The final day of our visit to Santa’s Lapland was a nice relaxing day in comparison to the busyness of the Search for Santa day the previous day.
Check-out time at the Saariselkä Inn is 10am, so we got up, dressed and packed everything up before we had breakfast so we could make the most of the time we had left.
We had been given a coach time of mid-afternoon and were able to leave our cases at the pub, where we have breakfast, where they would be looked after until it was time to leave.
The first thing on our to-do list for the day was tobogganing!
Saariselkä is home to the longest toboggan run in Northern Europe at 1.2 kilometers long and a vertical drop of 130 meters and we were determined to get to the top and do it all and best of all – its FREE!
We picked up our toboggans from outside the pub and tool the ten minute walk through the town to the bottom of the toboggan run – well, when I say walked, Hubby and I walked and the kids hitched a lift!
The bottom of the toboggan run is quite busy and there are some small sheds with toboggans in if you have forgotten to pick one up on the way.
The kids couldn’t wait to get started and were all soon whizzing down the hill and then climbing back up again.
The higher up the run you go, the quieter it gets, although it is quite steep, especially for those with little legs so Sebastian ended up being pulled up the hill by me.
It was soon apparent that the little ones were not going to make it to the top of the run, so I stayed halfway along with them as it was a nice quiet spot and Hubby took Isaac on the 20 minute walk to the top.
Hearing their whoops and giggles as they came down the hill each time made everyone stop and smile and everyone cheerily moved out-of-the-way as steering is a little tricky, although they did get the hang of it in the end.
It wasn’t long before Daddy and Isaac rejoined us, having got up quite a bit of speed on the way down!!
The heavier you are, the faster you go!!
We spent a good couple of hours playing on the toboggan run. At the lower end is a fun bumpy run which we all thoroughly enjoyed bouncing over.
On the way back to the Saariselkä Inn, we stopped to admire the church, which has a stunning floor to ceiling window at the back, to take in the magnificent views of the mountains behind.
Of course the kids got a lift back the only way they know how!
At the Saariselkä Inn we changed out of our snowsuits and packed them all up in the bags provided and warmed up with a tasty hot chocolate in front of the fire.
We then headed back out to have a look around the village’s souvenir shops, which are full of a wide range of traditional hand-made Lappish items and clothes, Christmas gifts, decorations and toys.
We selected some Christmas decorations to bring home as a memory of our stay which now have pride of place on the Christmas tree.
It was also our last chance to take photo’s and after the previous days snow, we were treated to a gorgeous pale pink sky.
Our coach back to the airport picked us up bang on time and we watched the sunset over the mountains as we drove to the airport.
Check-in with smooth and painless and I have to say that Ivalo airport is like no other. It is a small airport with a little cafe and a small gift shop but it is the most comfortable one I have ever visited.
They even provided boxes of wooden toys for the children to play with, which were a godsend during our hour long delay!
The flight home was not as full of fun as the journey out there, but the kids were just happy to talk about everything they had seen and experienced over the short break.
In hindsight, I do wish I had booked a four-day break instead of a three-day as we would have liked a free day to explore the local area and take in another experience, which includes a longer husky dog sled ride or reindeer ride, but it is still a holiday we will remember forever!!
We booked our holiday with Santa Claus Trips and I cannot fault their customer service. To get the best value and take advantage of free child spaces it is recommended to book your trip as soon as the dates become available, which is typically in the October, the year before you intend to travel.