What is your favourite time of the year? It would probably be winter, when everyone will be looking forward to celebrating Christmas holidays followed by New Year’s Eve. This winter season, head to Lapland (Finland’s northernmost region) and let your Christmas be as white as snow, and ring in the New Year under the Northern Lights.
You can brave the cold and try ice floating on a frozen lake, take a slow reindeer sleigh ride, or hand over your wish-list to Santa Claus as you visit his hometown – winter activities in Lapland are unlimited and unique. Don’t hold yourself back, an incredibly beautiful and magical place is awaiting your arrival!
8 must-try winter activities in Lapland, Finland
1. Meet and greet Santa Claus
The capital of Finnish Lapland, Rovaniemi, is also the hometown of Santa. A small quaint town, travellers of all age come here to say hello to Santa. The official post office of Santa is a must-see, hundreds and thousands of letters from across the globe can be found here. You can also send letters to your loved ones from Santa’s post office. There is a small fee to be paid in case you want a picture with him. There are a few shops and restaurants, a Santa Claus Village, and Santa Park – a small amusement complex to keep your children engaged. Winter holidays in Lapland doesn’t get any better than this!
2. Witness the magic of Northern Lights
Chasing the Northern Lights can be a real task; only a lucky few get to witness this natural phenomenon. You need a super clear sky to see the magic unfold. In order to catch the Northern Lights, it is recommended to be away from a town or city, and higher up in the north – away from pollution and any unnatural light. There are many guided tours that take you to best spots known for sighting the phenomenon. All the best with the Northern Lights!
3. Stay in a glass igloo
If you are in Finnish Lapland, then you have to stay in a ice hotel or an igloo – the experience is surreal – take it from us. Sleep in a glass-domed igloo under a clear sky with stars shinning bright, and if you get lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights! The temperature is kept just below freezing point in order to keep the ice and snow from melting. If you are sensitive to cold weather, make sure to carry all your warm clothes and try to catch some sleep!
4. Go sledging with the adorable Huskies
If you are dog lover, then we are sure, you are already packing your bags and eager to meet these adorable huskies. High on energy and waiting to run in the open snow, a ride with these huskies can be an adrenaline pumping experience; it is one of the top things to do in Lapland in winter.
On the other hand, a reindeer safari is for those who are not pressed for time – as these creatures are quite slow when compared to huskies. A traditional sledge driven by a reindeer is the perfect way to enjoy the Finnish landscape. It is one of the most cherished winter activities of Lapland.
5. Relax in a famous Finnish sauna
No trip to Finland is complete if you have not been to a Finnish sauna. Going by Finnish tradition, the sauna is a place for friends to catch up, ideal for a family get-together, even so, many crucial meetings are held in a sauna! Usually, after a hot sauna, people take a plunge in an icy-cold lake or just simply roll in the snow, this process is repeated a few times – it’s an invigorating feeling. After an adventurous, tiring day, a sauna is the best option to unwind and relax those aching muscles.
6. Go zooming on a snowmobile
The best and fastest way to commute in Lapland is on a snowmobile. Sturdy and very easy to ride, snowmobiles are fun, especially for those who like speed. The vast, empty land is just perfect to take your snowmobile on a ride as you go along basking in the beauty of the landscape. Snowmobiling gets a thumbs up from all adventure seekers.
7. Be a daredevil and try ice floating
It’s hard to imagine floating on ice. But in Lapland we do the unexpected! Those who are brave and daring can give this a shot. All you have to do is put on a high-quality water-proof body suit over your clothes, and take the plunge! The trapped air inside keeps you afloat, as you drift alongside the broken ice chunks floating on the frozen lake. This very thought itself can send a chill down your spine, but trust us, it is completely safe and very calming!
8. Break the ice – literally!
Break the ice with the mighty icebreaker boat Sampo. Get on this massive boat as it takes you on a unique and enriching journey. Learn how the ice breaker operates while you take a tour of the ship. It’s a three-hour trip and the ticket need to be booked in advance.