Last minute Lapland

Last minute Lapland

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Last minute Lapland

If you have a passion for nature and a real love for adventure, Lapland is probably one of the best choices for your next trip. Finland draws tourists for many reasons – the untouched nature, the clean air, local animal diversity, the arctic views. Here, you can roam the wild forests or the vast valleys, and ride your bicycle along the basins of rivers filled with wild salmon. Whatever activity you choose, remember that nature here is preserved, because everybody before you was exploring the region without harming it. Lapland is a beautiful place and it is our own responsibility to contribute to its conservation for it to be enjoyed by generations to come.

Make the most out of Lapland’s wild nature

Finland is one of the greenest countries in the world. Lapland is its wildest region- home to many animal species spread across its numerous national parks. Even solely in Lapland, there are eight national parks and twelve wilderness areas which you can enjoy. In Finland as a whole there are many more. Here are some of the natural beauties of Lapland that you can visit:

Urho Kekkonen National Park is one of the most popular destinations in the country. The area has numerous hiking trails, most of which are beginner-friendly, which pass through many highland fells, unique for the Finish territories. In the main center of the park, near Saariselkä and Kiilopää Fell Centre, there are a few marked and maintained ski trails, therefore giving a possibility to skiers to enjoy the beautiful snowy winters here. The markings correspond with the level of difficulty for the trail or ski slope and go from easy to hard as follows: blue, red, and black. Some of the ski trails open as early as October, but most of the park opens later when there is more snow. Bear in mind that due to strong winds, some of the trails might quickly get fresh snow, although they are usually maintained daily.

The largest national park in Finland is also the wildest one. The crown when it comes to wilderness not only here, but throughout Europe, Lemmenjoki National Park gets its name from the big river Lemmenjoki, which crosses the whole park. In the past, the basin of this river was regularly panned by gold-diggers. Today, although the activity is less popular, the panning continues and you can even dig some gold up yourself on a guided tour. In order to get the best views and really enjoy this park, you should consider a riverboat cruise. This national park really is the perfect place for nature lovers and people who wish to dive into wilderness in peace and quiet.

In close proximity to the small village of Inari, you will come across the Inari hiking area. This beautiful territory is covered with deep forests and rivers which cut through the thick vegetation here and there. On the borders of the park you can enjoy the gorgeous views of the lakes Myössäjärvi, Solojärvi and Inarijärvi. There are many trails here that can additionally take you to the Otsamo fell or the Jäniskoski rapids. An extraordinary place in the area is the Pielpajärvi Wilderness Church, which was built in the 18th century – a place that cherishes nature, history and culture all at once.

A remarkable natural sight is the Kevo Strict Nature Reserve. This canyon’s nature consists of enormous highland fells with swamps here and there and small gorges crossing the fells. Two of the most popular and longer trails, allowing you to explore almost the whole reserve territory are 63 and 86 km long. These however are not for the faint of heart. If you prefer a quick and enjoyable walk then the 2km trail that goes along the Karigasniementie road is a better choice for you. The Kevo canyon is home to some rare animals and birds, which is why it was established as a nature reserve in 1952.

Meet the “locals”

This place is home to many rare animals, especially cold-loving ones like the Arctic fox and reindeer. The latter are so many that you will often hear guides say that there are as many reindeers as there are people. Expect to see them frequently along your route, wherever that is. Brown bears and the Great grey owl are also “locals” are relatively easy to spot, especially due to their respective sizes (yes, the owl is huge, too). The rare finds which you will be lucky to spot include the Eurasian Lynx. This beautiful, gracious medium-size cat, you will distinguish by the grey coat and coal-black pointy ears.

The Kevo Nature Reserve is also a preferred territory by the Arctic fox. This animal lives a remarkable life of extremely low temperatures and scarce food supply. However, evolution has helped the fox adapt to the natural characteristics of the nature reserve territory. You can spot them usually in two types of coat colors – white (most common) and a dark one (quite rare). This animal is endangered and only a few of them are spotted every year. The biggest problem for their sustained existence is climate change. The unbelievably warm winters for the arctic regions across Europe and Asia, make it easier for the red fox to reproduce and steal more and more territories from its white rival.

Climate

The summers in Lapland are very mild, while winters are cold and snowy. From December to February is the peak period for travelers. During this time, the temperatures keep around -16°C and the warmest it could get is around 3°C. Sometimes, due to strong winds, the temperatures can fall sharply and reach -30°C. You definitely need to pack warm and be prepared in every possible way in order to enjoy the winter wonderland of Santa’s home. Bear in mind that during these months the daylight hours are limited from around 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. However, on the bright side, these are the best possible conditions to see aurora borealis, or the northern lights.

During summer, temperatures rarely rise above 15°C without much rainfall. The weather is pleasant and you can enjoy walking through nature and the sounds of the majestic rivers all across the country. During these months the opposite effect to the winter daylight is apparent: the sun never fully sets and you will experience the phenomenon of the midnight sun.