Visit Lapland in Summer?
The summer in Lapland is extraordinary, and something everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime. After the long, snowy winter months the nature is slowly waking up, and the summer season can finally start. One of the most amazing experiences in Lapland in summertime is the midnight sun or nightless nights, a period of time when the sun doesn’t set at all and you are able to enjoy daylight around the clock. In the northern most Lapland this has just started!
Summer Activities in Lapland
Summer in Lapland offers multiple possibilities for activities, for example hiking, biking, water sports and nature experiences. Imagine spending the days in the nature, biking berries, admiring beautiful views from the top of a fell, enjoying lunch in a wilderness hut and just simply enjoying the peace, quietness and calmness. That’s summer in Lapland in a nutshell.
Is it recommended, safe or even possible to travel?
Due to the current situation there’s a lot of concern about the possibilities to travel to Lapland. Is it recommended, safe or even possible? Some of the restrictions will be opened starting from the beginning of June. The borders of Finland are remain closed for now except for work-based and essential travel. But if you are planning to visit Lapland during the summertime, here is the information you should know. Traveling inside Finland is not restricted and locals traveling to Lapland is allowed. If you are from outside Finland or planning to go abroad, follow the Foreign ministry guidelines about the travel restrictions. All the updated information about the Corona virus situation in Finland and health instructions can be found from the website of National Health and Welfare Institute (THL).
- No restrictions to travel inside Finland and to visit Lapland
- Check the latest official guidelines and travel restrictions
- Follow the official information and instructions about Corona virus
National Parks and Wilderness Areas
The Finnish Forest Administration, Metsähallitus, is informing that it is allowed to do trips in nature areas. They are highlighting that all travelers should follow the official guidelines of the health authorities. The 2-meter safety distance and importance of hand hygiene should be kept in mind. Metsähallitus is recommending to avoid the most popular nature locations. Instead, you can do for example day trips in the close nature in local areas. Since the campfire areas can be very crowded, it’s a good idea to take lunch and snacks which won’t have to be prepared by the fire.
- Wilderness huts re-opens from 1 June
- Staying overnight is allowed, but it’s a good idea to bring your own shelter
- Remember safety distance and importance of hand hygiene
- Avoid the most popular nature locations
That’s since the safety distances cannot be quarantined in the huts. Earlier Metsähallitus closed some of the rental- and wilderness huts, and these will be re-opened on the 1st of June. Also the reservation system will be opened latest on the 27th of May. They are also considering to make a decision whether it’s necessary to limit the number of persons in the huts.
Sanna Kärkkäinen, the Managing Director of Visit Rovaniemi, says that they are just now working on an info package concerning the current situation. It will include information on what things should be taken into consideration when travelling in Lapland in the following summer. They are working in co-operation with the health authorities and the whole Lapland area and want to make sure that the safety information is accepted by the official authorities. Once the guidelines are ready, they will inform about it in their own channels.
- Rovaniemi Info package for the visitors
- Safety instructions to be published
Traveling in Ylläs area
Ylläs, which have been chosen as the winner of Scandinavian Outdoor Award Travel 2020, is a great summer destination. It is especially popular among nature activities like hiking and mountain biking. Janne-Juhani Haarma, According to the CEO of Visit Ylläs, The lifts in Ylläs will open again from the 19th of June. Then travelers will be able to go to the top of the fell with a lift as well. The travelers should follow the official guidelines from the government and keep the physical distance to other travelers. For example in their lifts they are maintaining a rule that only one group per one elevator is allowed. Following the guidelines of Metsähallitus, also in Ylläs area the open wilderness huts will be opened on the 1st of June 2020.
- Ylläs will open their lifts again 19th of June
- Keep the physical distance to other travelers
- Only one group per one elevator is allowed
Responsible choices while travelling
Responsible choices at this time are more important than ever. José-Carlos García-Rosell, the Senior Lecturer of Responsible Tourism Business from the University of Lapland, gives an insight on what kind of choices travelers can now do to support the responsibility aspect while travelling.
Taking into consideration the current situation, don’t travel if you feel ill. Right now many airlines and railway companies are flexible with the ticket changes. Now especially if you are travelling to Lapland, choose train over a flight journey. There are environmental benefits, but you will also get to enjoy the amazing views during your trip. It’s an experience on itself already! Also in trains there is more space at the moment, so it can be considered as a safer option as well.
- Don’t travel if you feel ill
- Choose train journey from Helsinki
- Support the local businesses
‘’ My recommendation is that after arriving in Helsinki, you take the train from Helsinki to Lapland. The Finnish railway (VR) has daily departures from Helsinki to Kemi and Rovaniemi. In particular, the night train is not only an excellent way to experience the Land of the Midnight sun, but also a low-carbon travel option.’’
Slow down- Enjoy the arctic sensation
As far it comes to the length of the stay, don’t come for just a couple of days. Right now it’s the time to slow down and make your holiday in Lapland a slow travel holiday. Like José-Carlos says, the corona virus pandemic has meant to many of us to slow down our hectic lives. We can do this to our travel habits as well. Spend more time in one place rather than travelling around in many different places.
Simple things are the best things right now. Go to the local lake, hike in the forest, pick berries, bike, sit around the fireplace, listen to the sound of silence and breath the cleanest air on Earth. There are many simple, but memorable thing you can do while in Lapland. Don’t forget to meet the locals and get to know the local culture and always when doing all these things do it with respect for the local communities and the natural environment.
Last but not least, remember to support the local businesses. Do your shopping in the local shops, go to local restaurants and book the tourism activities direct from the local service providers. And remember, the slower you travel, the better your experience.