Arctic Circle Centre

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Things to do


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Family including children under 16

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We visited Saariselka in Finland as part of a package to go and find Santa. We found him, located here, getting ready for the big day but he still had time to meet us. The Arctic circle centre is situated 25 minutes outside Saariselka some way north of the Arctic circle inside woodland, it is a large site covered in deep snow at this time of year and, includes a frozen lake and river for ice fishing. You have to be pre booked, either by your resort or by a pre booked tour, to get there as numbers are strictly limited, we were booked through a company for our visit. On arrival there is a large reception area and restaurant with toilets, from here you drop down onto the main areas. There are Mini skidoos, Kick sleds, Toboggans, snow hockey, Ice fishing, and several teepees with log fires serving hot berry juice, cookies and pancakes throughout the day, these are free as is a meal in the restaurant which was pasta bolognaise when we were there. The ethos here is that you do not wait for anything, if there is a line, go elsewhere and try something else. There is a reindeer ride which takes you to a small ice bar which is the only thing you pay for on sight, it is cool, literally. Close by is another Igloo with an Elf show for the kids, they loved this. The trip to see Santa is via a skidoo sled through the woods, it pulls up bear the Kota and the Elves do the rest, it is magical and fun, there is no waiting around at all and you don't see other guests anywhere around, it is a private visit to all intents and purposes. The highlight for me was the husky sledding, unlike other places, you drive your own team, all run by Ali, from Scotland, who moved over there a decade ago, liked it so much he stayed and now runs 120 dogs on teams. It was an incredible experience and the highlight of my visit for me and everyone else too, including the younger members. This is the Arctic and not suitable for those who cannot get around unfortunately.

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