Five reasons to visit Lapland
When he’s not out on his sleigh delivering presents to the good children of the world, Father Christmas resides in Lapland. For families, that makes it a magical place to visit, but even couples and groups of friends will find plenty to discover on a winter trip there.
The area, which covers northern Europe but is centred around the north part of Finland, is where native Sami traditions hold strong. So whether it’s culture, sports, nature or Santa that prompts a visit, the Flexicover team highlights just five of the wonders on offer in the fairy-tale destination of Lapland.
Meet Santa at the Santa Claus Holiday Village
For families and big kids alike, the Santa Claus Holiday Village is the big draw of Lapland. Inside the village is a shopping area, activities like snowmobiles, reindeer farm visits and husky rides and accommodation of cosy cabins with saunas. Best of all, visitors can meet Santa at the Christmas House, a beautifully decked out area where he lives and keeps his door open every day of the year. For something extra special, invite Santa to a cabin, where he spends time with families and can even give the little ones personal gifts if he’s prompted in advance. Now that’s an experience to remember.
Explore Kevo Strict Nature Reserve
For hikers and nature-lovers, Kevo is the go-to place to encounter some incredible scenery and very little else. Those who venture out to enjoy it are asked to be mindful of preserving the pristine environment: it’s divided into a canyon area and a fell area, with different opening dates for each. Venture out at the right time to be rewarded with a wondrous expanse, incorporating pine forests, a 80m deep canyon, ravines and open mires. The main hike takes four days and group trips are on hand for those who find comfort in numbers.
Have a go at ice fishing
The iconic image of an Eskimo fishing in a carved-out circle in the ice isn’t just an outsider’s idea of what happens in Lapland; ice fishing is a well-known activity both as a hobby and a means to find food under adverse conditions. Visitors can have a go aided by local specialists to find the best and safest spots. Tour operators take guests out to the untouched reaches of Lapland, often on snowmobiles, where they’ll find a suitable area to drill a hole around a metre thick. Wearing high-grade warm clothing that’s provided, it’s then up to hungry visitors to catch their lunch; fish like perch, rainbow trout and whitefish are common catches. The day’s haul is then cooked over an open fire and enjoyed in traditional style.
Relax in a Finnish sauna
Saunas are part of Finnish culture, to the point that there are five million Fins and three million saunas between them. The detox benefits are well-known but it’s also used as a place to relax or as a social centre – hence its all-encompassing popularity. For a novel experience, try the smoke sauna at the fell centre Kiilopää, or head to Ylläs for a sauna-cable car hybrid that offers some incredible views. Note that bathing costumes are often banned in public saunas in case they have chlorine on them, so if you’re on the shy side, check the rules about clothing and mixed-sex saunas before partaking.
Marvel at Lumilinna
For something truly unique, take a visit to Lumilinna. Straight out of a fairytale, it’s a snow castle that’s rebuilt every year in a brand-new design – a tradition since its first build in 1996 when it was created as a present for children across the world. While the layout and style is reimagined in more creative ways each year, it always features an ice bar and restaurant, a snow hotel and a chapel, making it a magical location for a wedding. To make the most of your visit, try the snow restaurant for a traditional lunch. Menus cost a reasonable €26 for three courses. Be warned: because of the frosty conditions needed, Lumilinna is only open from January to April.
So wherever your travel plans take you it’s good to know that Flexicover Travel Insurance is committed to providing you with the highest level of protection to ensure you are safe and secure 24 hours a day when away.