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Lapland is Finland’s vast white wilderness; where you 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 are found 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, though not much of it mountainous, but the region is ripe for Nordic skiing and trekking.
Obviously Christmas is an appealing time to visit, but it’s very dark - though it is a great time so see the Aurora Borealis. By February there’s enough light to ski by, and still plenty of snow. 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.
What Not To Miss
- If you fancy learning more about the Sámi people, the Siida museum in Inari is the place to visit. Set within a complex of old farmhouses and huts, this very fine museum explains the region’s ecology and offers plenty of detailed information on Sámi lifestyles.
- Rovaniemi’s Arktikum museum is another excellent spot with fascinating information about both the Sámi people and the Arctic region as a whole.
- 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.
- If you're into your hiking then the Oulanka and the Pyhä-Luosto National Parks are both full of splendid trails.
Our pick of the best places to stay in Lapland are fabulous spots to get back in touch with nature, whatever the season.
Back To Nature
- Kakslauttanen is the perfect all-round Arctic resort. It’s super romantic, 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 Christmas in Lapland. You are 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!
- Boasting traditional log cabin accommodation with chic, boutique interiors, Javri is a splendid country retreat. With stunning walking trails surrounding the property as well as top-notch grub regional served up, what's not to love? Ideal for active yet romantic getaways.
For An Apartment Or Villa
If you think you'd prefer the privacy of a self-catering option then browse through the wide variety available online with our partner Booking.com.
- If you're in Lapland to ski then it's obviously best to come in the winter months. Be warned though that the average temperature in January and February is around -10°C so be sure to wrap up warmly!
- If on the other hand you're here to hike then May to September's probably your best bet.
- There are a number of airports in Lapland: Kittilä Airport, Rovaniemi Airport, Ivalo Airport, Enontekiö Airport, Kemi-Tornio Airport and Kuusamo Airport.
- Norwegian Air offer direct flights from Gatwick to Rovaniemi, however if you're flying to every other airport in Lapland then that'll require at least one changeover.
- From the airport you can take the bus or the train on to your final destination, unless of course it's fairly remote.
- If that's the case and you need to hire a care, we recommend you visit our online partner Rentalcars.
Still not sure?
- Browse through our list of all the best places to stay in Lapland.
- Alternatively, search through our recommendations of the best places to stay in Finland as a whole.
- You could also widen the net to look through our pick of the best places to stay in Sweden.
- Or feel free to contact one of our friendly Gurus for advice.
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