Lapland or central Europe as a winter holiday destination

About the author of this post: I am a 21-year-old tourism student at the Lapland University of Applied Sciences, Rovaniemi. I’m in my second year with my studies and recently I have returned from an exchange period in central Europe. First I spent the summer in Germany and had my practical training there. After that I went straight to Austria and studied at Krems University of Applies Sciences for four and a half months. I am comparing the central Europe and Finnish Lapland as a destination for winter holiday.

Snow, slopes and sauna

First is the snow. Of course they have snow in central European skiing resorts as well. But really it’s only in the resorts, when you come down to the village there is not that much snow. And we have snow everywhere in Lapland, not just in the skiing resorts or in the nearby villages related to the resort.

Then about the slopes. Here I must give credit to central Europe because of the Alps. It’s just a simple truth that we do not have the height and length and variety with the slopes and skiing tracks as the Alps can provide. However we do not lack professionalism or services in the skiing centres and probably have more natural snow and therefore perfect facilities for POW riding. The slopes are well taken care of and the snow patrol constantly checks the composition of the snow so that the skiers will be delivered all the information about the conditions at the slopes.

Thirdly is the sauna. It is not a Lappish, but a Finnish thing. However, it really is cold here during the winter time! In Austria I wore my winter coat and it was plus degrees in January, so you can imagine how it felt when having the same coat on when it was colder than -20. Sauna is the thing you really need over here, and we have them almost everywhere. In hotels, in your rental cottage, at the guest house, just literally everywhere. You do not need to go to a spa or choose an accommodation with spa facilities to have the sauna. And having a nice sauna session after being outside the whole day will provide you a relaxing feeling you can hardly reach any other way.

Food, space and after ski

Then is the food. Many of us know about the spätzle and schnitzel. Many times you can find these sorts of dishes outside of your home country as well. But how many have actually tried anything Lappish outside of Lapland? Even inside of Finland you usually do not find the Lappish dishes in other destinations. I know that the Finnish/Lappish cuisine is not well known or considered as a tasty one in the world, but it certainly deserves more appreciation. If you happen to like the pure tastes of ingredients, you definitely should give it a try!

Finnish Lapland is a huge area, almost 99 000km2 and there are only a bit less than 182 000 people living here, so we need to share one km2 with only one other person! (In theory of course) This means that even when we are having the high seasons of tourism we still have enough space for everyone to experience the relaxing atmosphere of Lapland. Over here it is possible to relay on other tourist or then to experience everything by yourself and try to figure out what it is really like to live in Lapland. We have a lot of little companies operated by a few persons only and naturally their capacity to serve tourists is somehow limited, however this will guarantee you a full experience, when the service providers can really focus on every customer.

After ski and night life. We must not forget that. In my experience many young people visiting the skiing resorts in central Europe go there partly because of the after ski parties. Well, we have them too, such as Levi, Ylläs, Ruka, Luosto and so on! Many young people in Lapland like to go to tourism destinations to have parties. We like people and are interested in you and why you chose to come to Lapland and we like to hear your story. So, hope to see you here someday!

Author: Lapland Safaris

This is the blog of Lapland Safaris, which is a company specialized in all sort of activities in Finnish Lapland both in winter and in summertime. In winter we enjoy snowmobiling, husky and reindeer-sledge rides, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing among other things. During the summer we cruise on river boats, visit the reindeer and husky farms, and hike in the forests. Do you have questions? Ask us anything in the comments of this post. We will be happy to help you!

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