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From Santa's home Rovaniemi to the top of Saana in Kilpisjärvi: Lapland Adventures


As an international student ambassador for Lapland University of Applied Sciences, I had the pleasure of organizing a trip for exchange students to the beautiful destinations of Levi and Kilpisjärvi.

Our adventure began on a Friday morning, where we departed from the Rovaniemi campus and headed towards Levi. Our first stop in Levi was the Samiland museum, which showcased fascinating artifacts related to the Sámi culture.

Picture of Samiland exhibition building

The owner of the museum, a Sámi himself, even arranged a traditional Sámi singing performance, Sámi Joiku, for us. We were also able to feed his reindeer and explore the exhibition of old Sami buildings in the museum’s reindeer area.

After our visit to the museum, we settled into a cozy cabin I had rented in Levi for the weekend. We took some time to relax and prepare a meal together before embarking on a hike up to the Levi fell. It was quite the adventure as we had trouble finding the route, but with my guidance, we were able to find Santa’s childhood home, which was featured in the Finnish movie “Christmas Story – Joulutarina."

Picture of Santa Claus cabin in Levi

After a day filled with stunning natural scenery and outdoor activities, we returned to our cabin for some much-needed rest and relaxation. To following day, we woke up early and drove to Kilpisjärvi, which was a long but scenic journey. The further north we traveled, the higher the fells rose, and their snowy peaks sparkled in the sunlight.

Once we arrived at Kilpisjärvi, we discovered that an ice fishing competition was taking place. It was fascinating to see so many people gathered for the event, with camper vans parked for at least a kilometer along the village road.

We then headed towards Saana fell in the Malla nature park, where we hiked through a birch forest towards the Lapland hut and made lunch there. The views throughout our hike towards the top of Saana were absolutely breathtaking, and we were lucky enough to have sunny and warm weather.

Picture on top of the Kiilopää fell

At the top of Saana, we sat on a rock and indulged in some chocolate to energize ourselves before descending the peak. The journey back down was faster than climbing up, but unfortunately, I had an accident and sprained my ankle twice. Despite the setback, we persevered and made it down the slope.

We then enjoyed a delicious meal at the Kilpisjärvi camping lodge before returning to Levi for a peaceful evening in the sauna. Our final day in Levi was spent exploring the town center before we departed for Rovaniemi.

The trip was filled with new experiences and breathtaking sights that will remain in our memories for years to come.

- Ismo. International Student Ambassador -