Exploring Lapland: 7 Breathtaking Stops on a Campervan Road Trip
Exploring Lapland: 7 Breathtaking Stops on a Campervan Road Trip

Exploring Lapland: 7 Breathtaking Stops on a Campervan Road Trip

Discover the Magic of Lapland in a Campervan – Your Ultimate Guide to an Arctic Adventure

Are you ready for an unforgettable adventure that will take you deep into the heart of Lapland, Finland’s northernmost region? Imagine driving through snow-covered landscapes, chasing the Northern Lights, and experiencing the unique culture of the Sámi people. A campervan road trip in Lapland promises all this and more. In this guide, we’ll take you on a journey through seven key stops, providing route details and recommendations for places to stay in your campervan. Get ready to embark on the road trip of a lifetime!

1. Rovaniemi: The Arctic Capital

Begin your Lapland adventure in Rovaniemi, the Arctic capital, where Santa Claus meets Arctic wonders.

Rovaniemi, located just six kilometers south of the Arctic Circle, is the gateway to Lapland and an ideal starting point for your campervan road trip. This vibrant city boasts a unique blend of modern amenities and pristine nature. Here are some must-visit attractions:

  • Santa Claus Village: Begin your journey by meeting the one and only Santa Claus at his official residence. You can also cross the Arctic Circle line here, marking the start of your Arctic adventure.
  • Arktikum Science Centre & Museum: Discover the history and culture of Lapland through fascinating exhibitions. Learn about the Sámi people and the region’s unique flora and fauna.
  • Ounasvaara Fell: For panoramic views of Rovaniemi and its surroundings, hike up Ounasvaara Fell. In winter, it’s a popular spot for downhill and cross-country skiing.

Where to Stay in Rovaniemi

  • Santa Claus Holiday Village: Park your campervan at this themed village for a truly magical experience. It offers camping facilities and cozy cabins.
  • Arctic Camping Rovaniemi: This campsite offers excellent amenities and is conveniently located close to the city center.

2. Levi: Winter Wonderland and Beyond

Explore the winter wonderland of Levi and its year-round outdoor adventures on your Lapland campervan road trip.

Levi, one of Lapland’s most renowned destinations, is a mere 170 kilometers north of Rovaniemi. While it’s famous for its winter activities, including skiing and snowmobiling, Levi offers much more:

  • Levi Ski Resort: In winter, hit the slopes at Finland’s largest ski resort. In summer, the area transforms into a mountain biking paradise.
  • Ice Karting: Experience the thrill of racing on ice at Levi’s Ice Karting track. It’s a unique activity that promises tons of fun.
  • Levi Huskypark: Interact with adorable huskies and take a husky sled ride through the stunning Lapland wilderness.

Where to Stay in Levi

  • Levi Camping: This campsite provides everything a camper needs, from electric hook-ups to modern facilities. It’s also conveniently close to the village center.
  • Levin Iglut: For a luxurious stay, consider the glass-roofed igloos at Levin Iglut. Enjoy the Northern Lights from the comfort of your bed.

3. Ylläs: Lapland’s Untamed Wilderness

Discover the unspoiled beauty of Ylläs, where pristine wilderness and outdoor adventures await on your Lapland campervan road trip.

A short drive northwest of Levi will lead you to Ylläs, another gem in Lapland’s crown. This national park area offers a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of modern life:

  • Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park: Explore Lapland’s largest national park, home to stunning fells, ancient forests, and crystal-clear lakes. Hiking, canoeing, and berry picking are popular activities here.
  • Sámi Cultural Center Sajos: Learn about the indigenous Sámi culture, their history, and traditions at this informative center in the village of Äkäslompolo.

Where to Stay in Ylläs

  • Ylläs Caravan Camping: Nestled amidst the Ylläs Fell, this campsite offers a peaceful setting and all the amenities you need for a comfortable stay.
  • Ylläksen Yöpuu: Opt for a cozy cabin at Ylläksen Yöpuu, located in the heart of Äkäslompolo village.

4. Inari: A Cultural Oasis

Immerse yourself in Sámi culture and explore the pristine wilderness of Inari on your Lapland campervan road trip.

Drive northeast from Ylläs, and you’ll find yourself in Inari, a place rich in Sámi culture and Arctic nature. Here’s what to see and do:

  • Siida – Sámi Museum and Nature Center: Gain a deep understanding of Sámi heritage, Arctic nature, and the Northern Lights through interactive exhibitions.
  • Lake Inari: Visit Finland’s third-largest lake and enjoy a boat trip to experience its serene beauty up close.
  • Inari Reindeer Farm: Get up close and personal with these iconic Arctic animals and learn about their role in Sámi culture.

Where to Stay in Inari

  • Saariselkä Camping & Igloos: This campsite offers spacious spots for campervans and cozy igloos for a unique stay. It’s conveniently located near Saariselkä Fell.
  • Tradition Hotel Kultahovi: Experience traditional Sámi hospitality at this charming hotel located in the heart of Inari.

5. Karigasniemi: Arctic Wilderness at Its Best

Metadescription: Venture off the beaten path to Karigasniemi and immerse yourself in Lapland’s pristine Arctic wilderness on your campervan road trip.

As you continue your journey northward, you’ll reach Karigasniemi, a remote and unspoiled village on the banks of the Teno River. This is a place to connect with nature in its purest form:

  • Tenojoki River: Go fishing for salmon in the famous Tenojoki River, known for its abundant fish population.
  • Sámi Bridge: Cross the Teno River on the Sámi Bridge, which connects Finland and Norway. The views of the Arctic landscape are breathtaking.

Where to Stay in Karigasniemi

  • Karigasniemi Camping: This campsite offers a tranquil setting along the riverbank, with excellent facilities for campervans.
  • Näätämönsaaren Lomamajat: Stay in cozy cottages on the Näätämönsaari island for a unique Arctic experience.

6. Utsjoki: Land of the Midnight Sun

Metadescription: Experience the magic of the midnight sun and the northernmost village of Utsjoki on your Lapland campervan road trip.

Welcome to Utsjoki, the northernmost municipality in Finland and a place where the sun never sets during the summer months. This remote village is a hidden gem for those seeking tranquility and Arctic beauty:

  • Midnight Sun: Witness the mesmerizing phenomenon of the midnight sun. It’s a surreal experience you’ll cherish forever.
  • Utsjoki Church: Visit the iconic Utsjoki Church, known for its picturesque location on the banks of the Teno River.
  • Boat Trips: Explore the Teno River on a boat trip, immersing yourself in the stunning landscapes and potentially spotting local wildlife.

Where to Stay in Utsjoki

  • Utsjoki Camping: This campsite offers a unique opportunity to camp right at the northernmost tip of Finland. It’s a prime spot for midnight sun viewing.
  • Tievatupa Northern Lights Lodge: For a cozy and intimate stay, consider Tievatupa Lodge. It’s a perfect place to enjoy the northern lights during winter.

7. Kilpisjärvi: Lapland’s Arctic Majesty

Metadescription: Revel in the rugged Arctic beauty of Kilpisjärvi and its stunning natural wonders on your Lapland campervan road trip.

As you head west from Utsjoki, you’ll reach Kilpisjärvi, a remote village nestled in the heart of the Arctic wilderness. This area is known for its breathtaking landscapes and outdoor adventures:

  • Saana Fell: Hike to the top of Saana Fell for panoramic views of the surrounding wilderness. The climb is rewarded with vistas that stretch all the way to Norway and Sweden.
  • Three-Country Cairn: Visit the Treriksröset, the point where the borders of Finland, Sweden, and Norway meet. It’s a unique location that offers a glimpse into Lapland’s international character.
  • Kilpisjärvi Lake: Enjoy a peaceful moment by the pristine Kilpisjärvi Lake, surrounded by the majestic Saana Fell and the Malla Nature Reserve.

Where to Stay in Kilpisjärvi

  • Kilpisjärvi Camping: This campsite is located on the shores of Kilpisjärvi Lake, providing campers with breathtaking views and excellent facilities.
  • Kilpisjärven Retkeilykeskus: Choose from cozy cabins or rooms at this retreat center, offering easy access to hiking trails and the lake.

Final Thoughts: Lapland Awaits Your Campervan Adventure

Your Lapland campervan road trip promises not only stunning Arctic landscapes but also a chance to immerse yourself in the unique culture of the Sámi people. From the Arctic capital of Rovaniemi to the northernmost village of Utsjoki, each stop along the way offers its own charm and a chance to create unforgettable memories.

Prepare for varying weather conditions, pack warm clothing, and don’t forget your camera to capture the beauty of this Arctic wonderland. Whether you’re chasing the Northern Lights, hiking in pristine national parks, or simply basking in the midnight sun, Lapland is a destination that will leave you in awe of the natural world.

So, fuel up your campervan, plan your route, and set off on the adventure of a lifetime. Lapland is calling, and it’s time to answer that call and explore this enchanting Arctic paradise.

Note: Please check local regulations and camping guidelines before embarking on your Lapland campervan adventure, as rules and conditions may change over time. Additionally, be mindful of the environment and practice responsible camping and travel.