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    Finnish Lapland is as close as reality gets to those who dream of a winter wonderland. Contrasts are a key factor in the allure of Lapland where 24-hour sunlight in the summer replaces the dark winter days. The hustle and bustle of towns and ski resorts is just minutes away from the peace and quiet of the wild wilderness.

    Rovaniemi is the capital of Finnish Lapland and the hometown of Santa Claus. Located on the Arctic Circle, Rovaniemi provides modern services and lots of activities year round.

    The thrill of witnessing the Aurora Borealis is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many. Finland is one of the best places on Earth to spot the Northern Lights — they appear on more than 200 nights a year in Finnish Lapland. Doze off under the Northern lights. The more traditional ways to go Aurora spotting are snowshoeing, cross-country skiing or snowmobile and sled dog touring. If gazing at the dark sky in crispy winter air is not your thing, you can simply add comfort.

    In the summer Finnish Lapland bathes in 24-hour sunlight for nearly three months. It is an incredible contrast to the darkest winter months when there is no sun at all. “Midnight sun”, as this phenomenon is called, calls for many activities such as hiking on the beautiful fells or visiting cultural events such as the Midnight Sun Film Festival in Sodankylä.

    Autumnal Lapland is the best place in Finland for witnessing “ruska” — a short period when all the foliage turn into bright colors like red, yellow and orange. Seeing ruska makes looking at the already breath-taking landscape into an out-of-this-world experience. Best ruska-time is usually in mid-September, lasting around one week.

    Lapland’s versatile ski resorts offer downhill enthusiasts everything from kids’ runs to black slopes, and snow parks to backcountry exploring. The season starts in late October, and high season spans from February until the snow melts in early May.

    The Sámi are the only indigenous people of the European Union, residing in the Northern parts of Finland, Norway and Sweden as well as in parts of North-Eastern Russia. In Finland, the Sámi population is approximately 6 000 strong, and the preservation of their endangered language and culture is governed by an autonomous parliament of Inari, Finland.

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