Lapland’s joy is the range of exciting outdoor activities year-round. Major settlements have plenty of tour operators. Rovaniemi, Lapland’s capital, is a popular base, but Saariselkä, Levi and Muonio are closer to genuine wilderness.
There’s good downhill skiing for six months of the year at several spots; Levi is the biggest resort, while smaller Pyhä-Luosto and Ylläs are more family- than party-oriented destinations. All have extensive cross-country trails.
Most memorable are sleigh safaris. Pulled by a team of huskies or reindeer, you cross the snowy wilderness, overnighting in log cabins with a relaxing wood sauna and eating meals cooked over a fire. You can organise trips of up to a week or more, or just head out for a jaunt for a couple of hours. Similar trips can be arranged on snowmobiles.
Once the snow melts, there are fabulous multiday treks and shorter walks. The national-parks network offers everything from wheelchair-accessible nature trails to demanding wilderness routes for experienced hikers, but there are good walks almost everywhere.
Lapland’s surging rivers offer several excellent canoeing routes and spots for white-water rafting. Fishing is popular year-round: ice fishing is a memorable experience, and the beautiful Teno Valley offers superb salmon fishing.