How do you plan your dream trip to Lapland. Some people prefer just coming to visit Lapland to meet their dream. Is it worth to pay a visit to the north. How about a weekend trip to Ivalo, Inari of Finnish Lapland. Laura Abbate tells us her experience & journey to Inari.
Our fantastic weekend in Ivalo
When we arrived, Friday evening, the sky was rather overcast and weak snow, but toward Inari we could see a faint Aurora. The weather was splendid and we could enjoy fabulous walks around the Hotelli Kultahippu. We enjoyed an excellent dinner and delicious breakfasts with typically Finnish flavors and colors. The mild weather has also allowed us to live a wonderful and exciting Northern Lights hunting.
Northern Lights in Ivalo
We left at 7pm on Saturday hunting for the Aurora Borealis in the direction of Saariselkä. We drived for about twenty minutes one of the thousand snowy roads to reach the first sighting point, the sun was setting and the temperature was -25 degrees, the starry sky and cold temperature helped to see the first dance of the green fairy!!! WOW!!! Framed by beautiful sunset over our heads..
We continued to drive for twenty minutes towards the typical wooden "kammi" where we were served a typical dinner accompanied by a slice of local blueberries pie, bilberry juice and a hot cup of coffee or tea with another Northern Lights Hunters and a warm and welcoming fire in the middle of the kammi!! What a better way to have "fika" 🤣🤣🤣 !!!! After dinner a short aurora borealis film in a igloo and then out again at -29 degrees to admire the last Northern Lights show.
A trip to Lapland is good food, excursions, breathtaking views and lots of fun !!
Foods & other costs
I only spent a weekend with arrival late Friday afternoon and departure on Sunday early afternoon. The cost of the trip was 494 euros and the sum includes 139 euro round trip from Italy (via Helsinki with Finnair), 190 euros, Hotel Kultahippu in the center of Ivalo where you will find all the dishes that I will list below, for two nights in double room with breakfast, 32 euros dinner at the Hotel, 20 euros transfer to and from Ivalo Airport, 145 euros for the excursion to hunt the dawn with dinner included.
What to eat in Lapland?
Soups: steaming and particularly tasty dishes. Excellent with salmon. Main courses are based on fish (salmon and herring) and meat (beef, reindeer and elk). The Finns never fail to fish the Baltic Sea. The most common is the salmon that is cooked in various ways: marinated, smoked, baked, in soup. The herring (silakka) par excellence is fish from Scandinavia, including Finland, here you can also taste it marinated, smoked, with spices and aromas. A must must is butter (salted or lightly salted) and rye bread (ruisleipa). A difficult name for a strongly Lapp dish, karjalanpiirakka, a savory pie stuffed with rice porridge and potatoes.
Last but not least mustard and wild berries: lingonberry (arctic cranberry), blueberry (arctic blackberry) and cloudberry (camemoro, small orange cloud with a sweet and bitter taste). The arctic fruits are paired especially with salted fish and meat dishes. The desserts are plain cakes as the mustikkapiiras, a delicious soft blueberry cake, good having a breakfast but also having "fika".
If you go to Lapland or in Finland in general do not miss cinnamon rolls, salmiakki (salty liquorice) and chocolate. In front of the hotel you will find the supermarket with many treats I told to you about.
Texts & pictures by Laura Abbate/Jordan Scaltritti