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If you’ve never dreamed of playing in a winter wonderland as a kid (or now, for that matter), you probably didn’t watch enough Disney movies. Some might shiver at the idea... However, others know that there are many unique adventures to experience in areas where it is really, truly cold outside.
If you’re seeking a snowy paradise, then ‘Lapland’ is about as good as it gets. You might be wondering… where is Lapland exactly? Lapland is the largest and northernmost region in Finland. Most of Lapland is located within the arctic circle, which is the reason for its cold- and wintry climate. The winter is approximately 7 months long. Besides just playing in the snow, there are many fun and one-of-a-kind activities to experience. We’ve rounded up a list of things to do in Finnish Lapland.
Believe it or not, in Lapland, there are more reindeer than there are people! Not only are the animals in abundance, but they are also an integral part of the culture in Lapland. They have been means of transportation as well as nourishment for centuries. There are many reindeer farms you can visit where you can interact with the animals and go on sleigh rides. Many indigenous people still travel by reindeer, there are even designated reindeer parking spots!
As mentioned before, Lapland is located within the arctic circle. Which means prime northern lights viewing opportunities. The auroras are visible in Finnish Lapland for 200 days out of the year, so plenty of chances to see them with your own eyes!
There are many snow-filled activities to enjoy while visiting Lapland. You can ride a snowmobile or go downhill-, cross country- or freestyle skiing and snowboarding.
In case you didn’t know, Santa Claus’ official hometown is Lapland’s capital and largest city, Rovaniemi. Here you can personally meet the man himself every day of the year in the Santa Claus Village.
A trip to Lapland wouldn’t be complete without visiting a Finnish spa. Now, in Finland, they don’t joke around with their saunas. Traditional Finnish saunas are known for being extremely hot. Locals also jump into frozen lakes or roll in the snow in between sauna sessions.
Fans of Rudolph might find this disturbing, but reindeer is very much loved by Lappish people and an integral part of Lappish cuisine. Locals prepare this meat in many different ways, including stews, roasted and tartare. Equally famous is the local salmon, which is super fresh due to Lapland’s pure waters.
The indigenous people of Finland, the Sami, are Europe’s northernmost indigenous people. They are also one of the very few indigenous populations in Europe that are still thriving. There are about 10,000 Sami still living in Lapland and you can learn much about their culture in local museums.