Lapland Winter – Top tips for enjoying the winter wonderland

Lapland in winter offers an unforgettable travel experience for all those who love snowy landscapes, Northern Lights, and winter activities. In this article, we share the best tips for Lapland in winter. Read on to discover things to do in Lapland during the winter, and plan a successful winter trip!

This article covers the following topics:

  • Lapland in Winter – Thinking about skiing? 
  • Lapland Winter – Northern Lights Excursions
  • Lapland offers activities for all ages
    Lapland Winter – Best Places to Visit
    Mountain Biking in Lapland – Top 5 Routes for Winter Mountain Biking
  • Mountain Biking in Winter – How to Prepare?
    Roll Outdoors travels with you in Lapland 

Lapland in Winter – Thinking about skiing?

Lapland is definitely the best destination for winter-lovers. Downhill skiing and cross-country skiing are the main reason for many tourist to travel to the north. Lapland boasts numerous ski resorts, ensuring everyone finds their favorite. Finland’s most popular and international ski resort is Levi, which has grown into a massive holiday destination over the years. The largest ski resort is Ylläs, with its numerous slopes. If freeriding is your passion, Pyhä offers excellent opportunities and is also compact and cozy in size.

Read all you need to know about skiing in Rovaniemi >>

If you seek a quieter skiing experience, you can head to the small Pallas ski resort. Pallas offers authentic Lapland wilderness where you can truly experience the peace and beauty of nature, far away from bustling amusement parks. Saariselkä is an excellent destination for cross-country skiing, offering options from easy, well-marked trails to challenging wilderness routes in Urho Kekkonen National Park.

For ski tours, you can start from Saariselkä or Kiilopää. The best time for such skiing adventures is Lapland’s spring, which continues until May.

Things to do in Lapland all year around >>

Lapland Winter - Northern Lights Excursions

Lapland’s winter is known for its magnificent Northern Lights, and Northern Lights hunting is an activity you cannot miss when traveling in Lapland. The best chances to see the Northern Lights are in remote places where city lights won’t disturb your eyes. Choose a dark and clear night, and have your camera ready for these heavenly light phenomena.

Read tips on seeing the Northern Lights >>

You can go on a Northern Lights excursion on foot or on a high-quality fat bike suitable for winter terrain. We organize guided bike tours, so you don’t have to venture alone into an unfamiliar place to cycle during a winter night.

Lapland offers activities for all ages

Lapland’s snowy forests and lakes are perfect not only for mountain biking and hiking but also for snowmobiling – if you’re up for some fast-paced action. Rent a snowmobile and embark on an adventure along snowy trails. Rovaniemi and Kittilä offer a wide range of snowmobile safaris for adventurers of all levels.

Rovaniemi is home to the world-famous Santa Claus Village, a lovely place to visit year-round, but it exudes a special Christmas magic in winter. You can meet Santa Claus himself and enjoy a festive atmosphere.

In winter, you can experience the refreshing effects of sauna and ice swimming. Find a local smoke sauna and enjoy the warmth before taking a bold dip in icy lake water.

Reindeer and husky farms are sure to interest the whole family, and the presence of animals can be soothing. Ice fishing is suitable for those looking for a more peaceful activity, and indoor options include visits to museums.

Lapland Winter – Best Places to Visit

In addition to winter activities, Lapland offers plenty to see, experience, and, of course, a wide selection of restaurants. Pyhä-Luosto National Park’s event calendar offers activities for the whole family, and in Inari, you can explore Saami culture.

In Lapland’s winter wonderland, you can stay in unique ice hotels such as Levi’s SnowCastle or Kittilä’s SnowVillage. These hotels are made of ice and snow, offering an unforgettable overnight experience for visitors of all ages. Kakslauttanen, located south of Saariselkä, is famous for its Aurora Dome, where you can stay in glass-roofed igloos. It is located in the Torassieppi cabin village and offers cabins and tent accommodation with impressive panoramic windows. In these accommodations, you can enjoy a comfortable bed, a warm fireplace, and even underfloor heating.

During your trip, you can taste local delicacies such as reindeer, salmon, and game. Lapland’s cuisine offers delicious taste experiences that will linger on your taste buds. Of course, Lapland also offers international flavors.

Mountain Biking in Lapland - Top 5 Routes for Winter

Lapland not only offers fantastic winter experiences but is also a paradise for mountain bikers. We have compiled the top five mountain biking routes that provide stunning scenery and challenging trails:

  1. Saariselkä-Kiilopää

The mountain biking trails in the Saariselkä-Kiilopää area offer a versatile selection of options for both beginners and experienced cyclists. The routes pass through fascinating wilderness landscapes, amidst the enchanting open tundra and green forests. In total, there are over a hundred kilometers of marked trails to choose from, so you can find your favorite.

Learn more about the area’s routes >>

  1. Napapiiri Hiking Area, Rovaniemi

The Napapiiri Hiking Area is located about half an hour from Rovaniemi. In the area, you can choose a route that suits you from several options. An accessible trail safely leads to a beautiful rapids route and a nearby lean-to for grilling sausages – even with baby strollers. For a longer hike, you can venture into the forest to Sorto vaara.

3. Ounasvaara, Rovaniemi

Ounasvaara’s winter mountain biking route is one of the area’s most popular routes, offering beautiful views and versatile trails for both beginners and experienced cyclists.

Roll Outdoors maintains a 20-kilometer-long trail network that runs from Jätkänkynttilä to Väiskin laavu, partly following summer trails. The routes have been designed to be safely rideable for beginners, but also offer twists and turns for more experienced riders. Around Isorakka, there is also a more challenging route for experienced and adventurous cyclists.

4. Levi Bike Park

Levi Bike Park allows you to indulge in downhill mountain biking. The gondola lift takes you conveniently to the top, and your mountain bike takes care of the descent. The Bike Park also offers different levels of enduro trails.

No matter which mountain biking route you choose, you can rent a suitable and high-quality bike from us. Our bike rental shops are located in Rovaniemi and in Saariselkä-Kiilopää. You can rent a bike online or visit the rental shop in person.

Mountain Biking in Winter – Prepare well

When planning winter mountain biking, it’s essential to prepare for Lapland’s cold temperatures properly. Check your bike’s condition before the trip and make sure you have the necessary equipment, such as a helmet, gloves, a headlamp, and enough clothing. 

Try to avoid areas outside of designated routes and follow nature conservation guidelines. Leave no traces and keep the environment clean. Remember that national parks have different regulations for mountain biking.

On long rides, it’s essential to maintain your energy levels, right? Especially if you plan to wait for Northern Lights sightings, a thermos of hot cocoa can brighten your evening. Pack enough water and snacks to keep you going along the way.

Always check the weather forecast before heading out.  If you want to ensure a fantastic Northern Lights experience, remember to check Northern Lights forecasts in advance.

Especially if you venture into the wilderness alone or in the dark, inform someone about your route and estimated return time. Make sure you have a functional headlamp to make it easier to stay on the trail, and the dark winter night won’t catch you off guard.

Read 10 best tips for mountain biking in Lapland >>

Roll Outdoors travels with you in Lapland

At Roll Outdoors, we assist you in planning your dream Lapland experience and enjoying year-round mountain biking. You can rent a high-quality fat bike from us to conquer the winter snow, or book a guided bike tour for yourself and your group. We are happy to help you choose the right bike and route and answer any questions you may have.

Lapland’s incredible nature looks even more beautiful from the seat of a bike – have you tried it yet?