In winter, Lapland is covered by a blanket of snow for months, offering a delightful and bright contrast to the polar night. The first snow can be expected to fall in October, and the snowy days usually last from late November until April. The snow offers lots of opportunities for fun winter activities, such as sledding, downhill skiing and snowshoeing. The locals are especially fond of skiing and snowmobiling!
#2 The Huskies
The adorable huskies are a common sight in Lapland, and a husky sled ride is a thrillingly fun Arctic experience - for both you and the dogs! As highly energetic working dogs, the huskies truly enjoy mushing. So sit back and relax in your sled as you take in the beauty of the surrounding nature. And remember to thank your new friends with lots of cuddles!
#3 The Sauna
The sauna was invented in Finland, and it is deeply rooted in the local culture. The current estimation is that there are a total of 2-3 million saunas in Finland – one per every household. The sauna is a way of life for the Finnish people, intended for both relaxation and socializing. The experience is often accompanied by a refreshing dip in the lake, in both summer and winter.
#4 The Northern Lights
The northern lights, also known as the aurora borealis, light up the Arctic skies on approximately 150 nights a year. The most common aurora color is green, but they can also appear in various shades of purple, pink, yellow, blue and red. According to Sámi folklore, the northern lights are created by a fox running along the fells of Lapland, lighting up the northern skies as its tail sweeps up the sparkling snow.
#5 Everyman's Rights
The deep love and respect for nature is ever-present in the local culture in Lapland. The Finnish concept of everyman’s rights means that the pristine nature is free for all to enjoy. Everyone can explore the peaceful forests, pick delicious berries and mushrooms, enjoy swimming and canoeing, and go hook-and-line fishing, as long as they do so with the utmost respect for the landowners and nature itself.
#6 The Magic of Christmas
As you surely know, the real Santa Claus comes from Finland. He lives at a very secret location at the Korvatunturi Fell, but his official hometown is Rovaniemi, Lapland. You can meet Santa Claus and his Elves at SantaPark - the Home Cavern of Santa Claus, which is located 50 meters below the Arctic Circle and is filled with jolly Christmas fun! You are also warmly welcome to visit Santa at his secluded hideaway, Santa Claus Secret Forest - Joulukka, where the Forest Elves are already looking forward to meeting you.
#7 Fall Foliage
Fall foliage is a stunning natural phenomenon that dresses the nature up in vivid colors in the fall. The fall foliage season usually reaches its peak in mid-September, and the colors stay at their most beautiful for a couple of weeks. This is the time to head out into the nature to appreciate its beauty and breathe in the crisp fall air.
#8 The Reindeer
The reindeer is a semidomesticated animal that is considered to be the symbol of Lapland by many. There are about as many reindeer in Lapland as there are people, and they seem to pop up everywhere. On warm summer days, you can even spot them sunbathing on the beach amongst the people! A reindeer sleigh ride is a fun Arctic activity you can take part in, and some reindeer herders offer guided tours at their farms where you can learn all about their livelihood and the life of this mighty animal.
#9 Local Food
The local food culture is rooted in the Arctic nature and its vast offerings. Some of the most favored local produce include reindeer, freshwater fish, and wild berries and mushrooms. Sautéed reindeer with mashed potatoes and lingonberry jam is a classic local dish, and a must-try during your visit to Lapland. Our suggestion for a dining spot is Rakas Restaurant & Bar, which is located in the main building of the Arctic TreeHouse Hotel.
#10 Cleanest Air in the World
According to the World Health Organization, the cleanest air in the world can be found in Finnish Lapland. This is thanks to its remote location, small population and the local appreciation and respect for nature. Beard lichen is a sign of clean air as it is very sensitive to pollution. Keep an eye out when roaming around the surrounding nature; you can find it growing in the hotel area.
#11 The Midnight Sun
The special phenomenon of the midnight sun, or the nightless night, is unique to areas on the polar circles and beyond. As a contrast to the cold and dark days of winter, nature presents the complete opposite for summertime: 24 hours of sunlight, 7 days a week. The sun does not set at all during the summer months north of the Arctic Circle, staying above the horizon for up to 70 consecutive days.
#12 Local Events
Rovaniemi is Lapland's cultural hub, and lots of interesting events are taking place all year round. There are events to suit all tastes, including food and music festivals, crafts and design fairs and sports events. Some of the most interesting Arctic happenings include the Christmas-themed celebrations and the reindeer races.
#13 Hiking Opportunities
For hiking and camping enthusiasts, there are lots of nature trails and wilderness areas to choose from in Lapland. There are plenty of suitable route options for both day hikes and longer adventures, all with breathtakingly beautiful sceneries. You can go hiking all year round; in winter, the heaps of snow are best tackled with a pair of snowshoes.
#14 Arctic Activities
The Arctic environment offers lots of chances for fun activities throughout the year; we guarantee you won't run out of options. During the summer months, the midnight sun provides round-the-clock daylight for activities such as fatbiking, horseback riding, water sports, photography tours and hiking in the nature. In winter, you can try ice floating, ice swimming, snowmobiling, ice climbing, ice fishing, skiing, sledding and snowshoeing, just to name a few. And don't forget that the adorable huskies and reindeer are happy to greet you all year round!