Active winter holiday in Lapland
Are you drawn to peace and quiet, fresh air and hiking in wintry Lapland? The allure of Lapland can also be experienced during shorter trips, and day hikes and ski tours can certainly be done without previous experience.
1. Rovaniemi – a winter wonderland around the year
This winter wonderland can be reached easily and safely by train. Travel to Lapland in the comfort of your own cabin and arrive feeling well-rested in the morning. You’ll need your sleep, as Rovaniemi is full of activities. After having a good night’s sleep on the way, you’ll be ready to explore this stunning Arctic city right from the first day.
When you take a night train, you’ll arrive in Rovaniemi in the morning. If you didn’t have the time to eat a restaurant car breakfast in your cabin, we recommend heading to Hostel Cafe Koti, Opens in a new tab right away to enjoy a delicious and inexpensive breakfast. Another restaurant we would recommend is the family café Antinkaapo, Opens in a new tab, whose sweet buns are a must when visiting Rovaniemi. In addition to cafés, Rovaniemi also has a wide range of restaurants. For example, the Mexican restaurant Yuca, Opens in a new tab has received a lot of praise, and not without reason. You’ll want to dine here if you like Mexican flavours and a cosy atmosphere. A relatively new restaurant in Rovaniemi is Gustav, Opens in a new tab, which was opened in August and is simply lovely. Its beautiful surroundings and drinks will get you in a holiday mood, and the menu is also definitely worth trying.
The most anticipated moment on a trip to Rovaniemi is, of course, meeting Santa Claus! You can get to the Santa Claus Village, Opens in a new tab conveniently by local bus from the Rovaniemi city centre. Santa Claus can be met on the Arctic Circle every day, so adding the visit to your travel plan is easy.
If there is extra time, it’s definitely a good idea to explore the beautiful nature around Rovaniemi. Pack some food with you and make a day trip to the King’s Lean-to or go for a walk along the Ounasjoki River. Rovaniemi is also a great choice for those interested in winter sports, as both ski slopes and cross-country skiing trails are within easy reach of the city. Learn about the activities offered by Ounasvaara, Opens in a new tab
Learn more about night trains and their services
2. Great experiences in Ylläs
You can truly have it all in Ylläs. From the cleanest air in the world to exhilarating speed and lovely breakfast waffles.
Station: Board a train and get off at Kolari station, from where you can travel the 35 km to Ylläs by bus.
Activities: Even less experienced visitors can do a day hike or ski tour without any special equipment. Remember to pack food – enjoying a meal at a lean-to or rest area is wonderful!
Read more about hiking, Opens in a new tab
Ylläs is a paradise for those who enjoy winter sports. In addition to the traditional winter sports, you can also try winter mountain biking in Ylläs. Rent a bicycle in Ylläs, Opens in a new tab or bring your own bicycle, which you can easily take with you on the train. To finish the day, you can go ice swimming in the darkening evening and then go to a sauna to get warm again. If you’re lucky, you could see some enchanting Northern Lights, Opens in a new tab. Try looking up into the sky especially between 9 p.m. and the early hours of morning, as Northern Lights are the most visible around midnight. In winter, Ylläs also offers numerous other wonderful experiences, which you can read more about on the Ylläs website, Opens in a new tab.
Accommodation: You can relax your mind in the warmth of the Lapland Hotels Saaga, Opens in a new tab spa, 306 metres above sea level. A good night’s sleep is nicely rounded off by a delicious breakfast with waffles!
Tip: Travelling on a night train in the comfort of your own cabin is a pleasant and safe way to travel. You will be well-rested when you reach your destination, and you can enjoy both evening snacks and breakfast in an atmospheric restaurant car.
3. World-class alpine village in Levi
Everything you need is nearby in Levi. Here, you can experience both the peace and quiet of Lapland’s nature and a comfortable village atmosphere.
Station: Kolari. You can travel the 85 km to Levi by bus or your own car. You can take your car with you on the car-carrier. You can also get off at Rovaniemi station and make a 2.5-hour bus journey from there.
Activities: You can get to the top of the Kätkätunturi fell in just a few hours, and there you will be rewarded with a lean-to and a fire pit as well as breathtaking views. Read more about Kätkätunturi, Opens in a new tab
You can exercise on the 766 steps of Koutalaki, which start from the spa hotel. At the top of the stairs, you can have take a delicious break at the scenic Café Spiella. Levi also offers a very wide range of winter activities. You can learn more about them here, Opens in a new tab. These include the inquisitive and gentle dogs at the All Huskies dog kennel, who will surely steal your heart. You will need a car to get there, as the kennel is a 20-minute drive from the Levi centre.
Accommodation: Lapland Hotels Sirkantähti, Opens in a new tab, which is located right in the middle of the beautiful alpine village.
Food: At Kafét, you can enjoy many sorts of breakfast foods all day. Pannukakkutalo serves sweet and savoury pancakes.
Tip: Travelling on a night train in the comfort of your own cabin is a pleasant and safe way to travel. You will arrive well-rested, and you can order evening snacks and breakfast to your cabin.
If you really like Levi, why not stay there to work remotely, Opens in a new tab? Lapland resorts now have a well-functioning 5G network, which means good remote connections!
Learn more about night trains and buy your ticket to Lapland
- Connoisseur of Finnish travel gems
Kauko the Conductor Bear
- Kauko hands our the best tips for train travel and the destinations you can reach on rails.