Wanna get lost and hear the sound of Lapland for yourself? Check out our new summer bucket list, inspired by singer-songwriter Carly Rae Jepsen’s recent break in Finnish Lapland.
—When I travel with my crew, we encourage each other to get out there and see the gifts of the place we’ve landed in … to get out and try things.
When award-winning singer-songwriter Carly Rae Jepsen and her crew visited Lapland for some rest and relaxation after months on tour, she scratched a bunch of things off her summer bucket list. Follow in Carly’s footsteps and check out some of these amazing summer experiences.
Walk with Huskies
These giant gray, black and white fluffballs are like a children’s idea of a dog. Soft, big and they absolutely love to run. Grab the reins and let the pups from Bearhill take you on a journey (because you are absolutely not in the lead) through the unending forests and up and down the gentle fells of northern Lapland. Pro-tip: make sure you have plenty of battery life, cuz you’ll be taking about 9000 photos of yourself, the pups, and the stunning landscapes.
Picnic on a Felltop
All that hiking, with or without a fluffy companion, works up an appetite. So when you break through the trees and find yourself looking out over Lake Onkamo, break out the picnic blanket and take a break. Enjoy a sandwich or two, crackers and salmon pate, hell, pour yourself a glass of wine. You only live once, and you’ll never be here, in this moment, ever again. Lean back, enjoy the tastes of Lapland, the smells, the sounds. The Midnight Sun isn’t going anywhere.
Get a reindeer selfie
Queen, meet King. Reindeer are the royal family of Lapland, the crowned wanderers to whom the entire north belongs. You’ll see them standing in the road, beside the road, in every field, wandering forests, marshes, even the beaches. Reindeer in the wild can be a cantankerous bunch, so if you want to get that million-dollar selfie then head to a reindeer farm, like Holiday Village Valle in Utsjoki, where the animals are much more amenable to sharing their social media presence with you.
Enjoy the silence
Insects buzz at the window. Birds tweet at each other from the treetops. The waters of Lake Kemijärvi add a pleasant white noise to the whole affair. Whoever said Lapland is silent has obviously never been to Lapland. The sound, like the air, the sky, the inner peace, is simply of a different quality–elevated beyond mere noise into a world of relaxing ambiance. The day is warm, the sun is bright, and the world is literally calling you outside.
The path less travelled
There’s nothing like walking through a forest, hearing the birds sing, the insects chirp, the sand and gravel crunch beneath your boots. The hiking paths at Oulanka National Park are some of the most popular in Finland, and for good reason. An afternoon spent here will take you up and down, to stunning scenic overlooks revealing the rapids of the Oulanka River, the proud pines piercing the veil of the morning fog, the grand majesty of untouched Arctic nature.
Hit the open road
Whether your road trip starts with loud music or the snores of your passengers, every road trip in Lapland will lead you to surprises and unforgettable moments. Head to Kilpisjärvi in the northwestern arm and see Finland’s only true mountains. Or go in the other direction and pass through Inari, Utsjoki and Sámi country. Start at the sea in Kemi and follow the Tornio River to Pello for a taste of the river valley life. And don’t worry about tunes–there’s mobile network just about everywhere in Lapland, and Spotify’s always got something good to listen to.
Marshmallows Under the Midnight Sun
Even though the sun is up–and won’t set for another couple weeks–the “night” wind carries a bit of a chill. What better time to warm yourself and your friends with a campfire? The crackling logs, the embers drifting into blue sky like stars, and of course, marshmallows. You grab a huge one and slide it onto a fresh branch and hold it over the flames. The taste–and the burned tongue–are the perfect cap for the day, only made better by the view of stony ravines of the Pyhä-Luosto National Park.
Throw the steam
Water drips from the tips of your toes, which are pleasantly on fire. Another ladle of water is thrown onto the sauna stove, and it hisses as it sends up a great plume of steam. The steam rolls along the wooden ceiling before descending onto your head, your ears, your shoulders. You take a breath slowly, even your teeth can feel the warmth in the steam. Talk has ceased, now there is only the steam, the dark panels of the lakeside sauna, the heat as it works its way into your core. Is this too much? you ask as you dip into the water bucket once more.
Looking for even more unforgettable summer experiences? Check out our Lapland Summer Bucket List for more inspiration.