Full of enchanting wintry scenery and authentic Finnish experiences, you don’t have to travel far in Lapland to find beautiful winter wonderlands.
They’re everywhere you look…
Aside from the many amazing adventures we experienced during our visit, such as meeting real reindeer farmers and cross-country skiing for the first time (!), it was the country’s natural beauty that captured us the most. Maybe that’s a photographer thing!
We spent a week touring the main spots of the Lapland region, including a north to south route through Inari, Saariselkä, Kemi and Rovaniemi. Our highlights? If you’re looking for the most enchanting scenery and an authentic Lapland wilderness experience, the north would be our recommendation. Specifically, Inari and the surrounding areas of Saariselkä.
Inari is the homeland of the indigenous Sami people, who if you get a chance to meet, will give you a true taste of life in Lapland’s extreme conditions. One of our favourite experiences of this was spending a morning with real reindeer herders and taking a sledge ride out to meet the beautiful wild reindeers. You can read the full story in our article ‘8 Awesome Things To Do In Winter In Finland!‘ Here are our photo highlights.
Although we didn’t have much luck chasing the illusive Northern Lights, we did get a small glimpse!
Lapland Winter Northern Lights
Approximately 70km south of Inari and close to Finland’s mountainous arctic fell area, is where you’ll find the little village of Saariselkä. It’s most famous for outdoor activities such as skiing, hiking, spas and traditional Finnish saunas – another of our favourite Lapland winter experiences! Husky and reindeer sledding is also popular here.
For us, it was the area closest to Urho Kekkonen National Park that really took our breath away. Surrounded by vast arctic woodland and beautifully snowy hills and mountains, it’s truly beautiful and well worth a few days of your time. Not only are there lots of stunning hikes and cross-country ski routes, it’s a great place to adventure and also relax. Specifically, Kiilopää fell centre, positioned on the edge of the national park, is a great place to stay to explore the best of the area. Here are a few of our photo highlights.
There’s also a long list of things to do in the area…!
- Cross-country Skiing
- Smoke Sauna
- Winter Swimming
- Disc Golf
- Orienteering track
For more detailed information and the story of our first cross-country skiing experience and hiking around Kiilopää fell centre, don’t forget to check out our article ‘8 Awesome Things To Do In Winter In Finland!‘.
However if all of this beautiful nature is not your priority because you’re really just excited to hunt down Santa Claus and his elves, then you should head to Rovaniemi! As the “official” home town of Santa Claus and the capital of Lapland, it’s the biggest town in the region and packed full of Christmas themed hotels and also the famous Santa Claus’ village…every child’s dream!
How To Get Around
The easiest way to get around Lapland in winter is by hire car. However, if you’d prefer to avoid driving, then there are also plenty of bus services between the main towns. If you plan to fly to Inari, it’s possible to collect a hire car from the airport, however be sure to book it in advance. Despite the deep snow and weather conditions in Lapland, the roads are generally very well maintained and easy to navigate. However be sure to keep a look out for reindeers, especially at night!
Where to Stay In Lapland
There are a variety of hotels to choose from all around the main towns of Lapland, however be sure to book in advance as the best ones get booked up in advance!
As always, we recommend the hotel booking site Agoda.com. We usually book our accommodation in advance as you typically get a lower rate and the most popular spots get booked up quickly in Lapland, especially during peak seasons and public holidays!
We like Agoda.com as it offers a wide range of accommodation, from cabins in the wilderness to chain hotels, typically with free cancellation or the option to change your dates if needs be. Plus you can book most places without a deposit!