Lapland is a region tourism based, especially during the winter, where its charm attracts visitors from all over the world. For this reason you won’t be bored, despite the hours of light per day are very few. However, if you want to try as many experiences as possible you have to be ready to pay! So in this article we will propose you those that in our opinion are the activities to focus on if you do not have much time or money available.
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Here is a list of the top 5 activities not to be missed in Lapland.
1- Northern Lights hunting
It is unequivocally the main reason that drives travelers so far. The dance of the Northern Lights in the sky is the most beautiful and amazing show you can watch and above all…it’s free! At this point you just have to organize and equip yourself for the “hunting”.
If you decide to do it by yourself, look for an isolated place, far from the light sources of inhabited centers and most of all a place that allows the 360° view of the sky, accordingly in wide open spaces without trees and hills, to prefer frozen lakes and rivers. Don’t forgetting to dress appropriately because you don’t know how long you could stay in the cold. For more information, you can read here our post about the hunt-by-yourself.
If you decide to rely on the planned outings, bookable at the reception of your hotel, know that the cost for an excursion of about 4 hours is around 150 euros per person. You will be taken with the snowcat through the woods toward special lonely areas; it will be offered snacks and hot drinks to restore you from the cold. Appropriate thermal suits, suitable to withstand the harsh temperatures throughout the duration of the excursion, will be provided you with.
Alone or accompanied, the Aurora Borealis is a show that deserves to be seen at least once in life. Being by nature a casual event, Aurora is not visible every night, it can last few minutes or entire hours, therefore be watchful and look for it immediately, starting from the first night of your journey.
2- Husky/reindeer sleigh safari
Among the organized activities, the sleigh safari is certainly the most characteristic that can be done in this region, it is more funny if the sled is pulled by dogs or reindeer.
Among these kind of experiences, surely the one that most of all will excite you and will make you feeling really in Lapland is that with dogs. Although it is presented as a husky safari, they are not purebred huskies, but crossbreed dogs, in this way they are light, agile and strong, suitable to run by pulling a load; they are generally used for short excursions, in groups of 6-8 per sled. Dogs are very docile with the mankind, they are not dangerous, don’t be shy because they can’t wait to be stroked. For an unforgettable experience you will have to rely on a referenced farm, in this way you can experience the thrill of conducting the dogs by yourself. The cost for 2 hours of activity is about 135 euros per person and includes a mini lesson about how conduct the sled, warm clothes, a hot drink and some snacks served in a typical lappish wooden hut with fire in the center. The hike will unfold on a 1-hour round route on a wooded road and you will be accompanied by an expert guide who will be positioned in the middle of the 7 sleds group. Halfway you will be allowed to change the sled driver, if you wish. The only thing you’ll have to worry about will be to shift your weight during the bends and stop the sled; the dogs will think about the rest. There are also other types of excursions, they can be real expeditions of several days, in this case purebred huskies are used: they are stronger, more suitable to withstand prolonged fatigue. The husky farm in which we made this wonderful experience is called Kamisak and is located near the Ivalo airport (but in Lapland you can find many others). It can be booked at the reception of your hotel, which will also arrange for the transfer; if you are independent with your own vehicle you can contact the farm directly; for multi-day excursions you must make arrangements directly with the farm. Absolutely recommended activity.
3- Snowmobile excursion
Another exciting excursion not to be missed is the snowmobile safari. A professional guide will accompany you through beautiful trails in the woods and along the frozen rivers or lakes. The duration of the excursion is about 3 hours; the cost is about 140 euros per person and includes clothing, insurance, a break to enjoy snacks and hot drinks, 1 snowmobile every 2 people.
4- Finnish sauna
The sauna, a Finnish wellness ritual, you can not leave without having tried it! The Finnish sauna is a real hot and dry air bath. For the Finns it is a moment of relaxation and detoxification with double benefits for the mind and body: on the one hand it helps to relieve nervous tension and reduce anxiety; on the other hand, thanks to the perspiration, acids and toxins are eliminated for a purer and brighter skin. You may find in your sauna a bundle of fresh birch twigs (the so-called broad or vihta), the Finns use it as a wellness ritual for the skin during the sauna by beating it on their body. You will have no problem for finding a sauna in Lapland, each accommodation has at least one, bookable at reception or in some accommodations, such as apartments, is already provided inside for your exclusive use. Alternatively, if you are looking for a more exclusive experience, ask for advice to your hotel or visit the official website of Finnish tourism.
5- Trekking on the snow
It is the way that most of all will allow you to appreciate the beauty of nature and the quiet of this land. If you are a photography lover, be equipped because you will come across beautiful postcard views: don’t forget your undergloves to handle your camera at very cold temperatures. If you are in Ivalo, one of the recommended places for your walks is the nearby of Alajarvi lake, a few km from the village, and the Ivalo frozen river; if you are in another part of Lapland, ask to your hotel about the most beautiful walks in the area. Wherever you are, you can venture out just outside the town, in the woods and in the natural parks paying attention to the path you are following (study it on a map or fix in your mind the reference points for the return); I remind you once again that the hours of light in winter are very few. Alternatively you could rely on a local guide for a more exclusive and safely tour, without having to worry about where you are going and without the fear of getting lost in the dark and in the cold. If you are lucky during your walk you might encounter the local fauna (reindeer but especially elk). A 2-hour excursion costs around 100 euros per person and can be booked at the reception of your hotel.
The activities we showed you are typical of Lapland and you can do it in any inhabited center you have decided to stay. However, depending on the location you have chosen for your stay you can find a wider offer or you may have the opportunity to try more exclusive experiences: just to give you an example, in Rovaniemi you could meet Santa Claus and his elves, in Luosto dig into a mine of amethysts, in Kemi sail the sea on an ice-breaker, in Levi skiing even in the dark. We have told you what we found in Ivalo, but for further information about other locations we recommend you to visit the website of Finnish tourism.
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