Midsummer 2020 – Experience Lapland in a different way

Midsummer weekend in Lapland was just perfect – it was around 20 degrees and the forecast promised sunshine for the whole time. What would be a better way to celebrate Midsummer than a road trip through the beautiful Lapland! One of the best ways to experience many different places in our Lapland is driving: even though the distances are quite long, it’s worth it. The roads are filled with amazing views of natural places, idyllic villages and lakes. Especially in the summer time renting a car is not that expensive, and it allows you to move freely whenever and wherever you want. In most cases you can also see some local traffic on the roads, meaning reindeer of course! This is something you should be careful. Because for real, there are a lot of these animals crossing the roads or just chilling in the sides.

Pyhäjärvi lake in Kittilä

Driving through the local villages of Lapland

Our journey started from Rovaniemi, and our final destination was Ylläs in the western Lapland. We didn’t want to select the straightest route, so we decided to drive through Pello in the border of Finland and Sweden and continue from there to the up north. Our whole route was Rovaniemi – Sinettä – Pello – Sieppijärvi – Kolari – Pakasaivo (Muonio) – Äkäslompolo – Pyhäjärvi (Kittilä) – Ylläs. In total, the route was around 300 kilometers.

Since stopping in many places, it made the driving easier and more interesting. In Sinettä we visited Bearhill Husky farm and got to greet their cute Alaskan huskies. In Pello we decided to have a lunch break at the river and really had a lunch with a view. Sieppijärvi had a nice beach where we had a stop, which on a hot day is the perfect chance to have a little swimming break.Sieppijärvi Beach in Lapland

Lapland road trip- Majestic views of Pakasaivo

From Kolari we drove to Pakasaivo viewpoint. The road to Pakasaivo was a very narrow and sometimes a little hard to drive. While driving you were kind of wondering where you are even going. After 12 kilometers you arrive to the parking lot and continue from there walking, and suddenly the most amazing and rugged views open up in front of your eyes. The place is even called ‘’the Hell of Lapland’’, since the water in some places can be even 60 meters deep and the surrounding rocks are forming a majestic view.

Pakasaivo viewpoint in Muonio

Trip continues to Ylläs- Äkäslompolo

Äkäslompolo was our next stop, where we wondered a little while and found a map. The Pallas-Ylläs National Park is right next door, and it actually goes through four different municipalities of Finnish Lapland: Enontekiö, Kittilä, Kolari and Muonio. We decided to head towards Kittilä and Pyhäjärvi lake. At this time it was around 7 PM, and since we wanted to see the midnight sun, we had a small hike, set our sent into the forest and had a nap. My tips would be that when you are travelling in Lapland in the summer, be aware that the mosquitoes are a real thing. We really got to experience this in Pyhäjärvi!

Hiking in a forest in Lapland

Pyhäjärvi in Kittilä

Lapland summer road trip: final destination- Ylläs Fell

After few hours we continued our journey, found a place where you were able to cross the river with a boat and continued towards the final destination of the journey: Ylläs fell. In the wintertime, this is a popular skiing destination. Ylläs fell is over 700 meters high, so the views from the top were something so unreal. As we are living the time of the midnight sun, the sun was shining the whole time even though we started climbing around midnight. The way up there was quite rocky and difficult at some times, but totally worth it when you finally get to the top.Midnight sun from the top of Ylläs fellHiking in the Ylläs fell at night

Finally it was time to go down and find a place to sleep. In Finland you can set your tent basically anywhere. We have a rule called ‘Everyman’s rights’, which allows you to camp overnight anywhere in public places. Avoid places near private residences or any places where you would harm the nature. We choose a public beach area in Äkäslompolo, where we got to wake up to a beautiful lake view. If you haven’t ever tried sleeping outdoors, give it a try! It’s so relaxing to fell a sleep in the fresh air and listen to the sounds of the nature.

Sunshine in the morning in ÄkäslompoloCamping in the beach of Äkäslompolo

Summer morning in the lake views

At morning we woke up, had a little morning dip in the lake and enjoyed the surroundings for a moment. It was Midsummer day and the weather was even better than the day before. Usually Midsummer in our Lapland can be quite cold: very often rainy, some years even snowing and the temperatures can be below 10 degrees. But this year was just amazing during our road trip in Lapland, it was around 20 degrees and more which for Finnish is the perfect summer weather!

Morning views from a tent in Äkäslompolo beach

Then it was time to head back home. This kind of road trip is something that you really should think about if planning a visit in Lapland: you get to experience so much more and do things in your own pace.

You are not in a rush, and the spontaneous decision on the road makes the trip so special!

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  • saija.halminen@ourlapland.fi

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