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Lapland for Grown-ups: Why Lapland Isn’t Just for Kids

Last Updated: 07/07/2020

You might have heard about Santa’s home in the North Pole. And yes, Lapland is indeed a fantastic place to go with the kids to meet the man in red. But did you know a Lapland holiday for adults offers you the perfect winter escape?

While Father Christmas has made Lapland famous, there are so many more reasons to visit this northern region in Finland and Sweden. In winter Lapland is an enchanting wonderland draped in snow, with thrilling activities to enjoy and cultural experiences to be had.

If you’re travelling as a couple, expect to be swept off your feet on a romantic Lapland tour. Or bond with friends and family while out on a husky ride or reindeer safari. The great thing about a Lapland holiday for adults is that you can make it as active or relaxed as you like!

Read on to learn why Lapland is such a wonderful winter destination for grown-ups.



Snowmobiling in Rovaniemi ©Visit Rovaniemi
Snowmobiling in Rovaniemi ©Visit Rovaniemi

1. You can enjoy activities in the snow

Snowmobiling

One of the most thrilling things you can do in Lapland is ride a snowmobile! Carve your way through secluded forests and open landscapes, catching sight of the snow sparkling under the sunlight. A guide will accompany you but you’ll get to drive a snowmobile yourself for a truly exhilarating experience.

You’ll cover a lot of ground on a snowmobile safari, zipping through pristine national parks dotted with frozen lakes. And, if you like the idea of exploring this wintry scenery at night, you can even embark on an evening snowmobile tour to hunt for the northern lights.



Northern lights in Finnish Lapland

Chasing the northern lights

Did you know that Lapland is one of the best places you can see the aurora borealis? This natural phenomenon lights up the night sky with beautiful colours, which are more visible the further north you go. Since Lapland is located in the Arctic Circle, it is a prime location for witnessing the northern lights.

In fact, Swedish and Finnish Lapland are both within the “auroral zone” (or “northern lights belt”). This is a hotspot that is known to have more aurora frequency and intensity, as it sits in the Northern Hemisphere between 65 to 72 degrees north.

You could head out on a snowmobiling or snowshoeing adventure at night to hunt for the aurora borealis. Or visit the Aurora Sky Station in Abisko National Park, Swedish Lapland. Here you can enjoy a four-course dinner followed by a guided excursion to chase down the northern lights.



Husky dog in Lapland

Dog sledding

Dog sledding is a quintessential Lapland experience and one you’ll never forget. Imagine being pulled along by a group of energetic sled dogs, gliding through the snowy wilderness while cosied up under a blanket.

You’ll get to travel in the traditional way, as the locals have done for more than 1,000 years. The dog sled drivers, or “mushers”, manage teams of Siberian Huskies or Alaskan Malamutes that can run at an average speed of 32 kilometres (20 miles) an hour.

On your husky ride, you’ll learn how to drive the sled before taking the reins and setting off. Two people can share one sleigh, so if you’re travelling to Lapland as a couple, prepare for a wonderfully romantic ride through a winter wonderland!



Snowshoeing in Swedish Lapland

Snowshoeing

Lapland is a haven for winter sports, its snowy plains dotted with ski resorts that beckon active travellers. It’s not just snowboarding and skiing you can try here though.

Immerse yourself in the unspoilt scenery on a snowshoeing excursion. This activity is the closest thing to hiking you can get in these snow-laden landscapes. And although you do need to have good physical health to take part, this isn’t a super strenuous activity so previous experience is not required.

You’ll be geared up with shoes and poles to help you walk through the snow, feeling the crunch beneath your feet and seeing immaculate landscapes. You might even spot some Arctic wildlife!



Sami reindeer in Norway

2. You can soak up culture too

Sami culture

Although the snowy scenery is indeed pretty, that’s just the start of the story. On your Lapland holiday for adults, you can experience traditional Sami culture too. The Sami are the native people of northern Scandinavia who have lived in this region for thousands of years.

Interact with Sami people in Lapland and learn about their way of life. Buy some arts and crafts – “slöjd” – to take home for souvenirs. Sample typical cuisine like smoked fish, fried cheese and barley flatbread, as well as moreish desserts served with cloudberry jam.

You could also visit reindeer farms to find out why these animals are so important to the Sami. You’d get to enjoy sleigh rides and hear stories around the fire in a lavvu, a traditional Sami tent.



Santa and reindeer in Rovaniemi ©Visit Rovaniemi
Santa and reindeer in Rovaniemi ©Visit Rovaniemi

3. Celebrating Christmas and NYE here is hard to beat 

Spend Christmas or New Year in Lapland for the ultimate festive getaway. Lapland has everything you could dream of: snow-blanketed scenery, igloos and ice hotels, Nordic spas, winter activities – the list goes on!

You may be on a Lapland holiday for adults, but that doesn’t mean you can’t unleash your inner child. If you’ve always wanted to meet Father Christmas, you can do just that in the North Pole.

Visit Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi, Finnish Lapland, to see Santa in person. You can also shop for souvenirs, explore the Christmas exhibition, and send a postcard from the Santa Claus Post Office.

For a New Year’s Eve to remember, Lapland has you covered. You could enjoy a festive dinner in an enchanting setting – a wooden hut tucked away in the forest. Mingle with locals and other visitors while experiencing Lappish traditions such as fortune-telling and Shaman rituals, rounded off with fireworks.



Snowhotel in Rovaniemi ©Visit Finland
Snowhotel in Rovaniemi ©Visit Finland

4. There are some really cool places to stay

One of the most special experiences you can have in Lapland is sleeping in a Nordic ice hotel or glass igloo. Picture cosying up under thick blankets surrounded by snow sculptures carved by hand. Or imagine gazing through domed windows that frame the northern lights dancing above you.

Visit the ICEHOTEL outside Kiruna, Swedish Lapland, to sleep in an ice room with astonishing sculptures that are like works of art. Or you could stay at the SnowCastle in Kemi, Finnish Lapland, for a fairytale experience in a fortress hewn from snow and ice.

Inside an igloo ©Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort
Inside an igloo ©Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort


Another frozen hideaway in Finnish Lapland is the Arctic SnowHotel & Glass Igloos, tucked away in the countryside outside Rovaniemi. Choose between a room made of ice or a glass dome with uninterrupted views up to the sky. Finland also boasts Igloo Village, studded in the scenic Urho Kekkonen National Park.

It’s not just the extraordinary accommodation that’s impressive though. On your visit to these hotels, you could sip drinks at ice bars, step inside ice churches, and eat dinner in ice restaurants. There are even ice art exhibitions to discover!



Rukatunturi in winter, Finnish Lapland

Good to know

Visit in winter

Lapland holidays are ideal if you want a short break in winter, with plenty of fun to be had over a few days. We recommend visiting Finnish or Swedish Lapland between December and March, when you’ll experience snow-laden landscapes and festive activities.

Nordic Visitor’s Lapland tour packages include accommodation, daily breakfast, a selection of excursions and transfers. Our travel experts will take care of all the arrangements for you to ensure you have a seamless and unforgettable trip!

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©ICEHOTEL
©ICEHOTEL


Lapland really is the ultimate winter destination for grown-ups! Whether you want a quick 2-night break or a 6-day holiday, explore all our Lapland packages to find the right one for you. We can always tailor your itinerary with extra nights and activities, so don’t hesitate to ask.

Get in touch with us to start planning your dream Lapland trip.

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Post by: Emma Gillies

Wanderlust has taken Emma across much of the world, but it was Scotland that she made her adopted home. Aside from enjoying countryside walks, campervan weekends and gigs in Glasgow, you’ll often find her writing about European travel and plotting her next trip.

More posts by Emma Gillies

Getting there

We'd love to give you the same amazing travel experiences as you read about in our blog! To visit the destinations and attractions mentioned in this post - and to discover a few new highlights along the way - check out these recommended Nordic Visitor tours.