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Gay Guide • FINNISH LAPLAND | Itineraries, Tips and What to See | Practical Complete LGBT Friendly


LAPPONIA FINLANDESE GAY FRIENDLY

Travel solutions with itineraries to discover all the wonders of this destination, places not to be missed, tips about where to sleep and what to eat, and above all many small special tips to enjoy your journey !

Welcome to the Land of Ice. The darkness of the Arctic winter, the green of the Aurora Borealis, the thousand colors of the thousand-year-old Sami culture, excursions among the ice, Huskies pulling sleds and reindeer grazing on the snow. Welcome to Lapland.

GAY FRIENDLY FINLAND AND FINNISH LAPLAND

Finnish Lapland has been ranked as one of the friendliest and safest destinations for LGBTQ+ tourists. The number of LGBT people has increased in recent years, making Finland one of the most advanced countries from this point of view.

SUGGESTED ITINERARIES

Visiting this destination at its best depends essentially on how long you have to fully enjoy it. Here is a solution based on the number of days available to you:


WINTER EDITION (October-March)

  • Day 1 - Italy / Rovaniemi

  • Day 2 - Rovaniemi - Kemi (Ice Castle & Sampo Icebreaker) - Rovaniemi - Google Maps

  • Day 3 - Rovaniemi (Artikum Museum & Reindeer sleigh) - Google Maps

  • Day 4 - Rovaniemi - Saariselka - Google Maps

  • Day 5 - Saariselka - Inari (Snowmobile Frozen Lake + Aurora Cabin) - Google Maps

  • Day 6 - Inari - Rovaniemi (Santa Claus Village) - Google Maps

  • Day 7 - Rovaniemi

  • Day 8 - Rovaniemi / Italy

SUMMER EDITION (April-September)

  • Day 1 - Italy / Helsinki / Rovaniemi

  • Day 2 - Rovaniemi

  • Day 3 - Rovaniemi

  • Day 4 - Rovaniemi - Inari

  • Day 5 - Inari

  • Day 6 - Inari - Levi - Kittila

  • Day 7 - Kittila

  • Day 8 - Kittila / Helsinki / Italy

(By opening the Maps with Google, you can easily follow our path)

 

Click'n'Go - Click on the places to find them on the Map

 

WHAT TO SEE in FINNISH LAPLAND?

10 THINGS TO SEE in FINNISH LAPLAND

Rovaniemi (Santa Claus Village & Arktikum Museum)

Rovaniemi is the capital of Finnish Lapland, the heart of the Arctic Circle but also the official residence of Santa Claus. Destroyed during the Second World War, it was later rebuilt by the famous Finnish architect and designer Alvar Aalto. The most innovative thing is that the reconstruction was created starting from a plane in the shape of a reindeer's head. From an architectural point of view, the majestic Arctic Museum, Arktikum, which houses the Provincial Museum of Lapland, stands out. It is a very educational museum that offers a good introduction to the history of Finnish Lapland and the Arctic region. Another interesting thing is that the Arktikum is also a science museum and for this reason phenomena such as the Northern Lights or the midnight sun are explained very well.

Lake Inari

Lake Inari is one of the most important natural lakes in Finland and is the sixth in Europe thanks to its surface area of 1,040 km2. It is located in the northern part of Lapland and its waters flow into the Norwegian Varangerfjord, Barents Sea. This lake is made up of sacred islands, lands inhabited by the Sami tribes, and it is possible to visit it by seaplane to appreciate its grandeur and admire the beautiful panorama. The lake lends itself to various activities at any time of the year: fishing, visits to husky and reindeer farms, trekking, snowmobile excursions or contemplating the phenomenon of the Northern Lights reflected in the lake.

Kemi

Kemi is the only deep-water port in Lapland and is best known for the Snow Castle which rises in winter on the coast of the Gulf of Bothnia but also by the icebreaker Sampo, located in the port of Ajos, 11 km from Kemi.

Levi

Levi is the largest ski resort in Northern Finland, located in the municipality of Kittilä, but is also renowned for its cheerful nightlife and very relaxed atmosphere. Levi is undoubtedly the ideal destination for those coming to Lapland to ski, but what is more exciting is that it also allows you to take part in snowmobile excursions with huskies or reindeer.

Kittilä

From Kittila it is easy to reach the village of Lainio, an unmissable snow village that is rebuilt every year with over 15 million kilos of snow and 300 thousand kilos of ice. The village occupies an area of approximately 20 thousand square meters and consists of a Snow Hotel with ice rooms and suites, an Ice Restaurant and Bar, a chapel, a slide and a vast area full of artistic snow and ice creations.


Tornio

In Tornio there is the Tornionjoki, with the famous Kukkolankoski rapids. It is a stone's throw from Sweden, in fact Tornio and the town on the border with Sweden, Haparanda share several services.


Ranua Wildlife Park & Zoo

The Ranua Wildlife Park allows you to observe the animal life that the Arctic hosts. What's better than seeing polar bears in their splendor, or brown bears with great respect, or northern cats like lynxes, foxes and others in their habitat? Don't forget to take the guided tour offered by the zoo so you don't miss a single detail of the Arctic Pole's wildlife.

National Parks of Lapland

Finland is full of national parks, considered as a form of nature protection and conservation. In Lapland there are the following National Parks that you can visit: Pallas-Yllästunturi, Lemmenjoki, Urho Kekkonen National Park, Riisitunturi and Pyhä-Luosto.


Arctic Ocean Highway

One of the most spectacular places to see in Lapland, undoubtedly the Arctic Ocean Highway, commonly known as the “Jäämerentie road”, with landscapes that will leave you speechless as you descend from Ivalo to Rovaniemi.

Arctic Circle 66º 32' 35"

A line beyond which the sun doesn't rise for at least one day in winter, the perfect time to spot the Northern Lights. In summer, however, the days are very long and you can enjoy the midnight sun.


Salla

Salla is a small town located 150 kilometers from Rovaniemi, on the border with Russia. It is a place not to be missed as it offers a spectacular snowy landscape and is one of the best ski resorts to visit in the region and in fact has around 160 kilometers of special slopes for professional skiers or beginners and snowboards for children and adults. To get to the place, you can rent a car at Kuusamo and Rovaniemi airports, take a bus at Kuusamo airport or take a train at Kemijärvi station.

Utsjoki

Utsjoki is a picturesque village located between Nuorgam and Karigasniemi in an idyllic valley in the hills near the Teno River. The natural environment of these places encourages slow tourism to slowly enjoy the forests, the crystal clear waters of the Teno, the scents and flavors of nature.


WHAT TO DO in FINNISH LAPLAND in WINTER and SUMMER

Visit Santa Claus Village (winter)

One of the best experiences to do in Rovaniemi is to visit Santa Claus / Santa Claus Village. It was opened in 1985 and immediately became one of Finland's most visited attractions. The Village is a family-friendly destination, with lots to see and do and for all ages. Another experience to do is visiting the Elves Farm, where you can interact with reindeer, alpacas, ponies, rabbits and different types of birds. Fun is guaranteed and not to be missed!

See the “Kaamos” or the Polar Night (winter)

The best time to visit Lapland is winter thanks to its landscapes of snow-filled forests, hills and moors. Lapland is for those travelers who seek to visit distant lands, with wild landscapes, in some of which man was almost absent, who seek that unique silence that can only be felt in lands where nature reigns above all, where life does not it was easy for humans due to the harsh climate. In Lapland there is the "Kaamos": it is a unique phenomenon known only at these latitudes, that is, the polar night that covers the region in a darkness that is not entirely dark, since there is an extraordinary blue light that makes it seem magical this Earth.

Sledding with Huskies (winter)

One of the most beautiful experiences to do in Lapland is to ride a sleigh pulled by huskies. Enjoy the Lappish countryside as you travel along snow-covered paths on the back of a husky sled. It is undoubtedly one of the most incredible emotions, a real adrenaline rush that pervades while the dogs run quickly along the snowy paths of the Finnish countryside.

Take a Northern Light Tour (winter)

Without a doubt the dream of everyone who travels to Lapland in winter is to hope to see the Northern Lights. There are several companies that also organize guided tours to search for magic in the northern skies.

Sleeping in an Ice Hotel (winter)

A fantastic option is to sleep in an ice hotel, an impressive construction of huge blocks of ice with a carved bed and spectacular sculptures in the rooms made by artists from all over the world. Ice hotels have a bar and an ice restaurant, where we recommend you eat, because it is a unique experience. Just like sleeping in an ice hotel and not getting cold! Book your room at the Arctic Snow Hotel (26 km from Rovaniemi) or Lapland Hotel SnowVillage, an ice hotel half an hour from Levi-Kittila.

Visit a Reindeer Farm (winter)

Surely the encounter with the reindeer is one of the most awaited moments as these animals do not live in our latitudes and so you really realize that you are close to the Arctic Circle, immersed in a fairytale world.

Participate in a Winter Safari (winter)

If you love nature and animals, this experience is for you. They will take you on a quest to spot bears, moose, wolverines, reindeer. Upon arrival, don your snowshoes and follow your guide into the forest for a look at the Arctic flora and fauna. Unmissable experience!

Riding a Snowmobile (winter)

If you are an adrenaline junkie, snowmobiling is an unmissable activity in winter. Explore remote areas and enjoy the landscape of Lapland. If you are not an expert, no problem, you will be given full training and given safety equipment.

Go Snowshoeing & Trying Cross-Country Skiing (winter)

If you love exploring the wild nature you can also do it with snowshoes or cross-country skiing. Following an expert guide, you will enjoy a fantastic adventure in one of the most beautiful areas of Finland.

Learn about Sami Culture in Siida (winter/summer)

The Sami live in Lapland in Finland, Sweden, Norway and Russia and their population is around 6,000. Since the late 1990s, the Sami Parliament, a regional institution based in Inari, has tried to protect this relatively unknown culture, which is a good example of Finnish love for nature. Of course, today's Sami are not like those of the past and in fact do not live in tents or wear their traditional costume only on the occasion of festive events. To better understand Sami culture more closely, a visit to Siisa, Inari, a center consisting of the Sami Museum and the Northern Lapland Nature Center, is recommended.

Tour with Icebreaker Sampo (winter)

Experience an Arctic adventure in Finnish Lapland with a cruise from Kemi aboard the icebreaker Sampo.

Arctic Ice Floating Bath (winter)

Along with the trip aboard the famous Icebreaker Sampo, another unmissable activity is swimming in the Arctic, with a special wetsuit that prevents the cold from entering and will make you float in a sea full of ice.


Drive a Snow Crawler (winter)

A unique experience is to ride a crawler to the top of Lampivaara Hill, in the Pyha-Luosto National Park. You will be amazed to see meters and meters of accumulated snow, which you could never cross in any other way.


Visit an Amethyst Mine (summer)

If you visit the Pyha-Luosto amethyst mine, you can take one as a souvenir but only if it fits in your hand, with a closed fist. You can reach there by yourself and go by car and book the ticket on their website, or you can also rent this excursion from Rovaniemi where everything you need is included.


Attend the Finnish Foliage, the “Ruska” (fall)

In autumn, the forests of Finland are covered in different colors: yellow, red, orange: it is the phenomenon called "Ruska", a short period that lasts about two weeks in mid-September in Lapland. Therefore, autumn is a good time to visit Lapland and see this spectacle.

WHEN TO SEE THE NORTHERN LIGHTS in FINNISH LAPLAND

The best time to see the Northern Lights is from late September to late March, but the most likely to see it is from December to January, as there are more hours of darkness and it is possible to see it throughout the Finnish Lapland region.

Some suggestions:

  • Being able to see the Northern Lights is like being able to see a rainbow. It's just a matter of luck

  • The sky must be clear and clear (no clouds)

  • It is necessary to have a good camera because sometimes the human eye cannot see it well.

  • The Aurora Borealis moves and moves

  • Dress well because often the clearest days are also the coldest and you can stand around looking for the dawn for a long time

WHERE and HOW TO PHOTOGRAPH THE NORTHERN LIGHTS in FINNISH LAPLAND

To see the Northern Lights you can opt for a guided tour or go to a dark place away from the illumination of the cities. Better to bring a head battery and some spare batteries with you, so as to be prepared if the cold should play a bad trick on charging, as often happens. To photograph the aurora, equip yourself with a camera and tripod, for long exposure photographs. To photograph the Northern Lights set the camera as follows: aperture f / 2.8, ISO 800 (increases if it is very dark) and 8 seconds of exposure time. Keep in mind that if the aurora is moving very quickly, you will need to reduce the shutter speed.

USEFUL APP TO SEE THE NORTHERN LIGHTS in FINNISH LAPLAND

Before going out to see the Northern Lights, we recommend that you install the "My Aurora Forecast" application on your smartphone. It will be very useful for you to know the current KP index (we tell you what it is below) and find out how many chances there are of seeing the aurora, based on where you are. Download it here - App Store o Google Play.

The KP index is a value on a scale ranging from 0 to 9. At a KP index of 0 there is a very faint or nonexistent aurora, while at most, 9, a large geomagnetic storm is in progress.


WHEN AND WHERE TO SEE THE MIDNIGHT SUN in FINNISH LAPLAND

The best time to see the Midnight Sun is from Late May to Mid July, as there are more daylight hours and it can be seen throughout the Finnish Lapland Region. With many hours of daylight, it will be possible to extend your excursions. Tip: Bring an eye mask which can be useful for sleeping even with light.

WHERE TO STAY in FINNISH LAPLAND?

BEST LGBT FRIENDLY HOTELS & APARTMENTS in FINNISH LAPLAND

Rovaniemi / Kivitaipale - Villa Snowest

Rovaniemi - Apukka Resort (Aurora Cabin)

Rovaniemi - Vaattunki Wilderness Resort (Cabin)

Rovaniemi / Sinettä - Arctic Snowhotel & Glass Igloos (Igloo)

Inari - Lake Inari mobile cabins (Glass Cabins on Frozen Lake)

Ivalo - Wilderness Hotel Nangu & Igloos (Aurora Cabin)

Saariselka - Wilderness Hotel Muotka (Aurora Cabin)

Saariselka - Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort (Luxury Aurora Cabin)

Saariselka - Villas Karhunpesä



WHERE TO EAT in FINNISH LAPLAND?

BEST TYPICAL RESTAURANTS of FINNISH LAPLAND Quality / Price

Rovaniemi - €€€ - Nili Restaurant

Rovaniemi - €€€ - Arctic Restaurant

Rovaniemi - €€ - Rosso, Rovaniemi

Rovaniemi - €€ - Gustav Kitchen & Bar

Rovaniemi (outside) - €€€ - Ice Restaurant of Arctic Snowhotel

Rovaniemi / Santa Claus Village - €€ - Three Elves Restaurant & Lobby Bar

Rovaniemi / Santa Claus Village - €€ - Santa's Restaurant (Christmas House Restaurant & Coffee Bar)

Rovaniemi / Santa Claus Village - €€ - Snowman World / The Snow Restaurant

Rovaniemi / Santa Claus Village - €€ - Santamus

Kemi - €€ - Ravintola Valakia

Kemi - €€ - Ankkuri Bistro

Kemi - €€ - Ravintola Mori Kemi

Inari - €€ - Ravintola Sarrit

Inari - €€ - Scanburger Inari (Hamburger)

Sodankylä - €€ - Ravintola RuusuSuola

Sodankylä - €€ - Krouvi & Kievari

WHAT TO EAT in FINNISH LAPLAND?

BEST TYPICAL DISHES of FINNISH LAPLAND


Carne di Renna

Reindeer meat is cooked in many different ways and is the basis of many local cuisine dishes. It is often accompanied by potatoes and cranberry jam.


Salmon Soup

This dish is mainly composed of potatoes, onion, dill, salt, oil and obviously salmon. It's ideal for fighting colds, but keep in mind that it's a very filling meal, so don't order a second one because you can't always finish it!


Herring (Suutarinlohi)

One of the traditional ways of cooking this Lappish food is marinated, with onion and accompanied by a sauce, often mustard.


Arctic Blackberry

Throughout Finland, blueberries are present in many foods, but if you go to Lapland there is a very popular fruit which is the arctic blackberry or cloudberry. The most traditional way to eat it is with cheese bread. One of the characteristics of this fruit is the enormous amount of vitamin C it contains and, despite being small, it is said to provide more than double that of an orange.


Cheese Bread (Laipäjusto)

For them, cheese bread is a dessert, it is one of the typical dishes of Lapland which consists of mixing arctic blackberries with cheese bread.

TRAVEL TIPS about FINNISH LAPLAND by World Mappers

  • The most common question when traveling to Lapland is: is it really that cold in winter? what is the weather and temperature? The average winter temperature in Finland is quite freezing. In the south of Sweden, the thermometer drops just below freezing, but in the north, towards Lapland, the temperatures are even colder. In Kiruna, the average January temperature is -11 ° C (-13 ° F), with snow covering the ground from November to March. During our trip we reached -20 ° C.

  • How to dress for a trip to Finnish Lapland? Certainly you need warm clothes, sometimes it is better not to spare any expense to have adequate technical clothes, but the secret is to dress in onions or in layers. It is important to have technical undergarments, preferably in merino wool. Fleece and clothing with insulated interiors, a suitable winter jacket, windproof and waterproof, and good, thick socks. Touch gloves under the ski gloves. Neck warmer, ear flaps and a woolen cap or fur hat. On many winter tours in Lapland, additional warm technical clothing is often provided to wear, for example in activities such as dog sledding. Heating bags can also be useful, to keep the extremities warm especially.

  • Another practical question is how to get to Finnish Lapland. There are many international airlines that fly to Rovaniemi. From here you can rent a car to move around the surrounding area. Or if there is no direct flight, just arrive in the capital Helsinki, and there choose between the train or a domestic plane.

  • Once you arrive in Lapland, how to get around? You definitely need a car (which you can rent for example at Rovaniemi airport and will come with studded tyres, perfect for icy roads). There are also buses connecting the main cities. To get around locally in the summer in villages and cities you can do it on foot or by bicycle.

 

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CHEAP CAR RENTAL in FINLAND and FINNISH LAPLAND

To travel around Finland and Finnish Lapland you need a rental car. We have chosen to rely on DiscoverCars.com, the best car rental website where you can search, compare and save up to 70%, a real bargain right? They will help you choose the perfect car for your next trip, without having surprises of car delivery surcharges, and where it suits you best. Then just download their App to manage your booking wherever you are.

 

TRAVEL INSURANCE for FINLAND and FINNISH LAPLAND

Before any trip it is good to take out insurance to cover any inconveniences that could ruin the experience. We always rely on HeyMondo which allows you to choose the right insurance for every need. We recommend that you always protect yourself with health insurance and coverage for any cancellations, delays and, if you use them, for theft or breakage of electronic equipment. Medical treatment in Finland can be very expensive. Health insurance in this country is not mandatory by law but is strongly recommended; without it, even a routine visit can make you shell out staggering amounts.


You will get an immediate 10% discount

 

INTERNET & PHONE CALL in FINLAND - eSIM CARD

How many times do we go abroad and the first thing we do is call home to say we have arrived. How often are we in a city on vacation and we need to find a place to eat using Google Maps or the internet. How many times do we need to send messages and photos on WhatsApp without spending a salary.


Tired of spending millions when abroad calling or using the internet?

Here is the SOLUTION we use: Holafly, a new technology with eSIM. Order your eSIM on the website and within minutes you will receive an email with a QR code. Just scan it and you'll be connected to the internet right away. You save time, stress and above all do something good for the environment by not having a physical SIM. If you are in a hurry and have to leave tomorrow and have not thought about the internet problem, you can solve it very quickly with this eSIM, and there is no problem that you could accidentally lose it or damage it while traveling. Most importantly, with the eSIM you don't have to change or remove your regular SIM card, you can leave it in the phone and use the eSIM instead of the physical one.


Don't waste time and above all don't spend millions, activate your Holafly eSim.

It is very easy, but how to do it? It only takes 3 steps and voila!

Holafly also offers data plans with unlimited data to many of the main destinations in the world: for example USA, Indonesia, Europe, Mexico, Thailand and many more.


This is a "new" technology and not all devices are compatible with it, but you can check which phones are already compatible with the eSIM at this link: https://esim.holafly.com/how-to/esim-phones.


You will get an immediate discount of 5% with the "WORLDMAPPERS" Discount Code

 
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