During January and February, there is almost always snow in northern and eastern Finland. Even if there’s little snow in Helsinki, there’s often up to a metre or more on the slopes in Lapland.
The snow season in northern Finland begins in November and lasts at least until May. In the inland regions of southern and central Finland, the first snow falls at the beginning of December and melts during late March and April.
– 30°C – 0°C
Around 120 days
Thickness of snow:
30 – 90 cm
Top 5 Winter Experiences:
- Swimming in a frozen lake
- Ice fishing
- Drinking hot chocolate outside
During the long days of March and April in Lapland, you can ski or sleigh for 12 to 16 hours under a brilliant sun. The best season in Lapland starts in February and lasts until May. You can go downhill or cross country skiing, go on a dogsled or skimobile safari, or even indulge in some ice skating or ice fishing. The Finnish winter lasts half the year, so Finns have thought of plenty of activities to fill the time.
Dress warmly and enjoy it. Even if the thermometer reads minus 20 centigrade, it doesn’t feel as cold as you might think. The dry continental climate here doesn’t feel as cold as the damp cold of central Europe. Finns are also used to this kind of weather, so everything runs smoothly and punctually.
WINTER DARKNESS (POLAR NIGHT) – KAAMOS
Northernmost Finland is above the Arctic Circle, so the sun does not rise for a month or more during the winter. It’s not completely dark – there are a few hours of twilight around noon. This polar night is called ‘kaamos’ in Finnish; it sounds a bit like ‘calm us’.
In Utsjoki, in the far north, this period lasts for nearly two months. The winter days are short all over Finland and the sun is very low on the horizon even at midday. By mid-April, even though there is still plenty of snow in Lapland and there may be snow flurries in the south, the sun stays above the horizon for 14 to 15 hours in southern Finland and for 16 hours in the north.