5 day travel plan to Lapland

Lapland is the northernmost part of Finland. A stretch of land bordering Sweden, Norway, Russia and the Baltic Sea, Lapland is known for its breathtaking wilderness, amazing ski resorts and fascinating natural phenomena ranging from Northern Lights to the unbelievably long, 24-hour summer daylight. The region’s capital, Rovaniemi, is the best place to start your exploration of the area. Here’s a 5 day travel plan to help you get to know Lapland and make the most from every single day you spend among its stunning natural setting.

Day 1

Santa Claus and Rovaniemi

There’s nothing more satisfying to do on your very first day in Rovaniemi than visiting its most famous resident – Santa Claus. It’s enough to travel a bit and crossing the Arctic Circle you’ll arrive at the Santa Claus Village – as you can imagine it’s a real delight for children. Visitors can send postcards from Santa’s main post office or dabble in some leisurely shopping at the many souvenir stores that offer a handful of beautiful handcrafted goods.

Devote your afternoon to exploring the city of Rovaniemi. Walk around to get a feel of this place and make sure to visit to the Arktikum museum. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the Arctic – the history of its exploration, stories about Lapland and the current state of its natural environment.

Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi on a cloudy day in January 2015. Christmas tree decorated with flags of the countries.

Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi on a cloudy day in January 2015. Christmas tree decorated with flags of the countries.

Day 2

The Sami Reindeer Farm

Eat a hearty breakfast and you can begin your day with a real adventure – a guided snowmobile trip to a reindeer farm! There are many providers in Rovaniemi, so ask around and join a tour that looks best to you – usually one snowmobile is shared by 2 people who can take turns driving it. Getting to the reindeer farm is always lots of fun!

The reindeer farm is where you can learn about the Sami culture and its tradition of reindeer herding. Visitors can take a ride in a reindeer sleigh or participate in the special Lappish ceremony of crossing the Arctic Circle. Take part in this event and you’ll have an amazing story to tell back home.

Day 3

Ranua Wildlife Park

One good day trip idea is a visit to Ranua Wildlife Park. This is the most northerly zoo in the world, offering its visitors opportunities for observing arctic animals throughout the year. This park was created to provide as authentic natural environment as possible. It’s open year-round and great to visit practically any time of the year as each season brings new dimensions to the natural landscape.

You’ll find here almost 50 wild animal species such as lemmings, polar bears, brown bears, raccoon dogs, mink, Arctic Foxes and many more. If you love being outdoors, you simply must visit Ranua Wildlife Park.

Arctic Fox

Day 4


In the middle of the Bothnian Arc, you’ll find an area called Kemi which is famous for its SnowCastle that features a SnowRestaurant, SnowChapel and Children’s Land. It’s one of the most exciting attractions in Lapland, so make sure to visit this snowy paradise.

If you’re staying at the hotel near to SnowCastle, make sure to protect your private data while surfing the web within open wifi networks.

But that’s not everything Kemi offers. You can also participate in snowmobile tours or even husky safaris! You might be able to spot Northern Lights as well. There’s plenty of choice here, so make sure to plan your visit to Kemi really well.

Day 5

Moving around Lapland

Now that you’re in the area, you should head over to the Ajos Harbour for a cruise on the Icebreaker Sampo ship. It’s not one of these long and boring cruises – in fact, you’ll have quite a lively program to enjoy. Participants can learn about the ship’s history, visit the control room and the impressive engine room, and see a fascinating presentation about ice-breaking techniques.

Have lunch in the ship’s cozy restaurant, and then jump into the water. We’re not kidding! The arctic swim is a great experience, and you’ll be given a special survival suit will keep you warm and afloat. Needless to say, it’s a life-saver as you dip into the 0-degree waters of the Baltic Sea! At the end of the tour you’ll receive an “ice-breaking diploma” from the crew.

Lapland is a remote region which definitely has a lot to offer. If you decide to make it into your next holiday destination, you’re simply bound to bring back home some great memories and a fair share of unique experiences that will make up for some amazing travel stories.


Will Norquay is a passionate traveler and blogger at HomeAway, who often goes for the less famous destinations, hoping to discover their magic and beauty. When he isn’t traveling, Will might usually be found trying to learn new useful skills or just reading.

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