The hidden gems of Lapland

4 minute read

Credits: Eeva Mäkinen

Magic of Lapland will woo anyone

Lapland, Finland’s northernmost region, is a true gem. While adrenaline-filled activities like sking or mountain biking often take centre stage, the region remains as one of the most magical in the country. A placed filled with ancient folklore, spells and sauna – of course.

Dive into a fairy tale in Levi

Fully engage in the magic of Lapland, with a trip to Levi, Finland’s biggest year-round resort. The services around Levi are well-organised and abundant, promoting the wilderness of the surrounding nature. At the Elves’ Experience Village, visitors can delve into the true magic of the North. Nestled along the riverbanks of the Ounasjoki river, the nature-based village draws inspiration from stories, fairy tales, and mythology, inviting everyone to step into the mystical fantasy world of the Elves. The village offers fun activities for children and grown-ups alike, ranging from magical adventures through the village to a visit to the Elves School or mystical fairy tale sessions. For those seeking an extended stay, the village offers overnight accommodations in their own glass-roofed Aurora Pyramids.

Credits: Jason Charles Hill

Enjoy the rich history of handicrafts in Saarenkylä, Rovaniemi

In Saarenkylä, near the urban centre of Rovaniemi, is home to artist and artisan Irene Kangasniemi. Living in the middle of the woods, Kangasniemi and her husband, Ari Kangasniemi, lead a life that mirrors the traditions of Lapland. The couple welcome visitors to their log cabin, where they can enjoy tales of living in Lapland, the surrounding wilderness, the culinary art of a nice cup of coffee and the wonder that is Irene’s homemade berry juice. Visits also include tours of the cosy workshop where guests will learn about the history of handicrafts in the region and how to work with reindeer antlers. At the end of the visit, any hand-made gifts can be taken home – a wonderful little keepsake and a souvenir to enjoy along with Irene’s mantra: “a simple life is a rich life.”

Credits : Juho Kuva
Credits: Juho Kuva

Jump on a sauna gondola in Ylläs

Here’s the thing, Finns are mad about sauna. There is no underestimating their love it. There are millions of saunas in the country and the ritual of steaming remains an essential part of life. An out of the ordinary way of getting engaged in this steamy pastime is by visiting the Sauna Gondola in Ylläs, a 718 m high fell in the municipality of Kolari. This once-in-a-lifetime experience allows for breathtaking views and a sensational sauna while the gondola glides down the mountain. While the gondola takes a maximum of four people at once, the rest of the group are left to enjoy another sauna, showers, a fireplace and an outside jacuzzi, all included in the price. Reservations should preferably be made seven days in advance, but occasionally requests are taken at shorter notice.

See all must-experience saunas in Lapland.

Credits: Ville Fofonoff

Take in the culture and traditions of the Sámi people in Inari

The Sámi Cultural Centre Sajos is a local meeting place, home of the Sámi parliament of Finland and the cultural hub of the Sámi in Lapland. The Sámediggi, or Sámi Parliament, is the self-governed body of the Sámi, legislated at the beginning of 1996. Its main purpose is to plan and implement the cultural self-government guaranteed to the Sámi as an indigenous people. Sajos, the cultural centre, also houses an education centre, a cafe and the Duodji Shop, the association of Sámi handicrafts in Finland. The boutique provides only authentic Sámi handicrafts, literature and music. In the gallery shop, all handicrafts are individual and offer a true reflection of their makers. Something genuine to bring home after a visit full of information on the tradition, culture and heritage of the indigenous people of Finland.

Credits: Sajos

Bring home an amethyst from Pyhä-Luosto

A true gem within a gem. This mine on top of Lampivaara hill was formed around 2,000 million years ago from the bowels of the ancient mountains of Lapland. Visitors are welcomed to this fully-operating mine in the immediate vicinity of the Luosto recreational centre, embedded in the beautiful landscape of the Lapland region. The mine introduces its visitors to the fascinating world of gemstones through ancient stories and manual labour. Everyone is invited to dig for their own lucky amethyst that might have been resting under the surface for millions of years, only to be found on this particular visit. Guided visits are arranged Tuesday to Saturday every week throughout the year. During winter, visits start from the Ukko-Luosto parking lot some 2.5 km from Luosto centre with the pendolino. You may also ski or hike to the Lampivaara Café and jump into pendolino from there, making the visit extra special.

See also

Rovaniemi

Explore Rovaniemi, the home of Santa Claus and the culinary capital of Lapland during one of the eights distinctive seasons of the area.