The vast wilderness region in north Scandinavia, Lapland, covers the northernmost Sweden, Norway and Finland. It is located north of the Arctic Circle, which means that winters are ideal for snowy activities, and summers rarely get too warm for strenuous outdoor activities. The following five destinations provide the most choices for travelers who are looking for outdoor adventures, not forgetting Lapland’s iconic fell and fjord sceneries.
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Tromsö is a vibrant city, full of young energy that university students bring to the streets, many restaurants, bars and cafés of the city. Since mountains and fjords surround Tromsö, hiking to the heights of a mountain or taking a boat tour and following what whales are doing or seabirds are catching is easy. The first recommended place to visit in Tromsö is the Fjellheisen cable car that takes you to the top of a hill for views over the city and for stretching your legs on a hiking trail.
Lofoten is a large archipelago on the northwest coast of Norway. When you arrive in Lofoten, you can forget about rushing from one place to the next. The landscape is all about mountains and fjords across the islands. Small villages and tiny fishing towns here and there along the shores remind travelers that people live there, too. The mountainous archipelago is a remarkable hiking destination. Tour boats can take you to sea safaris for whale, seal, and bird watching. The most exotic outdoor activity in Lofoten is surfing. A tiny village Unstad has a surfing center where you can try your skills even in winter, perhaps viewing the Northern Lights at the same time.
Ylläs is the largest resort in Lapland, a year-round destination for people who are seeking outdoor activities. The region is also renowned for its beautiful autumns when especially Finns love to hike in this fell region. Fabulous fell sceneries around the year, reindeer, wild berries, and the colors of autumn. Skiing (both downhill and cross-country) and hiking are the primary activities, but local entrepreneurs provide many type of adventures into the wilderness, such as snow mobile safaris, husky rides, and kayak trips.
The busiest tourist destination in Lapland is probably Rovaniemi. The city has managed to turn the Arctic Circle into a popular tourist attraction both in summer and winter. Another great thing with Rovaniemi is that you can start your snow mobile safari or skiing trip from the city center. In summer, a hike to the Ounasvaara fell or a mountain bike ride into the wilderness are 10 minutes away from the city center.
Abisko is a magnificent destination for outdoor activities both in summer and in winter. In summer (July and August) it is warm and you can hike through the night because there is some sunlight even at midnight. In winter, it is cold and dark, but the Northern Lights, snowy landscape and spending a day on a cross-country ski trail or on a downhill ski slope is a lot of fun. Spring is the high season for skiing.
The article was first published at Ian Leaf.