Tina and Andreja’s adventure in the land of the happiest people in the world

Join our colleagues Andreja and Tina on their adventure across Lapland. Enjoying husky rides, reindeer sleighs and motor-sledges, sleeping in igloos and snow hotels, swimming in a frozen sea, discovering Santa Claus’ secrets and much more. 2 girls in a car driving along vast plains of snow across north Finland and Norway.

“In the beginning was a white reindeer.
From this white reindeer
arose the world.
his bones were the foundation
and his flesh became the land.”

It all began with a reindeer and so did our trip to Lapland. We started with a visit of a reindeer farm, owned by a Sami family. After a short sledge ride, where we obtained a reindeer driving license, we met the herder and learned about the history and tradition of herding reindeers in Lapland, the region of north Finland, Sweden, Norway and Russia, best known also for huskies, vast subarctic wilderness, the Northern lights and the midnight sun. 

Finland Husky RideAfter some hot juice and sweet bun, we were ready to take upon another adventure – husky sledge ride across the frozen lake. Upon return the keeper told us all about Alaskan huskies and we took some pictures of their cute puppies that will be ready for sledging next winter.Finland_Husky_Ride

Back in the capital town of Lapland, Rovaniemi is best known as Santa’s hometown where you can meet this old man in his village all year round. Although the most popular time to visit is December, we advise you to stay at home for Christmas to avoid the crowds because Santa will visit you anyway. And for all of you that still wonders how he manages to visit all the children in one night – we know but it’s a secret you will find out when visiting yourself :).

To this point we didn’t see the famous Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis yet so we decided to go on a hunt – snowmobiles sounded like a good option to get us out of the light polluted place. After an hour drive we stopped in the Kota, a traditional hut and gathered around the fire to enjoy hot drinks and snack. On the way back, the green phenomena finally appeared in all its beauty. This night could not be more amazing!

Our next adventure was a trip to Kemi, where we boarded an icebreaker and took off to the frozen open sea. It took all our courage to jump into the ice water and float around huge ice blocks (wearing a neoprene suit looking like famous children cartoon characters – guess which?). The day which started with cold ended in a warm and cosy Seaside Villa in Kemi. Waking up into the sunny morning by the sea is nice but waking up into the sunny morning in the seaside glass villa is something you will never forget.


Before we left Kemi, we visited the snow castle, which offers a true arctic adventure with its beautifully decorated rooms, restaurant and a chapel.

It was time to leave southern Lapland but not before visiting Arktikum science centre and museum. Our enthusiastic guide Frank provided deeper understanding of Arctic, northern nature, culture and history.

On the way up north, we stopped at Amethyst Mine in Luosto. There is now a special gem mine on the top of the hill (in winter you must take a special snow train) that will sustain for the hundreds of years. We tried our luck to dig out biggest amethyst possible – however even if we’d find a big one, we couldn’t keep it – it’s yours to keep only if it fits your fist.Finland_0010_IMG-3591

As you might have guessed we didn’t hit the jackpot so we moved on. First to Saariselkä, where the famous glass igloos origin from. It certainly is a nice place to lay in bed and watch the northern lights or just a million of stars above you.

The indigenous inhabitants of Lapland are Samis. And in a little town of Inari not far north we have visited the national museum of the Sámi. The Sámi Museum stores the spiritual and material culture of the Finnish Sámi and its purpose is to support their identity and the cultural self-esteem.

Further north and already across the border with Norway we came to the last spot of our journey, to Kirkenes. Not so long ago Kirkenes was nothing more than the last stop of famous Norwegian Hurtigruten cruise and the travellers were advised to take the first available flight out of there. But not today…over the hill and by the see in the middle of ‘snow where’ there is a castle. Here you are not only treated as a valuable guest but as a royalty. You certainly feel like one either sleeping in the snow hotel or in one of the enchanting cottages next to it. You will be greeted by the friendliest and most professional staff you’ve ever met. Mili and his crew have so much love for the place and the friendly atmosphere makes you want to stay forever. Everything from greeting with a welcome drink in ice bar, sightseeing of the snow hotel, demonstration of how to get into the sleeping bag and serving of the most delicious meals, is done with so much passion and enthusiasm which is hard to find.

This is the place to experience a king crab safari and taste one, too. We recommend you leave this magical place in proper Nordic style, too – with the husky taxi-ride to the airport.

We experienced Nordic lifestyle at its best and if you ask us why Finland and Norway were recently voted the two happiest countries in the world, our answer is: “It’s all about hygge”.

Throughout our trip we had a privilege to stay in some of the most unique places, drink hot chocolate by the open fire in the middle of the forest, try local delicacies at panoramic restaurant above Rovaniemi and getting to know the locals over a cup of hot juice all the time indulging in all the small things that matter. There is a word for all this: hygge (Nordic way of living and enjoying simple things).

We invite you to come with us and discover this by yourself.