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10 Ways to Love Winter: Visit Finland

If there’s anyone who can make you love the season, it's the Finns

Finland is a playground for winter activities—especially in the northern region of Lapland, where the snowy season spans from November to May. Once the first flakes fall, here’s how to get the most of your visit to this incredible winter destination.

A winter night shot of snow-covered trees and the beautiful northern lights as seen from Finland

1. Hunt the Northern Lights

Finland is one of the best places in the world to spot the northern lights, with the aurora borealis visible in Lapland on roughly 200 nights a year. Seeing the elusive lights requires clear, dark skies and a lot of patience. Your best bet? Book an aurora excursion with a professional northern lights hunter, through a company such as Ivalo Trek Lapland, who will guide you to the top viewing spots and teach you how to photograph the lights.


A person snuggles in bed in a heated glass Igloo at Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort, the green glow of the aurora borealis and snowy trees visible through the glass

2. Watch the Night Sky from Bed

For a warmer, indoor aurora stakeout, watch the lights dance above you from a heated glass igloo at Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort, perched from a cozy nest at the Arctic Treehouse Hotel or inside the comfort of a Seaside Glass Villa by the Bay of Bothnia.


A man rides a wooden sled pulled by a gorgeous white reindeer, behind them a second sleigh follows in snowy Finland

3. Go on a Reindeer Safari

Take a reindeer-drawn sleigh ride into the enchanting Finnish forest, led by a Sami (Indigenous) herder. Nestled under furs and hides, glide by silvery forests, snow-laden trees and adorable reindeer trotting in the snowy wilderness. Later, warm up in a kota (traditional Sami tent) with hot drinks and pancakes cooked over the bonfire.


The wooden interior of a sauna, a large L-shaped bench around a stone firepit

4. Sweat It Out in the Sauna

Finns have bathed in hot steam for centuries and the sauna is a core part of the country’s culture. Sweat it out at Helsinki’s Langvik Congress Wellness Hotel, or in the world’s largest smoke sauna at Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort. Either way, taking a post-steam dip in the frozen lake is part of the ritual.


Snowshoes are seen stuck in a large pile of snow in Iceland

5. Snowshoe in the Moonlight

Strap on snowshoes and explore a wintery wonderland of ethereal trees, frozen waterfalls and furry critters. Try trekking under the stars and watch for the northern lights above.


Small wooden beds with animal furs and clear furniture made of ice are seen inside the Finland's SnowCastle ice hotel

6. Sleep in an Ice Hotel

Ever imagined sleeping in a frosty castle? It’s possible at Finland’s SnowCastle of Kemi, a hotel and restaurant made entirely of ice and snow. Here, marvel at wondrous architecture and sculptures made of ice and snow blocks, eat hot soup at icicle tables and at bedtime, get snug in thermal sleeping bags inside the castle.


A man dressed as Santa feeds a reindeer behind a wooden fence at Santa's Village in Finland

7. Visit Santa’s Village

Since Finland is Santa’s official headquarters (according to the Finns, at least), meeting Jolly Old Saint Nick is a must. At the magical Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi, children (and adults!) can whisper their wishes to Santa, sing Christmas carols and munch on gingerbread baked by Mrs. Claus.


A skier sprays snow as they glide down a hill with fresh snow

8. Go Skiing

Sweep across the tranquil, snowy landscapes of the country’s approximately 75 ski resorts, offering everything from exhilarating downhill runs to backcountry trails and kid-friendly slopes.


A person wearing thick winter clothing and carrying fishing gear walks along an iced over lake in Finland

9. Try Ice Fishing

Bundle up and participate in an old Finnish tradition: walk onto a frozen lake (deemed safe to do so, of course), drill a hole into the ice and feed a fishing lure into the chilly waters. If you’re patient, you just might catch something. Your best bet is to ice fish in Lapland, where cozy, lakeside cabins are available for rent.


POV shot of a person riding in a wooden sled being pulled down a snowy path by a pack of Husky dogs

10. Go Dog Sledding

Why not speed across the snow on a sled drawn by a team of huskies? As the musher, you get to steer these lively and loveable pooches deep into frozen woodlands. End the thrilling adventure with a steaming bowl of homemade soup by the campfire.


Feeling inspired? Start planning today and call 1-800-992-8143 or visit your local CAA Store to speak with a CAA Travel Consultant.