Lapland, the home of Santa Claus
Lapland, the northernmost region of Finland, is a magical place that is famous for its unique natural beauty, vibrant culture, and its most notable resident, Santa Claus. The region covers an area of over 100,000 square kilometers and is home to about 190,000 people, most of whom are of Finnish or Sami origin. Lapland is a popular tourist destination, drawing visitors from all over the world who come to experience its winter wonderland, see the northern lights, and of course, meet Santa Claus.
History and Culture:
Lapland has a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years. The indigenous Sami people have inhabited the region for more than 10,000 years, and their culture and traditions are still an important part of life in Lapland today. The Sami people are known for their reindeer herding, and their unique language and customs have been preserved over the centuries.
In addition to the Sami, Lapland is also home to many Finnish people, who have lived in the region for generations. Finnish culture is deeply rooted in Lapland, and the people of Lapland have their own unique traditions and customs, such as sauna bathing and ice swimming.
Lapland is a popular tourist destination, especially during the winter months when visitors come to experience the region’s snow-covered landscape, go skiing, and see the northern lights. The northern lights, or Aurora Borealis, are a natural light display that occurs in the polar regions and can be seen in Lapland from September to April.
One of the most popular attractions in Lapland is Santa Claus Village, located in Rovaniemi, the capital of Lapland. The village is open year-round and is a must-visit for anyone traveling to Lapland. Visitors can meet Santa Claus himself, see his reindeer, and visit the Santa Claus Post Office, where they can send postcards and letters to friends and family with a special Santa Claus postmark.
Other popular activities in Lapland include husky and reindeer sleigh rides, snowmobiling, ice fishing, and ice-skating. Lapland also has many ski resorts, with Levi and Ylläs being the largest.
Lapland is known for its stunning natural beauty, which is characterized by vast forests, sparkling lakes, and rugged mountains. The region is home to several national parks, including Urho Kekkonen National Park, which covers an area of over 2,500 square kilometers and is one of the largest protected wilderness areas in Europe.
Lapland is also home to the Finnish part of the Scandinavian Mountains, which are the highest mountains in northern Europe. Hiking in the mountains is a popular activity during the summer months, and visitors can see stunning views of the landscape from the top of the peaks.
In conclusion, Lapland is a unique and magical place that is full of natural beauty, rich culture, and unforgettable experiences. Whether you want to meet Santa Claus, see the northern lights, or explore the region’s stunning wilderness, Lapland has something for everyone.
How to get to Lapland
Getting to Lapland is relatively easy, and there are several ways to reach this northern region of Finland. Here are some of the most popular options:
- By plane: The easiest way to get to Lapland is by flying into one of the region’s major airports. The main airports in Lapland are Rovaniemi, Kittilä, and Ivalo. These airports have regular flights from Helsinki and other major European cities.
- By train: Another popular way to get to Lapland is by taking the train from Helsinki. There are several daily trains that run from Helsinki to Rovaniemi, with the journey taking around 10-12 hours. The train journey is a scenic one, and you’ll pass through some of Finland’s most beautiful landscapes along the way.
- By car: If you’re traveling from southern Finland, you can also drive to Lapland. The journey from Helsinki to Rovaniemi takes around 10-12 hours, depending on traffic and road conditions. There are also car rental options available in Lapland if you prefer to explore the region on your own.
- By bus: If you’re on a budget, you can also take the bus to Lapland. There are regular bus services from Helsinki and other major cities to Rovaniemi and other towns in Lapland.
Once you’re in Lapland, you can easily get around by car, bus, or taxi. Many hotels and tour operators also offer transportation services for their guests. It’s worth noting that the winter months can be quite challenging to drive in Lapland due to heavy snow and icy conditions, so it’s important to have experience driving in these conditions or hire a professional driver.
When is the best time to travel to Lapland?
The best time to travel to Lapland depends on your interests and what you would like to experience. Lapland is a year-round destination, and each season offers its unique experiences.
Winter (December to February): The winter season is the most popular time to visit Lapland. The region is covered in snow, creating a magical winter wonderland atmosphere. This is the best time to see the northern lights, go dog-sledding, take a reindeer sleigh ride, and experience the traditional Finnish sauna. The temperatures during this season can drop as low as -30°C, so be sure to pack warm clothes.
Spring (March to May): The spring season in Lapland is when the sun starts to return, and the days get longer. This is a great time to go skiing and snowmobiling, as the weather starts to warm up. The region’s snow begins to melt, and the rivers and lakes begin to thaw, making it a good time to go fishing.
Summer (June to August): Summer in Lapland is the time of the midnight sun, where the sun does not set below the horizon. This is the best time to go hiking, cycling, and fishing. The warm weather also makes it possible to go swimming in the region’s many lakes and rivers. This is also the best time to experience Sami culture, as there are several festivals and events that take place during this season.
Autumn (September to November): Autumn in Lapland is a beautiful season, with the changing colors of the leaves and the crisp, cool air. This is the best time to go hiking and take in the stunning fall scenery. The northern lights also start to appear again during this season, and it’s a great time to go on a guided tour to see them.
In conclusion, the best time to travel to Lapland depends on your interests and what you would like to experience. Each season offers its unique charm, and it’s worth considering what you want to see and do before planning your trip.