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Lapland holidays

Christmas comes early every year in Lapland! So strap on your snowshoes and get ready to explore the official home of Santa Claus. Located in the Arctic Circle, holidays to Lapland are all about creating memories with your family as you toast marshmallows over a roaring log fire.

Map of Lapland

-13°C - 20°C

Found in the Arctic Circle, Lapland is covered in snow for half the year. If you're heading here around Christmastime, you should expect heavy snowfall and below-freezing temperatures - warm waterproof clothing is a must! While winters here are snowy and cold, the summers are actually surprisingly mild.

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Rovaniemi Airport (RVN) is the most popular airport to fly into if you’re planning a visit to meet Santa, not to mention it’s Finland’s fourth biggest.

Lapland is best for...

Families: There are so many magical experiences in Lapland, whether it’s helping the elves at their workshop, meeting Santa Claus in his real-life home or paying a visit to the reindeer farm. Kids will also be able to take full advantage of the snow during the day, before hunting down the Northern Lights in the evening.

Winter sports enthusiasts: Lapland isn’t just for kids. Adults can also get their adrenaline fix with tons of winter activities on offer. You can go cross-country skiing, snowboarding and if you’re feeling extra brave, even dive under ice. Snowmobile and husky-sled adventures are also on the cards for some fast-paced action.

Photographers: Set among mesmerising snow-dusted scenery and rising above the Arctic Circle with lights twinkling everywhere, you won’t want to put your camera down during your trip to Lapland. When you’re not trying to get that perfect snap of the Northern Lights, the Polar Nights are just as beautiful with blue and violet shades lighting up the dark landscape. For the best views, wander deep into the Lappish forests or venture high up on the slopes.

Fast facts for Lapland

Language: The official language of Lapland is Finnish. However, there are also a number of people who speak Swedish, mainly along the coastal regions. Further north, you’ll also find Sami people who still speak their native languages.

Currency: The currency in Lapland is the Euro.

Local time: Lapland is 2 hours ahead of the UK (GMT+2). 

Fly to: Rovaniemi Airport (RVN), or as it is also known Santa Claus Airport, is found just 10 kilometres north of the capital’s centre, around 15 minutes by taxi.

Flight time from UK: 3 hours

Tourist Information: Further tourist information can be found at Lapland’s tourism website.

Visa / Health: Before you travel, check the latest advice from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.

Getting around Lapland

By bus: When you’re not travelling by sleigh, there are plenty of bus services. We always advise picking up a timetable, but if you’re heading to meet Father Chritsmas the Santa Express line runs between Rovaniemi city centre and Santa Claus Village.

By taxi: For a speedier option, taxis are another great way of getting from A to B. You’ll be happy to learn that there’s a taxi rank in Santa Claus Village, so you won’t have any problems flagging one down.

By car: Those wanting to explore Lapland at their own pace should consider hiring a car. However, you may want to reconsider if you're an inexperienced driver. Most of the roads near the city are clear but you may encounter slippery surfaces and the odd reindeer crossing the street.

Events in Lapland

Jutajaiset International Folk Festival: Taking place towards the end of June, head to Rovaniemi and fully immerse yourself in the culture with this fantastic three-day event. You’ll witness a mix of talent from traditional Sami rock bands to international guests such as Uinjilisti Choir, who have travelled all the way from Tanzania. 

The Midnight Sun Film Festival: If there’s one festival worth attending, it’s this one! Held in June, it’s a must for cinema buffs with famous directors coming from all over the world to showcase their work. Lasting for five days and attracting more than 25,000 people each year, there’s something magical about watching a film under the nightless sky.

Lapland weather

Known for its snow-filled winters, a white Christmas is pretty much guaranteed in Lapland. Temperatures are at their coldest between the months of December and February, typically averaging at -6°C. During this time you can experience extremely chilly days when the mercury  has been known to plummet to a frosty -13°C. Daylight hours are also limited, so don’t expect anymore than seven hours of sunlight a day.
Snow falls in Lapland for around six months, disappearing fully by the time May comes with averages of 10°C. June is when you can bask in 24 hours of daylight as the Midnight Sun makes an appearance. These extended days last until early July (Lapland’s warmest month) when temperatures have been known to hit a mild 20°C.
Come Autumn, days start to feel colder with sub-zero temperatures in October. But if you’re planning on seeing the Northern Lights, this is one of the best times to spot them. Snowfall is expected by late November, so make sure you pack plenty of layers.