Luxury Travel this Christmas in Finland
Waling in Finland
Christmas is the time for indulgence. Indeed, December almost dictates that it be lived decadently and international travel is certainly one way to do that. San Diego being as it is climactically (that is to say, hot), what better time to get away from the expected seasonal madness and fly off to colder climes? Tradition itself hints at the suitability of Lapland, so if you’re amenable to traveling a little further across the globe for Christmas, why not make Finland this year’s winter destination of choice? Just be sure that your luggage contains suitably warm clothing and this holiday will sort out the memory-making.
For City Lovers
Helsinki, the capital of Finland, offers travelers fine art and architecture, a vibrant café culture, and stunning parks and other public spaces, even mid-winter. Sibelius Park hosts a monument to the famed composer, its steel pipes shaped into a gigantic wave, and a quick ferry ride will find you at the Suomenlinna Fortress, now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. One of the leading centers of design in Europe, there are special tours to truly appreciate the city’s Design District and a timely Christmas Market is open in December, offering plentiful gift ideas for those friends and family members you left behind in California. Meanwhile, gastronomes also are widely catered for in Helsinki, this archipelago part of Scandinavia offering some of the finest seafood on its island restaurants.
Of course, to truly appreciate this country, you have to venture beyond the city lights and fly up north to Saariselka in Lapland. This part of the Arctic is simply breathtaking (both for the landscape and the cold). Offering guided evening snowshoe tours, there is the chance to see the magical northern lights. Aurora Borealis might not necessarily show, but you’re still more than likely to see some wonderful stars in such a remote expanse while sipping on hot berry juice (this is Finland, after all). Indeed, you might even be tempted by star registration later, through companies such as Star Registration, as naming a star is a great way to remember the trip, whether that star is singular, binary or a whole constellation. Now, that’s a souvenir.
Lapland also lends itself to sleigh rides pulled by reindeer, dog-sledding and the ability to indulge in a proper Finnish sauna afterward, or (if children are accompanying) time can be made to visit Santa Claus himself in Rovaniemi.
As with most Scandinavians, the Finnish luxuriate in their surroundings, fully enjoying what the natural world has to offer. When outside the city bounds, camping and hiking are summer pursuits, but even mid-winter locals will sup round a campfire after a long, heart-healthy day of cross-country skiing (so you don’t have to worry about missing the season).
Nevertheless, why freeze in sub-zero temperatures to appreciate the natural beauty of the Finnish scenery and skies when you can view it all from inside a heated glass igloo, instead? That’s certainly the thinking in Luosto and definitely sounds the epitome of snowbound luxury travel this year.