Whether you’re taking the kids to meet Santa, hoping to spot the Northern Lights or looking for some winter fun in the snow, there’s so much to do in Lapland you’ll wish you had all winter, but with just a few days, you can still take in the highlights. Here are some ideas for how to spend three days in Lapland.
Day 1: Get in the Christmas spirit
Most visitors to Lapland start out in the capital of Rovaniemi for its main attraction: Santa Claus Village, the jolly guy's "official home." If you're traveling with kids, you’ll hardly be able to contain their excitement as they meet Santa in his office, explore the elves’ workshops and shop for festive goodies, but even without children, who can resist posting their Christmas cards from Santa’s official post office or taking a ride on a reindeer sleigh? For your first night in Lapland, plan a northern lights tour; there’s unfortunately no way to guarantee a viewing of the mysterious Aurora Borealis, so it’s sensible to leave time for a second trek if you don’t get lucky on your first try.
Day 2: Make the most of the snow
You might fancy a lie-in after your late-night northern lights excursion, but there’s no time to spare, so wake yourself up by trying some of Lapland’s thrilling winter sports. Head to the ski resort of Ylläs, where you can spend an action-packed day skiing, snowmobiling or riding a husky sled, then spend the night at the Lainio Snow Village. Made entirely of snow and ice, the impressive complex includes ice sculpture galleries, an ice chapel, an ice bar and restaurant and slides, as well as the chance to sleep on a bed carved from ice.
Day 3: Explore the wilderness
For your final day, head north to the Pyhä-Luosto National Park, where you can explore some of Lapland’s most breathtaking scenery, including the dramatic Isokuru gorge and the Pyhä Waterfall. Pull on some snowshoes for a scenic hike, try your hand at ice fishing or go cross-country skiing, then pay a visit to the Lampivaara Amethyst mine, Europe’s only active amethyst mine, where you can try digging for gemstones to take home with you.