In the midst of the silence and beauty of Finnish Lapland, two almost unbelievably picturesque villas offer guests a cosy base for enjoying the serenity and magic of all seasons.

Have you fallen in love with Finland yet? It’s just a matter of time. More specifically, it’s a matter of seasons, according to German couple Andreas Feicht and Dana Voyé who first visited Finnish Lapland over twenty years ago.

“In German, we call it Kaiserwetter – emperor’s weather,” Feicht tells Scan Magazine. “Kaiserwetter is very bright – the nicest weather in the whole year, between March and mid-April, up to when the snow begins to melt. Bright blue skies, sunglasses on – it’s a kind of magic.”

Lappland Dream: Eight seasons, two villas, one Lappland Dream

During their first visit, the couple stayed in a handsome wooden villa in the Arctic village of Rauhala, and, in 2015, they purchased that villa from its German builder-owner.

“We wanted to really experience pure winter, cold winter, real snow, not wet snow, but powder snow, relaxed surroundings, calming down and feeling the atmosphere – that was the motivation to go to Finland in the first place.”

But, Feicht explains, this “magic feeling about nature” is available all year round in Lapland, where Sami culture names eight distinct seasons in the rapidly changing local cycle of colour, light and wildlife. For example, there’s Finland’s early autumn ruska, when the temperature is still above zero in the daytime, and “all the leaves and the swamps become red, very bright with nature’s fascinating colours. At that time, all plants seem to burn,” muses Feicht. “And there’s the crisp temperatures of the blue season from December to January,” says Voyé, with its mesmerising aurora displays and snow that glows by moonlight.

Lappland Dream: Eight seasons, two villas, one Lappland Dream

Cosy and quiet

Lappland Dream (note the German spelling) consists of two houses, the Mother House and the Little Sister, the only differences being the number of guests that each can accommodate, 10 and 6 respectively, and the owners; the Mother House is owned by a Swiss couple, Jürg and Martina Dräyer. Both villas are fitted throughout with classic knotted golden pine – de rigueur for traditional Finnish summer houses. Perhaps it’s the association with holiday homes internationally that makes the polished pine interiors positively glow with cosiness, or perhaps it’s the way the wood seems to amplify the soft yellow-white of dinner-table candlelight or the quiet yellow-orange dance of an open fire.

“Unlike the Alps,” says Feicht, “which are all about action, entertainment and downhill skiing, the Lapland experience is restorative. It’s totally quiet in the winter, and only the voices of birds are heard in the summer. Some clients rent it for work, such as the Belgian customer who stayed for six months during Covid lockdown and now comes back every year for a month of digital nomadism.”

Lappland Dream: Eight seasons, two villas, one Lappland Dream

Summer visitors might stay for three weeks. “We have a wonderful local couple, Tommi and Kaisa, living a few kilometres away, who welcome guests with a log fire,” says Feicht, “Finnish vegetable soup on the stove, so the holiday doesn’t start with cooking,” continues Voyé. “A bottle of Prosecco and a bottle of red wine for dinner, and a beautifully laid table with flowers and candles.”

Breakfast supplies for the next day will already be in the fridge, and guests will find winter coats, boots, gloves, cross-country skiing equipment and snow shoes from the store room (it gets down to -25 degrees here, and occasionally -30), or bicycles, canoes, SUPs and paddles for the summer. Moreover, the use of thermos flasks, head lamps and ruck sacks for longer excursions, are all included in the rental price. A swim or paddle in the lake – or indeed a contemplative gaze at the sky and open water – is just a few metres away from your door. And, if you absolutely must have your Alpine skiing fix, you can do that here too, with slopes adjacent to the houses – or perhaps huskie and snowmobile tours are more your thing, or snowshoe tours and ice fishing?

Lappland Dream: Eight seasons, two villas, one Lappland Dream

Surrounded by wilderness

Closeby Lappland Dream, guest will also be able to explore the Pallas Yllästunturi national park, a remarkable wilderness, with nature that rivals that of Canada or Siberia. According to National Parks Finland it also has the “world’s purest air”, thanks to the region’s scant industrialisation and lack of flight paths. Nonetheless, civilization is close at hand. The nearby towns of Levi (famous for the Alpine Ski World Cup slalom race), Muonio and Äkäslompolo mean that what Feicht describes as ‘perfect supermarkets,’ as well as many restaurants, are within 30 minutes’ drive.

“In Finland, things are perfectly organised. Right on time,” Feicht observes. “Promises are put into action, quality is high, appointments are kept. You can be assured that forest ‘safaris’ will be well organised.” Activities guided by Tommi and Kaisa are not included in the rental price and must be organised separately, but with 500 km of national park trails, fells, campfire sites and wilderness to explore, it’s worth splashing out. And if midnight golf in summer is your thing, that can be arranged too.

Lappland Dream: Eight seasons, two villas, one Lappland Dream

Instagram: @lapplanddream

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