Saturday Snapshot: Salla, Lapland

YOU never know who you might meet in Lapland in the depth of winter – but odds are they may well have been provided by the national elf service.

The cheerful chap pictured above is Noisy Nod, and he does what it says on the tin. His name is Nod and he is, indeed, noisy. The bells on his wrists don’t help.

Back in 2007, we were staying in the picturesque ski village of Luosto, set above the Arctic Circle, 90 minutes north of Rovaniemi.

On the edge of the Pyhä-Luosto National Park, it’s home to all manner of Christmas crackers included in fantastical family breaks in search of Santa.

From snowmobile safaris to reindeer-pulled sleighs, and from husky sleds to snowshoe treks out into the snowy wilderness, we did them all.

Staying in a traditional log cabin with a woodburner fire, it was magical to step out each morning into the falling snow – like living in a Christmas card.

Of course, we met up with Santa towards the end of a three-day adventure. And here’s the thing: I’m sure the grown-ups loved it even more than the kids…

Our break was with Santa specialist Canterbury Travel, who still run seasonal specials. You can see the 2022/23 range at

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