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Where is Lapland? – A Guide to Rovaniemi & Northern Finland

If you’re searching for a wonderful escape that you’ll never forget, Lapland is the perfect holiday destination. Covered in glistening snow and surrounded by otherworldly terrain, there is so much to see and do once you land in this most magical of locations.

But where is Lapland and how do you get there? And once you’re there, what are the once-in-a-lifetime activities that will take your adventure to the next level?

To help ensure you get the most from your trip to Finland, we’ve answered some of the most frequently asked questions for your information.

Where is Lapland?

Lapland is part of the most northern region of Finland, also known as Lapland Rovaniemi. This breath-taking area close to the Arctic circle is where Lapland gets its reputation for being one of Europe’s most beautiful gems.

The largest and northernmost region of Finland is loved by adults and children alike because of its mythical reputation. Not to mention its notorious inhabitants, including Santa Claus, elves, and reindeer. That’s paired with unspoiled nature only adding to the incredible experience. Quite simply, there are few places on the planet as untouched as Lapland.

What country is Lapland in?

Although it covers almost one-third of Finland, the nation isn’t the only country in Scandinavia to claim the area. Lapland covers parts of Sweden, Norway, and Russia, too, such is the scale of the area.

Whether you decide to explore the Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian, or Russian side of Lapland, one thing’s for sure – you’ll have the holiday of a lifetime!

Who lives in Lapland?

It’s well documented that St Nicholas spends 364 days of his holiday allocation relaxing in Lapland, but he wasn’t the first native. The area in the stunning Arctic circle is home to the indigenous Sami people, from which the word “Lapland” derives.

While the majority of people find the rough terrain and inhospitable climate too hard to handle, the Samis have been living here for centuries, using their ancient culture and traditions to cultivate and tame the land.

Their unique culture is always on show for tourists to experience on their trip. Like a true Sami, you can herd reindeer, fish for crab, and sleep under the picturesque stars with nothing but Mother Nature for company to put your limits to the test.

How do you get to Lapland?

If you assume that this sparsely populated region of Finland is hard to reach, you’re mistaken. Travelling to this idyllic landscape to search for mythical creatures couldn’t be easier thanks to the four main airports that serve the area – Kuusamo, Kittila, Rovaniemi and Ivalo.

You can choose a location that’s closer to your accommodation – for example, Rovaniemi is best for people looking to visit Santa’s Village – but all of them serve the main parts of Lapland. Finnair, Norwegian, AirBaltic, EasyJet, and TUI all fly direct, meaning you can be in the land of dreams within a couple of hours.

The average visit duration is four days, which is just enough time to sample the delights of this blissful haven. However, if you want to get the best chance of seeing the Northern Lights flying through the sky or make sure you have time to ride huskies through Rovaniemi, you might need to add extra days to your stay.

A once-in-a-lifetime experience is something you will never sample again, so you should fit in as many activities as physically possible when you land.

Things to see & do in Rovaniemi & Northern Finland

Things to See:

Northern Lights

The one thing you must see if you are in the Arctic circle is the Aurora Borealis. Caused by solar winds in the Earth’s atmosphere, the spectacular show is a natural display of dancing colours that fill the sky with a deep brightness.

When you witness the phenomenon in person, you can see why the Sami people thought the lights were the souls of their ancestors making their way to heaven. Of course, the Northern Lights are as elusive as they are enlightening, so you need to be prepared to hunt for them and remain optimistic.

The best tip is to invest as much time as you can on a tour, as this will increase your chances of catching the mesmerising display. A seven-day excursion at the right time of year (autumn to spring) should bear the most delicious of fruits.

Reindeer farm

There are as many reindeer in Lapland as there are people, which makes these festive animals as indigenous as the Sami people themselves.

Visiting Lapland without checking out this most ancient of traditions would be an opportunity missed, especially when the range of wildlife is so diverse and awe-inspiring.

From reindeer to foxes and seals, you’ll see creatures you only previously saw on your TV screen when you head to Ranua wildlife park.

Things to do:

Meet Santa Claus

Father Christmas has the power to be everywhere, yet the one true festive king lives in Lapland, and he does so with his little helpers and Mrs Claus.

Scandinavians take yuletide very seriously, and indulging in the fun is the most epic way to welcome in Christmas Day and the New Year. As well as meeting the man himself, you can get a photo to mark the occasion and send letters with the official Arctic circle postmark from Lapland’s post office.

Enjoy a husky ride

Huskies are majestic dogs that skip over the snow, almost as if it’s not there! In a group, they’re also immensely strong and can pull a sled of humans along at impressive speeds for 10 kilometres or more.

The thrill of the dogs mushing and the wind awakening your face is impossible to recreate, which is only one reason to book a husky ride. The other is the historical and cultural impact.

Husky sleds are traditional forms of transport that the Sami people have used for thousands of years to cross the icy terrain that is Lapland. Experiencing this tradition is almost like going back in time.

Discover Lapland with Scandi Travel

At Scandi Travel, we’ve been delivering unforgettable holidays and excursions in the heart of Lapland for decades. Whether you want to hunt for the Northern Lights or meet Mr Claus himself, you can get in touch with us to book your adventure.

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