Lapland – Closed for May. But should it be?

Spring turns to May. What spring?
Spring turns to May. What spring?

Lapland closes for the month of May. Hotels, skiing resorts and activities close their doors for a month and open up again as the summer season begins in June. Yet the nature blossoms and offers gems for adventurous minds. Why not enjoy the First of May celebration in good company in groin deep snow instead of rainy park in downtown big city or muddy suburbs?

First of May celebration.
First of May celebration in taiga forest.

Lapland closes down since the masses of tourists stop pouring in as the snow melts in Southern Finland. But it doesn’t mean that the winter is over for many months in Lapland. Many resorts offer special prices in tickets and accomodation for the last winter weeks. In general all the activities from snow boarding to ski trips on the snow covered fells can be extended well into lain man’s spring. May is the month when the locals in Lapland head into fells for ice fishing. Tourists take notes!

A view over Pallas- Yllästunturi national park from top of Ylläs skiing resort.
A view over Pallas- Yllästunturi national park from top of Ylläs skiing resort.

The flow of updates on my social media today was full of people complaining about bad weather, rain and “cold” in lower latitudes. The couple of past weeks has been the same but about flourishing allergies and street dust. What a perfect timing to get a nice tan zipping hot chocolate on a fell side laughing at people dipping head first into a pool!

Sunny afternoon: head first into a pool!
Sunny afternoon: head first into a pool!

Writing this I am sitting in Kuukkeli restaurant in Saariselkä enjoying their nationwide famous cloudberry doughnuts. In this continuously buzzing winter hub there are now only three other people with me. The skiing resort closed just yesterday for the season that saw very little snow. Still the cross country tracks are in supreme condition and will stay that way for a week or two with the nightly frost. Now imagine a winter with an abundance of snow!

Cross country perfection.
Cross country perfection. No rush hour.

That abundance we will find on the other side of Lapland – the West-Lapland. As we speak I’d call it the perfect spring time paradise. Every day of last week was a Pow-Pow day in Ylläs skiing resort!!! Levitunturi saw close to 30 cm of new snow over one night! Woot 😀

Powder in the making.
Powder in the making.
Full white jacket.
Full white jacket.

Sunday night leaving Ylläs skiing resort behind after the closing for the season with virtually all white snow cover was a pity. The best of the best spring weather had just arrived. And the cross country tracks man! Even us, lesser talented skiers, could enjoy late evenings in the taiga forests just gliding on easy snow.

Powder, sunshine and hot chocolate. Nature is awesome. May - Finnish Lapland.
Powder, sunshine and hot chocolate. The last day of Yllästunturi skiing season. Nature is awesome!!!

And don’t be afraid to head out for off track skiing in the taiga forests in May. From East to West and towards North there are many places where the skiing is at its best after sunny days and freezing nights.

Urho Kekkonen national park calls for fell trips.
Urho Kekkonen national park calls for fell trips.
Even south facing fell sides can be still unbroken.
Even south facing fell sides can still be unbroken.
Capercaillie. A mysterious creature from old taiga forests comes out to play in May.
Capercaillie. A mysterious creature from old taiga forests comes out to play in May.

Nature is the best medicine to you and your whole entourage to get away from busy and stressful every day life and I couldn’t imagine a better place than the white playground of Lapland. The midnight sun is literally just days away. The combination of sunshine and snow fun will blow your mind away. Guaranteed!

Hope to see You in Lapland one year from now 😀

Antti

A view from cottage window.
A view out of cottage window. Finnish Lapland in May 2014.
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