The Sun does not set in Lapland, and the nature is blooming. One might still see some snow here and there, but almost all of it is gone. Instead we have beautiful greenery all around us. Here are some photos to show you what the Midsummer looks like in Lapland.
Polar night has officially begun in the North and the whole of Lapland is already covered with a thick layer of snow. Here are some photos that I have taken during this last month in the areas of Kittilä, Muonio and Sodankylä. I hope you enjoy them – see how beautiful Lapland can be in November!
Above: Sun shining in a snowy forest near Levitunturi fell. In the beginning of November there was still some bright sunlight that we could enjoy. Day by day there was less and less sunshine and now it’s almost completely gone.
Above: Afternoon moments by Jerisjärvi lake. These little houses are very old but fishermen still use them actively – Jerisjärvi is famous for having lots of fish. This was a really cold day: it was -22 degrees celcius or about -8 degrees Fahrenheit.
Above: Some last rays of sunlight make this snowy forest look almost pink. This photo was taken by Kitinen river in Sodankylä.
Above: My friend on top of Levitunturi fell. Levitunturi or Levi is a cool place because it’s easy to reach: a road leads to the top and there’s even a parking lot and a café!
Above: This was a cloudy day, no sunshine whatsoever. I saw a white reindeer walking alone on the ice of Ounasjoki river. The reindeer noticed me as well and looked at me.
Above: Not all waters freeze even during the coldest winter nights. This photo shows what it looks like in Immelkaltio spring near Levitunturi fell.
Above: I took a picture of myself standing in the middle of some beautiful snowy trees. We had had lots of fresh snow the previous day.
Above: a whooper swan on Jerisjärvi lake. There’s a part of this lake that does not freeze – each year there are some whooper swans that decide to stay here instead of heading South. Whooper swan is the national bird of Finland.
Above: In Lapland there’s not much, if any light pollution. That’s why spotting the Milky Way is relatively easy, as long as there are no clouds.
I live over 150 km above the Arctic Circle. Here it’s quite common to have snow on the ground in October, but this year the start of the winter was unusually sudden. Here are 12 photos that I have taken during the last ten days – see for yourself how winter arrived!
Above: Frosty morning in a swamp in Kittilä (October 11th). Bog bilberry is one of the last plants to have some beautiful autumn colors. Most plants have dropped their leaves by now.
Above: Nature getting ready for winter in Varkaankuru, Kolari (October 13th).
Above: First snow near Pallastunturi, Muonio (October 14th).
Above: Lake Pallasjärvi is starting to freeze (October 14th).
Above: Swimming in Ounasjoki river (October 16th) only 24 hrs before ice started to appear.
Above: Snowy larch forest in Kittilä (October 18th).
Above: Winter is officially here! About 10 centimeters of snow in Kittilä (October 19th).
Above: Forest river is not ready to freeze just yet (Kittilä, October 19th).
Above: First sunny winter day 2019 in Kittilä. Forest and rocks are covered in snow (October 19th).
Above: Northern lights and the Moon above the frozen Ounasjoki river (October 19th).
Above: There’s still time before the polar night begins, but its colors can already be seen. This photo was taken early in the morning, but in mid winter this is what noon would look like. (October 20th).
Above: Reindeer on a road in Raattama (October 21st).
As the nights get darker, northern lights can appear again. One night I was waiting for them with my friend. According to the forecast there should have been an amazing light show coming up due to a G2 geomagnetic storm. The auroras should be so bright that they could be seen even in Helsinki, and we were in Lapland! However, the sky was getting cloudy…
Internet and social media are full of beautiful photos of northern lights. However, photographing or even seeing them is not always a peace of cake. Clouds are the biggest problem. Great job if you’re in Lapland and it’s winter – your chances are really good. That’s why I was very optimistic that night.
We made a campfire on our yard and started waiting. The radio was on and we made some tea. But the clouds were coming and I started to wonder if we’re going to see anything at all.
Around 10 pm I took the first photos of the sky. I didn’t see any northern lights yet, but if there’s any light in the sky, the camera can see it even when the naked eye can’t.
And there certainly was something going on.
This was a good time to check that the camera settings were ok for some serious aurora shooting. Maximum ISO and F value, shutter speed about 5 seconds… and focus to infinity. Let’s try with that.
As I was adjusting the camera settings, the sky exploded – but only for a few minutes.
To the naked eye it did not look this green. As I said, cameras can see more than we can. That’s why photographing the auroras is so much fun, it feels like magic!
Before I knew it, the show was over. Reality check: it was way too cloudy.
This is how it can go sometimes – the nature decides whether we can see auroras or not. But nevermind, we had had a great evening anyways!
Kökar is a tiny municipality in Åland. It has only about 240 inhabitants. To get to Kökar one has to take a ferry either from Långnäs (main island) or Galtby (Korpo). The journey in both cases takes about 2,5 hours.
I spend 24 hours on this beautiful island surrounded by the waves of the Baltic Sea.
Here’s what I saw.
Above: Heathers are purple, junipers are green – and the sea is blue. In Kökar this is a very typical view.
Above: It was a beautiful summer day so we went for a morning hike to this beautiful hidden place.
Above: A grass snake came to say hello. Grass snakes are completely harmless.
Above: We found this beautiful secret lagoon and went for a swim.
Above: This is what I saw underwater. There were lots of jellyfish but they are harmless.
Above: There are also forests in Kökar.
Above: Look at those colors!
Above: We also went to see what the local flea market looked like. It’s not everyday you find a seafront flea market.
Above: Buildings in Kökar are typically red and quite small. Looks really nice.
Above: Local dog admiring the sunset.
Useful links for you who wish to visit Kökar:
The Archipelago Ring Road, also known as The Archipelago Trail, is about 200 kilometers in length. No words can describe how beautiful this trail is!
The Archipelago Trail has various ferries and vessels, and most of them are free of charge.
Most people experience this route by car or by bike.
The Archipelago Trail leads you through picturesque archipelago villages as well as beautiful nature.
There’s a number of cabins, guesthouses, hotels, camping sites and restaurants to choose from.
Don’t forget to bring your swimsuit! This trail has some amazing beaches.
There are also beautiful forests. There are some ticks in this area, so it is recommended to wear good shoes, long trousers and shirts with long sleeves when going in to the nature.
The Archipelago Trail starts and ends in the city of Turku in South-West Finland.
This trail is at it’s most beautiful in summer.
On December 6 Finland celebrates 101 years of independence. Happy birthday Finland! On the flag of Finland there’s a blue Nordic cross on a white background. To show you how blue and white our nature can be, here are some photos that I have taken over the years in Lapland. Enjoy!
Many people travel to Lapland in wintertime. However, autumn in Lapland is absolutely magical as well. Check out these 10 photos to find out, why You should visit Lapland in Septemper, October or November!
First auroras can often be seen in September or even in August. Unlike in winter, it’s still quite warm compared to winter temperatures, so one can admire this beautiful phenomenon without getting too cold.
2. Autumn foliage
The most beautiful colors are usually seen in September.
3. Clean air
In autumn the air seems to be full of oxygen. It is cleaner than you could ever imagine – just take a breath and you’ll notice it instantly.
4. Clear waters
In winter everything is frozen, but in autumn you can still enjoy watching and listening the rivers rumbling. Maybe you’ll even find a spring and taste how cold and pure the water is?
5. Local wild food
Big fish, tasty mushrooms and berries full of vitamins – Lapland has it all. Did you know that thanks to Finnish everyman’s rights, you can pick mushrooms and berries in the nature without asking for permissions?
6. First frosty mornings
These are one of the best moments of the year! Now you can really see and feel the first steps of the upcoming winter.
7. Local products
How about some Lappish honey, fish products or jewellery? You can buy some really cool things in local harvest markets.
8. Nature attractions
In Lapland there are several national parks and lots of other really cool nature destinations with well-marked trails and good campfire spots. You’ll find many of them here.
In autumn it seems like there are reindeer everywhere. Just make sure you don’t got too close, as reindeer stags can get a bit unpredictable this time of the year.
10. Enjoy the wilderness
In autumn there are not many tourists in Lapland. Wanna know what perfect silence sounds like?
Photos by Jonna Saari
One of the best times to enjoy the beauty of Lapland is March. There’s still lots of snow and even auroras, but also plenty of sunlight.
I took these pictures on an ordinary Monday afternoon just days ago, when me and my husband went to the top of Oratunturi fell to see the sunset.
A snowmobile trail leads to the top of the fell. The more up you go, the snowier the trees get.
Snowmobiling is an every(winter)day hobby for many laplanders. I, however, am still practicing. This time I felt lazy, so I let my husband do the driving. I just sat behind him holding on to him like a koala, relaxing and enjoying the beautiful snowy views.
The snowmobile trail leads to a lean-to that anyone is free to use. From here, the summit of the fell is no longer far away.
The view from the top is magnificent. We were amazed that the air was perfectly still! Usually it’s super windy on top of any fell.
I recognized many other fells in the horizon, for example Pyhä and Luosto, the two famous fells of Pyhä-Luosto national park.
It had been windy at some point. Cold, moist wind makes these little “leaves” of ice (below).
I can not imagine a better way to spend an afternoon in Lapland. I hope you too can experience something like this one day!
Oratunturi on GoogleMaps.
The polar night felt endless this year. So now that the sun is back, I need to get out and enjoy some bright sunlight!
Near my home there’s a hill called Kommattivaara (map link). It’s easy to reach by car, so it’s a great destination for a little winter trip.
It was quite chilly when we visited Kommatti about a week ago. Maybe -20 degrees Celcius. I loved it. Lots of snow, lots of sunshine and lots of tranquility. And no mosquitos!
Kommatti is not a huge tourist attraction. Here you can actually hear and feel the peace and nature of true Lapland.
We didn’t go to the ski slope because that would be dangerous. Fast skiers and slow snowshoers are not a good combination. So we chose a quiet path in the forest next to the ski slope.
Kommatti is right next to Sodankylä village in the middle of Lapland. There is a small skiing center downhill, where you can rent some gear and grab a cup of coffee before heading uphill to these magnificent views.
Even though the hike to the top is not very long – less than a kilometer – make sure you have proper winter clothes, a map and enough drinking water with you. Also, as the snow is very deep, snowshoes come in very handy. Without snowshoes you’ll soon be swimming in snow, and it’s practically impossible to get forward if you leave the trail.
Lots of snow and sunshine! This is Finnish winter at its best.
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