No place on earth oozes with festivity like this fascinating Finnish wilderness, here’s your ultimate pocket guide to Lapland.
It’s so magical it has to be Narnia. Powder-white snow stretches into the horizon, while crystalised ice hangs from branches like some sort of natural chandelier. You can almost imagine Father Christmas emerging through the pines, dragging perfectly formed sleigh tracks through the untouched blanket of snow. Your imagination may not be too far from the truth – this is Lapland, after all.
Located at the top of the Arctic Circle, spanning across Norway, Sweden and Finland, it’s often considered the pinnacle of Scandinavian wilderness. Though famed for its kiddy activities – Santa, reindeer, sleigh rides – it’s a pretty dreamy place for child-free jet setters too. If you go at the right time of year (October to March), you’ve got a front-row seat for the aurora borealis (otherwise known as the Northern Lights). A day spent rushing through the trees with huskies followed by a hot tub evening at a private log cabin comes as standard here. And as for romance, that’s part of the package too.
Take a snowmobile to a remote frozen lake for a spot of ice fishing. Many of these trips include lunch huddled round an open fire. laplandsafaris.com
THE DOG HOUSE
Avoid the large comercialised husky treks and book with a guide offering personal trips. From two-hour excursions to romantic sunset rides where you can watch the sunset, it’s a haven for young and old alike – and the best part is you can tailor it to your preference. laplandhusky.com
Kakslauttanen calls itself Lapland’s most enchanting holiday resort, and who are we to argue? With glass-domed cabins you can literally watch the Northern Lights from the comfort of your own bed. kakslauttanen.fi
TAKE A HIKE
Photography fanatics should take the time to walk the Svartisen glacier. It takes around five hours but the views – and Instagram opportunities – make it completely worth it. gonorway.no
Icehotel in Sweden is less of a hotel and more a livable piece of art. The chilly property is built every year from 1,000 tones of ice and 30,000 tones of “snice” (snow and ice) to strengthen the structure. icehotel.com
During the warmer months, those with a penchant for extreme sports can get their kicks from white water rafting. The north of Finland offers some great rapids for all levels of experience. graylingland.com
Images: getty, flickr/ray garcia