Need travel advice - Finnish Lapland in winter

    • Kooort
      Kooort
      Black
      Joined: 15.08.2006 Posts: 6,098
      Hey guys,

      I hope you can help me as my researches on tripadvisor and the lonelyplanet forum weren't really helpful enough.

      I will be in your country for ~2 weeks in December, arriving by plane in Ivalo (than go to Inari) and departing from Rovaniemi.
      Some questions:
      - Is it a good idea to rent a car for most of the time? (Are the car and road conditions usually okay? Enough worth seeing to drive around by myself?)
      - Is renting a car from a small local company better or should I stick to the big global companies? (As I plan to rent a car in Inari and drive down to Rovaniemi probably one of the bigger companies is better?!?)
      - Should I book Hotels/Hostels/Airbnb well in advance because many things will be completely full or is it usually okay to book it just the day before or even just show up without booking?
  • 20 replies
    • NutzAreOk
      NutzAreOk
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      Joined: 28.01.2011 Posts: 7,409
      Hi Kooort! :)

      Hopefully I can help you here at least a little bit. I have never traveled in Lapland myself so I really don`t have first hand knowledge but I should know something since I`m Finnish. :f_cool:

      Roads in Finland are usually better than okay (specially main roads/highways). Some smaller roads might not always be at so great condition but still okay condition too. If you are planning to drive only from Ivalo-Inari-Rovaniemi, most you will see is the road, forests and reindeers, views should be nice though. I`m not sure what kind of sightseeings is up there so I`m not sure what kind of advice to give you about that.

      I don`t even know what car renting companies is there but I don`t think there is huge difference whether you rent a car from smaller or from bigger company.

      Personally I would always book well in advance but because I have zero experience about travelling in Lapland area I really can`t say how full every place will be. December will be the most busiest time what comes to tourists and travelling in Lapland though so I think you should book fairly early.

      I hope we get some better answers from someone else too. :) If you have any more questions about Finland, pls feel free to add me at :skype: NutzAreOk or you can of course post here too.
    • Kooort
      Kooort
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      Joined: 15.08.2006 Posts: 6,098
      Thank you for your quick reply NutzAreOk :f_thumbsup:
    • tieppofer
      tieppofer
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      Joined: 25.01.2009 Posts: 282
      I don't know about Finland, but if you're looking to have a great time you should try coming to Brazil, specially now that our currency took a huge dive to the dollar (1 USD = 3,86 BRL) it's really cheap to enjoy our country (also, your money is very welcome to our economy :p).
    • Svinhugg
      Svinhugg
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      Joined: 20.08.2013 Posts: 367
      I don't really know that much about finnish lapland but as coming from swedish lapland the difference shouldn't be that big.

      I would go for international known car rentals. If youre not used to driving on winter roads you should be really careful. Be sure to keep warm clothes in the car if something happens. If you happen to end up in a small road it can be hours between cars and mobile phones may not work everywere.

      It is a fantastic landscape sort of low-frequenzy waves (Finland is flatter than Sweden and much flatter than Norway) never ending forests closer to the coast and bonsai birches when you get higher up.

      In december it the daylight is just a few hours.

      Fun things to do is driving a snow mobile, running dog sleighs and of course if you can get to run a reindeer sleight it is great fun. But they want money for such things. Sauna and jumping into a hole in the ice is great too.



      But don't get into competing how long you can sit in the sauna and how much you can drink. They like to do that and it never ends well.

      Most people are friendly and younger people speaks english.
    • NutzAreOk
      NutzAreOk
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      Joined: 28.01.2011 Posts: 7,409
      Originally posted by Svinhugg
      But don't get into competing how long you can sit in the sauna and how much you can drink. They like to do that and it never ends well.
      :f_biggrin: :f_drink:
    • Kooort
      Kooort
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      Joined: 15.08.2006 Posts: 6,098
      Thank you Svinhugg for ur helpful post :f_thumbsup:
    • skeida
      skeida
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      Joined: 31.03.2012 Posts: 16
      I would say that if you are not going to ski in any form (or maybe skidoo), it is a waste of time and money visiting lapland in winter (been there skiing a few times). Cross country sking network is nice as I remeber. But compare the slopes to pretty much any other place in europe, you see its not so great:)
      And it is cold as in HELL (cold hell), at leats after december. GL! (i'm from Finland btw)
    • skeida
      skeida
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      Joined: 31.03.2012 Posts: 16
      And landscape vise..well...pretty monoton (its practically a desert place). Forset after forest, and yes, low frequenzy waves, describes it fell...i.e. not noticable variation
    • NutzAreOk
      NutzAreOk
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      Joined: 28.01.2011 Posts: 7,409
      Originally posted by skeida
      And landscape vise..well...pretty monoton (its practically a desert place). Forset after forest, and yes, low frequenzy waves, describes it fell...i.e. not noticable variation
      Even though there is lot of forest, I think that is actually something that attracts foreign people because the views are so different if you compare to other places. And I also disagree what skeida said about in his first posts. It`s not always have to be all about skiing in Lapland. Maybe it`s more boring place to Finns without skiing but there`s lot to do and specially lot to see for foreign people. I would not give that kind of picture to foreign people that Lapland is a waste of money. I think people from outside of Finland should visit more there.

      e. And for skeida, why so negative? :)
    • skeida
      skeida
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      Joined: 31.03.2012 Posts: 16
      Hehe, yes, I know my respons do not help our country.
      Yes, NUZ, i totlly get your point, I had that in mind when writing my response. But even if you compare the landscapes, I dont think it offers anyting that cannot be seen elsewhere, unless you dont particullarly like the desert feel the place has. Sure there are poeple thta cna find it relaly magnificent=) ....I just wnated to make a "warning" to this guy=) ....hopefully he will enjoy it:f_drink:
    • NutzAreOk
      NutzAreOk
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      Joined: 28.01.2011 Posts: 7,409
      Well if it`s something that can be seen elsewhere, you can say a same thing about that other place. ;)
    • skeida
      skeida
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      Joined: 31.03.2012 Posts: 16
      Hard to argue with that statement:roto2: . But had more in mind a place that has the same qualities but also has something more on top of those to add to it. Maybe i will go check Lappi again some day, and i will be back here!:banana:
    • Post removed

    • Mallaa
      Mallaa
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      Joined: 25.03.2009 Posts: 47
      How about northern lights? I think its something worth seeing :)
    • tukioppilas62
      tukioppilas62
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      Joined: 01.01.2011 Posts: 2,073
      There's definitely a lot worth seeing in Lappland! I would suggest you to go try out cross country skiing if you have a change. It's very relaxing and the atmosphere is very different than doing downhill skiing in a big ski center. Also if you get bored in Lappland and have the time you could drive to Norway it's expensive there but very beautifull! Safe travels!
    • Kooort
      Kooort
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      Joined: 15.08.2006 Posts: 6,098
      Thx a lot guys, you are great :f_thumbsup: :f_love:

      I'm a bit curious what kind of car I should rent... is a small/mini car okay (especially when the rental agency offers it in the Lapland-winter?!?) or would be a better idea to rent a medium/compact-class car?
    • Svinhugg
      Svinhugg
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      Joined: 20.08.2013 Posts: 367
      Most modern cars, with ABS and ESP , will do. If you don't drive too aggressive they take care of anything. But you have to look out for reindeer and moose. A moose will smash the roof on any car if you hit one. Reindeers are a bit smaller but they ar stupid and wont leave the road. When you see a reindeer there are more of them around. Mooses comes out of the forest in a most surprising manner.

      Some sort of 4wd could be a good thing at some circumstanses but normally it's an overkill.
    • Svinhugg
      Svinhugg
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      Joined: 20.08.2013 Posts: 367
      When I started to driver for 40 years ago (jeezuz) we drove old fifties cars that was heavy, with back-wheel-drive and worn out tires. We developed a skill for driving in winter-time. Most of that is obsolete in todays cars. Thank god.
    • Kooort
      Kooort
      Black
      Joined: 15.08.2006 Posts: 6,098
      Thanks for the quick reply :f_thumbsup:
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