There’s a reason why a trip to Lapland is firmly on the bucket list for so many of our travellers. This stunning northern region of Finland is one of Europe’s last true wildernesses, and is home to an incredible variety of unique day trips and experiences rooted in the magical, winter landscape.
Whether it’s an active excursion exploring the open fells and quiet pine forests, a Christmas adventure to remember for the kids in the official home of Santa, or an glimpse into the authentic culture of the Sami people, Lapland offers truly memorable experiences for all.
To help get you inspired for your next journey to this winter wonderland, we have put together a few of our favourite day trips in Lapland, so that you can get a flavour of what a holiday in Lapland might look like.
Active Day Trips in Lapland
With such a huge amount of pristine, untouched natural land, Lapland lends itself automatically to outdoor adventures. Whether it’s the snow-covered pine forest, the frozen lakes and rivers, or the vast fells, there is so much to explore here, and there are few places on earth you can feel as removed from civilisation so easily.
1. Snowshoeing Day Trip
Clearly, moving about a landscape that’s carpeted in waste deep snow is a logistical challenge in itself. And it’s all the more difficult if you’re a part of a nomadic tribe hoping to hunt, or carry your belongings with you.
This challenge led the resourceful Sami people to develop snowshoes, spreading their bodyweight in order to walk on top of the snow, rather than through it, and this method is still the easiest way to walk through the parts of Lapland still untouched by human activity.
On a snowshoeing excursion with a local guide, you’ll be able to experience that true off the beaten track sensation, as you leave the human world behind and head to areas where you can reconnect with the natural world.
2. Husky Safaris in Lapland Day Trip
To get a little further off the beaten track and even deeper into the wilderness, it helps if you have a little extra energy to give you a helping hand. For millennia, the locals have used huskies and sleds to cover vast distances with ease, and now you too can experience the thrilling, and surprisingly physical activity of exploring Lapland’s wilderness behind a team of these beautiful dogs.
With boundless energy and friendly characters, you’ll probably find the huskies a touch loud and impatient to get going, but once moving, the sensation of gliding across snowdrifts and out into the wilderness is truly one to remember.
You’ll also have a chance to get up close and personal with the huskies, throwing in a little cuteness-factor into an active adventure that also provides a little insight into native life.
3. Snowmobile Safari Day Trip
One for the adrenaline junkies now. In terms of the modern world, husky sledding has been very much overtaken by snowmobiles as the main way to get around.
On a snowmobile safari, you’ll get to enjoy the excitement of speeding through the magnificent landscape, drinking in the endless views of snow-covered trees from your saddle.
By the time you return from this most essential of Lapland day trips, you’ll feel satisfyingly windswept having enjoyed a bit of a thrill for those who find the idea of a spa day just a little too slow for them.
Popular Lapland Day Trips
Northern Lights Adventures in Lapland
One advantage of this vast wilderness and lack of human development that Lapland boasts is a distinct lack of light pollution. Throw in the ideal latitude in the Arctic Circle and just a few hours of daylight in the winter months, and no matter where you stay in Lapland, you have the perfect conditions for spotting the Northern Lights.
1. Northern Lights by Heated Sleigh
Whilst many of our travellers in Lapland are content to view the Northern Lights from the comfort of their glass-roofed cabin, some prefer to strike out into the wilderness to escape any light pollution whatsoever, and view the otherworldly aurora from a more spectacular spot.
One of the most comfortable ways of getting out of resort is by heated sleigh. Wrap up warm and jump into your toasty ride, leaving the cabins behind and heading for an idyllic spot in the wild, complete with a campfire were your guide will help you set your cameras to the optimum mode for capturing the lights, whilst telling stories and myths of the landscape.
By the time you return to your cabin, you can be smug in the knowledge that you have seen the Northern Lights at their very best, in one of the best aurora hunting locations on earth.
2. Hunting for the Northern Lights on Snowshoes
For those intrepid explorers, you can always set off into the deep, dark wilderness by torchlight and on foot, led by a local guide who you will follow to a cosy hut where hot drinks and traditional Lappish snack await you to warm your bones whilst you wait for the lights to appear.
This excursion is a great way to feel truly connected to nature on your Lapland Northern Lights holiday, as you wind your way through the forest just as people have done for generations, the snow reflecting the light from the moon and stars.
As you sit out with a view over the wild landscape, the Northern Lights drifting overhead, you’ll find yourself entranced by the sheer isolation and beauty of your surroundings. No matter where you choose to see the Northern Lights in Lapland, by getting away from any man-made light pollution, your chances of a quality aurora experience increases enormously.
Christmas Experiences in Lapland
It should be obvious by now that Lapland is a region that has a magical feeling about it. This reputation is only furthered by the fact that Lapland is of course the official home of Father Christmas. There is no better location on the planet for anyone on the hunt for a Christmas holiday than Lapland.
1. Searching for Santa Claus
For those with children who are still at believing age, this is a truly magical day trip through a winter wonderland that will last long in the memory.
Enjoy a gingerbread baking experience with one of Santa’s elves, before setting off into the woods in search of Santa’s cabin, relaxing in a heated sleigh as the trees drift past. You’ll also get a chance to meet some of his reindeer, although you will have to make do with being pulled, rather than flying on your sled behind.
On arrival at the cabin, Santa Claus will invite you in and deliver some presents for the children, rounding off a day of Christmas magic that will entrance anyone who has a love for this most festive time of year.
Here at Not In The Guidebooks, we work hard to bring our customers experiences and holidays that get them to the heart of a destination. In Lapland, all our experiences are rooted in the fact that the local, indigenous people have been practising these activities out of a sense of necessity for generations.
Whether its ice fishing, a husky safari or a reindeer experience, these activities give you a glimpse into a lifestyle that is totally removed from our own, and an appreciation for a new culture and people, which we believe is the most rewarding part of travel.