Lapland boasts a spectacular wilderness, the vast landscapes of the winter wonderland lending itself to a host of exciting activities. We have pulled together our selection of top Lapland experiences no trip would be complete without, making the most of this unique destination full of natural phenomena, intriguing wildlife and one incredibly iconic gentleman.
1. Watching the Northern Lights
There is a reason why the Northern Lights top the list of things to do in the world’s most northern countries – nothing quite compares to them. The anticipation of whether you’ll spot the spectacular celestial colours light up the night sky before you is part of the thrill of hunting for them. To spot them in Lapland, time your trip for September through to March when the swirling glows dancing across the sky can be seen on clear nights. Lapland is full of innovative and quirky accommodation to stay in whilst hunting for the Aurora Borealis including the luxurious and cosy tents of the Teepee Wilderness Camp.
2. Experiencing the Midnight Sun
A ‘nightless night’ can only be experienced in a handful of locations, south of Antarctica and north of the Arctic Circle. In Lapland the midnight sun lasts longer the closer you are to the North Pole, with the sun not setting below the horizon for more than 70 days in the northernmost part of Finland. During these summer nights, Lapland’s beautiful landscapes are continually cast in a warm glow as if the sun is suspended in sunset for the night time hours. It is possible to enjoy the many activities you would do during the day, with no time constraints of the setting sun, as well as events held to make the most of the magical 24 hours of sunlight including the Midnight Sun Film Festival.
3. Driving a reindeer pulled sled
The number of reindeer in Lapland matches the number of people and is an important animal in the livelihood of Laplanders – while many know these graceful and powerful creatures from the folklore of Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen and friends. Enjoy a mode of transport which has been used by the Sami people for generations – a reindeer pulled sleigh. Gliding through the snow covered landscape is a peaceful way to marvel at the stunning nature. A magical experience, another delight is the opportunity to drive a sleigh yourself and take your reindeer driving licence.
4. Spending the night in a glass igloo
The cosiest front row seat for a night spent watching the stars and the Northern Lights, time spent in a glass igloo is enchanting and, most importantly, warm. The roofs of the igloos are made from electrically heated glass to stop it from chilling the room or from frosting over. While spotting the Northern Lights can never be guaranteed, staying in one of these romantic igloos will increase your chances whilst keeping you in luxurious comfort.
5. Skiing in Levi
Considered the best ski area in Finland, Levi is a stylish and beautiful resort. It is the perfect place to immerse yourself in the stunning unspoilt snow covered landscape, spending the days on the slopes, skiing or snowboarding for those who like the adrenaline rush, or for those who want to take the day slightly slower a cross country trip by snowshoe or skis. And of course, with the high standard of bars and restaurants, après skiing is a must.
6. Meeting Santa Claus
No matter how old you are, crossing the Arctic Circle to meet the big man himself is a magical experience. The capital of Finnish Lapland and the official home of Santa Claus, Rovaniemi is the place for a genuine and magical Christmas experience. Once you have crossed the Arctic Circle, received your certificate to mark the occasion and had your meeting with Santa Claus, you can enjoy the charming activities of Santa Claus village including sending a letter from the post office and shopping in the Rudolf Factory Gift Shop.
Have you travelled to Lapland and watched the Northern Lights, meet Santa Claus and gone skiing? Let us know about your travels in the comment section below or browse our tours to Finland and enjoy them for yourself.