Experience Winter in Lapland
The nature of Lapland is wonderful in any season of the year but spending winter in Rovaniemi will allow you to experience some of the strangest and coolest phenomena. Come and read about these unexpected and unique experiences.
The night in Finland and its best assets
You may have heard of the Polar night that covers Lapland in winter. During this period, the days get shorter and shorter finally reaching a point where the day light only appears about 3 hours a day. We might think that everyone gets out at the same time to charge their batteries in the sun for this short period, but to speak the truth, even the day light seems a bit dark. Indeed, the clouds completely block the view on the sun and the snowy sky varies from white to grey. One might think that this is not great for the mind, but this weather actually has a lot of advantages.
For starters, it is really impressive and beautiful to see the snow covering everything and the white sky. This monochrome landscape will make you feel as if you were in a cloud and give you a unique peaceful feeling.
At night, the snowy sky can also be full of surprises when, through the clouds and the snow, the moon manages to pierce a hole giving you the opportunity to admire it.
These long nights are also a nice time to go auroras hunting. Indeed, it is when the night is clear and unspoilt by the city lights that you can admire the Northern Lights. This light show provided by Mother Nature herself happens around 200 nights a year in Finnish Lapland and the nature around Rovaniemi is a great place to spot them during a moment that will change your life.
Come prepared for some cold
It is not a myth; in winter it is cold in Lapland. Even though the temperature was a bit « warm » in December 2020 compared to the year before, it is still important to come prepared. Indeed, here in Rovaniemi, it is not rare to hear people say that it is not that cold when the thermometer reads -15°C. No surprise when the temperature usually easily reach -30°C in winter ! A good dose of preparation is the key to help your body adapt and to resist these extreme conditions. The Finnish do it, why couldn’t we ? Take your best coat out of the closet and get ready to pile up the coats of clothes. It is the secret to stay warm and keep enjoying a nice walk outside when it is literally freezing cold.
Fun fact : when it is -15°C, your body reacts and your hairs, especially the nose hairs freeze which feels really peculiar! From -25, your lashes, eyebrows and hair can also freeze changing you into a real snowman.
Ice cold water
When the weather has been cold enough for a certain period of time, something quite fantastical happens in Rovaniemi : the Ounasjoki river freezes. Ice covers it nearly completely, soon followed by snow. At first, the safest thing to do is to wait to be sure that the ice can resist the weight of a person but it is quickly possible to see the prints of the animals that take a walk on the iced river. Then comes our turn and the crazy moment when you realize that you are walking on a river. It is of course important to mention that everyone must be cautious and avoid the risky areas – near bridges, the middle of the river, any spot that appears a bit brown- where it would be dangerous to go. What we recommend is to start by walking along the shore of the river or on the traces of cross-country skis for a truly great experience that you will only be able to live in Lapland.
In the distance, you will also witness a surprising phenomenon that can be explained by the difference of temperature between the water and the air. It forms a cloud just above the surface of the water which then seems to be steaming although the temperature is below 0°C. The spectacle is unexpected, mysterious and beautiful.