The Aurora Zone Blog

First impressions of a winter in Lapland

Dawn Rawlings

Thursday, 16 July 2015

As with most of our guests, my first impression of Lapland in the winter is one of awe that so much snow can possibly exist in one place.

I was never fortunate to go skiing or anything like that when I was younger, so for me this was the first time I had seen what real winter can look like.

Nellim Winter 2014 Credit Markku Inkila 46

It is obvious when you travel to somewhere like Nellim in Finnish Lapland that the snow in the UK is really rather pitiful and quite literally pales into comparison to the thick deep white snow of Lapland. It covers everything – roads, paths, rooftops, trees, frozen lakes, giving the whole place a magical, pristine and beautiful feel.

The second thing that struck me as we walked outside Ivalo Airport was the light. I was there in January which is during Kaamos – the time of year when the sun does not rise higher than the horizon, which casts the scenery in a blueish glow. Whilst this can be a concern for guests who worry that it will be pitch black during their stay this need not be the case as instead it is more as if it is perpetually dusk.

Indeed what light there is reflects off the snow so it is much lighter than you would expect.

When we reached Nellim, where we were to be staying over the next few days, my impression was that it was remarkably peaceful. The population of Nellim itself is minimal, ensuring a high level of remoteness which, in combination with the thick snow coverage, allows you the chance to genuinely appreciate the silence. On our first evening we took a walk out onto the frozen vastness of Lake Inari which resides just outside the hotel.

Here we took a walk across the thick deep snow which covered the lake and gazed at our new found surroundings with all of their winter beauty. One of the things that struck me was that the sky, when the cloud cover parted, was a dazzling array of stars. As a teenager I was lucky enough to visit Uluru in Australia and Kruger National Park in South Africa, which both offered the best view of the sky I had ever seen, and now I could add Finnish Lapland to the list.

Of course being this far north, the sky has the potential to be even greater in its beauty with the arrival of the Northern Lights, and luckily we did witness such a display as the sky rippled with billowing curtains of green light.

The display was brief, yet beautiful.

So those were my first impressions of winter in Lapland – a land of spectacular colour from white snow to the blue light to the dazzling green of the breathtaking Aurora.


Credit: Markuu Inkila 
Read 4304 times Last modified on Tuesday, 09 February 2021

Get an expert opinion

The Aurora Zone was born from a desire to share Mother Nature’s greatest wonder with our clients. We’ve explored the destinations, researched the science, and fallen in love with the Scandinavian way of life. It’s our mission to pass this knowledge on to you, providing you with the very best chance of experiencing the magic for yourself on your Northern Lights holiday.

  • Specialist

    Aurora knowledge and experience

    Unique holidays, in the very best destinations

    Expert guides – exceptional local knowledge

    Advice and guidance every step of the way

  • Comprehensive

    We include more in our holidays than any other Aurora operator

    Price Comparison guarantee

    No ‘from’ prices, everything you see is included in the price

    No hidden extras

  • Independent

    Proudly Independent

    The original and still the only dedicated UK Northern Lights tour operator

    Personal, hands-on service

    Fair and sustainable work ethos

  • Trusted

    ATOL and ABTA Financial protection available

    Over 20 years’ experience

    Our customers rate us 4.9/5 stars

    Award-Winning: Best Travel Company to Northern Europe 2023