January in Sweden, Norway & Finland is the heart of winter, with snow lying thick on the ground across much of the country and temperatures at their lowest. The snow cover and of course the Northern Lights in the far north brightens even the darkest day, and there is nothing nicer than to come out of the cold to warm yourself next to a roaring log fire!
January is a popular month for dog sledding or a winter cabin break - or why not take your children to a forest farm for a horse and sleigh ride?
February offers a wide range of possibilities for winter holidays in the Nordic countries, from dog sledding to snowshoeing. The days are lengthening and weather conditions tend to be cold and stable. This is a good time of year to see the spectacular displays of the Northern Lights, the Aurora Borealis, in the night sky.
February is an ideal month for exploring the frozen lakes and forests of the lowlands and from around mid-February onwards, conditions also become suitable for winter activities in the mountains. Take on a challenging expedition as master of your own husky team on a dog sledding tour or discover the unique freedom of natural ice skating. This is the most popular month for a natural ice-skating tour in the Stockholm area in Sweden, with good ice cover both on the archipelago waters and inland lakes.
March is the beginning of "Spring Winter" in the mountains, with longer, warmer days and bright sunshine. A winter holiday at this time of year can combine the best of both seasons, with snow cover still thick on the ground in many parts of Sweden and Norway but the taste of spring in the air.
March is a wonderful time for cross-country skiing or dog sledding, with the added warmth and extended daylight making it possible to be out in the hills for longer. March is also a good time to see the Northern Lights, with dark, crisp nights.
April is a month of contrasts in the north. In the lowlands, the snows are beginning to melt and there are signs of spring, but there is still plenty of snow for dog sledding and skiing. The warmer temperatures make it possible to combine snowsports with winter camping - a real wilderness experience!
The Northern Lights can be seen up until around mid-April in the far north, after which the nights are becoming too light.
In the south of the country, "tussilago", the first of the spring flowers, are visible in the clear patches between the snow. There is still a chill in the air and the lakes may still be frozen, but the promise of new life everywhere shows that spring is just around the corner.
By May, spring has truly arrived in the lowlands, with meadows carpeted with thousands of flowers pushing up through the softening earth and lengthening, warm days. But in the lakes and rivers, it's still cold enough that only the brave will chance a dip! And temperatures can still be very chilly at night when camping.
Up on the mountain plains, the last of the winter snows make early May an ideal time for winter camping, and the snow cover is still ample for dog sledding tours in the warm spring sunshine. At lower altitudes, it is time to start exploring the forests and go in search of some of Sweden's most spectacular wildlife.
All the way up on Svalbard, May is the ideal time for dog sledding beneath the Midnight Sun!
June days are long and an ideal time for exploring. It is the month of Midsummer in Sweden, an important celebration in the Swedish calendar and the longest day of the year. In the far north, June is a time of endless daylight with Midnight Sun, and there are flowers everywhere.
June is an excellent month for kayaking through the quiet waters of the archipelago, a log cabin holiday deep in the forest, or a canoe tour on lakes and rivers camping wild along the way.
July is height of the Nordic summer. The lakes and archipelago waters become warm enough for swimming and it is an ideal time to venture out into the mountains and forests.
July offers a wealth of possibilities out on the water, from canoeing to sea kayaking to timber rafting, and is a popular month for hiking in the far north.
For the locals, August is the time to make the most of the last long, warm days of summer before children return to school and in the north, later August brings the start of autumn. It is also the time for crayfish parties, an important cultural event in the Swedish calendar.
From horse riding and canoeing to mountain trekking and wild camping, August is a wonderful month to be out in the wilds, with the waters still warm for a dip at the end of your day's adventures!
In the northern parts Sweden, Norway & Finland, the trees are turning and autumn is well on its way. Around Stockholm, September may bring continuing days of summer warmth or the beginning of the autumn changes.
September is the last part of the canoeing and kayaking season, with the countryside and archipelagos exceptionally quiet and peaceful during this time. It is also a lovely month to take in the autumn colours on a hiking tour, or to hire a log cabin by the lake and go looking for mushrooms. Fishing is also very good in many areas at this time.
In the far north, the nights are also now dark enough for displays of the Northern Lights, and the first snowfalls may come in the mountains.
By October the blazing colours of autumn are starting to give way to the first signs of winter, with clear, crisp days and morning mist on the lakes.
October is one of the quietest months for visitors to the Nordic countries. Possibilities for outdoor activities will depend on weather conditions and the area you are visiting, but October can be a good time for quiet, relaxing getaway in one of our log cabin experiences.
By November, there are definite signs of winter. Northern areas may already have good snow cover by this time and the season for dog sledding and other winter activities in the far north begins around mid-November. The nights are dark and the Northern Lights can be seen. Further south, the snows may come and go before settling in properly for the winter and the lakes will begin to freeze. Sustained low temperatures are ideal before the first snowfalls, making the ground cold and hard.
Long walks in the quiet forests followed by warming drinks around a roaring log fire are a marvellous way to spend a November day further south!
December is the deep midwinter, when hours of daylight are shortest and the northern regions have a wonderful blue quality to the light.
The lead-up to Christmas is a magical period. With dark days lit by the glow of the snow and candles in every window, it is a welcoming and cosy month, punctuated in Sweden by the lovely Santa Lucia processions on the 13th.
There are a number of possibilities for those wishing to spend Christmas or New Year in the Nordic countries, from dog sledding in Lapland to a romantic log cabin break to taking a horse and sleigh ride to cut your own Christmas tree on a forest farm. God Jul och Gott Nytt År! (for the Swedes), God Jul og Godt Nyttår (for the Norwegians) or Hyvää Joulua (for the Finns)!