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A Guide to Lapland and Northern Norway in Winter

Lapland. Just the thought of it conjures up images of Christmas, Santa’s reindeer, the northern lights, and piles upon piles of snow. But what’s it like to actually travel there in winter? How can you get around if it’s completely coated in a thick layer of snow? What will there be to do? Where will you stay?

Lapland Sunset

The amazing colours that seem to be ever-present in the Lapland skies.

Surprisingly, travel around Lapland in winter is much easier than you may think. And, if you go there, I can almost guarantee that you’ll have the time of your life. My month there was one of the best trips I have ever taken (the only other trip that gives it a run for its money was New Zealand).

But in those initial planning stages, I realised how little I knew about travelling in an area with a semi-permanent cold climate (I say semi-permanent because winter takes up over half the year in these locations — more than every other season combined). The goal of my Guide to Lapland in Winter is to answer those burning questions you may have about planning a trip to Lapland or Northern Norway — or, if you’re not already in the planning stages, to inspire you to travel to this extraordinary destination.

Where Is Lapland?

Lapland is traditionally used to describe the northernmost areas of Sweden and Finland, particularly parts of Norrbotten and Västerbotten counties in Sweden and Lapland province in Finland. However, Lapland can sometimes be used to describe the entire cultural area of Sápmi, where the Sami people have traditionally lived and which includes northern Norway and the Murmansk region of Russia. Generally speaking, this guide will help you to plan trips to the area north of the Arctic Circle in Norway, Sweden, and Finland.

The area that the guide covers.

What’s in the Guide?

The full 130-page, fully illustrated eBook includes 20 chapters that cover everything from what to expect from the weather to whether it’s worth it to sleep in a room made of snow. It is available for purchase as a PDF as well as on the iBooks store.

Below is an extract of five chapters from the full eBook.


Morning in the Lyngen Alps

When To Go

No two months of winter in Lapland are the same (which is reflected in the fact that the Sami actually divided winter into different seasons (early winter, winter, and late winter). What time of year is best to go based on the activities that you would like to do? Read more


Passport Control

Visas/Immigration

Unlike languages and money, visas across Norway, Sweden, and Finland are uniform, since all three countries are part of the Schengen zone. This means border crossings are easy because they are no longer patrolled. If you’re not familiar with the Schengen visa, this will tell you what restrictions will be put on you and how long you can stay in the Schengen zone. Read more


Kronor and Euros

Money

For three countries that are part of the Schengen zone, Norway, Sweden, and Finland don’t make it easy to cross the border money-wise. Only Finland uses the Euro; Norway and Sweden use their own versions of kronor. What can you do to avoid money exchange pain (and importantly…should you tip)? Read more


Helicopter Evacuation in the Lyngen Alps

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is one of those things that people know is important…yet somehow it nearly always ends up at the bottom of the to-do list. However, it’s very important to make sure you move it up your list when heading to Lapland because the process may take longer than you expect. Read more ↝


Buses Lined Up at Olderfjord

Transportation

When I first started researching Lapland, I thought independent travel would be difficult because the snow would hamper public transport. This couldn’t be further from the truth. From buses to trains to planes, Lapland has it all…and they’re all more punctual than where you live (unless you’re Swiss). So what are the best transport options for you?


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