Lapland extends into Norway, Sweden, and Russia, but its center is located at the northern tip of Finland. With a latitude of 67 degrees north, Lapland lies within the Arctic Circle and experiences seven months of winter a year. It’s the perfect destination for a secluded escape, with remote parks and forests, and plenty of quiet spots to enjoy the Northern Lights.
Skiers and snowboarders will be spoiled for choice in Lapland! The Saariselkä Sport Resort boasts two impressive sections, each with 20 slopes for both beginner and expert skiers. The Ylläs Ski Resort, meanwhile, is home to the longest skiing and snowboarding runs in Finland, alongside bars, restaurants, and swimming spots.
|Lapland is perfect for all kinds of winter sport.
Ice fishing in one of Lapland’s 1,000 lakes makes for a great alternative to skiing. Head north to Inari for the region’s largest lake, where you can drill through thick ice to find rainbow trout, perch, and more. You could also explore Lapland by snowmobile, whizzing through thick forests and crossing frozen lakes.
|Explore Lapland by snowmobile!|
Lapland boasts the largest national parks in Finland. The biggest, Lemmenjoki National Park, can be explored via boat along the Lemmenjoki River, or on foot across the 60 kilometers of hiking trails. Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park, the third-largest in Finland, is rumored to have Finland’s freshest air and first ever hiking trail. There are now hundreds of kilometers of marked routes, the most popular of which stretches between the villages of Hetta and Pallastunturi.
|Lapland's national parks feature hundreds of kilometers of marked routes.
Head eastwards to find the Urho Kekkonen National Park, which extends to the Russian border. There, you can ski, hike, spot golden eagles and willow grouses, or relax around the shores of the shimmering Lake Luirojärvi.
Whether you’re traveling with kids or just want to experience the holiday magic, you can’t leave Lapland without visiting the Santa Claus Holiday Village. Enjoy twinkling lights, step over the boundary of the Arctic Circle, and, of course, snap a pic with Santa Claus himself.
|Meet Santa himself in Lapland's Santa Claus Holiday Village.
The village is just a short walk from other entertaining attractions, including Santa Park, which boasts sleigh rides, ice galleries, and fun workshops. You should also visit Joulukka to meet elves, go fishing, look after reindeer, and pick fresh berries.
|Lots of reindeers live in Lapland.|
One of the most popular things to do in Lapland is see the Northern Lights, which are visible for up to 200 nights a year. There’s no way to predict when the lights will appear most clearly, but traveling as far north as possible will increase your chances of the perfect view.
|You can see the Northern Lights up to 200 nights a year.
Alternatively, see the midnight sun during the summer months, when Lapland receives 24 hours of sunlight. Travelers flock to Sodankylä for the best atmosphere and the Midnight Sun Film Festival, which takes place each June.
|In summer, the sun never goes down in Lapland.|
There’s roughly one sauna for every third person in Lapland, offering travelers plenty of opportunities to kick back and relax. Kesärafla in Rovaniemi is popular among locals, with room for 35 people and beautiful views over the Kemijoki river. Ylläs, meanwhile, is home to the world’s only sauna gondola, while visitors can enjoy a sauna raft along the Kemijoki and Ounasjoki rivers.
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I have been to Rovaniemi which is Santa Claus home, I relived my childhood after meeting Santa. For me it was like wonderland, where I have been for the first time. The white snow all over made it look like white Dreamland. With the spectacular northern lights, I feel blessed to be there I wish I could live there forever.