Road trip in Finnish Lapland

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A YEAR-ROUND ROAD TRIP IN FINNISH LAPLAND

Distance:
7 days
Trip duration:
865 km 

With a motorhome, you can enjoy the freedom of the road and choose any direction to head to during your next motorhome holiday trip! In this article, Touring Cars has thoroughly planned and developed a route that you can take for your next motorhome adventure in northern Finland at any time of a year. 

Finland has been ranked multiple times as the happiest country in the world by the World Happiness Report. If you are intrigued by the idea of what makes people happy in this Nordic country, maybe it is time to get packed and start a motorhome holiday in search for secrets of a happy life from local people in northern Finland!

During your journey you will discover Finnish habits and traditional cuisine, meet with locals (including reindeers), visit Santa Claus village, and explore vast forests in multiple national parks that offer a great variety of outdoor sport possibilities throughout the year! Coming back home, you might bring a secret of happiness to your friends and family members, but most importantly, you might bring heart-warming memories of your motorhome holiday around Finland.  

This route is specifically designed for couples who want to enjoy the purity of the arctic nature and experience the wilderness of Finnish nature at any season with a duration of 10 days. However, you can adjust and extend duration of your stay in certain places. Additionally, we encourage you to go through our route picked places that might still catch your eye and provoke to start exploring this welcoming country already this year. 

The happiest county in the world is waiting for your visit, so get packed and head to that long-awaited motorhome holiday!   

Day 1  

Arriving to our Rovaniemi rental station  

Upon your arrival to Rovaniemi Airport (RVN), our customer service representative will greet you and provide a transfer directly to our rental station. At the rental station, our professional personnel will deliver a personal orientation with a motorhome. After the familiarisation process, you will be ready to start an unforgettable motorhome holiday around Finland!  If you will arrive by a car, please request an available parking space for your personal car from the rental station before your arrival.  

The official hometown of Santa Claus 

Before leaving the rental station, we suggest visiting a Santa Claus Village, located next to our station. The Santa Claus Village has been open every single day since its opening in 1992. Here, you can meet real Santa Claus and his little helpers – elves, visit prominent Santa’s Post Office, send letters to your relatives and friends stamped with a special Arctic Circle stamp mark, and cross the Arctic Circle! Don’t hesitate and explore this exciting area for a few hours before indulging in mouth-watering Finnish cuisine.  

Exploring the capital of Finnish Lapland  

Upon receiving the keys to your premium motorhome, you will be ready to explore incredible Finnish Lapland, known also as a Winter Wonderland. Your first pit stop should be Rovaniemi, the capital of Lapland. This charming city is located in the Arctic Circle area and is home to approximately 65,000 inhabitants who will warmly welcome you to enjoy Lappish culture and a wide range of activities throughout a year.  

While wondering through the cosy streets of Rovaniemi make sure you visit the Lordi’s Square dedicated to the Finnish heavy metal band that won the Eurovision Song Contest in 2006. Afterwards, you can stroll along the banks of the river Kemijoki and include a visit to the local science centre and museum - Arkikum that focuses on introducing its visitors to the Arctic nature and culture through the exhibitions and events. 

Taste of Finland  

We recommend finishing the day by checking out the local restaurant that serves traditional Finnish food. We also highly recommend ordering traditional Lappish dishes such as sauteed reindeer meat that is served with mashed potatoes and lingonberry jam or salmon soup with barley flatbread - rieska. For dessert you might want to have lightly grilled cheese - leipäjuusto that is served with an endemic delicious berry - cloudberry. After enjoying traditional Finnish dinner, it is time to find a parking place in the surroundings of a peaceful Finnish nature.  

An off-radar treasure 

What could be the craziest activity to do on your motorhome holiday around Finland, you might ask. - The answer is taking a cruise on the Arctic Icebreaker Sampo vessel and swim in the freshly crushed icy water!  

This is once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take a vessel that crashes the thick ice of the Gulf of Bothnia. This exotic activity can be started from the town of Kemi, which is 2-hour drive from Rovaniemi. During the cruise you will be guided to the engine and cockpit rooms, you can dine at the restaurant and see vessel crushing the ice in front of your eyes on your wintertime journey! 

However, the main activity of all is to swim in the freshly crushed ice water nearby the vessel on your winter road trip. It sounds crazy, right? You will be equipped with specialised thermal clothes and get a safety guidance before going into the water for an incredible swim! So, do not hesitate and add this activity to your bucket list when you decide to travel around Finland with a motorhome!   

For more information on available dates, please, visit https://experience365.fi/icebreakersampo.  

Day 2 (Approx. 180 km) 

A fresh start 

What could be better than waking up in the surroundings of pristine nature with the freshest air in the world?

Start your day by making a hot cup of coffee and a warm bowl of Finnish oat porridge before tackling the day full of energising activities! All our motorhomes include kitchen and are fully equipped with kitchen utilities, so we guarantee that you will enjoy the food making process in the comfortable atmosphere of a rental camper.  

The largest ski resort in Finland  

Set your navigator to Ylläs sport resort, which is 2-hour drive from Rovaniemi on the Ylläs fell. It can be an exciting opportunity to stretch your legs and enjoy a vibrant atmosphere after a short motorhome ride.  

In summertime this place transforms into the perfect holiday destination with possibilities to go hiking, paddling, downhill mountain biking and so much more! You can find specifically designed hiking and cycling trails depending on your skill level. If you don’t have sports equipment with you, you have a possibility to rent it from the nearby shop.  

During wintertime Ylläs sport resort transforms into the fairy tale looking landmark, on the highest point of which the majestic view over the Lapland landscape opens. You will have a great opportunity to experience a spirit of freedom by dashing on the slopes on skis or snowboard. If you are an unexperienced winter enthusiast, the resort offers private lessons with professional instructors. So, feel free to spend a couple of hours, while practicing downhill and cross-country skiing as well as snowboarding and snowshoeing.  

Note: Ylläs Sport Resort serves motorhome travellers all year round. You can park your private hotel room on wheels to the official camping area which is located next to the centre and slopes while you just enjoy premium services and activities. 

Traditional Finnish sauna  

After a thrilling day of sliding down the skiing slopes or Bike Park trails, it is time to experience an authentic relaxing and healing Finnish sauna!

There are several saunas at the Ylläs sport resort that you can visit. The most impressive are smoke saunas at Lake Äkäslompolo and Lake Luosujärvi.  

If you are searching for a unique sauna experience, then we recommend visiting a gondola sauna that takes a 20-minute round-trip up and down the hill, and can accomodate up to 4 people. It would be a mesmerising experience to warm up in sauna, while looking over the eye-catching Finnish nature.  

Additionally, you can experience swimming in the ice-hole in cold months of the year, and this can be done in the villages of Äkäslompolo at Ylläksen Yöpuu and Luosujärvi at Rönölä. 

Day 3 (Approx. 80 km) 

Embrace the wilderness of Finnish nature 

Start your morning with a freshly brewed Finnish coffee and head towards your next stop – Levi. Levi is a small town that is surrounded by a ski resort in the Kittilä municipality. Thanks to its location, it is a well-known touristic destination among local people, that offers multiple opportunities for a great outdoor holiday. Levi is located an hour and 15 minutes car ride from the Ylläs sport resort.  

After reaching this well-maintained resort town you have a chance to select the perfect afternoon activity from its wide range of services. During summer and autumn time, you can do SUP paddling, berry picking, horse riding, or you can play golf. For adventure seekers, we recommend, going on a guided river rafting. During winter and spring time, you can go skiing and snowboarding, visit a reindeer farm and go on a ride with huskies. For an unforgettable experience, we recommend going on a snowmobile safari that will help you experience a winter wonderland at its best! Take a moment and enjoy panoramic views, while making several stops along the way to fully experience the beauty of this scenic place.  

What could be better than a cup of warm drink combined with a traditional Finnish baked pastry after an adventurous day outdoors? We suggest trying out Runebergintorttu– rum cake topped with raspberry jam and icing, joulutorttu – traditional star shaped pastry with plum jam or voisilmäpulla – pastry filled with salty butter in the middle.  

Aurora hunting 

To end your day with you might want to spend an evening with your significant other in the surroundings of tranquil nature, and the best way to finish your day would be to seek the Northern Lights! Aurora Borealis is usually perceived as winter phenomenon in the Nordics, but you can spot the lights already in September and October, and all the way to March and April in the northernmost parts of Europe. 

To spot those natural lights, you should head out to the countryside, away from city lights. Once darkness falls on a slightly chilly day, the Aurora can be visible at any time of day, but the best times often seem to be between 9 pm and 2 am. However, clouds and snowfall can sometimes prevent you from seeing this colourful phenomenon. 

Note: You might want to check the Aurora forecast before planning this activity to maximise your experience! Make sure you pack enough warm clothes and bring a thermos with warm drink before taking off to such an incredible and exotic hike!  

Day 4 (Approx. 155 km) 

Exploring the biggest National Park of Finland 

Your next stop on a motorhome adventure will be the biggest National Park of Finland and one of the largest in Europe - Lemmenjoki National Park. It is 2.5-hour drive away from Levi.  

Do not miss an opportunity to visit Lemmenjoki National Park in autumntime. You will hear a thousand of golden leaves rustling with every step you make, whilst seeking for the perfect spot to grill in the real fire some sausages and marshmallows on your afternoon hike. Additionally, you will have a chance to stroll by, or take a boat tour through the Lemmenjoki River that spans through the national park and opens up views over breath-taking fells and old pine forests. 

Try your luck at gold digging  

Additionally, during your visit to the Lemmenjoki National Park you will have an opportunity to try your luck at gold digging! Dating back to the 19th century the area near the national park became an epicentre of gold mining with a huge amount of gold findings at that time. Since then, this area is protected, and visitors have an opportunity to experience the thrill of panning for gold through several guided tours. If you are searching for a unique experience, then we recommend trying out this activity on your adventurous trip to the Lemmenjoki National Park!  

Day 5 (Approx. 50 km) 

A new beginning 

Start your morning as a Finn by taking a dip in the nearby lake and feel how your body awakens!

After a morning swim and sensing all those relaxing natural sounds from the nature, we suggest heading to the forest and picking some nutritious and antioxidant endemic berries such as cloudberries, lingonberries, and blueberries as an addition to your breakfast! Finnish forest is also packed with mushrooms. However, we recommend familiarizing yourself carefully with their varieties before enjoying them.  

After mindful morning activities with superfood delights, set your navigator to Inari – a city located 40-minute drive from the Lemmenjoki National Park.  

The capital of Sami culture  

Today you will be exploring Inari - the capital of Sami culture. Let us remind you that Sami people are the indigenous Finno-Ugric group that mainly resides in the northern parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia. There are approximately 80,000 representatives of the Sami culture around the world with half of its population living in Norway.  

Inari is a charming tiny town that can easily be explored. During your town excursion, we recommend visiting the museum of Sami culture and nature centre - Siida. Afterwards, you can spend the entire afternoon enjoying the views over the third largest lake in Finland – Inarijärvi, either from the surrounded land or from a boat. Additionally, certain cruise companies offer midnight sun cruises during summertime. For a romantic getaway, it is definitely a must-do activity, while you are in this area!  

Did you know...the northernmost ATM machine is located in Inari? 

 

Annual events  

If you are lucky, you will have an opportunity to attend one or more annual events that are held in the Inari municipality. Starting from the Skábmagovat – the indigenous peoples’ film festival held in January, to the annual reindeer racing championship held from the mid of February to the beginning of April. For an ultimate Finnish experience, spend an extra day attending one of the annual events held in this area.  

An off-radar treasure  

One of the cultural cornerstones of Sami people in northern Finland is reindeer herding. If you are looking for an exotic authentic experience, we recommend planning a few extra days to experience Sami culture by yourself and try out an activity of reindeer herding in Utsjoki. Utsjoki – is a Finnish municipality that borders with Norway and that has the highest Sami population density in Finland, and it amounts to 50%!  

For more information, please, visit https://www.lapland.fi/visit/meet-reindeer-ailo/how-to-herd-reindeer/. 

Day 6 (Approx. 100 km) 

Urho Kekkonen National Park 

Start your day with applying sunscreen lotion as you will be spending the whole day outside in the surroundings of pristine nature and crystal-clear lakes and rivers.

Make sure your camera and phone batteries are fully charged and you wear comfortable walking shoes as you are about to head towards the adventures in the splendid national park that offers magnificent views round the year! 

Your next stop will be Urho Kekkonen National Park, which is located south-east from Inari. Make sure you plan, in advance, what area of the national park interests you most as there are a few spots to start this exploration with. However, generally, it would take you approximately 1–2-hour drive from Inari to reach this park. 

Feel how sunshine gently touches your skin, while you are getting close to Finnish nature in one of the most gorgeous places in Finland. No wonder why so many locals tend to visit it during autumn time, when beautiful trees turn to golden, red and orange colours. Urho Kekkonen National Park offers a variety of activities to its visitors: from hiking, trekking, horse riding, fishing and berry picking in autumntime and cross-country skiing, winter biking and snowshoeing in wintertime to canoeing, mountain biking and birdwatching in springtime.  

Did you know... Urho Kekkonen National Park is one of the Finland's largest protected areas and approximately 300,000 annual outdoor enthusiasts visit this area to get closer to the pure and fresh nature? 

 

We recommend including a visit to this place whenever you are exploring Lapland at any time of the year, mostly because there are tons of activities that you can start in warm and cold months of the year.  

To end your day with you might want to get closer to Finnish culture and have a chat with local tourists, while preparing food on an open fire. What could be better than creating a memorable acquaintance with local Finnish people, who could give you an insight into how to be as happy as a Finn?  

Afterwards, you might want to park a campervan closer to nature and spend an evening with your loved ones, while listening to nature falling asleep, as well.  

 

Day 7 (Approx. 300 km) 

This is your last day of a motorhome holiday around northern Finland. After a great night sleep, you will be heading back to our Rovaniemi rental station, which is 45 minutes' drive (depending on which route you take) from the Urho Kekkonen National Park. The road on your way is going to offer impressive views.  

Upon your arrival to the rental station, our company representative will greet you at the scheduled drop-off time. We will check a vehicle’s condition and after finalising your rental, we will provide you with a VIP transfer directly to the Rovaniemi Airport, from which you will take a flight back home.  

During your flight, you might be going through the earlier taken pictures of your motorhome holiday in Finland and start dreaming of your next motorhome holiday adventure with us somewhere in Europe or in exotic Russia!