Finland is famous for its stylish capital Helsinki, reindeer steaks and the Finns’ dark and dry sense of humour, yet it’s the magic of Lapland that often holds visitors attention. Of course, it’s known for being the home of Santa Claus, whether it’s winter or summer, and in some parts of the country, they really do celebrate Christmas every day. But Lapland isn’t just about festive frolicks: there’s lots of other fun activities to try out during the snowy months.
Head to the Saariselkä forest in the far north of Lapland, and you can drill a hole in the frozen lake and wait for the bite, just as the Sami people have done for centuries. Snow hockey is also popular in Lapland and you will find many a game whereby you can join in or team up with a few willing locals.
Icy trees in Finland Saariselkae, photo from Shutterstock
Husky sledding is a common form of transport, as well as one of the more popular things to do on trips to Lapland – especially when combined with a visit to Santa! – and you can meet these beautiful and friendly creatures before enjoying the ride as they pull you through the snow. Or why not try whizzing downhill on a toboggan or a mini skidoo?
Husky race, photo from Shutterstock
If you want to witness the Northern Lights, then the town of Rovaniemi is one of the best places to see them. On many a bucket list, the Northern Lights are made up of greens, purples and reds dancing across the sky, as particles enter the Earth’s magnetic field and are directed into the atmosphere. Whether you know them as the ‘aurora borealis’, which means arctic dawn, or by their Finnish name ‘revontulet’ (foxes tail), this natural light show is a must and best seen from September through to March.
Aurora Borealis Northern Lights, photo from Shutterstock
Naturally, when the snows melt in spring, the meadows bloom and inland waters like Lake Inari are revealed sparkling and new, a whole host of other activities, from kayaking to mountain biking can be tried. But whether you choose to see it during the cold Polar night of the winter months, or underneath the bright Midnight Sun of the summer, you won’t run out of things to do in Lapland.
Lake Inari, Lappland, Finland, photo from Shutterstock