In our search for sunny warm-weather winter escapes, many of us forget how magical this time of the year can also be right in the heart of a winter wonderland. From sipping hot drinks while the snow falls, to winter activities such as snowshoeing and sledding, Lapland holidays are a fresh way to holiday. Sure, there’s still a chill in the air, but if you bundle up, there are countless of activities you can do this time of the year in Scandinavia’s northernmost region. Here are a few of my favourites:
Sparkle and Shine
Although you can see the Northern Lights (a.k.a. Aurora Borealis) as early as September and through to spring, between November and February—when winter nights are long and dark—is the best time to see the majestic lights illuminating the sky. Of course there is a (scientific) method to the madness behind the natural phenomenon, but I like to think of it as the universe’s way of reminding us how magical the world can be.
If Santa won’t come to you before next December, why not go to Santa? Or, at least hang out with his reindeers. A reindeer sledding trip is a must on your Lapland holiday not only for the fun factor but to get a glimpse of the traditions of the Sámi people. Whether you’re looking for a day trip or a four-day excursion, there are numerous companies and tours to choose from.
Explore snow-covered Lapland on foot, or specifically, on snowshoes. Marked trails around the mountains are aplenty and guides are also available if you prefer following an expert. Not only is snowshoeing a lovely and serene way to explore the area, it’s also a great workout meaning more hot chocolate and traditional meals can be consumed post-excursion.
It Takes a Village
Lainio Snow Village is located in the western part of Lapland close to Ylläs and Levi ski resorts and is truly a sight to see. Each year, it is rebuilt entirely of approximately 1.5 million kilograms of snow and 300,000 kilograms of ice. The village boasts a restaurant, bar, art galleries, plenty of ice sculptures and a hotel where you can even spend the night.
If sleeping on a bed of ice is not your thing, spend a night in a traditional Sami lavvu, a tent-like accommodation that has been used in the area for many generations. There are a number of excursions and guided tours where you can learn more about Sami culture and history.
Next time you’re looking for a holiday, forego the ubiquitous sun destination and embrace winter in all its glory with a getaway to Lapland.
Photo: Mark Sekuur