Lapland is an exotic region known for its fells, lakes, rivers and forests. Lapland covers an area of 98,983 square kilometres or nearly a third of Finland. It has a high reputation around the world.
There are four airports above the Arctic Circle in Lapland. The busiest airports are Rovaniemi and Kittilä with connections to Helsinki several times a day. The province has a good road network. There are three main roads going from south to north. Railway connections between southern Finland and Lapland are also good, with several day and night services, including sleeper cars.
Lapland has 180,000 inhabitants, nearly half of whom live in the province's four cities. There are around 6.000 Samis (Lapps), mostly in the northernmost part of theprovince.
Lapland has a continental climate and is known for its warm summers and snowy winters. The bright colours of early autumn are followed by the twilight period and the heart of winter.
Nature has always had a deep influence on people's life and has also played its part in the history of Lapland. Important treaties and events have been sealed with famous landmarks. The River Lemmenjoki, Tankavaara and Laanila are associated with gold prospecting.
During the summer the sun stays above the horizon for up to two months in Lapland. In Utsjoki you can enjoy the Midnight Sun from late May to late July. Even in Rovaniemi the Midnight Sun lasts a whole month.
|Utsjoki||69 ° 52'||17 May to 28 July|
|Ivalo||68 ° 40'||23 May to 22 July|
|Muonio||67 ° 95'||26 May to 18 July|
|Sodankylä||67° 25'||30 May to15 July|
|Rovaniemi||66 ° 30'||7 June to 7 July|
In the Nordic countries anyone is entitled to roam freely in nature, without having to obtain permission from landowners. You can also pick mushrooms and berries in areas where access is allowed.
The right to roam freely in Lapland also includes the obligation to act in a responsible manner. You should pay special attention to reindeer in Lapland. Remember to handle fire carefully and to clean up campsites. If you plan to fish, obtain the necessary permits and obey regulations. The use of motor vehicles is not included in everyman's rights.
The different parts of Lapland vary considerably. The southern and western parts are characterized by waterways and verdant land. Central and eastern Lapland are known for their forests and fells. Northern Lapland is less wooded, and above the timber line you will only find dwarf trees and bushes. The fells are bare on top and hiking is easy.
Foxes are the most common carnivores in the fells. According to myths they rub against the fells and the sparks they produce cause the Northern Lights. Lapland has relatively few species of wild animals. Arctic foxes and wolverines also live in the fells. Wolves are rare. Weasels and stoats are common. Bears are sometimes seen in the forests of eastern Lapland or on the lower slopes of the fells.
Pine is the most common tree in Lapland and is usually accompanied by lichen. Bogs and wilds are often covered in dwarf pines. Farther to the north the scenery is dominated by fells with dwarf birches growing near the top.
Reindeer are an integral part of nature in Lapland and are one of the bestloved animals in the north. The roughly 200,000 reindeer living in Lapland are a good example of how fell deer have adjusted to life in rugged arctic conditions. Reindeer herding is one of Lapland's primary industries. There are around 5,000 reindeer owners in the province.
Lapland has developed its tourist services extensively in the past decades. The northern dimension is like a gold nugget for tourists. Its value lies in pure nature, exotic culture and Lapp delicacies. And the greatest pleasure lies in the distinctive way in which these are blended together.
National Parks are nature conservation areas that are open to the public holding Finland’s most valuable and distinctive natural characteristics. The parks have a number of meandering walking trails, well signposted with open cabins and information on the special features of the region. Additionally, the parks have their own Guidance Centres.
Area of 5515 km2, spreads around Kittilä-Muonio-Enontekiö. Pure nature, spectacular landscapes and fell ranges are the real attractions of Pallas-Ounastunturi.