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Updated: Feb 18, 2021

End of October is a period of late autumn-early winter, weather is usually a transition from autumn to winter. You can catch the cold, rainy, muddy, grey autumn or you can get winter conditions with lot of snow and very low temperatures. 3-4 days before your travel you will find a reliable forecast about what the weather will be like while on holiday.

Autumn to winter

We spent 1 week in Rovaniemi from 28th of October to 4th of November. One day before departure the weather got much colder in Lapland (below -10 celsius). We had 2-3 days when snowing, about 30 cm of fresh snow altogether. Forests were wonderful, everything full of snow, we had real winter landscapes, which was breathtaking.

Program options, experiences and travel tips

We planned trips to Kemi, Tornio, Haparanda, Rovaniemi city center, concert at Korundi, Santa Claus Village, Inari, Vaattunkiköngas, Tankavaara. Indoor programs: museums, restaurants, shopping and several outdoor activities: snowmobiling, reindeer sleigh riding, hiking, walking, hunting the Northern Lights and taking lot of photos. We did short outdoor programs because of the cold weather (-3 - -21 celsius). After the outdoor activities we warmed up in the car and looked for places to eat in or drink a hot chocolate, tea, coffee or glögi (hot berry juice with cinnamon).

Cold weather dried our skin, so we needed to use body lotion, hand cream and lip balm. Put them on your packing list if you visit Lapland in wintertime!

If you are outside, wrap up warm, you will need sub zero clothing.

Amazing foods, tasty meals, friendly staff and good prices in restaurants. See our next post for more details

Items in the shops (foods, drinks, cosmetics, medicines…) are rather expensive (3-4 times more expensive), compare with the prices in the UK. See our next post for more details

Driving by car is easy and comfy. See our next post for more details

People are nice and super friendly, made our holiday phantastic

Rovaniemi is a nice city, nature is clean and amazing. Finns live in harmony with nature.

Winter activities at the end of October

End of October-beginning of November is not perfect period for tourists, because the autumn season has already ended and winter season hasn`t started yet. Most of the husky farms, reindeer farms were closed, autumn boat trip on Inari lake was not available, winter sport activities not available because of the thin snow blanket. But we were lucky because it fell about 30 cm of fresh snow during the first days of our holiday, so the tour operating offices started a very early winter season at the end of October, providing their winter services (snowmobile safari, reindeer sleigh riding...). So we booked a snowmobile sprint (1 hour) at Arctic Lifestyle and tried the reindeer sleigh riding in Santa Claus Village.

Aurora hunting

For hunting and seeing the Northern Lights the best period was end of August and September in Lapland in this season. In October the aurora borealis observations were reduced. On our holiday we got 3 sunny days followed by very cold, clear, starry nights, which was perfect for hunting. First time we missed the aurora because we tried to grab it in Rovaniemi, walking along the river and the bridges, at the area of Ounaskoski camping. Light pollution of the city made the observation impossible for us. Next time we were smarter. We spent the whole day in Inari, driving 320 km to the north. We finished our tour in Siida at 4 in the afternoon at sunset, then came back to Rovaniemi. On our way back to Rovaniemi we took 3-4 breaks and looked at the sky on the starry and rather cold night (-16-20 celsius). Our observation was successful, managed to see the Northern Lights, but we have to improve our photography skills…

Tips for planning your travel website, website, “Visit Rovaniemi - the Official Hometown of Santa Claus” facebook page, “Visit Lapland” facebook page and group were a great support to planning our travel programs. If you read their posts, you can get the freshest infos about tourist attractions, local events, programs, services, worth to join.


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