Lapland holidays have long been the go-to choice for travellers in search of an authentic winter wonderland. But Santa and his reindeer aren’t the only things to look out for in this snow-capped region of Finland. Here are five of the best attractions worth exploring.
Famed for its uncrowded slopes and reliable conditions, Lapland is a skier’s paradise. With its diverse terrain, you can enjoy anything from downhill to freestyle and cross-country. Head to the largest ski resort in Finland, Levi, and you’ll find something for all abilities. There are also some great family-friendly accommodation options and professional instructors can get you on your feet in no time.
Lapland once experienced their very own gold rush when it was discovered in 1868 in the Ivalojoki river valley. There’s still prospectors to this day – the last place on earth where you can professionally search for gold. During the summer months, join the locals at one of the thawed rivers and you may get lucky. Alternatively, head to the Gold Panning Museum in Inari where you can sift the sediment at an indoor panning site.
No trip to Lapland would be complete without getting sweaty in one of Lapland’s many saunas. This is a favourite activity amongst the locals, using the opportunity to meet friends, relax and detoxify. A Finnish Sauna is known for being especially hot and mostly enjoyed completely in the nude. They can also last for hours but there’s always a frozen lake waiting to cool you down after your session.
Heading into the snowy wilderness in search of this natural phenomenon is an experience you won’t forget. To the Finnish, it’s known as ‘Revontulet’ which roughly translates to ‘fox fire’. According to the old, local legend the aurora borealis are caused by an artic fox catching his tail in the snow and sending a spark of colours into the sky. The greens, reds and violets makes for a magical and unforgettable sight.
Meet the locals
Sami are the indigenous people of Laplandm – they have kept their traditions and semi nomadic lifestyle preserved to this day. Tour excursions to one of the Sami outdoor camps present a great opportunity to learn about their culture and customs. You can sample the delicious local cuisine and spend a night in a lavvu. These cosy tents feature their own wood burning fire.
If you’re planning a Lapland adventure, be sure to visit one of these unforgettable attractions – you won’t regret it.
Image by berlinrider used under Creative Commons License.