The stunning and picturesque northern jewel in the Finnish crown, Lapland is always a popular place for families looking to introduce the little ones to the one and only Saint Nick. Yet even as the official home of Santa Claus, Lapland has plenty to offer beyond treats for the tots, and is actually gaining a good reputation among adult visitors.
In fact, an increasing number of holidaymakers who are heading out to Lapland don’t even have children, yet are swept away enough by the serenity and activity of this place to put it on their holiday plans. So what is it about Lapland that’s so inviting?
From the great green shimmering majesty of the Northern Lights to the rolling snow-covered vistas sprawled before you as you ski down the piste, Lapland is a realm of almost otherworldly beauty that entices us back to its embrace time and time again. Much like Iceland, there’s a stark richness to these landscapes that makes your breath catch in your throat, and it’s something that even the most advanced photography and film just can’t do justice.
That superb scenery is a big part of what makes Lapland so appealing. It’s why so many of us choose to take safari tours of the dramatic landscape, whether astride a chugging snowmobile or behind a team of plucky huskies or reindeer pulling a sled. And for a more stationary experience, the classic glass igloo nights are always a treat, giving you warmth and comfort while you watch day turn to night and a tapestry of starlight come alive.
It’s not all snow and ice
Don’t go thinking your trip to Lapland is going to be a constant visage of white scenery, although it’s pretty lovely scenery whatever colour it happens to be. In the warmer months, the greenery comes out to play, together with a whole host of furry friends that includes bears, reindeer, majestic wolves and a fair few birds.
There’s a whole range of ways that people choose to explore the more temperate side of Lapland. A river trip in a rowing boat makes for a tranquil afternoon, although many visitors choose to go camping, or instead up the ante with glamping, where things are a little more on the luxurious side. Less a tent and more a smart, savvy dome, it gives you the chance to watch sunrise by the lake from your own little corner of cosiness.
All aboard the Polar Express
Although the namesake of a movie, the Polar Express is actually a real train journey, and one that’s definitely worth working into your schedule. The bright red locomotive and its trail of quaint carriages weaves through the countryside at an idyllic pace, connecting you to the towns, hamlets and corners of Lapland most worthy of your attention.
Of course, the little ones love a train ride, but don’t be fooled. The Polar Express is a romantic ride through the snow that’s becoming a hit with honeymooners after alternative destinations to the norm.
Get involved in the cuisine
Although it has much in common with the Scandinavian food of the cities down south, the cuisine of Lapland is hearty and wholesome. Rye breads, sweet pastries and thick steaks, together with rich stews, form much of the bread and butter of daily life. However, as well as partaking of those meals in the restaurants and cafes of the region, you can also get involved for yourself with some specialist courses, which teach you how to bake these thick crusty loaves and stir up these grand steaming soups for yourself.
A journey to Lapland is as much a retreat from your daily stresses and strains as it is a way to let the kids’ imaginations run free. Is it a destination that’s come up on your holiday planning agenda before?