ELISA ELWIN reveals five reasons to visit Finnish Lapland, in the country’s north, during the colder months
1. Santa lives at the Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi
2. Finnish Lapland is the best place for going sledding with huskies in Finnish Lapland
A family-favourite, husky sledding is an experience everyone will love. The excited barking of the dogs is your welcome. You will be trained in the simple art of managing your team and sled, with a short lesson on steering and braking – and your canine friends will take care of the rest. Dog care is paramount, and there will be time to thank your team with cuddles and pats at the end of your ride. Nothing can prepare you for the exhilaration of gliding across the winter wonderland, and small children can sit safely on an adult lap on the sled.
3. You can ride in a reindeer sleigh in Torassieppi
4. Take a traditional Finnish sauna while watching the Northern Lights
Sauna is a national pastime for the Finnish people, with over three million saunas to 5.5 million Finns! Sauna is a time to relax, to cleanse both your body and mind, and a time to gather together. Suitable for everyone, except babies and those with medical conditions, sauna is a fun – and steamy – family ritual. To experience sauna at its best, visit Arctic Sauna World, which opened in January 2020. Situated on Lake Jeris, Arctic Sauna World is based on Finnish mythology and folktales incorporating the elements of earth, water, air and fire. Spend hours in each of the five saunas while watching the Northern Lights. Even take the ice plunge in freezing lake Jeris if you dare!
5. Gaze at the unique and colourful Aurora Borealis
The writer travelled as a guest of Finnair and 50 Degrees North
Getting to the Finnish Lapland
Finland’s national carrier, Finnair, offers flights from Finland’s southern capital Helsinki to Rovaniemi and Ivalo in the north.
Rovaniemi & Finnish Lapland tours
50 Degrees North has an excellent range of family tours to Finnish Lapland.
Best hotels in Finnish Lapland
Harriniva Hotels & Safaris operate in five different locations. Harriniva, Jeris, Torassieppi, Galdotieva and Kilpis.
Wilderness Hotel Inari, located five minutes’ from the Sámi village, has a range of apartments, rooms and villas.
More information from Visit Finland
Fun Finland Facts
- Winter temperatures in Lapland vary from 30C to 0C
- The coldest temperature measured was -51.5C in 1999 in Kittilä
- The cleanest air in the world is in the Muonio municipality of Finnish Lapland
- Angry Birds was created in Finland
- There are more than 190,000 reindeer in Finland
- It is against the law to disturb or frighten a reindeer
- Finland was the first country in Europe to give all women the right to vote
- Finland unique wildlife includes the grey wolf, wolverine, elk, its national animal the brown bear and national bird the whooper swan
- Finland is The Happiest Country in the World according to The World Happiness Report
- Santa Claus’ post office has received letters from 199 different countries, with hundreds of thousands of letters arriving each year. His address is – Santa Claus, Santa Claus’s Main Post Office, 96930 Napapiiri, Finland.