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The simple reference to Lapland awakens the child that lies dormant in each one of us, for it is there that Father Christmas and his elves would live, hidden in a small fairy-tale village at the far end of the North Pole. But believe us, the Lappish region has many other surprises in store for you! From observing the Northern Lights to dog sledding and snow battles, your family trip to Lapland will be simply unforgettable!
Lapland is a region in the far north, extending over 4 Scandinavian countries (Norway, Russia, Finland and Sweden). This region, know for its great cold, the snow-covered fir trees, and, of course, Santa Claus, is steeped in myths that we owe to its once nomadic people: the Sami, who came to the sandstone of the seasons and the transhumance of reindeer flocks. In order to get away from the classic tourist pattern, let’s leave the postcard image behind (of course we think of Finnish Lapland and Rovaniemi, the stronghold of the big bearded man in the red clothes) and let’s go to the less touristic side of Sweden, where the connection with nature and the Sami people will delight you.
Fridtjof Nansen, Towards the pole, 1897
Lapland in winter
Lapland in summer
It is not possible to come to Lapland without considering the meteorological phenomenon known as the Northern Lights.
According to the period you choose to leave you will have more or less chances to see it. I strongly advise you to leave between the end of September and the end of March. You will see them dancing in the sky between 9pm and 3am.
You will have the possibility of taking part in several aurora borealis « hunts », either by taking part in a safari (you will be taken care of by a guide who will supply you with all the necessary material and snowmobiles to take you away from civilization), or during a night in a glass igloo, an incredible experience to live, happily and warmly installed in a bed.
HAVE THE RIGHT MATERIAL READY FOR THE ENTIRE FAMILY
If you plan on going to Lapland with your family, you must be prepared and acquire adapted equipment. Whether in summer or in winter, you need to protect yourself from the cold or the sun.
In winter, when the temperature can reach -40°C, the four-layer technique applies: a t-shirt, an undershirt, a sweater and, of course, your coat. Do not put on cotton clothes that quickly absorb sweat and give an annoying feeling of cold. Merino wool and thermal clothing are highly advised. Above all, remember to take enough to cover your extremities (head, feet, hands). For small feet, we prefer a double layer, thin socks then a thicker pair. As for the neck, prefer snoods to scarves which tend to be bulky, quickly take up humidity and accentuate the sensation of intense cold.
In summer you may experience temperatures around 20°C, so think about sunglasses, sunscreen and long-sleeved t-shirts to protect you from mosquitoes. Little Guest also recommends you the best pairs of sunglasses and sun protection for your baby.
BRINGING BACK SOME SOUVENIRS
You can’t return from Lapland without a souvenir! I’m particularly fond of the wooden cups (mainly birch) called Kuska. You will also find knives with reindeer wood handles, often engraved with this emblematic animal.
You can also buy your loved ones (or yourself) clothes inspired by those of the Sami people. Sweaters, waistcoats, socks and chapkas are a must! In the same vein, you can also find the traditional witch’s drum that was used to communicate with the spirits: it is made of reindeer skin and bone… very typical !
If you like Nordic gastronomy, you can’t miss these typical Lappish dishes and drinks:
Ready for the Far North?
Caroline, travel & DIY lover, mother of Mathilde and Gauthier, from Bruxelles
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