Traditional Laplander reindeer castration
Lapland casts a powerful spell: there’s something lonely and intangible here that makes it magical. The midnight sun, the Sámi peoples, the aurora borealis and roaming reindeer are all components of this – as is Santa Claus himself, who ‘officially’ resides here – along with the awesome latitudes: at Nuorgam, the northernmost point, you have passed Iceland and nearly all of Canada and Alaska.
Spanning 30% of Finland’s land area, Lapland is home to just 3% of its population. Its vast wilderness is ripe for exploring on foot, skis or sled. The sense of space, pure air and big skies are what’s most memorable here, more so than the towns.
Lapland’s far north is known as Sápmi, home of the Sámi, whose main communities are around Inari, Utsjoki and Hetta. Rovaniemi, on the Arctic Circle, is the most popular gateway to the north.