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 skiing slopes of 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.
winter in figures
– 30°C – 0°C
Around 120 days
December – March
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.
Enjoy the winter
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.
In Utsjoki, in the far north, the kaamos 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 16 hours depending on location.
The secret of plunging into icy water is in the feeling that surges through your body once you are back on dry land; your circulation kicks in and your body starts to warm up. While climbing into the water does require a certain amount of courage, the initial shock and momentary loss of feeling in your legs soon pass – and it is all worth it!
Home of Santa
Everyone knows Santa Claus comes from Finland, but there’s lot more to a traditional Finnish Christmas. During the festive season, Finns like to take things slow and enjoy the company of loved ones.
Skating and Sledging
Once you get the hang of it, ice-skating is definitely one of the most thrilling ways to enjoy the cold. You can go for some of natural calm on the icy sea or skate in the middle of the city at the ice-skating rinks.