Whether experiencing your Arctic Activities on one, or many, destinations, there are a range of options available to you when it comes to transfers and internal transport. Whether by plane, boat, rail or road – organising ground can be challenging to plan and organise, however with our tips and information below we hope you will be able to plan your dream Arctic adventure. Our top tips for organising ground transport are:

Plan: plan ahead of time as some remote destinations will have limited availability
Arctic Activities: Check your activities have pick up from your planned accommodation
Flexible: Plan contingencies if roads or rail are impassable
Distance: Even though two places may seem close on a map, don’t assume it will be a short journey as roads can be sparse
Time: Allow plenty of time for travel
Adventure: Your adventure is as much the journey as getting there. In the day keep an eye out for reindeer and some of the most spectacular arctic views, at night watch out for the Northern Lights!

Visit Lapland

Getting around Lapland by bus

There are a number of the transfer and bus companies around the region, and although impossible for us to recommend them all, here are some hints and tips for some of the best in the region. It is vital to plan and book ahead. Depending on your itinerary, you can easily find yourself in stunning, but remote, areas of the Arctic such as Abisko and Bjorkliden renowned for some of the best Northern Lights activities, however remote enough to be difficult (and very expensive) to book a taxi as they are over an hour away.

Lapland bus travel tips

Finland

There are three major bus companies operating in Finnish Lapland which include Express Bus, Matkahuolto and Ketosen Liikenne Oy.

Many of the major airports, including Rovaniemi, are serviced by Airport minibuses that meet arriving flights and drop off at hotels in the town centre. In Rovaniemi this can be booked through (www.airportbus.fi) starting at 7€ per person for a 15-minute journey.

From Ivalo Airport there are a number of companies including Eskelisen Lapin Linjat (www.eskelisen.fi) who run transfers to Saariselkä and Kiilopää and Inari; Kuljetusliike Ilmari Slant (http://inarilapland.fi) who operate transfers to Inari; and (www.matkahuolto.fi) wo run Lapland transfers to Ivalo.

From Levi (Kittilä Airport), try Tunturilinjat (http://www.tunturilinjat.fi) which is the transfer company for the Levi region servicing a number of destinations across the region.

Bigger destinations such as Rovaniemi also have local busses that form a limited, but very useful, public transport network where timetables and tickets can be booked ahead of time at www.linkkari.fi.

For those wanting to make it to Santa Clause Village and Father Christmas experiences, Line 8 will take you there, or you can jump on the Santa’s Express direct bus. If Ranua Zoo is your aim, then Matkahuolto operates daily coach services – visit https://www.matkahuolto.fi/en/ for more details.

Sweden

One of the best companies to consider for transfers in Kiruna, Abisko and Bjorkliden is Visit Abisko and Visit Kiruna (www.visitabisko.com and www.visitkiruna.com). With transfers from Kiruna Airport to a wide range of hotels and experiences, they have a comfortable service that is popular, so it’s recommended to book ahead. They also run transfers and trips across the border to Narvik should you want to continue your arctic adventure further.

If you are flying into Lulea Airport, there are local busses (route 4 and 104) which can be used with a prepaid ticket or a three-day tourist card that can be bought from Luleå Local Traffic (LLT) may be purchased at the Mat & Fika café at Luleå Airport and in the Quickomat machine located at the bus shelter outside the airport terminal.

Norway

From Bodo Airport you can take the public bus on either line 1 or line 4 to get to the centre of Bodø which less than 10 minutes and leaves directly in front of the airport’s main entrance. On weekdays, a bus runs to and from the airport every 15 minutes however it is always recommended to check the timetable here www.177nordland.no. If you are feeling energetic, and do not have too much luggage, you can even walk it which takes about 15 mins at a brisk pace.

From Narvik Airport Flybussen (www.flybussen.no) operate busses to Nardtad (50 mins), Narvik (75 mins) and Sortland (125 mins). Tickets can be purchased at the airport with regular busses running into Narvik centre.

From Tromso Airport try either theThe Flybussen (Airport Express Coach) (http://www.bussring.no/airport-express/) which runs between the airport and Tromsø city centre. It takes approximately 15 min by bus between the airport and the city centre. An alternative, and more budget transfer, is the City Bus which has routes 40 and 42 that run between Tromso Airport and the City Centre. A single ticket for these city buses (purchased on board the bus) costs NOK 50 per adult however it is recommended to buy tickets in advance at Point Kiosk at the airport costing just NOK 31. Check the website for more info and timetables (https://www.tromskortet.no).

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Getting around Lapland by car

The roads in Lapland are of good quality and the authorities work tirelessly to keep them as clear as possible, however the Arctic can throw up some challenging driving conditions. All hire cars MUST have winter tires on by law, however it is recommended that anyone planning to drive is confident to drive in wintery conditions.

Lapland car hire tips

Major cities and airports have hire car facilities, however it is always recommended to book in advance. In winter especially, it is also recommended that you take into consideration the amount of luggage you will be carrying as well to make sure you, and your bags, have plenty of space.

When you pick up your car, you may be surprised to see it plugged in. Don’t let this confuse you, this doesn’t necessarily mean you have hired an electric car but is there to help keep the engine from freezing. Also, many of the cars have ‘preheat’ functions which allow you to get them warm before you jump in – useful when temperatures drop.

It goes without saying that caution should be taken on the road, especially at night. Although an iconic symbol of Lapland, Reindeer and Moose can be spooked and unpredictable.

However, exploring Lapland from a car is a pleasure with some of the more spectacular panoramic views possible from the roadside, and if you do find yourself driving at night, the Northern Lights may just come out to help light your way!

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Getting around Lapland by Air

With some destinations difficult and time consuming to travel between, a good way to move around the region is by air. There are a number of smaller airports serviced by regional and national operators that can help transport you deep into the Arctic Wilderness for the best possible Arctic activities.

Internal Lapland air travel tips

Although there have and will be a number of local operators servicing local flights in Lapland, the main airlines (SAS, Norwegian and Finnair) have been consistent in delivering a quality and reliable service across the region. At the time of writing, the current operators servicing internal flights across the region are:

Finnair: www.finnair.com
SAS: www.flysas.com
Wideroe: www.wideroe.no
Norwegian: www.norwegian.com

Alternatively, if budget is not an option, then why not travel in style and charter a helicopter transfer!

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Getting around Lapland by train

The train can be a great way to travel to, and around, the Lapland region. The services are reliable and comfortable however on occasions extreme weather can mean that services can be cancelled and sometimes lines rendered impassable for a number of days. Well this is the Arctic and it’s an adventure! Therefore, it is wise to always research alternative routes and plans before you travel, keep an eye on forecasts and take local advice to ensure you do not get stranded and miss your homeward flight.

Lapland train travel tips

Finland

Finland has a well-connected network that stretches north to classic Lapland tourism areas such as Rovaniemi, the official home of Santa experiences, and Kolari.

Depending on where you have booked your Arctic activities, the train also stops at Kemi located on the coast of the Gulf of Bothnia – a jump off point for some Arctic Icebreaker experiences.

Passengers can book a day or a night train from the south with coach or sleeping cabins available. As the train runs through the Arctic circle, it is well worth looking out for the Northern Lights as you journey north through the Arctic wilderness.

Operated by the Finland rail company VR, your journey can continue to a range of additional destinations in Finland from Salla in the East to Levi in the north by the TrainBus from Rovaniemi, which can be booked in conjunction with your train ticket.

For a full list of destinations serviced by the TrainBus, more information and to book tickets visit http://www.vr.fi/

Sweden

There is a train line that runs from Stockholm all the way to Swedish (and even into Norwegian) Lapland. There are a range of classes to travel, however for comfort one of the train’s cabins are recommended as it is a spectacular 19-hour journey end to end.

The journey, known as the Arctic Circle train, is also an option for those looking to journey around the region as you can easily buy tickets from point to point travelling up (or down) Swedish Lapland between Lulea (the capital of Swedish Lapland) through towns and villages including Boden, where it is possible to transfer to the world famous TreeHotel; Kiruna for the Icehotel; Abisko for the Northern Lights activities, Bjorkliden for wilderness activities, dogsledding, snowmobiling and Northern Lights, and Narvik in Norway with the Fjord, culture and yet more classic Lapland activities on offer.

If travelling by train, basic refreshments are available on board and remember to always have a print out of your ticket and valid ID at all times.

To find out more and book tickets, visit http://www.scandinavianrail.com

Norway

With more than 3,000 kilometres of railway in Norway, the northern most line known as The Nordland Railway, runs North as far north as Bodø above the Arctic Circle. Running through the country’s changing landscapes and scenic countryside passengers are treated to panoramic views of mountains, lakes and Fjords along the way.

Run by Norwegian State Railways (NSB) it is a well-developed railway network that connects down to Norway’s south coast. The Nordland Railway makes up 729-kilometres of the network which, according to Lonely Planet, was named one of the world’s best night train journeys.

Starting in Trondheim, the train takes around 9.5 hours to journey north to Bodø which is known as the home to Norway’s second largest glacier (Svartisen) and the world’s most powerful natural whirlpool (the Saltstraumen maelstrom). Bodø is also the ideal stopover for the ferry trip to the Lofoten Islands.

For more information or to book train tickets, visit https://www.nsb.no/

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Getting around Lapland by taxi

Larger destinations will have local taxi services which can be really useful options for transfers, however it is always recommended that you firstly check the services is available and book it in advance. Although Visit Lapland personally accept no responsibility, local organisations have recommended the following taxi companies…

Lapland taxi companies

Finland

Rovaniemi: Taxi Lähitaksi Rovaniemi +358 200 88 000 or Rovaniemi Taxi Service +358 60 030 030 / +358 29 009 1090

Sweden

Kiruna (Abisko & Bjorkliden) Taxi Kiruna +46 980 120 20
Lulea: Luleå Taxi +46 920 100 00

Norway

Bodo: Bodo Tax: +47 915 23 336 or +47 07550
Narvik: Narvik Taxisentral: +47 07550
Tromso: Tromso Taxi: +47 03011

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Getting around Lapland by boat

There are a few destinations where it is recommended (or required) to take a boat as part of your journey. This is the perfect way to experience the region from the water, making the journey as much a part of the adventure as the arrival.

Lapland boat transfer tips

Norway

Boat to Lofoten (Torghatten Nord)

If you are planning a visit to the Lofoten Islands, then Bodø Airport is your best choice. The Bodø ferry terminal is reached by bus from the airport which will require you to change busses at ‘Bodø sentrum’ to pick up the bus on line 3 to ‘Terminalveien’. In total it’s a 15-minute bus ride (or a 5-minute taxi ride if you are in a rush).

At the ferry terminal you have two choices, either by ferry, or express boat. It is always worth checking the timetable with boats making the journey twice a day (more frequently in the summer).

The journey time and price will depend on the type of transportation you choose and your destination. An average journey will take about 3.5 hours. Visit www.Lofoten.info for more information.