• Summer in Lapland
    Summer in Lapland Photo: Harri Tarvainen, Visit Finland
  • Lapland-Inari
    Lapland-Inari Photo: Harri Tarvainen, Visit Finland
  • Kuusamo-Posio
    Kuusamo-Posio Photo: Harri Tarvainen, Visit Finland
  • Reindeer in Lapland Photo: Julia Kivelä, Visit Finland
  • Paddling in Oulanka national park Photo: Ruka-Kuusamo
  • Kuusamo-Posio Photo: Harri Tarvainen, Visit Finland
  • Wellbeing in wilderness in pure lakes of Kuusamo Photo: Harri Tarvainen
  • Kuusamo-Posio Photo: Harri Tarvainen, Visit Finland
  • Äkäslompolo Photo: Markus Kiili, Visit Finland
  • Summer morning mist at Kitka river Photo: Ruka-Kuusamo
  • Kuusamo-Posio Photo: Harri Tarvainen, Visit Finland
  • Midnight sun Photo: Visit Finland
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Finnish Lapland – the Last Wilderness of Europe

Lapland – land of myths and dreams, land where summer and winter meet, land of natural beauty and endless vastness or even the last wilderness of Europe. For the Finns, a trip to Lapland is the only real way to get to know the essence of their country. The north of the country is famous for its breathtaking scenery, reindeer, beautiful national parks and nature holiday destinations.

In the far north of the Nordics, we find Lapland, a very special region, which is characterized by the seasons and its special landscape. In Lapland, you can cross the Arctic Circle, meet Santa Claus, enjoy the midnight sun and watch the northern lights.

Photo: Harri Tarvainen, Visit Finland

On the way in Lapland

Ruka-Kuusamo is located in the very southeast of Lapland and is the region of the national parks. Besides the popular Oulanka National Park, you can also discover the nature of Riisitunturi, Hossa, and Syöte and Paanajärvi National Park is the gateway to Russia. The nature in Ruka-Kuusamo is characterized by numerous clear lakes, rivers, and waterfalls as well as dense forests. Outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling or canoeing are a must during a stay in the region and winter sports enthusiasts are familiar with the resort anyway. A special experience is bear watching in Ruka-Kuusamo, which is offered on guided tours.

Commune · Nothern Ostrobothnia, Finland


The town of Kuusamo is located in the northeast of Finland, close to the Russian border. Outside of town, the area is ...
Ellare Oy

Salla is located north of Ruka-Kuusamo and is a typical Lappish village. The region is characterized by the famous Finnish wilderness with swamps, rivers, and forests – in the middle of the typical fell landscape you can enjoy lonely days. Salla is also a perfect place to stay in winter and as the birthplace of skiing, winter activities are of course a must here. A trip to Salla is always sustainable, as the place strives for a conscious approach to nature and the environment.

Commune · Lappi, Finland


Get to experience an original Lappish village and become one with nature. Salla welcomes visitors with its cozy and ...
Ellare Oy

In Levi, the pearl of Lapland, visitors breathe the best air in the world. In the north of Finland, during the short summer, you are greeted by the special light of the midnight sun and can make the most of the endless days by exploring the beautiful landscape. Hikers can wander around Levi Fell or Pallas Yllästunturi National Park and discover the unspoiled nature and wilderness of Lapland. Mountain bikers can be found in the bike park and of course, you can also go on a canoe trip through Levi.

Commune · Lappi, Finland


Silence, pure nature, unique experiences: welcome to Levi, 170 km north of the Arctic Circle! Breathe the cleanest air ...
Ellare Oy

Pyhä-Luosto is situated in the heart of Lapland and includes the two mountain areas of Pyhätunturi and Luosto. They include the national park with the same name, one of the oldest in Finland. Characterized by a mountain range and surrounded by Aapa moors and old forests, it is ideal for a hike or a relaxing stay in nature. The gorges of the region such as the Isokuru Gorge are particularly worth seeing. They are also covered by the vast network of hiking trails.

Geographic region · Finland


Pyhä-Luosto is an extremely diverse region in the heart of Lapland, about 90 minutes by car from the city of Rovaniemi ...
Ellare Oy

Natural landscape of Lapland

The nature in Lapland is characterized by moors, barren plateaus and huge coniferous forests. The typical fell landscape is crossed by up to 800 m high hills, the so-called Tunturi. These fells are the remains from ancient mountains shaped by erosion and ice-ages. Here you can walk on ancient, almost two billion year old ground.

The vegetation is adapted to the climatic conditions, as large parts of the region are located north of the Arctic Circle. Nevertheless, national parks such as Urho Kekkonen, Pyhä-Luosto, Oulanka, Syöte, and Pallas-Yllästunturi differ from each other, making it possible to experience very different aspects of the landscape. In the "last wilderness of Europe," we are greeted by the sought-after expanse and solitude and we breathe the world’s cleanest air

Natural phenomena of Lapland

The magic of Finnish Lapland is most apparent in its contrasts: between summer and winter, between the hustle and bustle of the cities and winter sports resorts and the peace and quiet of the endless wilderness. Two natural phenomena really bring out the contrasts in the region: the northern lights and the midnight sun.

After summer months with midnight sun are over,  the nights get darker and spectacular northern lights start showing in the autumn night skies. The magical lights can be seen in the sky up to 200 nights a year. Although you may be lucky in more southern areas, high up in the Finnish north, sightings are guaranteed and the colors are even more beautiful. Visitors can enjoy this unique natural phenomenon by snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and husky sledding or comfortably from one of the specially equipped accommodations.

Midnight sun
Photo: Visit Finland

The natural phenomenon of summer is in complete contrast to this. To compensate for the long, dark winter, summer in Lapland is particularly bright. For almost three months the sun shines 24 hours a day and stays above the horizon. The white light can be seen all over Finland, but only in Lapland are the nights really as bright as day and suitable for many activities. How about a boat trip in the middle of the night or a hike to the best viewpoints in this special light?

Report · June 12, 2019
Finnish Lapland is the land of seasonal contrasts: long, dark winters and bright, warm summers. The phenomenon of the midnight sun and the white ...
from Wiebke Hillen,   Outdooractive Editors

Eight Seasons of Lapland

Normally we speak of four seasons: spring, summer, autumn, and winter. However, in Finnish Lapland, these are not enough to describe the very different times of the year. Therefore, there are eight seasons.

From Christmas at the beginning of the nature calendar to the Frosty Winter, when the days are short in the south and not yet existent in the north and when snow covers the land in thick flakes, the late winter season starts. The winter wonderland is the best time for winter activities before the seasons "Crusty Snow" and "Departure of Ice" come and the sunlight in late spring finally defeats the snow and cleaves the ice.

In the "last night" the Midnight Sun rises, there is light 24 hours a day – summer is here. But summer is also short and is soon followed by the Harvest Season before autumn shows its most beautiful colors, the Finns call this time ruska – the season Colourful Autumn has arrived. By now you can see the northern lights in the sky. The last season before everything starts all over again is the First Snow, welcoming the cold months in late autumn and early winter increasing the chances of seeing northern lights in the longer nights and soon getting into the Christmas mood.

Autumn in Oulanka national park
Photo: Julia Kivelä, Visit Finland

Cultural landscape of Lapland

Finnish Lapland is not only known for its nature, but also for its very special culture. The Sámi, the only indigenous people in Europe, live here. In the north of Finland, but also in Sweden, Norway, and Russia, the Sámi preserve their traditions, which include music, traditional costumes, folk festivals, and their own language. They even have their own parliament in Inari to protect their culture. The Sámi are known for breeding reindeer, but otherwise, they live like any other people. During your stay in Lapland, we recommend getting familiar with Sámi culture for instance by visiting the Sámi Cultural Centre Sajos in Inari.

Photo: Harri Tarvainen, Visit Finland

Finnish Lapland also has a culture of gold. Many myths and legends surround the gold regions of Lapland, as the purest gold in the world can be found here. People still search for it on the Lemmenjoki and Ivalojoki rivers. In the 1870s, the first gold rush began on the Ivalojoki, it is the most legendary river in Lapland, the largest nuggets were found here. Today there is an open-air museum about the history of gold mining. On the Lemmenjoki, however, live still professional gold miners. Tankavaara is the gold prospecting village where the international gold panning championships are held and where a gold museum is.

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