Watch Lapland's national park transform into a winter wonderland
The frost-covered forest of Riisitunturi National Park looks like a page ripped out of a Dr Seuss book
image Roberto Moiola / Getty
words Lucy O'Brien
Welcome to Wanderlust Wonders: each week we’ll be cleansing your feed with a feel-good snapshot of somewhere beautiful, both in and out of this world.
Today, we’re taking you to Riisitunturi National Park in Lapland, Finland.
Lapland feels like more of a mythology than reality. With its boundless nature, sheets of untouched snow and countless natural wonders like the Northern Lights and never ending forests, it’s no wonder this place has captured the imagination of our most-loved festive fairy tales. But as it turns out, visiting this winter wonderland has much more to offer – in fact, snow has been proven to boost our mental health. Research has found that snow actually absorbs 60% of sound as well as acting as a visual insulator – essentially meaning it helps to block out external distractions coming from your surroundings, leaving you with a sense of serenity and calm. Who knew?! Anyway, let’s find out a little more about all Lapland has to offer…
What am I looking at?
Riisitunturi National Park in Posio, Finnish Lapland, is known for its vast spruce and pine tree forests that, when winter comes around, become engulfed in thick, condensed frost. As in the picture you see above, Lapland’s extreme Northern climate transforms the region into a picturesque frozen wonderland, and the national park becomes a hotspot for keen walkers, photographers and winter-weather lovers.
Tell me more…
Lapland, as you may well know, has long been closely associated with the legendary North Pole, home of Santa Claus (St Nicholas, Father Christmas, you know the drill). In fact, the association began in 1927 when a Finnish radio host said that Santa Claus lived on Korvatunturi, a mountain in the region. Since then, Lapland has staked a claim as the official epicentre of all things Christmas, which definitely helps boost tourism to a cold country.
But Riisitunturi National Park has visits from nature enthusiasts year-round. In autumn, reindeers return to the forest, which is also home to bears and lynxes. But above all else, people travel here to simply bask in the beauty of this vast, natural landscape – and we certainly understand why.
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