Endless plains are covered by a white blanket, and the sky is painted myriad colors on winter nights. The branches of trees are transformed into a white lacework with complex patterns. Reindeer always keep their magnificent antlers upright as the forest owners. The locals add charm to the day with colorful costumes in this white landscape while the nights are painted with the green hue of the Northern Lights.
This is Lapland, hidden among memorable and picturesque views. The region comprises parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia that are within the Arctic Circle. The indigenous Sámi people call these lands “Sápmi,” while the Finnish call it “Fin Lapi” or “Lappi,” and the Swedish “Lappland.”
A magical world begins up ahead in the city of Rovaniemi, located within the Finnish borders of Lapland. Here, treehouses and igloos are more than local landmarks -they turn into accommodation options that adorn the dreams of travelers. Spending a few days here means experiencing the lives of Eskimos and a wildlife painted in white.
The list of activities that are unique to this landscape is quite long: going on a safari with sledges pulled by huskies, watching the Northern Lights in glass igloos, waiting in forests to take pictures of reindeer herds, ice-fishing, or visiting the eponymous village believed to be the hometown of Santa Claus.
Although the Sámi, the grandchildren of the nomadic tribes inhabiting Northern Scandinavia, have adopted a Northern European lifestyle, there is also a considerable group of people among them who keep their unique culture alive, and the existence of reindeer is vital to this effort. Though bears are a problem for the people of Lapland on account of eating one third of the reindeer calves, some tourists are still excited to see them. The Sámis are trying to take countermeasures to address this phenomenon with new projects. The money collected with these endeavors is used to save reindeer calves.
What about white polar bears? They and the other handsome fellows of the arctic world accompany those who’d like to take a selfie at Wildlife Park.