Best time to visit Lapland
The best time to see this winter wonderland in Lapland is from the beginning of December to the end of March. Each month has its own specialities and with our Lapland bite-sized trips covering Norway, Sweden and Finland we can always offer a trip to Lapland that suits your wishes.
The first snow often falls in Lapland at the end of November with ski slopes opening up and snow activities such as husky rides or snowmobiling starting for the season. It is coldest when the days are shortest. From mid-December to mid-January, the sun just barely rises above the horizon and the temperature can drop to a rather chilly -30 degrees Celsius. The sun does not really rise in December, there is often a kind of twilight during the day.
What to expect during winter in Lapland
Most of the snow falls from the beginning of January. Trees are covered in thick layers of powder and the branches hang down from the weight. For many people this is the typical image of Lapland. From mid-January the days get longer again, the sun comes out a bit higher above the horizon and the temperature is a bit more pleasant in the sun during the day. It gets dark early in the afternoon, a great opportunity to look for the Northern Lights.
In February and March there is still plenty of snow, but often not much more. You can often do all the activities from husky sledding and ice fishing to snowshoeing and ice waking. The days are longer during this period – you often have more hours of daylight in Lapland than in the rest of Europe at this time!
Seeing the Northern Lights in Lapland
In Lapland, the best time to see the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) is between the beginning of January and the end of March. It is also possible until the end of April, but the chance is lower. You can see this natural phenomenon most often on and around the Arctic Circle. In the rest of Lapland it is also possible, but less common.
You can see the Northern Lights throughout the winter months, but it needs to be a clear night so the best places to see the light are in the middle of nature, where there is no light pollution in the air.
The Polar Night
In addition to the Northern Lights, you have another natural phenomenon in Lapland: the Polar Night. In the first weeks of January the sun does not rise above the horizon and it is basically dark all day with a bluish glow over the snow, known as ‘kaamos’, or ‘the light in the dark night’.