If you are looking for snow, among the flagships Northern destination don’t miss to go to Lapland. First of all, it is not the otherside of the world, a few 3h30 hours flying and you get there. Once arrived, its snowy forrests lead you to want to get lost in them. Welcome to the North of Finland, in Lapland, where the nature preserved all its purity.
This one has the advantage to offer a variety of landscapes due to its geographical position. Situated at the crossroads between Sweden, Norway and Russia, you could have an overview of the neighbours.
Destination North Cape
In winter, many tourists go for skiing every year. Popular sport today, skiing has everything to please : the pleasure of gliding, the beauty of mountains and lakes… but few think of a snowmobile expedition. Based on the same principal than skiing, less tiring but equally pleasant than skiing. However, remember to cover your body. The golden rule is the four layers : underwear, polar, sweatshirt, anorak. For the weather forecasts, information : yr.no.
Climate is subarctic. Medium temperature during the summer are around -10°C until -40°C. It is important to know that climate can change frequently and rapidly.
During the winter, between december and february, sun sleeps in and sun goes down in the middle of the afternoon. Snowfalls can occur.Snow generally melts in march or april.
In Finland, at this period, nights are long and can even be eternal. It is the case in the North of Finland or Norway, where the night takeover. At the opposite, during summer, in the same region you can assist to the “midnight sun” that can least until 128 consecutive days.
Among the northest circuits offered by Nordik Horizons, we have the very famous“North Cape”. This raid will allow you to have a good view of the three frontiers of Finland. You will follow the Kaamasjoki river to reach Kaamanen then Mehamn in Norway. Mehamn is a port city but also and overall the administrative center of Gamvik province, Gamvik, the most northern of continental Europe. Moreover, it is an excellent point of view to admire the nocturnal glimmers.
A RAPID PACE
Snowmobiles : amazing invention
Locally, the preferred means of transportation after the cars remains the snowmobiles. This product created in the 1950s has already a beautiful past and a bright future ahead. Snowmobiling in Lapland is like cycling in Italy, each has its own culture. For the utility or the leisure, this one allows each one to explore the impracticable roads by car and to offer you its landscapes which have retained all their authenticity. Snowmobile trails are reserved exclusively for snowmobiles and therefore offer you panoramas that by car you would not have been able to see.
The snowmobile, nicknamed also “snow scooter” comes from Quebec. This fabulous invention of Joseph-Armand Bombardier. Date of the 20s but was marketed much later in the 1950s. Since then, it has constantly evolved in terms of safety, design and ergonomics. The three main snowmobile manufacturers are Canada (BRP and POLARIS), the United States (ARCTIC CAT) and, more recently, Japan (YAMAHA), which started in 1968 as a carrier.
You will have to ride on 600cc or 900cc depending on your level. The speed of propulsion is quite amazing, it’s up to you to master it. In January-February temperatures are cooler. For the chilly, everything is planned, the cold combinations will do the trick as well as the heated handlebars of your snowmobile.
On ride !
Starting in a snowmobile raid in Finland is first of all facing the great cold and the desert expanses. Get ready for shock! The city dwellers will be able to soothe their ears with the serenity that emerges in the air and fill their lungs with one of the purest air in Europe. It is also daring the adventure and leaving the daily routine to meet new people and taste new dishes!
On various circuits, alone, in family or with your friends, come to discover this eccentric piece of earth and unexpected natural spectacles. Beginner or confirmed, each raid is unique and will leave you an indelible memory and the desire to return the following year.
Efforts are always paid off
After a long day of snowmobiling, you can relax in one of the many accommodations we have. You will be led to sleep in typical and 100% natural accomodation, namely huts or bivouacs for adventurers or even cottages called “kota” for the most cocooning.
To top it off, we must add to the list the saunas that there its the equivalent of our bathroom. A sauna is a way to create a moment of intimacy with people but above all to purify oneself. Originally the sauna is taken as a bath or shower. “Et c’est reparti pour un tour le lendemain”
You are not alone
Even if the landscapes may sometimes seem uninhabited, it should not be mistaken. The fauna and flora of Finland is rich and varied starting with the Taiga. This long forest strip is the largest wooded strip in Europe. You can cross lynx, bears, wolves or gluttons. The kings of the forest are of course the elk and the reindeer.
For amateur and ornithologist researchers, Finland is an excellent benchmark for rare specimens such as certain species of birds that can not be found elsewhere in Europe. With 38 national parks, most of which are managed by the General Directorate of Forests and more than 180,000 lakes, the snags of the photo will find their happiness in this luxury biodiversity.
Do not miss the unexpected crossings of elk herds along the way or any other inhabitants of these lands. For the big snowshoe enthusiasts, the trails are not lacking. Finally you will be able to initiate yourself to the white fishing on one of the numerous lakes present in the region.
Lights in the night
The winter at night, and even for the lucky ones of day, the sky turns into timeless cinema screen if the climatic conditions are good to know a clear sky. The polar auroras are a luminous phenomenon visible beyond the polar circle, close to the magnetic poles, between 65 and 75 °. A polar aurora will be called “aurora borealis” in the northern hemisphere and “aurora australe” in the southern hemisphere but we speak well of the same.
During your snowmobile raid in Finland, you may be able to see it. Open your eyes to observe this natural phenomenon so well-known in the countries of the North. Kilpisjärvi and Mehamn are part of the viewpoints to observe these auroras. To learn more about aurora borealis, go to the site aurora maniacs which is very complete.
The aurorae are visible all year long, nevertheless the ideal periods are between December and March and between 6PM and 1AM. The further north we go, the greater the chance of seeing it, because of the poles.
For photography tips: set your camera to manual mode, ISO to 3200 or less depending on the light. The aperture must be as large as possible a small number -f: 1.8 and the shutter speed is to be tested. Patience.
WITHOUT FORGETTING CULTURE
To each country its beliefs, for some, the polar auroras are signs of bad omens linked to death, as representing the spirits of children born or of deceased women. The best known of Finnish beliefs is that of the spirit of the dancing fox. It illuminates the sky with its tail causing a cloud of celestial dust, auroras.
At the origin of the current Finnish people, the Sami, the first native peoples of Europe. This people were nomadic people until the 1940s when they began to live permanently in residential houses. Traditionally, all families moved, according to the migrations of their reindeer throughout the year.
It is estimated that today they represent between 80,000 and 100,000 people, mostly in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia. The languages spoken in Finland are Finnish, Swedish and Sami which is also a language in its own right. It has been taught since the 1970s in schools and is present in everyday life: signs are translated into both languages.
Values and customs
Honesty and modesty are what most characterizes the values of the Finnish people. Before you leave, ask about things to do and not do about communication or behavior in order to avoid mistakes or misinterpretations. The most widespread custom is of course the Sauna. Another wonderful invention that comes to us this time
The food is linked to the weather conditions, the meals are rather copious with in main asset the meat. It comes in the form of sausages, steak, marinated meat, etc. So you will taste the meat of reindeer with its jam but also the syrup of wild berries on the table with each meal (barely sweet) and many other delicious specialties which I leave you the joy to discover.
In Finland, the notion of ecology is an integral part of Finnish life. It is not unusual to find reminders on your way to order either in flyers or simply on billboards. “il n’est pas rare de voir des panneaux de rappel (comportement écolo) sur votre chemin”. This behavior is all the more justified by the desire to preserve these extraordinary places.
So what are you waiting for?