The eight seasons of Lapland
Change is constant in the northern annual cycle.
Finland is known for having all four seasons, but its northernmost part Lapland has eight.
Winter, spring, summer and autumn are complemented with four seasons in between that have distinct characteristics of their own.
All three Harriniva Hotels & Safaris resorts – Harriniva Adventure Resort, Jeris Lakeside Resort with Jeris Arctic Sauna World, and Torassieppi Eco Reindeer Resort – are located in Muonio, Lapland, Finland.
Learn more about the seasons and weather conditions in Muonio and Lapland below.
In Lapland, the New Year is ushered in with fireworks in the Polar Night, meaning the sun does not rise at all and temperatures are freezing.
However, the blue hues in the horizon remind you of daylight and create a mystical atmosphere in the snow-covered wilderness.
At Harriniva Hotels & Safaris, winter activity tours run at full swing. Embark on an adventure with huskies, reindeer and snowmobiles or strap on a pair of snowshoes to explore nature.
Daylight increases drastically this time of year: by the end of February, the day is nearly ten hours long.
Period January – February
Normal temperature –30 °C … –5 °C
Length of day 0 h … 9,5 h
Pack your sunglasses! Light floods every nook and cranny in Lapland and reflects off the thick white blanket of snow.
This is an unbelievable time to spend long days outdoors doing scores of winter activities, and nights are still dark enough for breathtaking Northern Lights displays.
Hike or ride a snowmobile to a viewpoint at the top of a fell and enjoy a white wilderness that stretches to infinity wherever you look.
You’re on top of the world, and it has never looked this bright – savour the feeling and bring that smile all the way home.
Period March – April
Normal temperature –15 °C … +5 °C
Length of day 9,5 h … 17,5 h
May is a transition month in Lapland: temperatures rise, the snow melts away and waters are freed from their ice cover.
Summer is right around the corner, and puffy jackets can be swapped to t-shirts on warm sunny days.
Europe’s longest free-flowing river, the Tornion-Muonionjoki, puts on a spectacular show right by Harriniva Adventure Resort, as it transports large ice blocks down from Northern Lapland towards the Bothnian Bay.
Water is high and the rapids surge and thunder with tremendous force; truly a sight to behold.
Normal temperature 0 °C … +20 °C
Length of day 18 h … 24 h
Summer and the Midnight Sun
In Muonio, the Midnight Sun season starts in the last days of May and lasts until mid-July, in other words the sun does not set at all for about 50 days.
Midsummer, a national holiday in Finland celebrating the nightless night, takes place around the summer solstice at the end of June.
Hiking, biking, paddling and all other summer activities are go for 24 hours a day in summertime Lapland. Even when the sun technically does set, nights are white until mid-August.
Sleep? There’s plenty of time for that when it gets dark; the northern summer is all about being out there.
Period June – July
Normal temperature +15 °C … +30 °C
Length of day 24 h … 20 h
Harvest season and first Auroras
As farmers harvest their fields, locals and visitors head to hiking trails and forests to collect berries and mushrooms.
The bilberry season is long and plentiful, but the most coveted treasure of the woods is the cloudberry, the golden treat of the north popular in desserts and sweet pastries.
The Northern Lights make a triumphant return to the arctic sky as nights start getting dark enough for the first time since mid-April.
Contrary to popular belief, the Aurora Borealis don’t require cold temperatures to appear, and some of the best light shows of the year are often witnessed early in the season.
Normal temperature +5 °C … +20 °C
Length of day 19,5 h … 15 h
September has Lapland nature at its most splendid both down on the ground and up in the sky. Autumn leaf colour paints the landscape in shades of orange, yellow, red, purple, brown, and green.
At night, the Northern Lights do their best to match the colour palette in the starry sky.
Outdoor activities like hiking and biking in the Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park are amazing in the crisp autumn weather as you can feel you’re breathing the world’s cleanest air.
Pro tip: when Aurora hunting, get close to a lake for stunning reflections off the surface.
Normal temperature 0 °C … +15 °C
Length of day 15 h … 11,5 h
Night temperatures start dropping below zero in October and the scent of the coming winter is in the air.
Trees drop their leaves and people start digging their base layers and puffy jackets from storage. Daylight decreases, but conditions are still great for being out and about in nature.
First snow usually arrives in October, covering everything in a thin white veil. It often disappears quickly save for felltops where it might stay for a day or two.
November sees daytime temperatures go below zero and the falling snow remains on the ground until spring.
Period October – November
Normal temperature –10 °C … +10 °C
Length of day 11 h … 2,5 h
Polar Night and Christmas
At Harriniva Hotels & Safaris, the year closes with waiting for Christmas as the Polar Night descends upon Lapland. In Muonio, the sun does not rise for 24 days starting December 10th.
Days are short and dusky, and the magical blue moments create a sense of calm unheard of anywhere else in the world.
Winter activities start in late November, and December is high season with many international tourists buzzing around the white wilderness with huskies, reindeer, and snowmobiles.
Everyone puts on their best behaviour – could it be they’re about to meet Lapland’s most famous resident Santa Claus?
Normal temperature –25 °C … –5 °C
Length of day 2,5 h … 0 h