Lapland is a true winter wonderland. The low temperatures, the snow, and the unique nature are unmatched by the scenery of anywhere else on earth. So, if the cold never bothered you anyway, this could be your next vacation destination. Here are some tips and general knowledge to help you start planning.
First of all
You should know that Lapland is not its own sovereign country. It is a region in Scandinavia and is ruled by Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Russia, depending on the specific location within the region. The most tourist-friendly part of Lapland is the one under Finnish jurisdiction — and namely the region capital, the city of Rovaniemi. This city is also the home of the regional university, which means the place is populated with lots of young people and hangout spots.
Lapland is cold. That much we know. But there is actually more to it. Since it’s so close to the north pole, the height of winter sees below-zero temperatures, which can rarely be handled by amateurs. However, when January comes, things turn a little brighter, the air becomes dryer and the sun starts to peek over the horizon. This is the best time to visit —from January to the beginning of April. It is also when you have the highest chances of witnessing the famously enchanting northern lights.
Lapland’s local population is called Sami (you would do well to avoid using the word Lappi, which is considered derogatory) and lead a pretty traditional lifestyle. Progress and technology took some time to reach this cold and distant region, so the local economy used to be mostly based on hunting and fishing. Over the last few decades, tourism helped the place blossom and now it also makes a considerable part of the regional economy. That being said, the locals still maintain an authentic lifestyle, including traditional clothes and customs.
The only way to make sure you have all the proper equipment for a Lapland trip is to just get it all there. No other country will have that kind of heavy-duty clothes to help you fight the cold. The city of Rovaniemi is the perfect place to get everything you need: gloves, snowsuits, thermal clothing, snow boots, etc. After wearing all those layers, you can experiment with a rental snowmobile, which is the most efficient way to explore the snowy scenery.