The fastest way to get to Lapland is by plane, but where to land? You may think that Lapland is at the end of the world, but flights are available from various airports in Finland, Norway, and Sweden. Choose a suitable Lapland airport based on your dates, the length of your stay, and the destination(s) you have selected…
- 1 Choose the suitable airport to fly to Finnish Lapland
- 2 Flying to Swedish Lapland: choose Luleå or Kiruna airport.
- 3 Flying to Norwegian Lapland: Select your airport !
Choose the suitable airport to fly to Finnish Lapland
The leading airline operating in Finland is Finnair, offering daily flights to Lapland from Helsinki. Depending on your dates and the length and the destination of your stay, choose the closest airport so as not to waste too much time on transportation…
Rovaniemi airport (RVN), capital of Finnish Lapland
Rovaniemi is the largest city and the cheapest destination. The Rovaniemi airport (RVN) is less than 6 miles north of the city center. There is a wide choice of hotels and restaurants, and many tourist agencies offer excursions to discover the region. You can visit Santa Claus Village and its myriad attractions at Santa Park (well, it’s a bit like Disneyland) and “cross” the Arctic Circle. But apart from that, it is not a very exciting city…
For the western part of Lapland: Kittilä airport
Kittilä airport is inside the Arctic Circle and is located less than 15 miles from Levi, a winter sports resort in the village of Sirkka. You can also choose the smaller ski resort of Ylläs, which is about 25 miles from Kittilä Airport, but in the opposite direction. There are small hostels in the village of Äkäslompolo, only a few miles from the ski resort of Ylläs, which almost gives the impression that you are staying with a local.
Otherwise, opt for Hetta, a small town in the municipality of Enontekiö in the northeast corner of Finish Lapland. Hetta lies on the edge of a lake and is much less frequented than the other regions of Finland. Kittilä airport is about a 2-hour drive, roughly 84 miles. The Sámi people are very present in this region, and you have a chance to discover their culture by visiting a reindeer farm. Hetta is a popular destination for cross-country skiing and other winter outdoor activities like snowshoeing and dog sledding. The Hetta Huskies kennel is one of the most ethical dog farms.
Ivalo: the northernmost airport
About 31 miles from Ivalo airport is the town of Inari, a beautiful village on Lake Inarijärvi, the largest lake in Sápmi and the third largest lake in Finland. Inari is far north in Finland and halfway between the Norwegian and Russian borders. It attracts with its wild nature, outdoor activities, and of course, the discovery of the Sámi culture. Almost one-third of the Sámi population of Finland live in this region. Inari is home to the SIIDA museum and Northern Lapland Nature Center, the largest and most modern museum of Sámi culture.
Flying to Swedish Lapland: choose Luleå or Kiruna airport.
The leading airline operating in Sweden is SAS (Scandinavian Airlines System). From Stockholm, you can fly to Luleå airport, located on the Gulf of Bothnia, or to Kiruna airport (further north).
Luleå is the largest city in Swedish Lapland.
Luleå airport is the best choice if you want to enjoy winter activities (dog sledding, snowmobile tours, ice hotels, northern lights, etc.) while staying in town. This is the place for you. Don’t miss a visit to the church village of Gammelstad, a UNESCO World Heritage site and the largest and best-preserved village in northern Sweden.
The furthest north: Kiruna Airport
If you want a unique experience when arriving at Kiruna airport, Kiruna Guidetur will take you to the ICEHOTEL in Jukkasjärvi by dog sled. The guide will be waiting for you in the arrival hall, you will put on warm clothes, and you will start your adventure in the Great North as soon as you get off the plane! The municipality of Kiruna is home to Abisko National Park, the ski resorts of Björkliden and Riksgränsen, and Kebnekaise (Sweden’s highest mountain). You can also go to Jokkmokk (about 85 miles from Kiruna airport), a meeting place for the Sámi people and site of an outstanding market.
There are also smaller airports like Arvidsjaur, Skellefteå, Gällivare, Storuman, Hemavan, Lycksele and Vihelmina.
Flying to Norwegian Lapland: Select your airport !
Norwegian Lapland has a very different landscape from Finnish or Swedish Lapland. Leave behind the tall snowy fir trees and get ready for the world of fjords and the snowy tundra. The airlines SAS, Norwegian, and Widerøe offer flights to Alta (located near the North Cape), Kirkenes (near the Russian border), and Tromsø (nicknamed the “Paris of the North”).
Alta airport is the best choice if you want to travel to the far north. Located on an inner meander of the Altafjord, it offers many outdoor activities (dog sledding or snowmobile trips) and, of course, the discovery of the Sámi culture. In summer, you can admire the petroglyphs of Hjemmeluft (UNESCO World Heritage), evidence of settlements in the region as early as 4,200 and 500 BC !
Tromsø airport is a very good choice. Tromsø is a dynamic and multicultural city known as a good place to observe the Northern Lights. Its privileged geographical location often allows for a clear sky, an essential condition for hunting the northern lights. And above all, you can discover the beauty of the fjords.
The three international borders meet 44 miles south of Kirkenes: Russian, Finnish and Norwegian. In Kirkenes, the Russian influence is stronger than anywhere else in Lapland: the street names are sometimes written in the Cyrillic alphabet to prove it. Kirkenes airport is the best choice if you want to enjoy winter activities such as dog sledding, snowmobiling, or crab fishing. The Kirkenes fjords are famous for fishing expeditions in search of king crabs !