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  • Anna & Tom

Experience the Magic of Finland: A 7-Day Winter Journey in Finnish Lapland

Updated: Jan 29

Lapland is a unique and thrilling holiday destination situated in the northernmost parts of Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Russia. Renowned for its breathtaking landscapes, charming villages, and distinctive winter activities such as dog sledding, snowmobiling, and the enchanting Northern Lights, Lapland captivates the hearts of travelers.


We spent 7 days in Finnish Lapland and were utterly captivated by this vacation spot. In our report, discover the must-do activities, tips on staying warm in the cold, and the best ways to travel to Lapland.


Winterurlaub in Lappland

 

Inhaltsverzeichnis

 


1. Travel and Entry to Finnish Lapland


Getting There


From Germany, reaching Finnish Lapland is relatively straightforward. Most flights connect through Helsinki, where you transfer to a flight heading to Rovaniemi or Kittilä – taking you directly into the winter adventure.

We flew to Kittilä. The total flight time from Munich, through Helsinki, to Kittilä is approximately 3.5 hours, making it a relatively quick journey.


Entry Requirements


As Finland, including Finnish Lapland, is part of the EU, a German ID card is sufficient for uncomplicated entry. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative PCR test is not necessary.


Another advantage of Finland as a travel destination: you can use your mobile phone directly without additional costs, and there's no need to get a SIM card for your stay (assuming you have EU data roaming).




2. Tips for Your Trip to Finnish Lapland


A journey to Lapland is a unique experience, and for many tourists, a visit to this winter paradise fulfills a dream – it certainly did for us! To ensure your trip lives up to your expectations, we've compiled our best tips in advance.


  1. Pack Warm Clothing: Lapland is cold, especially in the winter months. Pack warm and waterproof clothing, boots, and gloves. Our Lapland Winter Packing List can assist you!

  2. Plan Ahead: Plan your trip well in advance, especially if you want to see the Northern Lights. The best time to witness them is between November and March, but it's crucial to check the weather forecast and Aurora predictions to enhance your chances. There's a free app in the App Store called "Aurora" to help you with planning.

  3. Book Accommodation in Advance: Lapland is a popular destination, so it's essential to book your accommodation in advance, especially during the peak season. Lapland offers various options, from luxury hotels to traditional log cabins or igloos – there's something for everyone!

  4. Try Local Cuisine: Lapland is known for its hearty local cuisine, featuring reindeer meat, fish, and berries. Make sure to try some traditional dishes during your stay. You might even find dishes with bear meat on the menu.

  5. Experience Various Winter Activities: Lapland is famous for its winter activities, including dog sledding, snowmobiling, ice fishing, and skiing. Be sure to book these activities in advance, as they tend to fill up quickly. More information about each activity can be found later in this post.

Huskys in Finland


6. Experience a Traditional Sauna: Saunas are a vital part of Finnish culture and widely spread in Lapland. You can try a traditional wood-fired sauna and even take a dip in a frozen lake or river. Many hotels even offer a private sauna in the hotel room.

Fun Fact: In Finland, there are more saunas than cars!

7. Respect the Local Culture: Lapland's indigenous people are the Sami. They have their own language, culture, attire, and traditions. While they used to be nomadic, most have become sedentary, but many still oversee large reindeer herds.



3. Hotels and Accommodations in Finnish Lapland


If you're planning to spend just a week in Lapland, we recommend staying in one place and organizing your excursions from there. Hotels typically include breakfast, and you can opt to add dinner for an additional fee. Alternatively, Lapland also offers several vacation rentals, providing a good alternative to hotels.


Urlaub in finnisch Lappland



4. Activities and Experiences for Your Lapland Vacation


Lapland is an amazing destination in winter, but it's equally captivating in the summer months. We visited in January, so we'll focus on winter activities that you shouldn't miss during the cold season!


Husky Schlittenfahrt Finnland Lappland

Husky Safari


When it's really cold, the huskies are in their element! If you're vacationing in Lapland during winter, a husky safari is an absolute must.

You get your own team of dogs, either for yourself or shared with a partner, and together with these furry companions, you'll glide through the winter landscape in a sled.

Certainly one of the many highlights of a Lapland vacation!






After the sled tour, you'll have some time with the dogs, and if you're lucky, you might even get to see a few adorable puppies!


Husky Schlittenfahrt Finnland Lappland


Snowshoeing Adventure


If you're seeking a physical activity that allows you to explore the marvelous landscape of Lapland, a snowshoeing tour is just what you need!


During a snowshoe hike, you can fully immerse yourself in the winter scenery while staying active. You can either rent snowshoes from a provider or opt for a guided snowshoeing excursion.





Back then, we chose a nighttime hike where you can take refuge in a cozy cabin and warm up with a cup of tea or hot chocolate.


Schneeschuhwanderung Lappland Finnland im Winter


Observing Northern Lights


An absolute must: witnessing the Northern Lights! You have various options for this. Either you book a guided tour, or you venture out on your own in the evening to hunt for the famous Northern Lights. The chances of seeing them are particularly high between September and March. During this period, they appear almost every other day.


Polarlichter beobachten in Lappland

The darker it is, the better you can see them. So, it's best to find a somewhat secluded spot.






Every evening, we went to the lake in Äkäslompolo and observed the spectacle in the sky from there. But make sure to dress as warmly as possible because it gets very cold in the evening, and if you move very little, you can quickly get chilly.


We've compiled a comprehensive Lapland packing list for your winter vacation to help you with what you need.



Reindeer Sleigh Ride


Another animal experience for your Lapland vacation is a reindeer sleigh ride. We were amazed at how fast reindeer can go - reaching top speeds of up to 60 km/h!


It won't be quite that fast during the sleigh ride, but that's a good thing. It gives you plenty of time to enjoy the wonderful landscape of Lapland. Snuggled up in blankets, you'll glide through the incredibly beautiful natural scenery of the country on a cozy sleigh pulled by your reindeer.


Rentier Schlittenfahrt Lappland

To conclude, you get to feed the reindeer and learn more about the animals and the area in a small traditional hut, accompanied by warm berry juice and cookies.






A Snowmobile Ride through the Forests of Lapland


If you're looking for a bit more action, a snowmobile ride is just the thing for you!


Schneembil fahren in Lappland

In Lapland, snowmobiles are regular means of transportation, with dedicated lanes for them. When you book a snowmobile tour, you get to control it yourself over the thick blanket of snow, experiencing incredible moments as you zip through snow-laden forests.






Relaxation during Your Lapland Vacation


Of course, relaxation should not be overlooked during a vacation. Whether it's a visit to a Finnish sauna or a stroll through the Finnish winter wonderland where you can let your soul unwind.


With the abundant snow, crisp air, and the tranquility that permeates this land, we were able to completely relax and disconnect during our vacation in Finnish Lapland.


Urlaub in Lappland


5. Experiencing the True Chill of Lapland Winter!


In the winter wonderland of Lapland, temperatures can plummet between -20°C and -30°C, or even lower in certain areas. Yet, unlike the damp cold in Germany, Lapland offers a drier cold, making the experience more bearable—especially when you're on the move.


However, the moment you pause for too long, that's when the cold sets in. That's why our Lapland packing list is filled with handy tips and gadgets to combat the cold.

For an unforgettable winter getaway, make sure you pack incredibly warm boots paired with cozy socks and gloves that are not just warm but also flexible.


If you're curious about the best months for your Lapland adventure, delve into our blog post detailing Finland's climate and the prime travel season.






6. Our Conclusion on the Vacation in Finnish Lapland


Our conclusion after our adventure in Finnish Lapland is clear: a vacation here immerses you in an entirely new world. During the seven days we spent in Lapland, we were constantly in awe. The landscape is so breathtaking that it almost takes your breath away, and for photographers, nature here is a true paradise! The fact that the sun never fully rises during the winter months creates perfect lighting conditions during the day, providing a consistently mystical atmosphere.


The traditional cuisine, often featuring reindeer, proved to be delicious and hearty.

...and after a winter hike at -20 °C, warming up quickly with a hot soup was a delightful experience!



Feel free to participate in our anonymous survey and vote for the activity you are most excited about or believe should be an essential part of any winter vacation in Lapland!

 

Welche Aktivität darf in deinem Lappland Urlaub nicht fehlen?

  • Die Polarlichter beobachten

  • Eine Husky Schlittenfahrt

  • Eine Rentier Schlittenfahrt

  • Mit dem Schneemobil fahren



Do you need more inspiration for your vacation in Finnish Lapland? The following articles can certainly help:

If you'd like to delve deeper into our travels, check out our Instagram channels tom_rbg_ and anna_mser!

Feel free to reach out with any questions about the routes through these channels!


 

*This post contains affiliate links. Purchasing through these links won't cost you extra; it's a way to support our work.


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