Distances are huge in Lapland and the transport infrastructure just cannot cover that whole area (which alone is as big as all of Portugal!!), so having a car available is a good decision!
Driving is relatively easy - not much traffic, but beware of the reindeer and moose - they can be quite hazardous (see my Warnings or Danger Tip about that.
We rented our car through the internet and picked it up at Rovaniemi airport. They have agents for all the major rental cars there, like Sixt, Hertz, AVIS or Budget.
We flew to Rovaniemi with Finair via Helsinki. We had booked the tickets in May through a German website called http://www.lastminute.de and really got a good deal!
Rovaniemi Airport is small - you can even call it cute! But hey, as long as you can fly there and fly home from there - what else do you need? The airport is about 10 km away from the city center, so taxis or buses don't cost all that much!
Since we had rented a car, we were not depending on buses. We did, however see quite a few bus stops - many more than we ever saw buses, though! There is this website (see below) that helps you find bus connections to and from various destinations, but I tried a couple of small villages and they could not find any bus going there.....
But fortunately the trains are very comfortable and with a convenient schedule.
We took a night train from Helsinki and reached Kolari (in western Lapland) next morning. By lunch time we were already on the tracks, in the forest :).
A neat and very convenient way of travelling to the very north of Finland - Lapland.
Embarque in the evening in Helsinki the car-sleeper train @ main railway station and get up and from the train the next morning fresh and almost relaxed in either Kolari or Rovaniemi.
Saves you a day, energy and dangerous situations on the road and prevents from stress.
To fly is easy and fast if you only plan to visit certain area. It is a bit cheaper now then used to be few years ago, so its maybe worth to fly direct to Lapland and rent a car there then to drive all the way from home.
Check Finnair or Blue1 for special offers.
Public transport to Finnish Lapland and within it is very good and efficient if you consider the long distances and the extreme low density of population. There are at least 6 airports in the area with daily flights to Helsinki, for our hike are the most relevant ones Enontekiö and Kittilä. Good bus connections with almost all places where people are living. Buses even to/from Norway and Sweden (which are both not far from the area of this hike). Comfortable trains connect Rovaniemi with all relevant cities in Finland. From Rovaniemi even the most remote places can be reached by bus.
As a rural area, the best option is of course driving your own car. You will be able to see the small villages, going to remote places, camping in the wild and stop everywhere you wish, even for just a short time to pick up some forest berries.
Train service serving all of Finland and Lapland. Very reliable and very comfortable. Very extensive web site, offered in Finnish, English, Swedish and Russian, well worth a look. Offer a special skitrain at winter! Can even take your car on board! However, can be more expensive than flying.
When calling from abroad, dial +358 9 2319 2902
When calling from Finland dial 0600 41 902
When booking you will see on the timetable:- Pendolino train, Inter city train and Express train. The difference is:-
Pendolino:- Super Fast New Train!
Inter City Train:- new Train
Express Train:- old train
Great bus service serving Lapland. Also specialises in charter service covering the whole country. Also serves Murmansk, Russia. Website is in Finnish though. Here's some words that might be of help when navigating the site.
aikataulut :- timetables
kartat :- maps
liput ja hinnat :- tickets and prices
uutiset :- news
tilausajot :- charter
palaute :- feedback
yhteystiedot :- contact information
etusivulle :- home page
pikavuorot :- express-service
aikatauluhaku :- timetable search
haku paikkakunnan mukaan :- search by locality
and what the signs mean:-
M-S - Everyday
M-L - from Monday to Saturday
M-P - from Monday to Friday
M - Monday
Ti - Tuesday
K - Wednesday
To - Thursday
P - Friday
L - Saturday
S - Sun and public holidays
SS - As above
____ - change buses
| - does not stop at location or does not visit location
O - stops only to get passengers
J - stops only to leave passengers
: - common bus
To get around the various ski areas at Levi there is a free bus that runs every hour in off peak and every 30 minutes during peak season. It stops at the three main ski areas and other places around the town.
The train from Helsinki will take you only till Rovaniemi or Kolari, which are not that far north. The rest of your trip north you will have to do with a bus.
Bus service from Helsinki to Lapland all the way to Nordkapp and back.
Luppokeino 3, Luosto, Rovaniemi, Lapland, 99555, Finland
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