The Sub arctic and arctic are often and easily related to something cold and clean. In most cases that is true, however it can get warm in the north as well, especially during June and July. Top of Arctic Finland – Utsijoki was the warmest place in Europe with 30 degrees Celsius around early summer 2011.
Finland is a year around destination with 4 – 5 different faces for each of the seasons. Winter can be split into the dark winter from November to Mid March – Great for Northern Lights and Mid March to end of April in Lapland – Spring winter, warmer days, great snow usually lot’s of sun – great for outdoor activities.
Spring is the time when people really come out of the winter funk, and one sees a lot of happy faces, snow is gone and lakes are clear, birds come back to Finland to nest and the nature is literally waking up from hibernation. The spring forest during may is an incredible symphony to senses with smell of fresh life in the trees and forest floor, sound of birds ready to mate after long winter away. At this time the endangered endemic freshwater seal Saimaan Norppa, will come out of the water to shed it’s winter coat. It can be seen in places in and around Lake Saimaa.
Summer is the time of sun, which still is to a small degree worshipped in the old pagan ways of burning a bon-fire and dancing around the maypole. On and above the Arctic Circle there is no night only light.
Lower latitudes all the way down south of Finland and Helsinki white nights persist, while the sun takes a quick dip below the horizon between 23:00 and 03:30. Although the sun doesn’t get too far down and dusk and dawn light persists. Lakes are warm during summer, up to 24 Cº and the Sea can get to similar temperatures. Forest are starting to be full of berries and mushrooms and there is abundant supply of fresh Finnish produce available on the markets, cafe’s and restaurants.
Autumn is the time to prepare for winter, as it is always coming in the end. People stock up their fire wood, pick up late berries, apples, collect the harvest of fields or home vegetable patches. Normally temperate weather persists until the end of September and we can also get reasonably warm
days during summer +15 Cº at times. In September and October the Northern Lights are already visible near the Northern lights Oval, which can be found in the northern part of Lapland. The best of it is the Arctic colours combined with the colours of the sky. The whole nature changes colour to yellow, brown, red and green in preparation for winter, so during day time is a wonderland of colour and same again during the night with Aurora Borealis. Also Finland is not experiencing the highest season by that time which means that there is availability on the accommodation front. One recommendation for Northern Lights is to visit after mid September to October, before the snow and during the “Ruska” – Colours.
Winter is often what Finland is thought about as a whole, all be it that in the Southern Part it only takes 3-4 months. In Lapland Winter can Start in Late October and last to May. Although if one is after snow then with current trend of global climate change, best time to visit is between December and March to secure the sight of Snow. January and February are the cold months – really cold… – 30Cº to – 40Cº are not unusual a few times during these months. However even with low temperatures, which may seem ridiculous to most people, the cold is not penetrating as it is very dry and there is minimal amount of moisture in the air. So wrap up, have many layers and you’ll be fine to participate in activities such as Husky Dog Sledding, Reindeer Farm Visits, evening Norther Light hunts and Swimming in the hole in the ice. The last one does not require clothing 🙂 !