When Lapland lights up…

You will enjoy Lapland. You’re not given another choice whatever time of year you travel.

In fact, to get the most out of this magical land you really should book a whole year there!

Lapland changes so much with the seasons, it’s a different place each time you go throughout the year.

In winter, it’s a white wonderland stretching as far as the eye can see, with long nights filled with the dancing spectacle of the Northern Lights streaking across the sky.

Spring is fresh as the days start to lengthen and nature awakes – and the summer light then gives the whole land a warm glow. Summer is also the time of the nightless night – this is the Land of the Midnight Sun when it never sets. Indeed, June and July have over 300 hours of sunshine each year and August an amazing 200 hours as the earth tips on its axis and keeps the sun in view constantly.

Spectacular. But then, this is where nature goes for a holiday to relax and show off a bit.

The 12 tourist areas of Lapland are all welcoming and offer something different. And of course you’re in good company when you visit – Finnish Lapland is the home of Santa.

The original people of Lapland, the Sami, bring a timeless touch to the place. They’ve carved out simple lives in the Arctic wilds for centuries, and many still live like their ancestors. Step into an age-old world of reindeer herding, husky farms and ‘kotas’ – tepee-shaped huts that welcome you with blazing log fires and hot berry juice.

Resorts range from sleepy settlements to modern towns. Rovaniemi’s the biggest and comes with everything from ski slopes and Santa theme parks to shopping malls.

Levi is the skiing destination most popular with winter sports enthusiasts with a good selection of pistes as well as plenty of kids’ activities and snow safaris on the doorstep.

Then there’s Yllas, Enontekio and Saariselkä. These far-north outposts lie deeper in the Arctic Circle and offer all the snow you can handle, from white-satin fells to frozen forests.

When in Lapland…

Santa Park

Come and meet the elves and other fairytale creatures and join them in their daily chores in Santa’s underground home cavern Santa Park!

Lapland Amethyst Mine

The Lampivaara Amethyst Mine is a fascinating attraction – learn about the history of this magical rock here, which is still a fully-working mine. The amethyst of Lampivaara is over 2,000 million years old. Guided mine tours include the stories of geology and history. It’s open now until the end of October for the summer season and the winter tours start up again in December.

Salla Reindeer Park

Safari centre with infinite opportunities near Sallatunturi fell near the Finnish border with Russia. The park consists of vast acres of breathtaking scenery, here you can take part in a reindeer or husky ride, feed the reindeer, take a snowmobile ride, try skiing or walking with snowshoes, and even go ice-fishing or swimming in an ice-hole.

Ranua Wildlife Park

The park – about 60 miles inland from Kemi in Finland – gives you the opportunity to observe Arctic animals throughout the year, in an as authentic environment as possible. It is open all year, and the changing seasons mean every visit to the park is different from the last. A great day out for the whole family.

The Snow Castle

If you’re planning your trip to Lapland for early next year, the LumiLinna Snow Castle of Kemi is a must. The next season starts up again in January next year so plan ahead to make sure you’re there to see it.

The castle, sculpted from the snow and ice, offers a truly wonderful experience for children and adults alike. Great light-effects add to the stunning effect.

About the Author