| Finnish Lapland
is a place for those who wish to enjoy the peace and quiet of a
remote area either in the comfort of wonderful first-class accommodation
out in the wilds or in quite primitive conditions.
Lapland can offer gastronomic delights such as
salmon and reindeer prepared in many ways, and the rare golden cloudberry.
Lapland is a very large area of 100,000 sq km (38,000 sq miles)
In the valleys, pine and spruce grow, but the northerly regions
are treeless tundra or low-fell birch scrub and many fells have
gently rounded treeless tops.
There are only 4 towns in the province: Rovaniemi
(the provincial capital), Kemijärvi, Tornio
and Kemi. The rest of Lapland is very sparsely
populated with a density of only slightly over 2 persons per sq
km. Of the 200,000 inhabitants, about 3900 are Lapps
and 600 Skolt Lapps, the latter belonging to the
Orthodox church. The reindeer roam freely on the fells and are the
property of 5800 different owners and the reindeer round-ups take
place from September to January. Special reindeer-driving competitions
take place during March with participants from all over Lapland.
As regards scenery and communications, Lapland can be roughly divided
into 2 areas: Eastern and Western Lapland.
Suomutunturi, located on the Arctic Circle,
is a well-known winter sports centre, as are Pyhätunturi,
Luostotunturi and Saariselkä Fells.
At Porttikoski and Simo, there
are traditional lumberjack competitions held in the summer.
Further to the north, Tankavaara is a gold-panning
centre. Inari village lies on the third-largest
lake in the country, Lake Inari, with 3000 islands,
on one of which stands an old Lapp sacrificial palace. The Sami
Museum is devoted to the history of the Lapps. In the wilds
lies the Pielpajärvi Church. The River
Lemmenjoki flows to Lake Inari and is
another well-known gold-panning region. The Lemmenjoki National
Park has marked routes for hikers.
The scenery differs from the Eastern Lapland and the ground is much
higher. The fells rise in bare and impressive ranges. Among the
best known are Yllästunturi, Olostunturi and
Pallastunturi. All of them are winter sports centres
but are attractive in other seasons and are especially popular among
during the summer with hikers. Haltia Fell, the
highest in Finland, at 1300m (4265ft), and Saana Fell,
1029m (3376ft), lie on the border between Finland,
Norway and Sweden. In the north
is the Lapp village of Hetta, scene of colourful
festivities on Lady Day held during March.
Main towns and resorts
Kemijärvi, Kemi, Rovaniemi and Tornio.