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Lapland is Finland’s vast white wilderness. The place to come to experience the midnight sun and the Northern Lights. To see reindeer herds and maybe even meet Father Christmas? It’s huge and relatively empty, but the Sámi people have made it their home and their communities are some of the region’s largest. Many of the best places to stay in Lapland are resorts associated with skiing, Arctic adventures or the jolly man in red.
But if you’re arriving in Lapland as part of an icebreaker cruise then you’ll find some of the best places to stay in Lapland are in the port town of Kemi, or in the capital, Rovaniemi, which is also Santa’s home town. Apparently.
Lapland is a surprisingly flat region. There are vast forests and numerous swamps - when they’re not frozen over - and gently sloping, rounded fells or small mountains. There’s lots of ski terrain, but not much of it mountainous, but the region is ripe for Nordic skiing and trekking.
If you’re interested in learning more about the Sámi people, the Siida museum in Inari is the place to visit. This very fine museum explains the region’s ecology and, as well as plenty of detailed information on Sámi lifestyles, the museum is within a complex of old farmhouses and huts. Rovaniemi’s Arktikum museum is another excellent museum which presents fascinatng information about both the Sámi people and the whole Arctic region.
Rovaniemi is also where you’ll find the ‘official’ Santa Claus Village, which is a sort of amusement park of Arctic activities cum permanent Christmas festival.
Obviously Christmas is an appealing time to visit, but it’s very dark - it is a great time so see the aurora borealis though. By February there’s enough light to ski by, and still plenty of snow, and between June and July in Rovaniemi the sun doesn’t set at all. Autumn is a nice time to visit if you’re interested in doing some hiking, biking or fishing.
Our pick of the best places to stay in Lapland is a fabulous all-round Arctic resort - whatever your reason for visiting.
- Kakslauttanen is the perfect all-round Arctic resort. It’s super romantic, has offers some amazing activities for those looking for Arctic adventure and is ideally located for people seeking the Northern Lights. It’s also a wonderful spot for families wanting a Christmas in Lapland. You’re surrounded by the snowy expanses of the Urho Kekkonen National Park and you stay in wonderful glass igloos or log cabins. They also have Santa’s house!
Best Hotels in Lapland
Javri 13 rooms from $95Inari, Lapland
Javri, located in rural Lapland, offers traditional log cabin style accommodation with a chic boutique twist. Romp around the area before returning to the lodge's cosy wood-burners and intimate atmosphere. An extraordinary country retreat ideal for adventure, romance or relaxation!Country Escape - Javri boasts a stunningly serene location in the heart of Lapland, far from the hustle and bustle of modern lifeTotal relaxation - Javri's intimate atmosphere, peaceful location and sauna will help you to fully unwind and enjoy your breakFoodies - The lodge works with local ingredients and gatherers to produce wonderful regional dishesBack to Nature - Roam around the surrounding wilderness and get back in touch with the natural world!
Kakslauttanen 148 rooms from $384Lapland
You couldn’t ask for more from this prime Arctic resort that will suit adventure seekers, Aurora hunters, couples after a romantic getaway and families hoping for that magical Christmas experience in the heart of Finnish Lapland.Great walks - In the summer months go on beautiful walks in the surrounding Lapland countryside.Back to Nature - Surrounded by stunning nature in the Saariselkä Fell region of Finnish Lapland.Outstanding locationFull of character