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Lapland is often called Europe's last wilderness, a region of endless forests, fells, and great silences. Settlers in Finnish Lapland walked gently and left the landscape almost unspoiled. Now easily accessible by plane, train, or bus, this arctic outpost offers comfortable hotels and modern amenities, yet you won't have to go very far to find yourself in an almost primordial setting.
about 4,000 native Sami (also sometimes known as Lapps) still live in Lapland; the remainder of the province's population of 203,000 is Finnish. Though modern influences have changed many aspects of their traditional way of life, there is still a thriving Sami culture. Sami crafts make use of natural resources, reflected in skilled woodwork, bonework, and items made of reindeer pelts. In March, on Maria's Day, a traditional church festival takes place in Hetta, a village near Enontekiö. It is particularly colorful, attended by many Sami in their most brilliant dress, and usually has reindeer racing or lassoing competitions. Contact the Enontekiö tourist office for details.