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Introduction to Snowmobiling in Lapland
Pack your bags, bring a friend, and get ready for the ultimate snowmobiling experience—in Lapland! After my amazing adventures in Finnish Lapland, I couldn’t wait to share all there is on offer here. Lapland is a winter wonderland that offers some of the most breathtaking views and thrilling rides you’ll ever experience. It is one of those places that everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime.
Snowmobiling gives people an opportunity to explore this incredible region exploring all that nature has to offer. So grab a buddy or two, hop on your snowmobile, and start planning your next epic adventure today!
Here is why you need to add snowmobiling in Lapland to the top of your bucketlist.
What is Snowmobiling?
Snowmobiling doesn’t just offer a fun adventure and providing an adrenaline rush that will put a smile on your face no matter what kind of mood you were in; it allows you to explore wilderness off the tracks in the thickest of snow. It’s a perfect for friends or couples who want to spend quality time together while exploring a new environment.
New electric snowmobiles are used at most of the activity bookings and offer an environmentally friendly option to cars.
There are usually options to either rent and explore on your own, or to go as part of a group. I would strongly recoommend joining a group if you are not used to navigating in the snow or new to the area.
What To Wear When Snowmobiling In Lapland
As mentioned earlier helmets, snowsuits and sometime additional boots and glovers may be on offer but you really do need to consider the wind chill a little further. Due to the speed of snowmobiling compared to the speed when husky sledding or going on a reindeer safari; it only takes a little bit of exposed skin for you to feel it.
I would recommend the following:
Good base layers: You don’t need to spend a fortune but thermal leggings or long johns with a thermal long sleeve base top is essential.
A mid layer is optional but will adds some extra warmth and comfort to minimise the drafts hitting bare skin. I would go for some warm pants and a down or fleece.
Your outer layer will be the snowsuit, however I would suggest if you have your own snow suit or your own salopettes and snowjacket to use these because they may fit better, and in some circumstances the quality of your own kit is just that little bit better than when you use provided kit (much like most outdoor gear). Though the ones at Apukka were brill.
Footwear: You can usually use their boots but if you have your own B2’s or a good quality leather B1’s they will be great.
Accessories wise: I would suggest a buff or neck gaiter and possibly a scarf to add to it, a good pair of snow gloves, some hand warmers for when you are on the back and you can put them in your gloves, pockets of even use in your boots. Don’t forget your gaitors they will make a world of difference and stop inadvertent wind chill if the pants or snow suit lift up a but.
Best Areas To Go Snowmobiling In Lapland
Rovaniemi is the place that most people have heard of, and the most accessible budget option for many people. Rovaniemi has it’s own charm and Santa village for families, but I would reccomend a day trip to Apukka (just 10 minutes outside of the city) where you will be able to head even further into the wilderness. If you choose a night option, this location is the best area to see the northern lights in Rovaniemi area. We opted for a day trip which you can see below.
Ylläs is a great area to visit and explore by snowmobile. What makes this slightly different to some other Lapland resorts is the fact that there are two traditional villages that sit either side of the mountain and this is also Finlands largest ski area, meaning that there will be lots of options for routes by snowmobile accessible around the outskirts of the resort.
Sirkka and Levi
Sirkka used to be a traditional village but has developed for tourism over the past few decades due to it’s proximity to the resort of Levi. Lots of local tour providers and mainstream holiday companies offer deals for this area. It still has it’s charm and when exploring in a snow mobile you will be able to head further into the arctic circle and see Laplands famous popcorn trees.
Pyha has made this list due to it’s somewhat unique offerings beyond those above. It is accessible if you fly into Rovaniemi, you can take the ski bus from the airport up to Pyha national park and ski area. Here you can opt for a standard snowmobiling, night snowmobiling or you can do a snowmobiling adventure and Amethyst mine tour (We passed this a few times when visiting the area last winter and want to give this one a go).
What to Expect When Snowmobiling at Apukka
Snowmobiling in Lapland is an unforgettable experience. You’ll have access to hundreds of miles of well-groomed trails spread across some of the most stunning landscapes in all of Europe. Regardless of your experience, there are trails suited for everyone and your guide will show you the best routes.
When you arrive at the destination, you’ll usually be provided with a snowsuit, offered boots and given a helmet. We also had the offer of gloves from the Apukka, but we preferred our own. Additionally you will need to have full helmets (trust me even if you hate them you will be greatful when the sub zero wind hits you). You will be shown how to use the snowmobiles and they will start you slow.
The group tours can vary in time and size, but one thing you can expect is to see unbelievable winter landscapes. You can expect to travel through vast forests and over frozen lakes as you take in some of nature’s most beautiful sights.
If you are on the back it will feel a lot faster than it does for the driver, so be prepared for that to be
There is usually a break with time for a rest stop or swapping over the driving with your friend or partner along the way. This will be the best chance to enjoy a hot chocolate or blueberry juice usually provided for by the guide. If you are on a longer snowmobile tour, you will likely stop at a Lavvu or wild hut for a traditional finnish hot snack (usually a hot dog) by the fire.
A Lavvu is a sami tent or temporary dwelling. It looks a bit like a cross between a yurt and a native American tipi