Best time to visit Lapland

temperature & rainfall

Forget seasons, every month in Lapland brings something different weather-wise and colour-wise opening up a bottomless pit of activity options.

The best time to visit Lapland? Anytime. Really. Jan brings the crystal clear light that you only imagine in dreams, Feb's deep, crisp snow is best for winter sports, and March has optimum aurora conditions. Apr-Aug's melting snow exposes the beautiful landscape beneath, before an autumnal patchwork of burnt red, orange and yellow in Sep. Nov-Dec bring big snow and a community propelled by cross-country skis and snowshoes; look beyond the fly in, fly out Christmas crowds and there are brilliant festive trips to be had.

When to visit Lapland & when not to

a month by month guide

Early November is a strange time in Lapland because autumn is definitely becoming winter by this time of year, but the transition is not always complete, so there’s a sort of half-hearted rain/snow weather front. It can be pretty depressing for a few short weeks but is a very small price to pay for the pristine winter landscape that follows, plus in late November the local community come out in a force of snowshoeing and socialising, which is a wonderful experience to be part of.

Anyone with more than a touch of bah humbug about them won’t like Lapland in December – it’s not Lapland’s fault, it’s the fault of cheap, overcrowded, fly in-fly out Christmas trips, but nonetheless it’s a landscape less of ethereal beauty and more of saccharine Santa seekers. Keep in mind too that the sun will peek above the horizon for just a couple of hours a day - making outdoor pursuits difficult.

September and October enjoy neither the summer warmth nor the winter snow. This is not the best time to visit Lapland unless you are looking for super cheap bargains – the changing season also means that many tours and attractions are closed. However, photographers may relish the New England-style burst of autumnal colour, prices may be lower - and the Northern Lights make their dramatic appearance, especially around the September equinox.

January, February and March bring dreamlike conditions to Lapland: crystal clear light, massive deep snow that’s crying out for winter sports fans and, in March especially (again, around the spring equinox), optimum viewing conditions for those hunting the Northern Lights.

April, May and June’s melting snow gives a hint of what phenomenal landscape the snow has been covering.

Not to be outshone by the lure of winter sports, Lapland in the summer months of July and August reveals an incredible landscape of mountains, water and endless space that can be explored almost 24 hours a day. The midnight sun, an iconic Polar phenomenon where the sun remains visible at midnight during June and early July in the far north, makes day and night interchangeable, so you can hike or sea kayaking, all past the stroke of midnight!

If you'd like to chat about Lapland or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help.
Rosy & team.
01273 823 700

What happens when in Lapland

Responsible Travel recommends

Ali McLean, from our supplier Activities Abroad, shares his advice on the best time to visit Lapland:
“If you were to take a straw poll of Laplanders, I'd bet the majority would cite late March-early April as their favourite time of year. I couldn’t agree more and always make a point of travelling to Northern Scandinavia in late March – the daylight hours are longer (it’s a misnomer that Lapland is permanently dark for 24 hours a day in winter); the temperature improves, hovering at around 0°C during the day; there is less cloud cover, which increases your chances of seeing the Aurora Borealis; the snow is deep, crisp and fairly even; and Father Christmas is off sunning himself somewhere, so there’s no chance of being swamped by hoards of young kids in search of a Coca Cola Christmas.”

Festivals & events

Our cultural pick from the Lapland calendar

Did you know about...?

Jokkmokk Sámi Market
Jokkmokk is a tiny locality in Swedish Lapland and the beating heart of centuries-old Sámi culture.

This lifestyle that is celebrated for three days from the first Thursday of February each year, with a 400-year-old winter market of folk dancing, reindeer races, indigenous food, traditional Sámi duodji handicrafts, and a magical reindeer caravan procession.
Photo credits: [Lapland landscape: edweerdt] [Northern Lights:Mike Lewinski] [Jokkmokk Sami market: Signe Karin]

Written by Polly Humphris
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Photo credits: [Page banner: Tero Laakso]
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