Finnish Lapland in Summer – Guide by a Local

reindeer at the wood storage in Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park

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Lapland shows its unique face not only during the winter but in summer as well. Midnight sun, sauna, reindeer, and the stunning Lappish nature. It is a perfect place to relax, explore nature, and observe wildlife in an exceptional, unique environment.

Check these must-do and see attractions in Lapland or all across Finland! Summer, winter, and several other seasons are waiting for you in Finland. There is much more than just four seasons here in the north 🙂

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Visit Rovaniemi, Santa Claus, and Cross the Arctic Circle

Santa Clause Village - Rovaniemi - Finland -Santa Lives Here

Although it sounds weird at first, you should visit Santa during your summer trip to Lapland. He resides in the Santa Clause Village, about 10 km away from Rovaniemi, and welcomes visitors every day. You can also walk across the Arctic Circle in the village.

Arctic Circle Sign in Rovaniemi - Lapland

Rovaniemi features several museums, from art to nature, culture, and handcraft. We would recommend spending a day in Rovaniemi and about half a day visiting the Sana Claus Village.

Here is what else to do in Rovaniemi in the summer?

Where to stay for the night in Rovaniemi: Santa Claus Holiday Village
Budget accommodation option: Wherever Boutique Hostel

Enjoy Summer Sauna

How to sauna accessories: wooden water bucket

To have a complete Finnish Lapland experience, you must visit the sauna at least once. Warming up in the sauna in the middle of the ‘night,’ than enjoying the pleasant weather outside, sipping your cider or beer. That’s something worth trying. And don’t forget that in summer, you can sail on a sauna boat. That’s right! You can have a sauna on a boat! You can dip into the water right outside the sauna door and enjoy the peace of sailing under the midnight sun!

Read our guide on how to use the Finnish sauna.

Celebrate Midsummer with a Bonfire

Rovaniemi bonfire

The summer solstice, midsummer, is an essential celebration in Finland. A bonfire is prepared, and visiting the sauna is also part of the tradition. It is also the start of the summer holidays for most.

Read more about Juhannus.

Pick Wild Berries

Cluodberry picking while hike in Pyhä-Luosto National Park
Cloudberries: the most expensive berries in Finland

Based on everymen’s right, you can pick berries almost anywhere in Finland, even in the national parks, while hiking. From July to September, different berries ripen and can be found across the country. Just have a little box or bucket with you, and you are ready to go.
More professional berry pickers can buy ‘berry brushes,’ but they can’t be used on protected areas.

Spot Reindeer in the Wild or Visit a Farm

reindeer at the wood storage in Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park

During the summer, especially if you go hiking, you will almost always see some reindeer in nature. In case you don’t have much luck, you can still visit one of the many farms to see these animals from a close distance. On the farm, you can feed and pet them!

Observe the Midnight Sun and White Nights

Midnight sun in Lapland - Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park

During the summer, the sun doesn’t set above the Article Circle for a month or more (depends on how much north you are). You don’t need any special planning, just check your watch and see the sun above the horizon at midnight (and during the whole ‘night’).

We snap this shot during the night near Pallastunturi when we were on our multi-day hiking trip.

Spend a Night in a Finnish Wooden Cottage

Finnish Wooden Cabin in Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park

The best way to feel and be more Finnish is to overnight in a wooden cabin. The easiest way to do it is to rent one near one of the national parks of Lapland. We’ll list the recommended national parks and a few options for wooden cabins below.

If you want to stay in a cabin like this for free and don’t mind walking a few tens of kilometers, read more about open wilderness huts in Finland.

Finnish National Parks You Should Visit in the Summer

  • Oulanka National Park

Hanging bridges, waterfalls, a watermill, and more!

What to do: Easy walks, day trips, or multi-day hikes.

Read more on Oulanka National Park.

Accommodation near Juuma
Our recommendation: Oulanka Basecamp – a very nice place right next to the national park!
  • Pyhä-Luosto National Park

What to do: Day hikes from 5-20 kilometers, multi-day hikes, an amethyst mine.

Read more on Pyhä-Luosto National Park

  • Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park

Fells as long as you can see, lakes, mires, and reindeer. A lot. Some mornings they approached our cottage and spent there a good half an hour with us. Other times we just passed herds or woke up in the middle of the night grazing just in front of the tupa.

What to do: Single- and multi-day hikes (up to 7-10 days)

Read more on Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park.

Hotel next to Pallastunturi: Lapland Hotels Pallas   – Check availability

Luxury Stay in a Cabin: Lapland Dream Villas  – Check availability

  • Urho Kekkonen National Park

Fells, remoteness, mostly suitable for multi-days except the surrounding of Kilopää. We don’t have a specific post dedicated to the park yet, but our friends got married near Kiilopää.

What to do: mostly multi-day hikes.

Accommodation near Saariselkä
Our recommendation: Fell Center @ Kiilipää (really loved it!)

More info about Lapland and Finland

Check our Finland Travel Guide and this 2-week Finland itinerary for more suggestions about places to visit or hotels to stay at.

Travel Resources

There is nothing better than a relaxed holiday. To ensure your rest, make sure you reserve and book your accommodation and transportation in advance of your trip.

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Summer in Lapland | Summer activities in Finnish Lapland | Things to do in Summer in Lapland | Best sights in Lapland in June July and August | Reindeer | Midnight Sun | White Nights | Sauna | Hiking in Finnish National Parks | Lappish Landscape #lapland #summer #finland
cottage in lapland in summer

About the Author


Katalin is a Lapland-based outdoor enthusiast who loves hiking, road-tripping, and traveling with her family. She spends her free time far away from civilization in one of the national parks around the world, explores off-the-beaten-path places, or hops on a road trip with her kids in an RV.
Read more about her adventures and the blog.

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7 thoughts on “Finnish Lapland in Summer – Guide by a Local”

  1. Sandra // BlueMarble Vagabonds

    Lapland is insanely beautiful! But I think I’ll have to go there twice now – not only in winter but also in summer 😀

  2. That bonfire is insane!
    Would really love to visit Finland, hopefully in 2020! Thanks for sharing these useful tips:)

  3. Wow! Never knew there would be so many things to do in Finland during the summer 🙂
    I’m planning a trip there next year so this is very helpful!

  4. It’s great that you brought up the realisation that you can visit Lapland in summer too! We are planning on visiting one of the northern natural parks at some point this summer. Actually, right now, we are on our way to Repovesi natural park in the southern Finland!

  5. The views are absolutly stunning up there 🙂

    My family is originally from Finland, but nowadays we live in STockholm Sweden. Seeing your images I kind of miss the countryside.
    Great post!

  6. Rhonda Albom

    That is quite the bonfire. What a beautiful town. Too cold for me in the winter, but I think a summer visit might be needed. That reindeer in the farm is really eye catching.

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