Finnish Lapland is everything! It is vast. It is silent. It is wild. It is white. It is green. And it is beyond.
If you ever wish to experience Lapland (even virtually), this is a must read!
We interviewed our childhood friend Anna, who is a real nature lover, and here she shares her story how nature can fulfill one´s life.
- Could you tell us little bit about you and your background?
I was born and lived my childhood in western Finland in a small village in the countryside. After graduating from University, I lived abroad for couple of years, but then I met my husband and we decided to move back to Finland and start a family.
In my free time I enjoy all kinds of activities done in nature, like hiking, trail running, mountain biking and camping to maintain a healthy work-life balance. I´m also an active member in a local Scout troop.
- You are a true nature lover. What does Nature mean to you?
Nature is the basis of my life. It´s a channel for me to relax, get my mind cleared and reconnect with myself. Waking up in a hammock in the middle of a forest in a crispy summer morning, hearing just birds singing, is when I get a feeling that true happiness can be achieved just by being part of nature. I think nature should always be respected and protected as much as we can, because without nature, we would not exist.
It´s a privilege to live in a country where nature is everywhere around you. It´s unique that 70% of our land is covered by trees and we have about 188 000 lakes all over the country! Finland´s northern part, Lapland, is a massive natural outdoor paradise. In Lapland, there are 12 wilderness areas and 7 national parks, which are vast, inhabited and roadless areas that have remained in a near natural state. You can easily roam in these areas for days without running into other travelers and experience what real silence and being far away from everything really means.
- How to experience Lapland?
Best thing is just to be and experience the silence and authentic nature around you. If you like sports, depending on the season you can hike, walk, bike, run, paddle, cross-country ski, do snowshoeing and downhill skiing. You can also go fishing or take a reindeer or husky safari to the nature. Since you are in Finland, you should go to Sauna at least once and dive in one of the many lakes to make the experience perfect.
- If someone would like to go hiking in Lapland, where should they start the journey/planning?
Finland has 4 seasons, which have stark differences and all of them offer very different experiences. So, I would start my planning by deciding a season when to go, although I recommend experiencing all of them!
In the summer, from mid-June to August, you can experience the world-famous Midnight Sun and nature in its bloom, but you can also be sure that there are a lot of mosquitoes. Luckily none of the mosquitoes in Finland spread any diseases and are not a danger to humans in any way. 😉
During autumn, the northern landscapes are painted in colors of green, auburn, blue, red and yellow. Mosquito season is over as temperatures are getting lower. Best season to see the colorful surroundings is in September. Already in October, snowfall is typical, days get darker and walking in the hiking trails can become a challenge.
In winter, from December to March, snowfall is frequent, and temperatures are well below zero. Daylight time is short, but if you are lucky, you can experience the Northern Lights in the dark sky. Some of the hiking trails are accessible by snowshoes or cross-country skis. You need to be well prepared for the trip as weather conditions can be ruthless.
In spring nature is waking up after winter. Daylight time gets longer, snow starts to melt, and birds are migrating back to Finland. Animals are waking up from their winter slumbers and finally leaves start to sprout from trees. From hiking perspective, trails can be inaccessible due to melting snow and later in spring conditions can be very wet.
If you need more information of the different hiking destinations in Lapland, visit: https://www.nationalparks.fi/destinations
- What does Scandinavian wellbeing mean to you?
Scandinavian wellbeing means having simplicity in my life and staying connected to nature and having nature an integral part of my everyday life. It is important to me having my priorities in right order and living by my values. Scandinavian people are known for being hardy and having longevity and resilience, to which I reflect strongly.
I also consider Scandinavian wellbeing meaning that I choose sustainable wellbeing over transient trends. I consider testing the limits of my body and spirit, stepping out from my comfort zone and staying curious to new things is important to keep learning more about myself and the world around me. It is also important for me to be part of the community and teach children how to stay active, be responsible and think independently.