Lapland in Scandinavia is a large Arctic region where wildlife strives and unique landscapes await outdoor lovers and photographers. The land of reindeer, fells, fjords, rivers, and Sami people is accessible by air, road and rail. Erin Dahl, who has written a travel guide to Lapland, had a chat with us, and this is what she told about landscape photography opportunities in the far north.
The Arctic Circle in Rovaniemi.
Probably the most photographed place in Lapland, however, is not a landscape, but the Arctic Circle in Rovaniemi, Finland. Rovaniemi is a traffic hub in Lapland where tourists across the world arrive by airplane. Since the Arctic Circle is only a few miles from the airport and from Rovaniemi city center, it has grown into a major tourist attraction.
Top 5 destinations in Lapland for wonderful landscape photography
Tromsö is a city where photographers can frame spectacular fjord, mountain and sea sceneries, but also vibrant city life. The city sizzles with young energy that university students bring to the streets, restaurants, bars and cafés. Since the sea, mountains and fjords are everywhere around Tromsö, hiking to a mountain or embarking on a boat tour (birds, seals, maybe even whales) provide many new photography opportunities.
Lofoten is a long and mountainous archipelago on the northwest coast of Norway. Moving around Lofoten is relatively slow because of fjords and mountains, but on the other hand, the landscapes are amazing. Villages and fishing towns that are really small along the shores provide services for travelers. In addition to the magical mountains and villages, the sea is full of wildlife.
Abisko National Park is located one hour drive away from the mining town of Kiruna. The nice thing with Abisko is that its sceneries are photogenic both in summer and winter. In summer (July and August) it is warm and possible to photograph through the night because of the midnight sun. In winter, it is cold and dark, but the Northern Lights, snowy landscape and skiing experiences are wonderful.
Kilpisjärvi is located in the fell region at the point where the borders of Finland, Norway and Sweden meet. The small village has developed into a pleasant resort that is open in summer and winter. Towards Norway, the landscape changes dramatically. Gently sloping fells turn into mountains, gorges and fjords of Norway. Kilpisjärvi provides a great variety of landscapes for photographers in a relatively small area.
Ylläs is a large national park with multiple fells. The Ylläs Fell is the home for a large ski resort that is also popular during the summer among hikers, fishermen, mountainbikers and photographers. Fabulous fell sceneries around the year with wildlife are guaranteed. The colors of autumn are the special feature in the region.
Tips on how and when to travel in Lapland
A trip to Lapland should be planned ahead because the distances tend to be long. The main airports are in Rovaniemi (Finland), Kiruna (Sweden) and Tromsö (Norway). Many Europeans make a long road trip even from southern Europe to really experience Scandinavia and the Arctic region. For instance, Nordkapp (North Cape) is a popular road trip destination at the end of the world. The book provides several route suggestions and the places to refuel and restock supplies.
The guidebook (Lapland – North of the Arctic Circle in Scandinavia) covers all aspects of planning and traveling in this exotic region. Download the book, for instance, here: