Lapland in northern Finland is one of Europe’s last great wilderness frontiers. Not technically a park or wildlife reserve, this vast region is nevertheless regarded as an important environmental treasure, and is home to what is arguably the best wildlife viewing in Scandinavia. Home to a vibrant Christmas tradition, Lapland’s star animal attraction are the vast herds of reindeer which roam the open landscape.
The region known as Lapland spraws across a huge area of Scandinavia, from Norway and Sweden through Finland to Russia. This wilderness, sparsely inhabited throughout history, was variously claimed by several countries. Despite this, the area was never widely exploited, and much of it continues to exist in a pristine state. The people of Finland, understanding the importance of the region, work to keep it this way.
Lapland is full of parks and wildlife reserves, including some privately owned, where Scandinavia’s resident animals can be seen. Hundreds of thousands of reindeer roam the vast region, and can be seen almost everywhere, especially during the winter months. There are companies and facilities that offer reindeer safaris which may come in handy during the off season.
Lapland covers almost the entire northern half of Finland. It is most accessible through the regional capital of Rovaniemi, approximate 650 miles north of Helsinki. It is an open site. Web: www.lapland.fi/en/travel (official tourism website).