Christmas is just not the same without a snow - and Scandinavia, with its wide wilderness areas and fairy-tale forests, is the best place to enjoy that much-loved white Christmas. Rush through the fields on a husky-drawn sled, toboggan down the slopes, ride a reindeer and even meet St. Nick himself on a variety of Christmas breaks that are sure to build memories for years to come.
Head to Lapland’s Harriniva winter wonderland, where Father Christmas's grotto and family-friendly winter activities combine to make for an unforgettable festive period. Guaranteed snow blankets a picturesque landscape of fields and snow fir trees, hanging heavy with fresh powder. Pierce the quiet with a dogsledding trip or a snowmobile excursion.You’ll also bake Christmas cookies – including traditional Finnish gingerbread – and perhaps take Rudolph out for a ride. Staying in lakeside cabins, you’ll be led – by elves, of course – to meet Santa, who hands out early presents to well-behaved guests. If you’re lucky, you might spot the famed Northern Lights while adult activities include wilderness cooking lessons and cross-country skiing.
A Norwegian retreat
Set on the shores of the impressive Malangenfjord and marking the start of Norway’s Arctic, Malangen Resort puts on a full complement of festive activities that make the most of its fairy-tale location. Stay in fjord-side traditional Norwegian cabins as you don thermals for husky safaris and snowmobile rides to a backdrop of forested mountains dropping into the sea. You’ll also spend an afternoon in a Sámi tent to learn about the rich culture and hardy past of the region’s indigenous people before setting out in search of the Northern Lights. Come Christmas Day, you’ll be treated to a festive feast from the resort’s European chefs.
Norway offer lots of lovely cabins and cottages, so you can find your own winter getaway retreat.
It’s not just the region’s rural swathes that come to life over Christmas. Head to Copenhagen where festive markets spring up each season and the aromas of cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg fill the air. Feast on Danish smørrebrød – open rye sandwiches – or tuck into traditional pastries, cakes and apple dumplings all washed down with a hot cup of gløgg – mulled wine. Christmas markets are also a great chance to do a spot of last minute Christmas shopping. From your central hotel, you’ll also have all of the Danish capital’s sights on your doorstep – pastel painted townhouses host world-renowned modern art galleries and museums alike.