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Lapland’s nature changes significantly with the seasons. The changes are greater and more pronounced than elsewhere in Finland.

In winter you can enjoy plentiful snow in Saariselkä, and marvel at the polar night. In summer, the midnight sun embraces travellers. The autumn colours are an explosion of reds and oranges.


Seasons in more detail



Spring is an active season in Saariselkä! Here, the spring really starts in late winter: there is an abundance of snow, the sun shines till late in the afternoon, and the ski season is at its best.

You can go skiing and downhill skiing throughout the spring into May. Late spring and early summer blend beautifully together.

The best time for ice-fishing usually extends from March to April.



Summer, on the other hand, is over in a moment. The limits between spring, summer and autumn are difficult to define, with the temperatures dropping below freezing even in the first days of June. The ice on Lake Inari usually melts in June.

The average temperature in summer is between 10-15 °C and there are only a few hot days. The hottest summer days turn quickly into the cool of autumn.

The distinctive feature of summer is the midnight sun, the period when the sun does not set below the horizon, which lasts a whole two months in Saariselkä. The midnight sun rises on 22nd May and sets on 20th July.

You should enjoy the summer sun in the form of, for example, overnight safaris and hikes.

Cloudberries mature in July, so anyone wanting to pick the berries will be kept busy.

Please note: There are few mosquitoes and other bugs in Saariselkä in the summer.



In the autumn, Northern Lapland is covered in beautiful autumn colours! You need to experience the nature in its striking shades of red and brown for yourself!

The first night frosts give the environment a strong hint of what is on the way, and preparations for winter take place quickly. In Saariselkä, the best autumn colours are usually seen in September. The peak of the autumn colours shifts from north to south with a speed of about 200-300 kilometres per week.

You should not miss the peak of the autumn colours, because usually the leaves fall from the trees in Saariselkä at the end of September.

The most popular activities in the autumn are hiking and camping. In addition to wilderness hiking, you can also enjoy autumn colours by picking berries and mushrooms: September is the best time for picking lingonberries.

On Lake Inari, fishing for vendace is at its most active in September, with fishing for trout in August.

The first snow often arrives even before the climax of the autumn colours – as early as August or September. The permanent snow settles in October or November.



Due to the warming effect of the Gulf Stream, the winters are not as cold as they would normally be at these northern latitudes. The coldest month is January, whose average temperature falls to -14.3 °C, but December and February are almost as cold.

Naturally, the winter temperatures are also affected by the shape of the terrain. It comes as a surprise to many that the air is often colder in flat areas than on the fells. While the temperature can be as low as -20-30 °C in the Ivalo region in winter, it may be only -10-15 °C on the Saariselkä fells.

The bitterness of frost is affected by the wind which is usually stronger and thus sharper high on the fell tops.

Winter lasts roughly 6 months in the Saariselkä area, and is clearly the longest of the four seasons.

In the middle of the winter in Saariselkä we marvel at the polar night. This period, when the sun does not rise above the horizon at all, lasts a little over a month in Saariselkä. The polar night begins on 4th December and ends on 8th January.

The polar night is not completely dark, as commonly believed. The colour of the sky varies from black to beautiful shades of blue and the Northern Lights accompany this wonderful spectacle of nature. The clean white snow adds light to the day.

Polar night should not be dreaded as it is an excellent time for relaxing, calming down and meditating. Like the autumn colours, the polar night must be experienced in person.

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