Lapland Holidays

Magical holidays to Lapland, from skiing & boarding to the Northern Lights & Santa Breaks in winter 2016/2017

Holidays in Lapland

With Narnia-esque scenery, the Northern Lights and the mythology of Santa and his reindeer, Lapland is a winter wonderland like no other.

A place of natural beauty where you can see the midnight sun, learn cross country skiing, go husky dog sledding and take a reindeer-powered sleigh ride, all beneath the clearest skies on the planet. Lapland resorts are packed with activities both on and off the ski slopes and the local Sami culture is rich and engaging.

Where is Lapland?

Lapland is not a country but a region at the top of Scandinavia in Northern Europe. It spills across the borders of three Nordic countries: Finland (the most popular Lapland holiday destination), Sweden and Norway and also parts of northern Russia.

Spanning an area of around 300,000 km2 (bigger than the UK), the majority of the region lies within the Arctic Circle and is known for its subarctic climate with long, cold winters and ‘nightless’ summers. Defined by a number of national parks and often described as a wilderness, it has some seriously stunning landscape including Norwegian fjords, thick Swedish forests and treeless Finnish fells and the air here is among the clearest in the world.

Levi Yllas Saariselkä Ruka Iso-Syote Pyhä Salla
Skiing (downhill)
X-Country skiing
Snow Park   
Santa experience  
Tobogganing
Reindeer Safaris
Husky Safaris
Northern Lights
Snowshoeing
Snowmobiling
Ice-Climbing    
Ice-Fishing
Ice Karting  

Finnish Lapland

Add Scotland and Wales together for an idea of the vastness of Finnish Lapland. In the far north, it’s a third of Finland, yet only 3.5% of the population live here. For every square kilometre there is just 1- 2 people on average and there are famously more reindeer than humans - a deeply peaceful and un-commercialised region.

The landscape is comprised of rolling mountains (known as fells), thick forests, level plains and expansive lakes. With six national parks teeming with wildlife there’s plenty to explore, from the famous Lake Inari waters right up to Halti Fell the highest point in Finland. The River ‘Tana’ (the Sami name for ‘Great River’) is claimed by many to have the best Salmon fishing in Europe.

Seasons, climate & weather in Lapland

From the dark and cold of the six winter months dropping down to -40oC, to the bright and colourful summer days with temperatures around 12oC, there are actually 8 different seasons and the weather is a world away from what we’re used to here. With the magical twilight of the polar night in the winter and otherworldly midnight sun in the summer, the geography and climate create some pretty unique conditions. Autumn starts to see the frosts and shortening days which lead into a spectacular winter, whilst spring sees the stirrings of greenery as the snow begins to melt as the sun is out for longer. Our Lapland weather and climate page explains in more detail.

Browse all Lapland ski deals or read about holidays in December, January, February, March or April.

Browse all Santa breaks from London, Scotland, Gatwick, Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol, Leeds/Bradford

Browse all Santa Info from Santa’s Reindeer, Skiing in Lapland, Reindeer Names, Write to Santa, Track Santa, Santa's lapland holiday, Meeting Santa Claus, Who is Santa

Food and drink

Meat and fish are big on the menu and there’s a Reindeer dish for every day of the week. Look out for ‘bithos’ (a kind of reindeer soup) ‘poronkäristys ‘ (sautéed reindeer) and ‘souvas’ (dried, salted meat). With fishing at the heart of traditional life, we love the wonderful whitebait, salmon and grayling dishes. ‘Squeaky’ Lapland cheese is also popular and goes down a treat with cloudberry jam. Berries are a big thing here – buckthorn, bilberry and cloudberry (which looks like an orange blackberry) often appear on the dessert menu. You’ll find lots of berry juices and for something stronger, cloudberry liqueur is a sweet traditional tipple and a mug of Finnish glögi (like mulled wine) is another favourite.

Lapland History and Culture

Originally the Sami people roamed freely across the borders, and now they are the largest ethnic group in the region with their own national day of celebration on the 6th February. The Sami way of life is tied to their natural surroundings with age old traditions of fishing, hunting and reindeer herding still being important parts of the economy and their colourful traditional costumes are easy to spot. You can read about Lapland culture and Lapland history, but the best way to discover this ancient arctic wilderness and its people is to go there.

Lapland attractions & things to do

Lapland’s natural wonders of the world are enough to draw people to this part of the planet alone - the Polar Night, Northern Lights and Midnight Sun. The Polar Night usually happens in deep winter, when the sun doesn’t rise above the horizon at all. Rather than casting everything in pitch black darkness, the glow of the moon creates an eerie, magical glow. The Northern Lights, dancing colours in the night sky, can be seen over the winter period and are an absolutely arresting sight. Read more about Northern Lights holidays. The midnight sun or ‘nightless night’ as it’s also known can be experienced on approximately 70 days over summer where the sun refuses to set, floating suspended above the horizon.

Skiing and cross country skiing are popular pastimes here and the snow stays in excellent condition all season. Alpine skiing is usually limited to smaller, gentle ski areas - ideal for families and first timers while cross country trails stretch for miles and miles and are absolutely stunning. Snowboarders will love the world class snow parks in Levi, Ruka, Yllas and Pyha.

The fun doesn’t just stop at the slopes with snowmobiling, husky sledding, reindeer safaris, ice fishing and even ice swimming among the unique life experiences you can have. Read more about the different things to do on our Lapland activities page.

Lapland is famously the land of Christmas with Santa Claus calling it home and Santa holidays and short breaks specifically tailored to meet the great man and experience the magic of a Lapland at Christmas. These holidays last for 3-7 days and are filled with incredible winter activities (including meeting Father Christmas) to make a once-in-a-lifetime trip.

Lapland ski holidays
Villa Armas Cabins
Villa Armas Cabins
22 Jan 2017
Gatwick £379
Äkäs Alp Apartments
Äkäs Alp Apartments
29 Jan 2017
Gatwick £389
Immelmökit Cabins
Immelmökit Cabins
22 Jan 2017
Gatwick £389
Saariselkä Log Cabins (4 star)
Saariselkä Log Cabins ...
29 Jan 2017
Gatwick £399
Yllas Saaga Apartments
Yllas Saaga Apartments
22 Jan 2017
Gatwick £399
Levi Cottages
Levi Cottages
22 Jan 2017
Gatwick £409
Lapland chalets
Villa Armas Cabins
Villa Armas Cabins
22 Jan 2017
Gatwick £379
Immelmökit Cabins
Immelmökit Cabins
22 Jan 2017
Gatwick £389
Saariselkä Log Cabins (4 star)
Saariselkä Log Cabins ...
29 Jan 2017
Gatwick £399
Levi Cottages
Levi Cottages
22 Jan 2017
Gatwick £409
Levi Log Cabins
Levi Log Cabins
22 Jan 2017
Gatwick £429
Yllas Log Cabins
Yllas Log Cabins
05 Mar 2017
Manchester £469
Lapland hotels
Tunturi Hotel Suites
Tunturi Hotel Suites
29 Jan 2017
Gatwick £423
Tunturi Hotel / Gielas Hotel
Tunturi Hotel / Gielas ...
29 Jan 2017
Gatwick £430
Crazy Reindeer Hotel
Crazy Reindeer Hotel
22 Jan 2017
Gatwick £440
Äkäs Hotel
Äkäs Hotel
29 Jan 2017
Gatwick £480
Holiday Club Spa Hotel
Holiday Club Spa Hotel
29 Jan 2017
Gatwick £480
Levitunturi Spa Hotel
Levitunturi Spa Hotel
21 Jan 2018
Manchester £734
Lapland apartment
Äkäs Alp Apartments
Äkäs Alp Apartments
29 Jan 2017
Gatwick £389
Yllas Saaga Apartments
Yllas Saaga Apartments
22 Jan 2017
Gatwick £399
Levilehto Apartments
Levilehto Apartments
07 Jan 2018
Manchester £474
Kelotähti Apartments
Kelotähti Apartments
22 Jan 2017
Gatwick £479
Ylläs Saaga Spa Hotel
Ylläs Saaga Spa Hotel
07 Jan 2018
Manchester £774
Akas (Snow Elf) Hotel & Alp Apts (Santa Breaks)
Akas (Snow Elf) Hotel &...
03 Dec 2017
Manchester £779
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