Rachel Singh, Writer
There are some go-to spots this winter, and Finnish Lapland is at the top of that list. Finnish Lapland is a destination that includes encounters with reindeers and huskies, ice-fishing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. In other words, it’s the ultimate winter wonderland to get hygge with it. Besides your chance to embrace the winter outdoors, the main draw of this remote region is chasing the Aurora Borealis. After all, the Northern Lights is one of those bucket list items, and the time is now.
Couples, families, or anyone looking for an untouched, remote, and unique nature centric destination. Be prepared for long nights and frigid arctic temperatures. Also while there’s a way to do this more upscale, a trip to Finnish Lapland is not traditional luxury. If you need top luxury, then there’s also an option to go with Eleven Experience in Iceland. But for those who want a more rustic, low-key experience, Finnish Lapland is for you. Also if done right, you’ll get a whole lot of luxury of the experience.
When to go:
Winter runs from November to the end of April, which is the best time to observe the northern lights. The Finnish Lapland is located in the Arctic Circle so be advised that daylight will only last a few hours, generally from 10am to 2pm. But when it comes to chasing the lights, the darker, the colder, the clearer, the better.
What to do:
During the daylight hours, explore the peaceful Lapland forests and the beautiful snow covered pine trees in either a dogsled or a traditional carriage pulled by reindeers. Your choice depends on how adrenaline-fueled you want your ride to be. For pedal to the metal, choose dog sledding, where you will cover aggressive ground at high speed. If you are looking for a more peaceful stroll, the reindeers will be just right. Either way, halfway through the ride, you can enjoy a hot chocolate or tea and warm up by the cozy wood fire in a traditional teepee. In essence, it’s everything you would picture out of a winter wonderland adventure.
At night, it’s all about chasing the northern lights. The polar lights are visible in the Finnish Lapland on roughly 200 nights a year, concentrated during the dark winter nights. To see this natural phenomenon, the sky must be clear of clouds and you must be away from light pollution. A good way to see the famous lights is to book a private or semi-private aurora hunting tour on either snowshoes, snowmobiles, reindeer sleighs, or snow tanks. Moving around the Lapland with an experienced guide will ensure you navigate the wilderness safely and venture to remote places. You’ll also get insights from other guides on where to go to spot these mystical lights.
Your Own Igloo
Don’t want to spend the night in the cold? Opt to comfortably gaze at the night sky from the comfort of your private glass igloo. Most glass igloos are equipped with a northern lights alarm system so you don’t have to worry about missing the show if you fall asleep. These glamping-like rooms offer basic amenities, but a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
The most recognized glass igloos now are at Kakslauttanen, which offers glass igloos or Kelo-glass igloos. The latter combine the comfort of a log cottage with an attached glass igloo bedroom. The cottages are charming and spacious, although modest, and have private sauna to warm you up after a full day of polar fun. On the down side, food at Kakslauttanen is nothing to remember, but it’s the luxury of the experience that you’re here for, not the amenities of the lodge.
Where to eat:
The Finnish Lapland is a vast arid territory where chefs contend with food supply challenges and limited local produce. This reality forces them to be inventive and resourceful, which can create unique local culinary experiences. Local organic produce, think blueberries and mushrooms, wild meat, and fish such as reindeer, salmon, and king crab are all part of the best the Lapland has to offer. Fine dining options are limited in Lapland and most of your meals will be taken wherever you are staying.
The family run Javri Lodge offers a graceful luxury setting in the Lapland wilderness. It is hands down one of the best fine dining experiences in the region. With only thirteen rooms, the lodge can be booked entirely for private gatherings and is a great retreat for luxury isolation.
It’s Not One Size Fits All
To do this up right, message us at [email protected] and we’ll hook you up.
The Short List
Aurora Borealis hunting