FINLAND

LAPPLAND-HOME OF THE SAMI

If you are looking for an adventure experience then Lapland is the place for you. It has been credited as a top tourist destination due to its scenic beauty and many National Parks. Lapland covers the northern parts of Sweden, Norway, Finland and the Kola Peninsula in Russia. The inhabitants of Lapland are known as Sami and their total is around sixty thousand. Their culture is very traditional and their isolated way of life is a distinctive characteristic to their nomadic and subsistence lifestyle.

Tourism is a source of income for the Sami people but their culture is very important to them so you wont find them tryting to sell you mountains of tacky merchandise. Almost erverything you buy will be handmade so a visit to their community is an authentic source of fascinating and original souvenirs. There are cases where materials may be substituted for others in accordance with the law, an example is fur. However, there is protection for genuine Sami handicraft which is a special unique seal that only licensed Sami craftsmen are allowed to use to mark their products. The land and nature are their main sources of income.

There is a good transport network so dont worry about being stranded in the wilderness. Hiking trails cover the backcountry and National Parks. On these trails there are tourist stations, cabins and shelters offering cheap accommodation. It is not necessary to be an experienced hiker thanks to this efficient and affordable tourist network. However, during winter it is advised that only experienced hikers venture along the trails due to dangerous weather conditions.

Finland has a few very well-known and reeputed tourist destinations. Salla is certainly one, situated in Finland, in eastern Lapland north of the polar circle, Salla is a tourist hot spot mainly due to the well-known Salla reindeer camp. The camp offers you the opportuntiy to watch the Sami herders at work and even help with tasks such as rounding up the reindeer and branding. There is not only reindeer excursions but also husky safaris, snowmobiling, ice fishing, ice swimming and much more.You can actually sleep in a snow cave, in a reindeer herdsman's log cabin, or, if you would prefer, very comfortable log cabins Salla.fi has more information includng booking instructions. Meals are provided and you have the option of eating on the ice itself!

Another tourist destination in Finnish Lapland is SantaPark. Located in Rovaniemi at the Arctic Circle, this Park allows you to appreciate Nordic Christmas Traditions and aims to make the experience as believable as possible! For more information and online booking visit their excellent webpage. There is an airport in Rovaniemi and up to date flight information can be obtained from their webpage. There is also a railway station and bus station in Rovaniemi connecting you to the rest of Finland.

Accommodation in Rovaniemi can be very expensive, but there are two guesthouses which are very affordable at less than € 30 these are Guesthouse Makta Borealis and Makta Outa (Tel: +358 (0)16 312 474) both situated in the city centre. A trip here could be a very rich experience for a reasonable price!

Similar to the Salla Reindeer Park, if you would like to have a very active holiday you can check out Husky Tours Km Oy who offer husky safaris, guided hiking and fishing trips. Husky Tours Km Oy is situated in Kuusamo, near Lake Kitka, in north-eastern Finland. This destination attracts many tourists thanks to its beautiful setting. Watersport lovers have many activities to choose from such as white water rafting on the free rapids or canoeing on the picturesque lakes. One of the main attractions is Oulanka National Park which has many rivers and outstanding valleys which turn into deep gorges with rugged cliffs. For winter sports you can go downhill skiing, cross-country skiing and on sledge-dog safaris. Husky Tours Km Oy assure that accommodation for the organised activities is situated near to them so all you have to do is contact Husky Tours!

Useful Links

Husky Tours Km Oy organise a variety of guided tours including fishing trips and the ubiquitous husky safaris

The Santa Park is undoubtedly one of the most famous attractions in Finnish Lappland

Salla reindeer parkp allows you to watch Sami herders at work, there are also opportunities to help out with tasks such as herding and branding.