Breathtaking Natural beauty
Finnish Lapland is truly a winter wonderland. Visiting this artic haven in winter had been on our bucket list for a while. We stayed in the small village of Akaslompolo in Lapland and managed to do many adventurous things – most for the first time ever in our lives – which was thrilling and beyond magical. There is something suitable for every type of traveller, right from the straight-up thrill-seekers to the quiet bookworms. There really is so much to see and do, that picking a list of Top 10 is quite tough. But here are my top recommendations.
See the Northern lights
To be perfectly honest I planned this entire trip for two solid reasons, I wanted to chase the Northern Lights, and secondly – I wanted to escape to a place that was remote, beautiful, and experience thick snow at the height of winter, in Lapland. Though unfortunately, we didn’t catch the elusive Aurora Borealis we managed to have many wonderful experiences which really fuelled our sense of adventure.
Go Snowshoeing through a National Park in the dark
Even if you are not the adventurous sort, snowshoeing through the national park is not to be missed. We had the most sublime experience as we walked in pitch darkness as part of a small group with two local Finnish guides and just the light from their headlamps guiding us through the pristine white snow. Highlights of this trek were an introduction to Sami culture, an unforgettable meal of reindeer meat cooked on-site in the wilderness in a cosy hut hidden away deep inside a heavily forested area, and our first ever snowshoeing trek. A trek to remember, so many ‘firsts’, an unforgettable experience.
Relax in a Hot Sauna
Finland is famous for its hot saunas and no trip to Finland is complete with a trip to one. Our eco-friendly hostel has a beautiful sauna which we were lucky enough to have all to ourselves. We literally were the only people in the sauna at the time and it was the most relaxing evening ever. After our snowshoeing adventure through the Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park, it was a well-earned treat.
Stay in Log Cabin
The charm of waking up to see snow all around your log cabin is something that needs to be experienced. We stayed in a beautiful private log cabin fully equipped with its own kitchenette and en-suite. I can never forget how amazing it was to sit by the window and sip a hot cup of tea while watching the snowfall. It was like being inside a snow globe – pure bliss! Curling by a roaring fireplace after sunset and sipping on hot chocolate with a good book for company, soft music playing in the background, is what the holidays are for 🙂
Read my detailed review post about my stay at 7 fells hostel by clicking here
Hop onto a Husky Safari
This is one thing I really wish we had done. But with so many options available this will probably have to wait for our next trip to Lapland. Imagine admiring the breathtaking beauty of Finnish Lapland as you ride a sledge through snow pulled by huskies. You can pick and choose from the many tour companies in Ylläs that offer husky safaris and even combine it with a snowmobile adventure ride.
Hop onto a Reindeer sleigh
Love Christmas? Then the Reindeer Safari is for you! Pretend you riding with Santa while Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer takes you through a magical winter wonderland on a sleigh
Dare to book a ride on a Snowmobile
We saw several groups of tourists who signed up for this activity and watched with envy as they practiced right outside the 7 fells Eco-friendly backpackers hostel. We stayed in a private log cabin at the hostel and spent some time in the lounge chatting with many of the enthusiastic folks who loved their adventure.
Get Adventurous with Winter Biking
Imagine biking through the Finnish wilderness under the night sky and stopping to gaze at the Northern Lights, if you are lucky. Feel at one with the universe as you listen to the Arctic silence – a very humbling experience. You can book a tour with a local guide who will take you into the forest or have the most unforgettable bike ride through the magical Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park.
Hit the slopes at Ylläs, or Yllästunturi
Ylläs or Yllästunturi is the highest fell in Lapland with skiing lifts. They have stunning slopes and are extremely popular with tourists. Cross-country skiing is also a very popular option. There are many ski resorts located in close proximity and the local bus from the closest airport at Kitila airport has a regular route passing by within walking distance from the resorts. The closest rail station is at Kolari.
Experience Sami culture
During our snowshoeing hike through Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park, our local Finnish guide gave us an introduction to Sami culture. Though it was a very basic peek into this beautiful culture, we really hope someday to meet the Sami and explore their traditions. Maybe visit a reindeer farm, pick berries and enjoy a Sami dinner. Fingers crossed to a visit to Inari village.
Tempted to fly to Helsinki? Dreaming of an escape from your routine to exciting Finnish Lapland? Check out my review post about our amazing stay at the Eco-friendly backpacker’s hostel in Lapland called the 7 Fells. We stayed in a private log cabin which was like a huge private studio apartment fully equipped with its own kitchenette, a lovely breakfast table, and a spacious shower and toilet:
While in Helsinki for our first night in Finland we booked an amazing apartment for our one-night stay. It was a massive apartment conveniently located for transport links and we had the whole apartment to ourselves:
* I planned my Finnish Lapland adventure entirely on my own and have paid in full everywhere I have stayed at and eaten at, also for all activities. As always all opinions expressed are as always my own.