Meet the Sámi - Finland's indigenous people

Leave the clock behind and explore the vast expanses of the breathtaking Sámi homeland in Finnish Lapland, join in the festivals and activities of the locals, and get to know their way of life. We introduce you to just a few “Sámi things” you can experience over the course of a year.

The Sámi areas in Northern Lapland offer many year round outdoor and indoor activities, and close contact with the unique culture of the Sámi – the only indigenous people of the European Union. The Sámi live in the Northern parts of Finland, Norway and Sweden as well as in parts of North-Eastern Russia. In Finland, the Sámi population is approximately 10 500 strong, and the preservation of their endangered language and culture is governed by an autonomous Sámi parliament in Inari, Finland.

At the end of January, you can celebrate the end of the polar night by going to the Skábmagovat, the Indigenous Peoples’ Film Festival in Inari. On February 6, you may join the Sámi for their National Day celebrations. In August, you could visit the Music Festival of Indigenous Peoples, Ijahis idja (Nightless Night) or the St. Triphon of Petsamo procession of the orthodox Skolt-Sámi through four villages. See some more year-round tips for visiting and details of Sámi culture below.


In Lapland, swapping the hustle and bustle of ski resorts and cities to the peace and quiet of the wilderness takes mere minutes.