Lapland is a region that encompasses the northernmost parts of Sweden and Finland.
Owing to its location above the Arctic Circle, Lapland is best known for its magical winter landscapes and viewing. If you can think of a winter outdoor activities, you can probably find it here, including reindeer and dog sledding, snowmobiling, ice fishing and snowshoeing.
Lapland is home to some of Scandinavia’s most unique attractions, like the Santa Claus Village, the original ICEHOTEL and the Sampo icebreaker ship. There are also plenty of opportunities to experience the culture and traditions of the Sami, the native people of Lapland.
For a Christmas-themed trip that pleases both parents and children, the best advice is to use Santa as the excuse to head off to explore all that Lapland has to offer. We’re talking husky-sledding, meeting Sami reindeer herders, snowshoeing through sparkling boreal forest, ice fishing, snow mobile safaris and more.
Areas in Lapland
Situated next to the Arctic Circle line, Rovaniemi is considered the capital of Finnish Lapland. This town is best known as the hometown of Santa Claus, whom you could visit at any time of the year at the Santa Claus Village.
Kemi is located in Finnish Lapland in the middle of the Bothnian Arc. This is the destination if you would like to visit or stay at the famous SnowCastle. Nearby you could also cruise aboard the Sampo icebreaker ship and go for an “Arctic swim” in a thermal flotation suit.
Just 250km north of the Arctic Circle and so many things to do Saariselka has become a major winter destination for Christmassy experiences, dogsled safaris, ice-fishing, skiing and northern lights sighting.
The alluring dance of Northern Lights across the sky delights visitors and locals alike from early autumn until late winter. Inari-Saariselkä is one of the best places to see northern lights in Finland and in Lapland because it is situated right under the aurora oval.
Ranua is a small town located in the Finnish Lapland. Less than an hour away by car from Rovaniemi, Ranua is an excellent place for visitors who wish to explore a quiet and remote area, surrounded by untouched, pristine nature. With a population density of 1.12 inhabitants per square kilometre, you are guaranteed to find your peace and quiet. Depending on the season you visit, you may be lucky to arrive during the cloudberry picking season. Join the local cloudberry festival and indulge in one of the healthiest berries nature has to offer.
Did someone say polar bears? At the Ranua Wildlife Park, you can see polar bears, as well as 50 different other arctic animal species in the midst of northern woods. The space for the animals is very ample and there were moments when we thought we are walking in an actual arctic safari rather than a zoo.