Discovering Lapland between Rovaniemi and Saariselkä.

A travel to Lapland during the Winter it’s something everybody should experience at least once in their lifetime.

We went at the end of March, when the forests are still covered with snow but the days get longer and the temperatures are rising, becoming more bearable.

With more hours of useable sunlight we had more time to doing outdoor activities and enjoying the wonderful Nature of Lapland, that has completely won our hearts.
Our first taste of Lapland was in Rovaniemi, where we attended a thrilling snowmobile ride with Lapland Safaris.

At 7.00 pm, after a little briefing,  we left Rovaniemi and we ran on the frozen river with a gorgeous sunset over our heads until we reach the Lapland Safaris camp deep in the woods.

Here we waited for the nightfall between Sami tents, igloos and ice sculptures,  and we had a dinner sitting around the fire.



Driving a snowmobile has been very exciting and easier than expected, but hunting for Northern Lights was a test of our patience because nobody knows exactly if or when that will happen! We had a beautiful moonless night with a very clear sky and March is one of the best months for Aurora but despite this, we’ve been unlucky and we didn’t see the Northern Lights in Rovaniemi.

But we didn’t let discourage our spirits and the next day we went away very early to Saariselkä, far in the North. For hours later we reached this lovely town, close to the Russian border and we fell in love with its beautiful landscapes.

Discovering the Urho Kekkonen National Park and its age-old forests, in Saariselkä, we could reach the very essence of the expression Winter Wonderland.

To do that, we entrusted again to Lapland Safaris, choosing two kind of activities: a snowshoes excursion in the heart of the National Park and an excursion to become familiar with the Sami people.

The snowshoes are a perfect way to get in touch with Nature: the silence, the sound of the wind among the trees and the muffled sound of our steps on the fresh snow are feelings that we’ll never forget!

During the excursion, our guide showed us the tracks of the wild animals, told us about the bears and wolfs and we enjoyed the emotion of a teatime in Lapland style, tasting a hot drink with ginger biscuits.

In our last day in Lapland, we finally met the reindeers and it was love at first sight!
After a wonderful sled ride under a blue sky, we had the opportunity to get into the paddock to give food to the reindeers. Moreover, we petted their puppies: you can’t even imagine how curious, lovely and tender they are!

Furthermore, our guide told us about how much the advent of technology changed the life of the Sami people. Just think that, as a result of the GPS systems, the Sami people do not have to wonder no more to follow their reindeers that, on summer, can graze freely into the forests. In fact, they can control where the reindeers are comfortably from their house. Anyway, apart from this little concession, the life of the Sami people continues in close contact with the animals and the wonderful Lapland nature. It was incredibly exciting to become a little bit more familiar with their usages and customs.


Moreover, thanks to the advices of the expert guides of Lapland Safaris, our desire to see the Aurora Borealis came true.

We spent our last night in Lapland walking along the Aurora Polku (a trail deep in the forest) with our flashlights and we arrived to an equipped refuge where we could enjoy a memorable sight: an incredibly beautiful and intense Aurora Borealis dancing above us for more than half an hour, leaving us gaping.

Lapland gave us a lot of intense emotions and we went back home with many precious moments in our heart!


Author: Roberta

Blogger, Horsewoman, Gypsetter, Traveler. I'm a free spirit with wanderlust. I was born in Italy but I'm living out of a suitcase now. My blog:

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  1. How did you go from Rovaniemi to Saariselka? I can’t find trains for December. There is no stop at Saariselka nor Ivalo!!!!

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  2. Do you suggest late Oct or Nov first week or Nov mid week for Northern lights viewing?

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    • Dear Deepthi,
      October and November are both considered optimum periods to see the Northern Lights so I think that every night could be the lucky night!
      Good luck and let us know how was your experience!

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      • Hi Roberta,
        Thank you for your reply… we havent yet booked our tickets. Can you please let us know when is the best time to visit Finland for northern lights.


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        • Hi Deepthi,
          if you would like to see not only the Northern Lights but also a little bit of “Winter Wonderland” go as late as possible!
          In October is very hard to see a beautiful snowy landscape so maybe is better to go in November.
          But about the Northern Lights, as I wrote first, both the months (October and November) are very good months :-)

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  3. Do you have any accommodations where you can sleep in glass covered igloos to view the sky during the night?

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