Lapland, the northernmost region of Finland, is a land of enchanting natural beauty, unique cultural experiences, and extraordinary adventures. With its pristine wilderness, vibrant indigenous culture, and opportunities for various outdoor activities, Lapland is a remarkable destination for travelers. In this blog post, you will find out the main destinations, attractions, accommodation facilities, transportation options, ideal seasons to visit, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and if you are one of the types of travelers who would enjoy Lapland (who am I kidding? Everyone does!)
I first stepped foot in Finland in Rovaniemi back in January 2005 as an Erasmus exchange student. The magic of Lapland has kept me in Rovaniemi for two years and the shamans have cast a spell on me since I am still in Finland here after 18 years!
Main destinations within Lapland regions
Lapland is a vast region, and its main destinations include Rovaniemi, Levi, Saariselkä (the Northernmost ski resort), Inari, and Kittilä. Each of these destinations offers a distinct experience, from the bustling city life of Rovaniemi to the remote beauty of Inari and Saariselkä.
Attractions to be seen and experienced
Northern Lights: Lapland is one of the best places in the world to witness the mesmerizing Northern Lights.
Santa Claus Village: Rovaniemi is known as the official hometown of Santa Claus, and visitors can meet Santa year-round.
Arctic Wildlife: Experience encounters with reindeer, huskies, and even the elusive wolverine.
Winter Sports: Lapland is a paradise for winter enthusiasts, offering skiing, snowmobiling, ice fishing.
Sami Culture: Learn about the indigenous Sami people (EU's only recognised indigenous people) and their rich cultural heritage.
Visit Arktikum science centre and museum in Rovaniemi: Experience northern nature, culture, and history of Lapland along with current Arctic issues. Arktikum is located on the bank of River Ounasjoki. The building’s iconic glass tube represents the frozen finger of the north, the direction it points in.
Accommodation options in Lapland range from cozy cabins and igloos to luxury resorts. Visitors can choose from hotels, hostels, traditional cottages, and even stay in glass-roofed igloos for a unique Northern Lights viewing experience.
Reaching Lapland from Helsinki
Lapland is easily accessible from Helsinki by air, train, or car. The major airports in Lapland, such as Rovaniemi and Kittilä, are well-connected to Helsinki with regular flights. Trains also run from Helsinki to Rovaniemi, offering a scenic journey through the Finnish countryside. Traveling by car is an option for those who prefer a road trip adventure.
Getting Around in Lapland
Transportation within Lapland varies by destination. In larger cities like Rovaniemi and Levi, public transportation and taxis are readily available. However, to explore remote areas, renting a car or participating in guided tours is often the best choice. Here you can find a list of the transport companies you can reach out to.
Ideal Seasons to Visit
Lapland is a year-round destination, each season offering unique experiences. Winter high season (December to March) is perfect for winter sports and Northern Lights viewing, while summer (June to August) provides opportunities for hiking and experiencing the Midnight Sun.
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Lapland is home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Struve Geodetic Arc, which was approved in the World Heritage List in July 2005. The Arc is a scientific and technological landmark.
The Struve Geodetic Arc was laid out and measured in 1816-1855 under the direction of F. G. W. Struve, a German astronomer, with the aim of determining the size and shape of the Earth.
The Struve Geodetic Arc comprises station points in ten countries (Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova). The six station points in Finnish territory are located in Pyhtää, Lapinjärvi, Korpilahti, Tornio, Ylitornio and Enontekiö.
Lapland caters to a diverse range of travelers:
Nature Enthusiasts: Ideal for those who seek the tranquility of pristine wilderness and nature.
Adventure Seekers: Perfect for thrill-seekers who enjoy activities like snowmobiling, ice fishing, and dog sledding.
Families: A magical destination for families with Santa Claus Village and kid-friendly activities.
Cultural Explorers: Culture enthusiasts and those who appreciate indigenous traditions.
Romantic Getaways: Couples can enjoy the cozy cabins, Northern Lights, and picturesque landscapes.
The Finnish Lapland is a destination that offers something for everyone. Whether you are captivated by the Northern Lights, intrigued by Sami culture, or simply yearning for a unique adventure in nature, Lapland will leave you with lasting memories and a deep appreciation for its unique offerings.
Tervetuloa (Welcome, in Finnish) to the diverse wonders of Lapland, inviting travelers to explore and experience this enchanting region all year round.