The seasons and weather in Lapland are constantly changing and each season is unique! That is why the best time to arrive in Lapland depends solely on the style of vacation you are looking for. The light, temperature, natural phenomena, and ideal activities for the traveler vary from season to season. All you have to do is choose what you wish to see and experience it to the fullest.
You may be used to only four seasons or less a year, but the Lappish people enjoy eight different seasons each year! The locals have discovered that the weather conditions in Lapland are constantly changing and therefore mark the eight seasons as follows: mid-winter, snowy spring, spring, summer, harvest season, autumn leaf color, first snow and Christmas. To find out more about each season and what they offer, head to our Lapland’s 8 seasons article.
Marks the time of the first snow. The nights begin to drop below zero and the first snow flakes land on the ground. This is a great time to catch the Northern Lights as the outside temperature has not yet reached its arctic extremes.
December and January are the coldest and snowiest months characterized by the darkness of the Polar Night. It may sound like the night covers the sky with endless darkness, however in reality for a few hours a day, the sky is painted in special shades of deep blue and pink clouds. Snow will be covering the grounds allowing for you to enjoy winter activities and astonishing views. For any Christmas spirit seeker, December is packed with the truest and most authentic holiday atmosphere and our very own Santa will be there to greet you in person.
As February arrives the sun begins to shine again and with its presence marking the beginning of the snowy spring full of light. This is known as the best time for winter activities, thanks for the texture of the snow and warming rays of the sun. So if you’re a thrill seeker looking to hop on a snowmobile, fat bike, put on a pair of skis or try your hand at ice fishing, consider visiting Lapland around this time of the year and you will not be disappointed.
At the end of April, early May the snow begins to melt leading us to spring and the melting surroundings. At this time of the year you get to witness the powerful streams that breakthrough from a long period covered under thick layers of. During spring the land begins to switch gears and prepare for our light filled summer. You can enjoy nature hikes, biking and swimming in natural waters during this period.
and as the end of June hits, the summer begins and the Lapps get to enjoy 24 hours of light a day - yes, you read that right, the sun doesn't set at all.
Average daytime temperatures:
December: -20 to -10 degrees Celsius
January: -30 to -15 degrees Celsius
February: -20 to -15 degrees Celsius
March: -15 to -5 degrees Celsius
April: -6 to 0 degrees Celsius.
May: 1 to 6 degrees Celsius.
June: 7 to 20 degrees Celsius.
July: 10 to 25 degrees Celsius.
August: 8 to 12.5 degrees Celsius.
September: 3 to 7 degrees Celsius.
October: -2 to 0 degrees Celsius.
November: -6 to -9 degrees Celsius.
*** Information according to climatestotravel.com
Lapland - weather and climate
Lapland is in the continental climate zone, which means that the winters are cold and rich in snow, while the summer is relatively hot. The capital of Lapland, Rovaniemi is a part of the Arctic region; However, the weather in Rovaniemi is relatively balanced compared to the more northern areas of Lapland. Weather throughout the year is characterized by strong contrasts: dark vs. light and cold vs. hot.
Facts about the weather in Rovaniemi:
• The average annual temperature is 0 degrees.
• The amount of precipitation amounts to 535 mm per year.
• Half of the year there is snow on the ground. Usually from late November to mid-April or even early May.
• The coldest temperature recorded is -45.3 degrees Celsius.
• The warmest temperature recorded is + 30.6 degrees Celsius.
How to dress properly and enjoy the winter in Lapland!
We’re not going to lie to you, it gets cold, probably drastically colder than what you’re used to, as winters in Lapland can reach very extreme temperatures of even -30 degrees! Luckily, as scary as the temperature sounds, the weather is not the problem as with the right attire and good planning, you can enjoy a magical and unforgettable winter experience without a single frostbite.
The key rule to tackle the cold is layering. With the right outfit and strong thermal clothing, you will not believe that you are spending time outside at a temperature of -20 degrees. In most areas in Lapland the air is dry and there is not much wind, and more than often people are amazed how the temperature does not feel as cold as they imagined.
Head to our What To Bring Article for a thorough guide on how to pack and dress for your arctic trip!