Covering the whole of northern Finland, Lapland is said to be the true home of Santa. No surprise then, this place really comes into its own at Christmas. Imagine cosy log cabins, crackling campfires and husky sleds and reindeer sleighs swishing through the snow. Plus, there are plenty of ways to get out into the wilderness, like snowmobiling and skiing.
As for Santa, he’s everywhere. We’re talking secret grottoes and fairylit villages where cheeky elves turn out gingerbread cookies in their workshops, and the big fella rides out on his present-stacked sleigh.
But that’s only half the story. The original people of Lapland, the Sami, bring a timeless touch to the place. They’ve carved out simple lives in the Arctic wilds for centuries, and many still live like their ancestors. Step into an age-old world of reindeer herding, husky farms and ‘kotas’ – tepee-shaped huts that welcome you with blazing log fires and hot berry juice.
As for resorts, they run from sleepy settlements to modern towns. Rovaniemi’s the biggest and comes with everything from ski slopes and Santa theme parks to shopping malls. Levi is the skiing star, with packs of pistes as well as plenty of kids’ activities and things like snow safaris on the doorstep. Then there’s Yllas, Enontekio and Saariselkä. These far-north fledglings lie deeper in the Arctic Circle and offer all the snow you can handle, from white-satin fells to frozen forests.
Last but not least, Lapland has one final surprise up its sleeve. The farther north you go, the more likely you are to catch the Northern Lights. These twinkling red and green ribbons regularly drape the sky on clear nights.
Find the cheapest late deals to Lapland leaving in the next six weeks.
Reindeer Safari, Santa Resort, Skiing, Copyright: Rovaniemi Tourism & Marketing Ltd, The Northern Lights - Copyright: Rovaniemi Tourism & Marketing Ltd, Copyright: Rovaniemi Tourism & Marketing Ltd, Lapland photo 7, Copyright: Rovaniemi Tourism & Marketing Ltd, Husky sledging, Lapland photo 10, Berry wine
Looking for holidays in Finland? Our Finland holiday destinations include Lapland.