Young Thais are drawn by the big city lifestyle
Few things conjure the fairytale romance of Kemi’s Snow Castle. Inside it’s minus five degrees, but a woolly sheepskin and sturdy sleeping bag keep you warm(ish) atop the ice bed. Sleep on your clothes or they might snap when you put them on the next day (00 358 16 259502; snowcastle.net; Kemi; end Janmid- Apr; from £240).
Major car rental agencies, such as Budget and Europcar, are represented at Rovaniemi airport (£35 per day). Petrol stations are sparse and some are automatic, so carry cash. Bus operators often run only one daily service (goldline. fi; eskelisen-lapinlinjat.com).
Rovaniemi airport is a major winter destination for charter flights as it’s the official airport of Father Christmas! British Airways flies from Heathrow or Manchester to Helsinki and you can then fly with Finnair to Rovaniemi (from £220). A bus to town will cost £4, a shared airport taxi, £8.