Above the Arctic Circle, Lapland comprises one-third of Finland, the country's northernmost, largest, and most sparsely populated province, which is why it's often called "The Last Wilderness in Europe."
Although Lapland has four seasons, some people refer to eight seasons a year. In the summer, the vegetation sprouts flowers and bears fruit all within 3 months because the sun doesn't set for weeks on end. In Utsjoki, in the northernmost part of Lapland, starting in the middle of May, the sun doesn't set for nearly 70 days. If summer, with its midnight sun, is an extraordinary experience, then so is the polar night, the twilight time of the year, when there is never true darkness since the sun glows softly on the horizon.
The period during October and November, when there's no sun, is called kaamos. Winter is the longest period of the year, but it includes the night light show -- the aurora borealis. After the polar night comes the dazzling spring snow, when skiing is great until May, when the sun gives twice as much light as it did in the dead of winter.
Lapland is an area of great forests, and jobs in forestry and agriculture are the most common occupations here. Finland's longest river, the Kemijoki, runs through the area, and its lower reaches are terraced with seven hydroelectric plants. Lapland also has western Europe's largest artificial lakes, Løkka and Porttipahta.
Despite human intrusion, this is still a land of bears, wolves, eagles, and wolverines. However, the animal that symbolizes this land is the reindeer, and there are more than 300,000 here.