Lapland is a territory above the Arctic Circle. This vast region extends over Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia. In Finland, it covers 30% of the country's surface area, and consists of vast, impressive and pristine natural areas over a very large part of the year. There is a wide range of activities, from skiing to hiking, dog sledding and fishing. You can also be totally seduced by the starry nights waiting for the northern lights to shine, by the moments when you observe reindeer in their natural environment, as well as by the moments in the sauna or around a good meal by the fireplace. Here are the must-see attractions of Lapland, everything that makes this trip an extraordinary expedition.
Visit of Santa Claus' village in Rovaniemi
The essential activity of Rovaniemi is of course the visit of Santa Claus' village. Throughout the year, you can visit the workshop of the famous character and thus realize a childhood dream. The city also offers a whole host of other activities that should not be missed under any circumstances. During the day, we visit the Korundi Cultural House to discover the collections of Finnish modern art from the 1940s to the present day, then we join a restaurant to enjoy local specialities. Salmon, crab and fish can be enjoyed by the fire. To live an incomparable experience, you also have to spend a night in an ice hotel, the opportunity to put yourself, for a few hours, in the shoes of an Eskimo.
Expedition on Lake Inari
Lake Inari is the third largest lake in Finland and is home to almost 3,300 islands. It is frozen six months of the year, so it is a good place to experience ice fishing. In summer, it is pleasant to embark on a cruise on the wilderness water to reach the sacred island of Ukko. Until the 19th century, it was used as a place of sacrifice for the deity Sami Ukko. At any season, the views offered are sublime and grandiose. In Inari, it is also necessary to take the time to visit Siida, the Sami museum and nature centre. In the various rooms and through the permanent and temporary exhibitions, we discover all that characterizes the Saami community, art, crafts and information on lifestyles.
A passage through Kemijärvi
It is one of the northernmost cities in Lapland. Its village is located north of the Arctic Circle. It is therefore a feeling of the end of the world that invades the visitors who go there. In winter, you can reach the nearby Suomutunturi ski area or the Pyhä ski resort, which is located within the boundaries of Pyhä-Luosto National Park. On sunny days, it is recommended to go by boat or kayak on the calm waters of Lake Kemijärvi. In the city, there are superb museums waiting for travellers. The Kemijärvi History Museum presents the living conditions of the region's inhabitants during the 18th and 19th centuries. The Snowmobile Museum has a collection of nearly 100 snowmobiles and 400 chainsaws.
Observe the Northern Lights
Witnessing the Northern Lights is a life-long experience. Lapland is one of the best observation points in the world to watch this beautiful light show. In Finnish Lapland, it should be noted that between September and March, light gushes occur every other night, provided of course that the sky is clear. During a trip during this period, there is a good chance that you will be able to witness this natural phenomenon tinged with green, red, purple, orange and turquoise. The best is to find a quiet spot with a clear view of the sky and the horizon.
A stop in the village of Luosto
The village of Luosto is located in the heart of Pyhä-Luosto National Park. This idyllic commune with its charming wooden chalets and nestled in the heart of a beautiful Lapland countryside offers magnificent views over the whole year. It is an ideal stopover for those who wish to experience the tranquility of an authentic small village and who are looking for the purity of Lapland. Nearby, there are ski resorts and amethyst mines. It is also the starting point for many activities such as snowshoeing, snowmobiling or a traditional reindeer-drawn sled.
Take an unforgettable dog sled ride
During a stay in Finnish Lapland, an outing in the forest pulled by sled dogs is a must. We then set off to discover the snow-covered landscapes at a faster pace than during a walk. You can be alone or with two people in a sled, so it is an unforgettable experience to live as a couple, and which can also be enjoyed as a family. The walk is an opportunity to enjoy the joys of sliding on snow and in the forest, over a period of time that can range from a few minutes to several hours. Don't forget to take your camera to capture the beauty of nature and take a few pictures with the beautiful huskies.
Skiing in Levi
Levi is a ski resort very popular with Finns and Europeans. It is only a few kilometres from Kittilä airport. There are a total of 45 ski slopes and the resort centre is charming and always very lively, with shops, restaurants, bars and even discos to celebrate until late at night. From the resort, you can not only ski as much as you like, but also enjoy other activities such as snowmobiling or sled dogs. Also not to be missed: a moment in a Levi spa, just to warm up and relieve numb muscles
Ice fishing, another essential activity
The fish-bearing waters of Finnish Lapland offer the opportunity to engage in ice fishing, an activity much appreciated by many Finns. The fishing technique is particular, but all lovers of this practice find it beneficial, not only because the setting is sublime, but also because there is a whole ritual around it. Thus, the guides light a fire nearby, which allows you to warm up, and also to prepare comforting hot drinks and taste local specialities. Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park is a great place to practice ice fishing.
See Saana and Halti Mountains in Kilpisjärvi
The strip of land in northwest Finland contains the most mountainous landscapes. In winter and summer, visitors have the opportunity to explore the highest peaks of Finnish Lapland from the village of Kilpisjärvi. Mount Saana, which has a very special shape, and Mount Halti, the highest peak in Finland, are the most famous peaks and rise to an altitude of more than 1,000 metres. An expedition to these two beautiful natural elements is therefore a great opportunity to climb up and enjoy breathtaking views.
A tour of Lemmenjoki National Park
This park is the largest national park in Northern Lapland. Here, boreal nature shows itself in its most beautiful form. It is also home to several species that are currently threatened. It is a perfect place for splendid hikes, along the river or towards the impressive cliffs of Viipus. In summer, you can go boating on the lake and see the Ravatas waterfalls. But the park is also splendid in winter, when the territory is covered with snow. For information, it is also in Lemmenjoki National Park that there are gold mines that are still operated by a few researchers. Over half a day, visitors can learn how to search for gold. A highly unusual experience.