The Best Outdoor Activities to Explore Lapland’s Winter Landscape Finland

Lapland is the perfect winter wonderland. A paradise for winter fans and lovers of the great outdoors. The winter season in Finnish Lapland starts in November and the snow often sticks around until May. That means you can enjoy winter sports and snow adventures for around six months. Now that we have established that Lapland offers plenty of time to play in the snow, I want to share some of the best outdoor winter activities in Lapland with you. From snowshoeing to dog sledding, here are some of my favourite ways to explore the magical winter landscape in Finnish Lapland.

Snowshoe HikingSnowshoeing Lapland

Snowshoeing is one of my favourite ways to explore the great outdoors in Lapland during the winter months. It’s an easy and fun winter activity. You don’t need particular skills to snowshoe, just a spirit of adventure. First and foremost snowshoeing is a mode of transport. A way to get from A to B when the snow is deep and you can’t walk on it with regular shoes. But as with regular hiking, snowshoeing has the great advantage that you don’t need roads. You can make your own path and get to enjoy places and views that no car could access.

Snowshoeing Utsjoki - Winter Activities in Lapland

Many tour operators and equipment stores across Lapland offer snowshoes to rent, but you can of course just bring your own. Snowshoes are relatively affordable and light. So even if you’re bringing a big old pile of winter clothes to keep you warm, you can always fit in a set of snow shoes.

Read more about Snowshoeing in Lapland

Ice Fishing

Lapland Arctic Tundra

Now this to me is the dark horse of winter activities in Lapland. Something that is hugely popular amongst locals but visitors often miss out on the fun that is ice fishing. I’m not usually a fisherwomen nor have I got a great deal of experience with fishing. I used to own a fishing rod when I was a child but it’s safe to say that I scored more branches and twigs than fish. Despite all that I immediately fell in love with ice fishing. The whole experience is something that I think every outdoor-loving visitor of Finnish Lapland should try at least once.

Imagine the silence of the ice desert, sitting on the ice with a hot cup of coffee to warm you while you wait for your first fish to bite. Sounds idyllic, doesn’t it? Of course you’re not really moving a lot during ice fishing, which means your body cools down faster. A campfire with some roasted sausages is a relaxing and tasty way to tackle the cold. And if all else fails, the excitement from catching your first fish should raise the temperature.

Ice Fishing Lapland

Most places that locals choose to go ice fishing are in the Tunturi (Finnish for fells/bare hills) and getting there is an adventure in itself. The typical mode of transport for this is a snowmobile, but more about that below.


Easter in the Arctic

Snowmobiling in Lapland is as much a necessity for many people as it is fun. Like I said, many activities such as ice fishing or reindeer herding would simply be impossible without access to a snowmobile. During the winter and spring when everything in Lapland is covered in snow, you can drive your snowmobile just about anywhere BUT the road. Sounds fun right? My first experience on a snowmobile reminded me a lot of jetskiing. Thrilling, exciting and an endless offering of jaw-dropping views (only that of course instead of water you’re surrounded by snow).

Easter in the Arctic

While snowshoeing and ice fishing tend to be more on the affordable spectrum when it comes to winter activities, snowmobiling unfortunately is a lot more expensive. The good news is that you can pair up with a friend or travel buddy to share the cost as a snowmobile will fit two people.

Husky Sledding

Dog Sledding - Winter activities in Lapland

Dog sledding is one of the most popular outdoor winter activities in Lapland. Many people visit Lapland because of the perfect Northern Light chasing conditions, but I wouldn’t be surprised to find Husky Sledding in close second. Travelling without engine across the winter scenery of Lapland is definitely an experience you won’t forget.

However there are a few things to look out for. As always when choosing an activity involving animals it’s important to make sure that the animals are treated fairly. The dogs used for sledding have been bred to run long distances in freezing conditions. That means they want to run and need regular exercise. Make sure you choose a place that is run by a passionate team that puts the animal first. Someone that is in tune with dogs.

Another thing to watch out for is whether the places offers passive rides where you sit back and enjoy the scenery or trips where you actually get to guide the dogs. Both are equally rewarding experiences, BUT you may be disappointed if it’s not what you had your heart set on.

Read about my Dog Sledding experience in Northern Norway. 

Winter Activities in Lapland

Have you been to Finnish Lapland? I would love to hear about what winter sports and activities you have tried. Let me know in the comments below.

Planning a trip to Lapland? Why not pin this for later?

Lapland Winter Activities The Best Outdoor Winter Activities in Lapland


  1. What a beautiful winter wonderland! I found love to see the Nothern Lights there, oh and of course to the dog sledding! Loos like you had a great time

    • globalbrunch Says: August 26, 2017 at 10:38 am

      Finnish Lapland is a wonderful place to experience the Northern Lights, with great chances of success. Definitely the right place if you want to experience the dancing auroras.

  2. Looks so much fun!

  3. Looks like so much fun, I really wanna do Husky Sledding!!

    • globalbrunch Says: August 26, 2017 at 10:37 am

      It is 🙂 I hope you get to try dog sledding. Experiencing the energy and strength of the dogs is incredible.

  4. It is so refreshing to see a post about winter when it’s boiling hot outside here – makes me crave some crisp cold weather and snow. I would totally love to try snowmobiling and snowshoeing sometime – Lapland looks like a great, off-the-beaten-path place to give it a try.

  5. Awesome post! Need to visit asap!

  6. Looks like a great adventure! I’m never sure how I feel about dog sledding but part of me has always wanted to try. I agree about finding a passionate team who puts the needs of the dogs first. So important 🙂

    • globalbrunch Says: August 26, 2017 at 10:34 am

      It is! Lapland is full of possibilities for winter adventures and the locals are very much in tune with nature and the animals.

  7. Ah so many amazing adventures to be had. Why can’t I go and do them all? Maybe one day I’ll get there myself.

  8. I really want to go to Lapland, it looks amazing with all that snow. Great list of activities and good shout about the dogs.

  9. Finland is incredible in the winter! We had a ski holiday in Ruka early last year and got to try snowmobiling & husky sledding. We also had a random reindeer sleigh ride too! Your post has just brought back some awesome memories… I just want to go back now!

    • globalbrunch Says: August 26, 2017 at 11:34 am

      That sounds amazing. I haven’t been to Ruka yet or skiing in Lapland for that matter. It sounds like I should give it a go the next time I’m up there 🙂

  10. It looks beautiful! And those activities all look so fun. I would really like to try the snowshoe hiking but I just worry about getting too cold. I guess I need to invest in some serious winter gear.

  11. Going dog sledding in Lapland would be a dream come true! Gorgeous pictures. Although I felt cold just looking at them 🙂

  12. Snowshoeing is so much fun! I have only been to Lapland once on a skiing holiday. Next time will definitely try husky or reindeer sledding too.

  13. Great Post. I’m not much of a winter person, but maybe that’s because where I live there isn’t a lot to do. I think with all of the activities in your post I could enjoy winter in Lapland

  14. Visiting Lapland is definitely a unique experience. It looks like a beautiful country with pretty unique experiences.

  15. I want to go snow mobiling (is that even a word?) so bad. It looks awesome. I’ve wanted to go to Lapland every since I was a child. It’s now officially on the bucket list.

  16. Snowmobiling and snow shoeing definitely interest me with blue skies and fresh, white snow. In all honesty, I’m not ready for winter, but I know it will be here in the blink of an eye.

  17. I saved your post as I am planning a trip somewhere next year. Would love to go husky sledding

  18. Personally, I am not a winter person and don’t like exploring in the snow. But this places does look incredibly beautiful.

  19. […] MORE FROM GLOBAL BRUNCH  Best Outdoor Activities to Explore Lapland’s Winter Landscape and […]

  20. […] I love spending time there. During those visits I have chased Northern Lights, tried several fun winter activities, researched the local Sámi culture and even worked as a travel guide showing people the beauty of […]

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