Tourism Abroad - Disabled Accessibility

Lapland, Finland December 2011

Conducted by Janice Tillett

The Airline and the Airport

The travel agency arranged assistance at both the airports. No other services were particularly offered to me on board Thomson Airlines.

At the destination, Ivalo Airport is quite compact and easy to get around. There were disabled toilets and everything seemed to be on one level.

At the Hotel

At the resort of Saariselka, Hotel Snowflake has lifts in place, but the cabins require a step or two to enter them. The room we booked was big enough for three people, but as it was quite compact, wheelchairs may have had difficulty moving around.

Getting Around

Lapland is constantly snowy and cold. However, the appropriate snow suits and boots were provided. Also, if a long walk was involved at a resort, people could be "sledged" to their destination.

We did not use public transport as we went with Thomson Holidays with coaches the main form of transportation. The coaches were standard ones where steps had to be taken so It is okay if you can board the coach by steps. However, at destinations people with mobility problems were in a sledge and pulled along. There are accessible taxis that can transport wheelchairs in the Saariselkä and Ivalo areas.

Please note, Lapland is constantly snowing thoughout the winter months and wheelchair users may find it extremely difficult to get around.


Mostly, there were attractions where assistance would be needed i.e. getting on and off sledges and steps into log cabins. I don't know whether attractions or excursions had any material in large print as I was not offered alternative formats.

I went on a package holiday and the extra excursions we booked in the UK did not offer a concessionary price.

Eating Out

In general, restaurants are accessible with ramps in place for wheelchair users. However, I did not ask for a large print menu as my husband was on standby to help me, so I am not sure if they did provide any. In various restaurants the lighting appeared to be average.

Any Other Comments

Lapland was snowing all the time but transport was provided at Santa resort if people had mobility problems. Help was willingly given to get on and off sledges and was given to me to access self service meals at the hotel which was very good. The Thomson reps took my needs into account, for example, we had booked a husky dog ride, but I was advised that it could be dangerous, so they switched us to a reindeer ride instead.