Landscape Finnish Lapland

Winter Wonderland: Mushing and Magic in Finnish Lapland

Hey everyone, welcome back to the blog! The adventures just keep coming, and I’m thrilled to bring you into the heart of Finnish Lapland with me this time. This place? Absolutely otherworldly. You might be wondering what makes it so special. Well, hang tight, because we’re about to dive deep into the extraordinary nature of this Arctic wonder.

Winter Wonderland

First off, let’s talk about what winter is like up there. Finnish Lapland is pretty much what you’d picture when someone says “winter wonderland” – but dial it up a few notches. We’re talking about temperatures that usually hang out way below freezing. Imagine the mercury dropping to -30°C on a regular day🥶. It’s the kind of cold that makes your nose hairs freeze the moment you step outside.

landscape Finnish Lapland
Self-taken drone shot

But it’s not just about the cold; it’s what the cold brings to life. The flora and fauna in Finnish Lapland are like something out of a nature documentary. The trees are these stoic figures, covered in a thick layer of snow and ice, creating what locals call “tykky” sculptures. It’s like walking through an enchanted forest. And if you dare to step off the beaten sled tracks, you’ll find yourself wading through snow up to your belly button, surrounded by silence and the sheer beauty of it all. And the wildlife? It’s as if every creature is a character in their own epic tale of survival. From reindeer roaming the forests to the elusive Arctic fox, it’s a whole different world up there.

Landscape Finnish Lapland
Self-taken drone shot

The Northern Lights

Auroras, also known as the Northern Lights, are one of the most spectacular natural phenomena that you can witness in Finnish Lapland. This dazzling light show is especially vivid in this region due to its location within the Arctic Circle, where auroral activity is more frequ

Northen Lights in Finnish Lapland
Northen Lights in Finnish Lapland (Picture from Canva)

ent and intense. The colors can vary, with green being the most common, but pink, purple, red, and blue auroras also occur, depending on the type of gas molecules involved and the altitude at which the collisions occur. Here’s what makes the auroras in Finnish Lapland so special:

  • 👣 Origin of Auroras: Auroras occur when charged particles from the sun, carried towards Earth by solar winds, collide with the gases in Earth’s atmosphere. This interaction causes those gases to light up, creating the beautiful colors typical of the Northern Lights.
  • 🕒 Best Time to see Auroras: In Finnish Lapland, the aurora season runs from late September to early April, when the nights are dark enough to observe these lights in their full glory. The best time is typically during the winter months when the nights are longest. Clear, dark skies away from city lights offer the optimal viewing conditions. While the auroras can be unpredictable, they are most often seen between 9 PM and 2 AM.

For the indigenous Sámi people of Lapland, the Northern Lights hold significant cultural and spiritual meaning. They have many folk tales and legends about the auroras, often linked to the spirits of their ancestors or the natural world around them. Witnessing the auroras in Finnish Lapland combines the awe of natural wonder with the unique cultural and geographical context of the Arctic, making it an unforgettable experience.

Star Night in Finnish Lapland
Star Night – Self-taken picture

Personal Experience

🌨 Now, onto my mushing experience. Mushing through the Lappish wilderness is something I’ve dreamed about for ages. But here’s the kicker – when I got there, it was unusually warm. We’re talking about temperatures hovering between -8 and 0 degrees Celsius. Sounds chilly for most, but up there, it’s like a mild spring breeze. And for the sled dogs? It’s practically a heatwave.

Snowy trees in Finnish Lapland
Snowy Trees – self-taken picture while dog sledding

🔆 The “warmth” transformed the usually crisp snow into a slushy challenge. But here’s the silver lining – the warmer temps made the snow-laden trees even more magical, if that’s possible. And while our sleds may have been a tad slower, it gave us more time to soak in the enchanted forest around us, truly a silver lining to our slushy predicament.

☁ During our time in Finnish Lapland, hoping to witness the mesmerizing dance of the Northern Lights was high on our list. However, we faced a bit of a challenge as the skies remained stubbornly overcast on most nights, shrouding the potential celestial spectacle above. The blanket of clouds that bedecked the sky kept the auroras hidden from view, casting a bit of a shadow on our high hopes.

Auroras in Finnish Lapland
Own taken Picture of Auroras in Finnish Lapland

🍀 But as luck would have it, our persistence paid off one magical evening. The clouds parted as if on cue, revealing the dark, star-studded sky that serves as the perfect canvas for the Northern Lights. And there they were – ethereal green auroras, weaving through the night sky in a silent dance. The green hues, so vivid against the backdrop of the night, created a spectacle that felt almost otherworldly. It was a moment of pure awe and wonder, a reminder of nature’s incredible beauty and the rewards of patience and optimism. Despite the initial disappointment, this one successful sighting turned our experience into an unforgettable highlight of our Lapland adventure.

So, there you have it – Finnish Lapland is a place of extraordinary beauty and harsh realities, from its breathtaking landscapes and wildlife to its fragile ecosystems affected by even the slightest change in climate. It’s a reminder of the resilience of nature, and the impact we have on it, for better or worse. Thanks for coming along on this journey with me – can’t wait to share more with you all!

Check out my other Posts about my Mushing Experience:

📽️ Check out my Videos on YouTube: 📽️

📷 I am also on Instagram: exploringlapland_bydogs


Hey there! I'm Jeannette, the face and spirit behind «Arctic Whispers: Tails from the Mushing Trails». Born with a heart itching for adventure and eyes dreaming of distant horizons, I've found my calling in the untamed wilderness of our beautiful planet. A wanderer at heart, I thrive on the thrill of new experiences, whether it's scaling a remote mountain peak, diving into the deep blue, or mushing through the snowy landscapes of Finnish Lapland. Join me as I share tales of wild beauty, personal challenges, and the sheer joy of discovery. Whether you're an avid adventurer or a dreamy armchair traveler, I hope to inspire you to embrace the unknown and celebrate the wanderlust within. Welcome to my journey. Let's make it unforgettable.

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10 thoughts on “Winter Wonderland: Mushing and Magic in Finnish Lapland

  1. Thank you for this interesting article and your personal insights! Love all the information about the Aurora 😍

  2. Wow, Jeannette! Your descriptions are so vivid that I can almost feel the cold, magical Lapland over here. The photos are absolutely breathtaking. Thank you so much for sharing this experience with us! 🤩

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