Arctic Adventure: 5 Days in the Finnish Lapland
Don't let the Arctic Circle temperatures fool you. The Finnish Lapland with greet you with its warm hospitality and adventurous spirit. Rovaniemi, the capital of Lapland, is the hub for winter wonderland adventures. Travelers can chase the incredible Aurora Borealis, hop on a dog sled, ride in a reindeer sleigh and so much more. Or, wander deeper into the Arctic Circle to Pyhätunturi. This stunning place feels as if you've stumbled into a beautiful snow globe. Sleep in an igloo under the Aurora, snow surf through the trees, cross-country ski around a beautiful frozen lake or relax in a sauna. The Finnish Lapland is truly an experience unlike any other.
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Where to stay
Discover the allure of Finland's Lucky Ranch, where untamed natural beauty meets exceptional hospitality.
Santa Claus Village
Santa Claus Village provides cozy Arctic lodging, allowing guests to immerse themselves in the enchanting Christmas spirit of the North while enjoying modern comforts.
Arctic SnowHotel & Glass Igloos
Arctic SnowHotel & Glass Igloos offers a unique blend of frosty luxury, providing guests the opportunity to sleep under the Northern Lights in glass-roofed igloos and experience an ice-carved wonderland.
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Day 1: Arrive in Rovaniemi
Welcome to the Arctic Circle!
Landing in Rovaniemi will truly feel as if you've landed in another world. You will likely arrive in the late afternoon or early evening. Enjoy downtown Rovaniemi and experience traditional Lappish cuisine for dinner. Lappish food is truly a taste of the Arctic. The local game, fish and berries are second to none. I recommend Nili Restaurant!
After dinner, the first hunt for the Aurora Borealis begins!
Day 2: Reindeer and pyhätunturi
One cannot visit Lapland without meeting the locals, and I am not referring to the people. There are more reindeer than people in Lapland, which will make for a peaceful and traffic-free drive to Raitola Reindeer and Husky Farm. There you will not only have the chance to go on a sleigh ride, but you will also get to feed and learn about these wonderful animals and their huge significance to Finnish culture.
From there, it is a stunning drive to Pyhätunturi, where you will have a one-of-a-kind experience sleeping in a hand-built igloo and enjoying countless winter adventures with the best guide.
Day 3: More Pyhätunturi adventures and then back to Rovaniemi
After a restful night in your cozy little igloo or cabin, you will be ready for breakfast with the locals at one of the many cafes located on Pyhätunturi's cross-country skiing trails. Enjoy a cup of coffee and a Rahkapulla (a sweet finish bun) and maybe even hop on skis yourself!
You will arrive back in Rovaniemi in the late afternoon with plenty of time to get settled into Santa Claus Village - the most charming resort. From there the next adventure awaits. Ice floating under the Northern Lights!
Day 4: Dog sledding and Santa Claus village
All aboard the sled of what appear to be the world's happiest huskies at a nearby ranch. I recommend the earlier rides when the Huskies are eager to go! Afterward, take your time playing with the adorable pups and cozying up in a hut with a snack and a warm drink.
Once back at the resort, there is much to explore. Shop around, relax in your private sauna and prepare for the journey home.
Day 5: Travel home
Enjoy one of the BEST hotel breakfasts I have ever experienced and travel home.
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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Europe.