Insider’s Guide: Once in a Lifetime in Lapland

There are so many reasons why Lapland is on everyone's bucket list; the reindeer, magical Northern Lights and the thousands of saunas are just some of them. With so many once in a lifetime adventures and experiences to chose from, we’ve picked five of our favourite reasons why this magical place should be on your wish list.

Ski under the Northern Lights

Lapland Northern Lights Skiing

The endless long days of darkness during winter means that its Northern Lights season and the further north you go, the more likely you are to see them. Floodlit slopes mean you can stay skiing as the light fades and you might be able to view the aurora borealis as you speed down the hill!

Sightings of the famous dancing green lights can never be guaranteed but the Northern Lights are said to be visible on roughly 200 nights of the year in Finnish Lapland, making it one of the best places on Earth to spot them.

The more traditional ways to see the lights during the winter months are snowshoeing or cross country skiing whilst you guide your way through the wilderness and over fells.

Want to find out more about the Northern Lights, check out these fun facts from our friends The Times

Learn from the last indigenous tribe in Europe

Sami People with their Reindeer

The Sámi are the only indigenous people within Europe living in the northern parts of Norway, Finland and Sweden. Over 10,000 strong in Finland, reindeer herding is a central part of Sámi culture and a great place to teach tourists about the traditional form of transport as well as an important material for clothing, crafts and food.

There are plenty of festivals throughout the year including in February where you can join the Sámi for their National Day celebrations to learn more about their culture. There’s even an incredible Ski Race in April, the most northern ski-marathon in the world from Finland to Norway.

 

Meeting the real Santa

The Real Finnish Santa

We know the one and only real Santa lives in Finnish Lapland - we've met him! There’s nothing more magical than experiencing the home of Santa where the snow and reindeer are real and you can meet the big man himself along with his elves. You’ll even be able to see where the hundreds of thousands of letters from children in over 199 countries arrive every year at Santa’s very own post office.

 

Enjoy eating a piece of the wild

Fresh Finnish Food

Finnish cuisine is not yet a household name, but it should be! Being surrounded by untouched nature, clean air and crystal waters means that the ingredients used in the food are pure and naturally nutrient-rich.

The Finns are passionate about food and will scour the vast forests and fields for produce including mushrooms, herbs and wild berries, including their native cloudberries and lingonberries that you’ll find in jams, sauces and even cocktails.

The Finns also pride themselves on using local produce for their cuisine, so mostly the things you’ll be enjoying through your gastronomic journey through Finland will be sourced from not too far away, whether that’s fresh salmon or even reindeer!

Here’s some local dishes for you to try.

Experience saunas and ice swimming

A typical Finnish Sauna

Saunas are such a huge part of Finnish culture that even prisoners have the right to use a sauna once a week! With over three million saunas, there’s roughly one for every 2.5 people so the Finns make sure it’s part of their weekly, if not daily ritual.

One of the best ways to really experience a traditional Finnish sauna in winter is to let yourself heat up until you’re a little uncomfortable, then jump into a near-by ice hole that the locals have made in the ice of the lake or even rolling around in fresh snow. Apparently it’s great for circulation and really gives you a rush!

Our friends at Visit Finland have so many other ideas and reasons why Finnish Lapland really isn’t one to miss. So why not add Lapland to your bucket list?

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