It’s a part of the world so unique, not many people think about travelling there. But this beautiful part of the world has so much to offer travellers – from breathtaking scenery, to incredible wildlife, unique activities and accommodation, to the friendly locals – Lapland will take your breath away.
So, where is Lapland? How can you get there? What can you expect to see and experience during your stay? Our team member Bronny escorted one of our Peregrine Travel Centre groups to this incredible part of the world in 2017, so we’ve put together everything you need to know about visiting this winter wonderland.
Where is Lapland and how can we get there?
Lapland is not a country, it is a region straddling the northern parts of Finland, Sweden and some parts of Norway. Major capitals of all these countries are easily reached from Australia and other parts of Europe by major airlines. You can spend a couple of days exploring Helsinki, Copenhagen or Oslo and then fly north to regional centres to access the Lapland region.
Why is it called Lapland?
It is named after the indigenous traditional reindeer herders who moved their vast herds of reindeer across the region following the seasons and the grasslands. Once called Lapps by other ethnic groups, they are now referred to in their own language as Sami.
When is the best time of the year to visit?
You can visit all year round; the summer months are between June – August and during these months you can expect 24-hour sunlight and days reaching as high as 32 degrees! However, for a truly magical experience we recommend visiting in the winter. You’ll get a truly special experience and although you can expect temperatures to drop to as low as -30 degrees we promise it will be worth braving the cold. Our group visited in January, so the photos you see in this blog post were taken during the winter months.
What are some of the fun experiences or activities you can do in Lapland?
There is so much to see and do in Lapland, so we’ve decided to narrow it down to our top 6 winter activities!
Visit Santa Claus!
The capital of Finnish Lapland, Rovaniemi, also happens to be the hometown of Santa Claus! This destination is located on the Arctic Circle and is a truly magical experience. The exact location of his original home is a secret, so he decided to make a second home in Rovaniemi so that travellers can visit him all year round in Santa Claus Village.
Visit a traditional Reindeer Farm
Lapland is home to over 190,000 reindeer – visit a traditional farm and learn about Sami history, their way of life and meet the friendly herders. You may also be lucky enough to enjoy some hearty reindeer stew.
Take a reindeer sleigh ride or a husky dog sledding adventure
Plenty of towns offer the opportunity to head off on safari through the snow-covered forest on this traditional form of transport. Our group visited Torassieppi, a 100-year-old reindeer farm where we enjoyed a lovely reindeer sledding ride through the snow covered forest and then walked through the chill and eerie silence to a traditional lavvu or forest hut to warm up and eat a traditional reindeer stew.
Stay at the ICEHOTEL
Located near the village of Jukkasjarvi in Sweden this hotel is exactly what it’s called – a hotel made of ice! The temperature inside the hotel sits between -5 and -8 degrees Celsius all year round. Guest can spend the night in an ice room, sleeping on a bed made of ice and with your thermals, hat and the cosy sleeping bag provided you’ll stay toasty warm. Enjoy a cocktail or two at the incredible ice bar, where even the glasses are made of ice! But don’t worry, there are also warm rooms available for those not wanting to experience an ice room.
Snowshoeing, Snowmobiling and skiing
A walking tour with a difference, snowshoeing is a fun way to explore the snow by foot. Take a guided trek through the forest and get up close to the natural wonders of this region. If you are looking for something slightly more adventurous, there are plenty of ski resorts in places like Salla, Rovaniemi and Kittila to keep you busy on the slopes. Or you can skip the hard work all together and hop onto a snowmobile to explore the sites!
See the Northern Lights (if you’re lucky)
Lapland is the perfect spot to catch a glimpse of the elusive Aurora Borealis, especially if your itinerary spends a reasonable amount of time within the Aurora zone. Of course, it will depend what time of the year you visit, but our group was lucky enough to catch a magnificent glimpse during their travels.
As you can see visiting Lapland in winter is a truly magical experience and the general consensus of our group was that the memories made would certainly last a lifetime. If you’d like to know more about visiting this beautiful part of the world, contact our team of expert consultants who can help you plan the perfect Lapland experience for you!