Lapland is Finland’s northernmost region, home to some of Europe’s dreamiest scenery. It’s blanketed in snow for half the year, providing ideal conditions for husky sledding, ski trekking and snowmobiling. Despite its remote location, excellent transport links make it a highly accessible destination for an exhilarating solo trip. Without further ado, here’s our solo traveller’s guide to Lapland. Enjoy.
Think vast swathes of coniferous forests, lakes and tundra-like plains in rural Lapland – while a vibrant bar and restaurant scene thrives in the capital of Rovaniemi. Lapland is illuminated by 24-hour sunlight during summer, while the Northern Lights are visible between late August and early April.
Travelling solo in Finland is generally very safe. It has ranked among the top 15 countries measured by the Global Peace Index every year since 2018 – an indicator that factors in domestic crime rates, political stability, social security and militarisation. The UN’s World Happiness Report has also named Finland the world’s happiest country for the last four years.
The most important things to consider in Lapland are packing suitable clothing to stay warm in bitterly cold temperatures and taking extra care when driving on icy roads if you hire your own vehicle – especially during the dark winter months. Although you’re highly unlikely to encounter any problems, it’s worth sticking to well-lit areas when walking outside in Rovaniemi late at night.
You’ll spend three nights at Hotel Vartiosaari on Culture Trip’s specially curated five-day Finnish Lapland trip.
Snowmobiling across frozen lakes, icy fells and through taiga forests is the most thrilling way to experience Finnish Lapland’s pristine wilderness. It allows you to discover remote areas that would be impossible to access by other modes of transport. For a slower-paced, more traditional alternative, let a pack of Siberian huskies lead the way on a sled ride.
Ice fishing has long been an essential part of Finnish culture – particularly in Lapland where lakes are typically frozen from late November until May. Drilling a hole and patiently waiting for a catch is not only a popular competitive sport and social pastime – but it’s also a form of meditation. Join a local and allow them to show you the ropes.
If seeing the Northern Lights are on your bucket list, Finnish Lapland is one of your best bets. In these northerly latitudes, the phenomenon is visible on roughly 200 nights per year, painting the sky with luminous green swirls. A specialist aurora tour to an area with minimal light pollution will maximise your chances of success.
For maximum freedom and flexibility in Finnish Lapland, you’re best off hiring a car while you’re here. The road networks are extensive and well-tarmacked – although you’ll need to be wary of icy conditions between late autumn and spring. Public buses are cheap and reliable in Rovaniemi, while OnniBus and Matkhahuolto operate regular bus services between the main towns and villages. Rovaniemi, Kemijärvi, Kemi and Kolari are accessible by train, too.
Enrich your solo travel experience by sharing it with a small group of culturally curious travellers on Culture Trip’s five-day Finnish Lapland adventure. Accompanied by our Local Insider, you’ll gain an authentic insight into the region’s culture, cuisine and nature.