Footprints in the snow: Lapland beckons with transformative experiences

Follow the siren call of Lapland's snow-piled wilderness

Head north to the pristine landscapes of Finnish and Swedish Lapland to discover winter’s magic and enjoy transformative experiences of nature.

Unplug from digital distractions and reconnect with the essence of life amid the silence of nature, the cosmic magic of the northern lights, the enchantment of Christmas, and the snow-draped landscapes of the ethereal realm of Lapland – covering a vast expanse of northern Finland and Sweden.

The travel experts at Westpac Concierge have followed the siren call of snow-piled wilderness to diacover wintry magic. They are on hand to help with all your travel bookings, recommend where to stay, what to eat and where to dine. If you’re a Westpac cardholder, you might already be eligible for our insider advice.

Discover Lapland’s wintry magic

Experience arctic wellness elevated by Northern Lights

The northern lights flicker over a 
frozen forest near Kiruna, Sweden.
Aurora borealis flicker over a frozen forest near Kiruna, Sweden.

The age-old tradition of Finnish saunas takes on a therapeutic nature in this winter paradise. Imagine submerging yourself in the healing warmth of a traditional wood-fired sauna, followed by a brisk dip in an icy lake – a practice believed to invigorate both body and soul. This rejuvenating ritual is not only a homage to local culture, but a way to achieve deep relaxation and profound connection with nature.

Now, envision this experience beneath a mesmerising natural spectacle, the northern lights. Finland’s Arctic SnowHotel beckons with its Snow Sauna, cocooning you in steam within its snow walls, while its outdoor whirlpool bath offers the chance to bask in starry night skies, adorned with the elusive aurora borealis. Alternatively, visit the smoke sauna at Suomen Latu Kiilopää, a nature-based activities centre by Urho Kekkonen National Park that enjoys unrivalled clear-sky views.

Igloo at Arctic SnowHotel & Glass Igloos
An Igloo at Arctic SnowHotel & Glass Igloos.

Extra touch of magic: Book an Aurora Cabin at Wilderness Hotel Muotka to enjoy a sauna’s warmth, then gaze at the aurora borealis through the laser-heated glass roof above your bed – without having to leave your private sanctuary.

Embrace the silence of nature on a snowshoeing adventure

Lapland's wilderness

The region’s allure lies in its untouched wilderness, where daily life’s clamour fades into the symphony of silence. As you step into snow-draped woodlands, the only sounds are the whisper of the wind through the trees and the gentle crunch of your footsteps. Embark on a guided snowshoeing expedition through the wilderness, igniting your senses with the scent of pine, the touch of crisp air, and the sight of pristine snow stretching as far as the eye can see.

You’ll experience all these sensations on the Koronjää trail – Finland’s sole glacier route – in the Korouoma Nature Reserve. The five-kilometre route leads through snow and ice that blanket even the whisper of trickling water – the frozen waterfalls are a testament to winter’s grip.  Alternatively, venture to the enchanted forests of the Ruka area, where the enveloping silence is only broken by the crunch of snow under your feet. The frozen environment is serene, thrilling, and even intimidating – but embrace it: if you brave the darkness, your courage might unveil northern lights dancing across the nocturnal canvas.

Extra touch of magic: To help preserve the region’s pristine beauty while luxuriating in its serenity, ask our lifestyle managers to book with an eco-tour operator, such as Lapland Safaris. Boasting the Sustainable Travel Finland label, the team can take you on CO2-compensated snowmobile safaris and northern lights-hunting snowshoe expeditions.

Find the spirit of Christmas in Rovaniemi and Kiruna

As the official home of Santa Claus, Lapland offers the opportunity to revisit the joys of childhood and reconnect with the spirit of Christmas.

Kiruna's distinctive wooden church.

You’ll find the heart of this festive magic in Rovaniemi, capital of Finnish Lapland and home to Santa Claus Village – the jolly old man’s base. Crossing the village’s section of the Arctic Circle, sending a postcard from Santa Claus’ Main Post Office, gingerbread biscuit crafting, and fireside Christmas tales all await, promising to awaken your inner child. In the Swedish part, join Kiruna’s festive fervour with local traditions such as sipping mulled glögg to warm your heart and indulging in a julbord – a lavish spread of herring, salmon, smoked reindeer, and more. Wrap up for the snowbound town’s early Christmas Day torchlit procession, followed by mass at its distinctive wooden church.

Extra touch of magic: Santa’s faithful companions, reindeers are – unlike huskies – native to Lapland; a visit to a reindeer farm offers a window into both the Christmas spirit and the area’s fascinating indigenous Sámi culture.

Planning a bucket-list trip soom? Our travel and dining experts at Westpac Concierge can help make it happen with exclusive benefits, preferential pricing, and more – you’d be remiss to not take advantage of. You may even be eligible for the service already.


Aude Camus

Parisian-born Aude visited her first restaurant aged just a few days old – now she's always ready for her next meal. When not interviewing award-winning chefs or looking for a new restaurant to visit, you’ll find her planning her next getaway from Hong Kong where she’s lived since 2015. Her travel writing has appeared in online publications such as Destination Deluxe and The Hotel Journal, and she runs a lifestyle platform for French expats living in Hong Kong.

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