Tired of crowded beaches and less-than-pristine shores? Time to head to the secret sands of Finnish Lapland for an alternative beach holiday you won’t soon forget!
Lapland is home of some of the cleanest water in the world, the sunniest sandy shores, the coldest ice holes and everything in between. Here are some beach holiday offerings you can only get in Finnish Lapland.
Secret sands & Sun
No one can deny the allure of a sandy beach in the sunlight. And in Finnish Lapland, the summer sun shines all day and all night long, making it the perfect place to get your Midnight Tan. You’ll find beaches in almost every village, town, along the highways and back roads—there are beaches everywhere. You just have to know where to look. (Pro-tip: the word ranta means beach and often leads to a little patch of quiet sand.)
In Lapland, the beaches are rarely crowded, but you might be joined by a reindeer or three if it’s a particularly hot day.
The great thing about Lapland is that the beaches don’t have to be the destination—they can be fun pitstops along the way, for example, when exploring downtown forests or stunning tundra canyons.
When the Midnight Sun finally sets, the waters of Lapland grow dark and cool. You can still swim as much as you want, but it’s always nicer to have a sauna nearby. And with a saunaboat, you’re never far from the hot rocks and hissing steam. Even better, you can avoid the chill of the water by trying floating. The water may be cold, but you’re toasty as … well, toast.
Floating igloos are one of the best ways to enjoy the waters of Lapland in autumn. Reds, oranges and yellows sweep across the forested beaches in anticipation of the coming snowflakes. And autumn is the only time you can see auroras reflected in water—in winter, the frozen rivers and waters are blanketed in snow.
Into the Icy Waters
Ice swimming is one of those things you might not understand, if you’re a normal person. But the idea is that the air is -20 °C or colder, and the water is actually MUCH warmer within than without. The near-freezing water first pierces your skin like liquid acupuncture, and then there’s a sense of fire and warmth. You never feel more alive than when you’re submerged in icy waters.
Best of all, there’s ALWAYS a sauna nearby so you can warm up in between trips to the ice hole. Yes, we said trips plural.
Just like floating in autumn, you can don a warm suit and go float in icy waters. The best time to do this is night, when you can relax and watch the auroras play across the majestic Milky Way.
Wanna try something authentically Arctic? We call it “shrugging off your winter fur” and it means hopping in the cold waters of spring for the first time of the year. This is the best time to practice your new Finnish curse words or even invent a few new ones. Afterward, the warmth of the sun and a fluffy towel on the beach never felt so good.
Even if you want to leave the icy waters to the polar bears and walruses, you can enjoy the beach life. There’s 12 hours of sunlight every day by mid-March, and by April, you might even see Finns in t-shirts and shorts enjoying the crisp breeze and warm promise of spring.