The Big Question
‘Where is Lapland, exactly?’ A frequent question posed by the most experienced globe-trotters.
Of course, the name Lapland itself sparks a bounty of magical Christmas imagery, from reindeers and snowflakes, to the beloved founder of Christmas, Saint Nicholas. These days our idea of Lapland is connected with all things Christmas inspired, but the question, ‘Where is Lapland?’ remains as elusive as the mechanics of an elf’s toyshop! In our quest to answer such an important question, we may guess, ‘It’s somewhere in the Northern Hemisphere’, ‘It’s a really cold country, located in No man’s land’, or possibly stretching to, ‘Lapland? Everyone knows it’s a mythical place!’ Whilst some of these may sound a little more outlandish than others, our understanding of where Lapland truly lies is somewhat ambiguous, to say the least!
Whilst it is often believed that Lapland is situated in the Northern expanses of Finland, also referred to as Finnish Lapland, it is in fact a vast region located north of the Arctic Circle which stretches across areas of Finland, Sweden, Norway and even parts of Russia! The Lapland map below can be used as a helpful visual guide.
Rovaniemi & Beyond
If you take a look at the map, you can see Finland’s Rovaniemi which is recognised as the commercial capital of Lapland; it is situated on the Arctic Circle at the confluence of rivers, Kemi and Ounas. With a population of approximately 65,000 inhabitants, an impressive ecosystem rich in unspoilt fauna and flora, and home to The University of Lapland, Rovaniemi offers a fantastic combination of culture, natural beauty, as well as a thriving, entrepreneurial economy - Lapland is, after all, home to the most creative and efficient toy-makers on the planet!
Following the snow-laced track north of Rovaniemi, you may stumble across the picturesque town of Kittilla and be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the adrenaline-bursting annual slalom event held in Levi. For those of you with a yearning to experience the classical image of Lapland’s fairy tale wilderness of crisp white snow and glittering skies, you can travel even further north, where your eyes will be dazzled and hearts warmed by the beautiful vistas in Karesuando: the authentic home of Father Christmas. For years Transun have been organising once-in-a-lifetime trips to this spectacular winter wonderland and we hope to inspire future generations of voyagers to experience, for themselves, its true enchantment.
The Land of Contrasts
Often referred to as ‘The Land of Contrasts’, Lapland is distinguished by its diverse landscapes and prominent seasonal patterns. Whilst Finnish and Swedish Lapland boast of undulating, coniferous hills, more rugged and wild panoramas can be found in the western coastal regions of Norwegian Lapland. The continental climate of Lapland is renowned for its dramatic shift in seasonal changes. Winter in Lapland witnesses bitingly cold, snowy winters, which are ideal for enjoying a husky safari or reindeer sleigh ride, as well as for undertaking missions to hunt for the famed, Aurora Borealis! Winters last for over half a year in many areas and are occupied by long days of darkness and an eerie, but mystic, bluish twilight period. On the other hand, summer time in Lapland is complete with warm, light-filled days and provides the perfect environment for relaxing under one of nature’s phenomena, The Midnight Sun.
For those of you with an appetite for exploration, one of our unique trips to Lapland will allow you to discover its vast and diverse expanses as well as encounter first hand its gorgeous natural wonders.