Lapland holidays are guaranteed experiences of winter wonderland magic and natural outdoor delights. Some tours to this region depart from Helsinki; there are, however, plenty of great reasons to make one of Lapland’s town centres your base from which to embark on day trips, tours, and other explorations of the region.
There are some fantastic Lappish locations from which a tourist can base oneself…
Situated within the Finnish Arctic Circle, Rovaniemi is the capital city of Finnish Lapland. Most famously known globally as the “home of Santa Claus”, this city is the heart of Lapland and is perfectly located to visit the Santa Claus Village, the Ranua Zoo and Wildlife Park, and to participate in various day adventures. Culturally rich, with museums, exhibitions, and events, Rovaniemi is a town providing many tourist services from comfortable accommodations to shopping options. Transport is convenient, and accommodation options range from hotels, motels and cabins to even camping in summer. Nightlife is exciting in the centre of town, with the remoteness of nature just a short distance away. Rovaniemi really does have something for everyone.
Located on Finnish Lapland’s southernmost fell, this town is surrounded by the Syote National Park. As such, it is a winter sports playground and also offers a myriad of activities for the nature lover. Go skiing, ice fishing, snowmobiling, husky sledding, kick sledding… the opportunities for adventure are endless.
Saariselkä / Ivalo / Inari
This is home to the northernmost holiday resort in all of Europe. It lies 250km north of the Arctic Circle and almost 1000km from Helsinki. A place to embrace and experience traditional Lappish culture, the area affords the visitor with fantastic hospitality and modern facilities in a beautiful village atmosphere. The village of Saariselkä is easy to navigate on foot, and is just 30km from the town of Ivalo and the airport. Adventure activity options include skiing, safaris, and Northern Lights tours.
Kemijärvi / Suomu
Suomu is located in eastern Lapland in a heavily wooded forest region in the heart of the Kemijarvi wilderness. The area is traditionally a reindeer husbandry region. Safe and small, this is a favourite for families taking Lapland holidays. Winter’s soft, powdery snow entices downhill and cross country skiers; summer is perfect for hikers walking in the heath forests and by pond banks to collect berries and see wild reindeer feeding.
There are plenty of other town centres in Lapland which offer their own attractions:
- Levi – this resort has seven seasons, each with its own experiences to be enjoyed
- Ylläs – a hub of year-round recreation, sports and cultural attractions
- Ruka – close to the Russian border, abundant wildlife and natural beauty make for a wilderness escape
- Kemi – Tornio – Lapland’s seaside resort town
- Utsjoki – great to visit a Saami Village
- Posio – unique natural wonders in Lapland’s south
Choose your base from which to explore the wonder that is Lapland – or better still, why not split your time between a couple of towns? There is so much to be enjoyed, you’ll wish you had much longer to stay and explore.