WHAT TO SEE AND DO ON LAPLAND 2-NIGHT BREAKS
Imagine jetting off to a winter wonderland in Northern Europe, discovering pristine scenery laden with snow. You could find yourself in this enchanting landscape on a 3-day Lapland holiday.
Lapland is situated in the far north of Sweden and Finland, within the Arctic Circle. It is a region characterised by beautiful forests, lakes and rivers. Here the dark night skies of winter light up with the shimmering colours of the aurora borealis.
Spend your 3-day tour enjoying activities in the snow, soaking up the native Sami culture, and cosying up by the fireplace.
TOP THINGS TO DO IN LAPLAND
Lapland offers opportunities for adventures and indulgent experiences in equal measure. This means that you can be as active or relaxed as you wish on your winter trip!
Here are the top things to do in Lapland:
Go mushing through the snow on a dog sled
Marvel at the otherworldly northern lights
Explore the countryside by snowmobile
Search for Santa Claus in his homeland
Sleep in an ice room or a glass igloo
Try skiing, ice fishing or snowshoeing
Experience local Sami customs and cuisine
Celebrate Christmas or New Year’s Eve
See Arctic animals in their native habitat
Warm up in a traditional Finnish sauna
When you book a Lapland tour with Nordic Visitor, you can add optional activities and day trips to your itinerary. We recommend that you reserve any extras in advance to guarantee availability.
Speak to your personal travel consultant at Nordic Visitor about the excursions you’d like to incorporate into your Lapland itinerary. They will organise everything on your behalf, while you relax and look forward to your winter escape.
TOP PLACES TO VISIT IN LAPLAND
Where you go in Lapland will largely depend on the activities and sights you want to enjoy. You can read Nordic Visitor’s Lapland travel guide to learn more about each area, which will help you decide where to visit.
Here are the best places to go in Finnish Lapland:
These are the top places to visit in Swedish Lapland:
VISIT ONE OF LAPLAND’S ICE HOTELS OR GLASS IGLOOS
One of the “coolest” things you can do in Lapland is stay in an ice hotel. Marvel at the ice sculptures, imaginative themed rooms, and restaurants and bars crafted from frozen water. Since many of the hotels melt in the spring, artists start from scratch and rebuild them each winter.
Spending the night in an ice suite is an experience you’ll never forget. You are kept cosy thanks to thermal sleeping bags and reindeer hides, with the chance to step into a hot sauna in the morning.
If you’d rather sleep in a warm room, you can take a guided tour of these ice hotels instead.
A great alternative is staying in a glass igloo in Lapland. Snuggle up in your heated dome, looking through the clear glass up to the night sky. You might even be treated to a northern lights show from your bed!
Here are the best ice hotels and glass igloos to visit in Lapland:
VISIT SWEDISH OR FINNISH LAPLAND
For your 3-day trip to Lapland, take your pick from visiting Swedish or Finnish Lapland. Both destinations offer similar experiences, such as the chance to hunt for the northern lights, go snowmobiling, and ride in a dog sled.
However, Swedish and Finnish Lapland each have particular highlights that you should know about before you decide where to go. Take a look at these itinerary recommendations for a taste of what to expect in Sweden and Finland, respectively.
3-DAY ITINERARY SUGGESTION FOR SWEDISH LAPLAND:
Day 1 - Arrival in Kiruna and snowmobile safari
After touching down at Kiruna Airport, a driver will meet you and take you to your hotel. Enjoy some time at leisure, perhaps getting to know the town or simply relaxing before you head out later.
In the evening you’ll get to explore the countryside on a snowmobile excursion, searching for the northern lights. Follow your guide through the snow as they lead you to the best spots to look for the aurora. Feel the thrill of the ride as you go.
Then, sit beside the fireplace in a wooden hut and tuck into a rustic dinner of traditional local food. Afterwards, your guide will take you back to your accommodation.
Spend the night in Kiruna.
Day 2 - Dog sledding and night at the ICEHOTEL
Today you can enjoy one of the most special activities and traditions in Lapland: dog sledding.
Meet the huskies at the kennel and learn how to drive your sled from an expert guide. Head out onto the trails and glide through the woods and snowy plains, soaking up the views as you go. Afterwards, fuel up with a hot cup of coffee and a light lunch by the campfire.
Next up, you’ll visit the famous ICEHOTEL, situated in the village of Jukkasjärvi just outside Kiruna. This was the original ice hotel that set a trend for the many others that now exist around the world.
Begin with a guided tour of this extraordinary hotel, learning how artists build it using ice from the Torne River nearby. Then comes the highlight: sleeping in a room made entirely from ice and snow!
Spend the night at the ICEHOTEL or ICEHOTEL 365.
Day 3 - Departure
Start the day with a warming cup of lingonberry juice served in your ice room before heading to the restaurant for a delicious breakfast. You might like to follow that with a relaxing visit to the sauna.
Afterwards, you’ll be transferred back to Kiruna Airport where you’ll fly home from your Lapland holiday.
Or you could visit Finnish Lapland for your short break. We’d recommend adding an extra night, staying for 4 days.
4-DAY ITINERARY SUGGESTION FOR FINNISH LAPLAND:
Day 1 – Arrival in Rovaniemi and snowmobile safari
After touching down in Rovaniemi Airport a driver will meet you for your transfer to your centrally located accommodation. Unwind after your journey or explore the town a little before your first adventure in Lapland.
Snowmobile safaris are one of the most thrilling ways to chase the northern lights! This evening, you can ride a snowmobile through the snowy countryside around Rovaniemi. Follow your guide as they lead you to their favourite places for spotting the aurora.
Before returning to your hotel, warm yourself by the fire and enjoy a hot drink and snack with your guide.
Spend the night in Rovaniemi.
Day 2 – Dog sledding and Finnish sauna
Wake this morning for a transfer to a local kennel and dog sledding excursion. Here you will meet the huskies and learn all about this traditional mode of transport in Lapland: mushing.
After a lesson in driving your sled, you and your team of excited huskies are ready to follow your guide along the snowy trails.
Return from the surrounding forests and plains to refuel with a warming beverage around a campfire, a cosy setting for sharing stories with your fellow mushers.
Bring the day to a close by returning to the twinkling lights of Rovaniemi and indulging in Finnish sauna culture.
Spend the night in Rovaniemi.
Day 3 – Reindeer farm and Santa Claus Village
Today, hop on a snowmobile and make your way to a traditional reindeer farm. Here you can learn about the culture of Lapland’s native people, the Sami, and enjoy a sleigh ride.
Next, prepare to meet the “man in red” with a visit to Santa Claus Village, just outside Rovaniemi.
Soak up the festive atmosphere of this Christmassy haven, which is open year-round. Enjoy a private meeting with Santa with the elves on hand, and send a postcard from the Santa Claus Post Office. Then why not browse for souvenirs at the craft shops?
Spend the night in Rovaniemi or upgrade to a warm glass igloo at the Arctic SnowHotel.
Day 4 - Departure
Today you’ll be transferred back to Rovaniemi Airport where you’ll fly home from your Lapland holiday.
BEST TIME TO VISIT LAPLAND
The best time to visit Lapland is between December and March, when you can enjoy the magical white scenery, northern lights, and excursions in the snow.
Certain activities are available in Lapland year round. For example, in summer you can meet Father Christmas, or even visit certain ice hotels that use solar power to keep some of their rooms frozen. However, we recommend travelling in winter for the quintessential Lapland experience.
Thanks to snowfall from mid-October to mid-May, you’ll be surrounded by snow-blanketed scenery between December and March. What’s more, in winter you have the best chances of seeing the northern lights. The long, dark nights provide the ideal backdrop for watching the aurora borealis.
In summer, on the other hand, there are long daylight hours in Lapland – a phenomenon called the “midnight sun”. With light skies all night long, it is too bright to see the northern lights.
Find out how to increase your chances of spotting the aurora borealis with these guides:
• Best time and place to see the northern lights in Sweden
• Best time and place to see the northern lights in Finland
• What are the northern lights? Aurora borealis explained
CELEBRATING CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR IN LAPLAND
Perhaps you want to time your Lapland trip for December to celebrate Christmas or New Year’s Eve in this winter wonderland?
Spend Christmas in Lapland and you could attend a festive gala dinner for Christmas Eve, accompanied by Santa’s elves. Join in the fun and help to decorate the Christmas tree before you tuck into the big feast.
You could then have the ultimate Christmas Day in Santa’s homeland. Whizz through the snow on a reindeer sleigh, meet Santa in his workshop, and taste delicious Christmas food. Think freshly baked gingerbread biscuits and a warm glass of glögg (mulled wine).
Or visit Lapland at New Year for a celebration to remember. You could attend a New Year’s Eve party in a wooden hut in the middle of a Finnish forest, experiencing local customs and cuisine. And, of course, you’d get to watch a spectacular fireworks display at the stroke of midnight.
Don’t forget, you can get into the festive spirit at any time of year when you visit Santa Claus Village in Finnish Lapland!