!!) Displays may take many forms, including rippling curtains, pulsating globs, travelling pulses, or steady glows – this is what makes them so beautiful!


Lights Aurora Borealis


****FUN FACT! You can actually see the Northern Lights anywhere – although more frequent at higher latitudes, they have been seen closer to the equator as far south as Mexico!****

Remember, on your Santa’s Lapland holiday, you can add a Northern Lights Adventure to your itinerary! Unfortunately even Santa can’t guarantee them appearing, but as the further North you are the better chance you have to see them, Lapland is a pretty good bet!

May your visit to Lapland be full of both Christmas magic and the magic of the skies!


Learn some basic Finnish before you go!

Everybody knows that I need to speak every language in the world, so it’s nice to come home and speak my native Suomi (Finnish). Here is a short introduction to some basic Finnish words and phrases that you can try out when you come to Lapland.

The phrases

Sounds like…

United Kingdom Hello
Finland Hyvää huomenta (good morning) hoo-vah hw-oh-mentah
Finland Hyvää päivää (good afternoon) hoo-vah pah-ee-vah
United Kingdom How are you?
Finland Mitä kuuluu? mi-tah cuuh-luuh?
United Kingdom Reply to ‘How are you?’
Finland Hyvää kiits, entä teille? (this is the formal version for people you don’t know) hoo-vah keeh-eets, en-tah deh-il-leh?
United Kingdom What is your name?
Finland Mikä sinun nimesi on? mee-kah sin-uhn ni-me-ssi own?
United Kingdom My name is…
Finland Minun nimeni on… Mee-nun nee-me-nee own
United Kingdom I’m from the United Kingdom
Finland Olen kotoisn Yhdistynyt kuningaskunta sta Oh-lehn kotoy-is-in oo-disht-enet kooning-askuntah stah
United Kingdom Good night
Finland Hyvää yötä hoo-vah yeuh-tah
United Kingdom Goodbye
Finland Näkemiin Nah-keh-meh-iin
United Kingdom How do you say … in Finnish?
Finland Miten sanotaan … suomeksi? Meet-ehn sah-no-tahn … su-oh-mek-si
United Kingdom Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
Finland Hyvää joulua ja onnellista uutta vuotta hoo-vah yo-loo-ah yah oh-ney-lish-ta ooh-tah vw-oh-tta

I hope that you’ve enjoyed learning a few basic Finnish phrases. They’re a little bit harder than English so don’t expect to be a fluent speaker! I look forward to seeing you very soon in Lapland!



FREE Child Places and Parking from Exeter

nokki2 Hi!

News just in! Normally free child places are on selected Santa’s Magic 2 night/3 day breaks, but now they’re all available on our Santa’s Spectacular 3 night/4 day break from Exeter too!

  • Book to fly with us from Exeter on 15th December for our 4-day Santa’s Spectacular break and the first child aged 2 – 5 years is now completely FREE!
For example:

  • 2 adults and 1 child under 6 staying in a Type A Room in Santa’s Hotel Kieppi, half-board
  • Total £2,277.70
    Save £399.00
And if the first child is ages 6-11 then pay from just £389!

Plus, parking at Exeter Airport for the duration of your trip is completely FREE! Ask our reservations team for details once you’ve booked.

Here’s everything you need to know:

Free child places are available for when staying at hotels Kieppi, Holiday Club, Tunturi and Riekonlinna only, and apply to the youngest child between 2 and 5 years old, limited to one per family.

All available discounts are based on sharing with two full-paying guests and will be automatically applied when booking online.

Book now while we still have availability!

See you soon!

Nokki   elf-prints

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My Special Lapland Check-List

Items to check
What I offer
What some other companies offer
Meeting Santa Guaranteed Private Family Meeting In a large group
Reindeer sleigh ride A magical sleigh ride in the snowy woods A short 'taster' ride
Husky sled-ride 15-minute ride driving yourselves 2-minutes around a small loop
Snowmobile sleigh-ride Included for everybody Not included
My Elves and Igloo Fantasia Fun and Games with my Elves in my Igloo Not included
My Artistic Igloo Admire my Elves ice sculptures and enjoy a drink Not included
The resort The magical, natural spirit of Lapland Commercialised and busy
Places to stay The best hotels and Christmas cabins Business hotels
Resort helpers My own helpers and Rangers Limited help or just agents
Child reductions FREE places and low low prices Small, token reductions
Airport Transfers Short 25-minute coach-ride Up to 3 hours in some cases!

© 2015 Santa's Lapland, Mountain House, Station Road, Godalming, Surrey, GU7 1EX
Registered in England No. 350786   |   ABTA No. V4871   |   Phone: 01483 791 945
Open Monday - Friday: 8.30am - 8pm, Saturday: 9am - 4pm, Sunday: 10am - 4pm