Finland is an amazing destination to visit in winter, especially Lapland! The snow season in Lapland starts in November and lasts until May, so we have a lot of activities to fill all the snowy time. In Lapland is so much to see and do. You can go downhill or cross-country skiing, go on a husky safari, snowmobile safari, ice-fishing, sauna, and icy dip in a lake or go on a snowshoeing, reindeer ride or try how a kicksled works.
The best skiing season in Lapland starts in February and lasts until May. Levi is the most popular ski resort in Finland. Levi is close to Kittilä airport, just a few minutes drive away. Other Lapland’s ski centers are essentially holiday resorts, with many more activities on offer besides skiing and snowboarding. Cross-country skiing is very popular also during the wintertime. Around Ylläs area there are over 300 kilometers of skiing tracks.
If skiing or snowboarding is not for you, then maybe you should try snowshoeing. This involves strapping oversized “shoes” onto your feet and then wandering the snowy landscape. With snowshoes on you can walk over the snow without sinking in deep snow. Snowshoes are recommended for winter hiking as they cause less damage on trails than walking in normal boots.
Kicksledding is a unique model of transportation. It is primarily done in Scandinavia. Kicksledding is quite straightforward. You’ll need a kicksled and ice or hard-packed snow, then you stand at the back of the sled on the runners, and kick to provide forward motion. Easy and fun!
Ice fishing is like a meditation to Finns. To catch a fish in wintertime you need to be patient, it can take several hours to get your first fish. In Finland, you don’t need a license to go ice fishing. Perch and pike are two of the common types of fish in the lakes in Finland.
Ice swimming in a hole in the icy lake or sea really does you the world of good. This is no longer all about toughening you up, a ritual or being macho, but simply an incomparable energy boost and good for your health. This has traditionally been an older people thing, but recent generations have made swimming in icy water rather trendier.
Usually, you go sauna before ice swimming. Sauna is the most traditional thing you can do in Finland. For Finns sauna is a place to meet friends, visit with family, meditate, and even hold business meetings. Most Finns have their own private saunas in their homes or cottages. Finns generally go to saunas in the nude, but if you feel uncomfortable being naked, you can wear a swimsuit or towel.
If you want to see reindeer, there are lots of opportunities in Finland. You can visit a reindeer farm, wildlife park, or do a reindeer safari with reindeer pulling a traditional sled. This is an easy-going ride, if the reindeer wants to eat in the middle of the safari they just stop and eat and then they continue.
Husky or snowmobile tours are operated a lot in Lapland. Basically, where ever you go from Rovaniemi to Kilpisjärvi, there are plenty of tour operators who do these safaris or you can rent a snowmobile and go on by yourself.
How to dress for cold
- Underwear: thermal underwear (breathable material), socks, underwear pants and shirt.
- Mid-layer: loose, fleece, wool. High-neck shirt and loose trousers. Woolen socks.
- Top layer: warm, windproof jacket and pants. Choose one size bigger shoes than normally (tight boots are cold!). Gloves should be loose mittens with linings and a warm hat or beanie.
- Slightly too big clothes are warmer in cold than too tight clothes.
- Too many layers aren´t good eighter, because it is not good if you are sweating in cold.