Lapland is Europe’s last true wilderness. It covers over 100,000 square kilometres, and is home to just 177,000 people, making it one of the least densely populated areas on the continent. All this means that Lapland is a hugely rewarding, if challenging place to visit, particularly during the winter months when it is extremely important that you know where to stay to get the best out of your time.
Whether you’re on the hunt for the Northern Lights, heading out on the family trip of a lifetime or visiting the home of Santa Claus on a Christmas holiday, you need to be on the lookout for the resorts who can make your stay in a harsh environment not just comfortable, but truly magical.
So where is the best place to stay in Lapland? In this blog, we’ll outline the best places to stay in the region, based on your plans and what activities you’d like to whilst in this incredible part of the world.
For True Untouched Wilderness
For those travellers who want to get off the beaten track, far from the crowds, from built up cities and the rush of everyday life, look no further than Saariselkä.
This resort village sits on the edge of the Urho Kekkonen National Park, making it an incredible base during the summer months for anyone looking for some of the wildest, most challenging, and most beautiful, hiking in Europe.
In the winter, it’s the perfect place to take the family thanks to easy access to activities like husky safaris, snowmobile rides, ice-fishing and snowshoe hiking. The wild nature of Saariselkä also makes it ideal for a romantic getaway, with plenty of secluded glass-roofed cabins which to cosy up in at the end of a long day exploring the snow-covered pine forests and beautiful fells.
For the Skiing Enthusiasts
Whilst it may not be the first destination that springs to mind for a skiing holiday, Lapland actually boasts some pretty decent slopes. Whilst the region may not have the dramatic mountains and stomach-churning black runs of the Alps, it has great snow-coverage all winter.
Head to Levi to find wonderfully unique fells that rise out of untouched pine forest, providing great skiing for those looking for something a little different. Throw in glass-roofed cabin accommodation for watching the Northern Lights as you relax after a long day on the slopes, and you have yourself the ideal spot for a skiing holiday with just a little point of difference.
As well as downhill skiing, Lapland has some of the very best cross-country skiing you will find virtually anywhere. Gliding out into the pristine wilderness on your skis to discover frozen rivers and magical fells with endless views is a skiing experience you’re sure to remember for a long time.
Popular Lapland Holidays
For a Family Adventure
Family holidays in Lapland are magical for a number of reasons. The beauty of the Northern Lights, the invigorating outdoor activities, and of course, the home of Father Christmas can all be found in in this northern region of Finland, so where is the best place to stay in Lapland for a family adventure?
Saariselkä and Levi are of course still great options, but where better to take young kids than to the official home of Santa Claus, Rovaniemi? The largest of these three resorts and the most geared towards welcoming younger families, you will still find beautiful snowscapes, glass-roofed cabins giving you views of the Northern Lights, and Lapland day excursions like husky rides and snowmobiling.
But with a full Santa’s Village for the kids to enjoy, Rovaniemi is a wonderful place to stay in Lapland for those searching for a family-orientated holiday.
For the Northern Lights
Thousands of people flock every year to Lapland in order to witness the Northern Lights, and there’s a good reason behind this fact. Lapland lies at the absolutely ideal latitude where the lights appear at their strongest, and with virtually no light pollution thanks to the regions status as one of Europe’s most sparsely populated areas it’s perfect for aurora hunting.
Rovaniemi and Levi are both geared up for seeing the Northern Lights in Lapland, with plenty of glass-roofed cabins and igloos to stay in so that you can witness nature’s greatest light show from the comfort of your own bed.
However, if we were just to recommend one place to go, we’d say head up to Saariselkä, the furthest north of the three and the most remote, where you can even leave the resort to go on aurora hunts by frozen lakes in what is almost the definition of the middle of nowhere.
At Not In The Guidebooks, we aim to provide you with truly unique holidays and tours that get you to the real heart of a destination. It’s our belief that you shouldn’t simply visit a place, you should experience the essential activities, the hidden local gems, the authentic cuisine and culture and above all, interact with the local people.