Set alone in northern Finland and circled by miles of untouched countryside, Saariselka offers up a traditional taste of the Arctic.
You can't get much further north than Saariselka. Hidden away at the top of Finland, the small town is buried deep inside the arctic Circle. The Arctic Ocean is just a two-hour drive away and the border with Russia is even closer.
What's more, Saariselka is the nearest holiday resort to the Korvatunturi fell - said to be the very spot Santa Claus himself is from. So, if you're looking for an authentic winter wonderland, there's nowhere better.
The town itself is tucked between two rolling fells - Kaunispaa and Lisakkipaa - and surrounded by snowy countryside so, unsurprisingly winter sports are big business here. You can get to grips with out-of-the-ordinary activities like snowmobiling, husky safaris and reindeer sleigh rides, and try your hand at skiing and tobogganing.
In the town centre, meanwhile, you'll find souvenir shops stacked with Christmas goodies and a good mix of restaurants serving everything from pizza and burgers to Lappish specialities like reindeer steak.
There's also an indoor pool complex with a wave machine and slide, for those times you fancy a break from the snow.
Finally, because Saariselka is so far north, it's one of the best places in Lapland for catching a glimpse of the famous Northern Lights. These dazzling natural flares light up the sky some 200 nights a year, so keep and eye out when the weather's good.
After landing at Ivalo Airport, you’ll be given thermal clothing and all the information needed for your Lapland experience. Then, it`s off to your Saariselkä hotel. You can spend the rest of the day settling in and getting to know the town.
You can try a taster session of snowmobiling and husky or reindeer sleigh rides today. Afterwards, your elf guide will give you a tour of the village. There’s plenty of free time, too, so you can book yourself on to an excursion and experience your favorite taster from earlier.
It’s time to meet the big man in red. As you make your way down to Santa’s Creek through the woods, you’ll bump into reindeers, elves and a Lappish shaman, before sitting down with Father Christmas himself. Come evening, you can tuck into a gala buffet accompanied by festive fireworks.
This is your last chance to play in the snow. Plus, you'll get to enjoy a special gala dinner.