Weather and climate – When to visit
The ARCTIC seasons
Since 2017 we offer sleeping on ice 365 days of the year, so timing is down to which season that appeals to you the most. Which one will be your favorite?
Visiting from December through February is an Arctic winter adventure at its most intense, with extreme temperatures and short daylight hours. In winter, temperatures in Jukkasjärvi can drop down to as low as -40 C (-40 F).
If you plan for a visit in winter or early spring December and February are busy months, it may be easier for you to find rooms in January, March, and April. If you don’t mind late booking, check back within 30 days of your preferred dates as there may be some rooms canceled or returned that are available to book.
March, April and early May is Arctic spring with long and often sunny days, and mild temperatures ranging between -10 C (14 F) and 10 C (50 F).
Springtime in the Arctic is probably the locals’ favorite season. Snowmobiles are roaring and bustling through the sweeping landscape, sausages are sizzling over sparkling fires and floats are bobbing softly in the small man-made ice holes. The days are getting longer and brighter with the effervescent return of the sun, which also brings mild weather – delightfully welcomed after months of sub-zero temperatures and short days. The northern lights are slowly fading away when the light arrives, so this is the last chance to catch the Aurora Borealis the season.
The spring season also means harvest season at Icehotel when thousands of tons of natural ice is extracted in big blocks from Torne River. March and April are the best months to harvest; the ice has grown thick after several months of snow and sub-zero temperatures. The huge ice blocks are cut and lifted from the river using special machines and tools and is then stored in the ice storage during the summer months for the making of new ice rooms, bars and ice products come fall. In late April, when the winter season is over and Icehotel slowly starts to melt back into Torne River, Icehotel 365 is still open, with 18 suites, the Experience room and Icebar, offering an ice experience year-round.
This season offers typical winter activities such as snowmobile tours, dogsledding and cross-country skiing; and the comfortable temperature and warmth from the sun invite to longer tours and expeditions. Ice fishing is one of the locals’ favorite pastimes and is easily combined with an adrenaline-filled snowmobile tour or cross-country skiing that gives your muscles a match – a perfect contrast to the tranquility that unfolds while waiting for the perfect catch.
Multiple layers of clothing that you can take on and off depending on the outdoor temperature and activity should still be at the top of your packing list – but remember the sunscreen! The snow is reflecting the bright sunlight and the risk of sunburn increases. Apply liberally and head outside for fresh air, wilderness adventures and a healthy boost of vitamin D.
Summertime in Jukkasjärvi, 200 kilometers above the Arctic Circle, means 24-hour daylight. As the sun never sets, the nights are as bright as the days between mid-May and mid-July. The midnight sun invites you to stay up late and bathe in its golden light, perhaps between invigorating sauna sessions or a Torne River boat tour that finishes off with kokkaffe (boiled coffee in a kettle) served in a wooden cup, made over an open fire on the riverbank.
Our summer is short and mild with an average temperature of 16 C (61 F).
The northern lights season and golden autumn start in September, as days begin to get shorter.
By late August the sun is setting at around 8:30 pm and the short hours of darkness tell us that fall is coming. The darker period of the year is also a time to be happy as it heralds the return of the magical northern lights, the berries are starting to ripen on the forest floor and there is a great deal of color appearing all the way from the coast to the mountains of Swedish Lapland.
The long midsummer nights have made the natural bloom and the autumn time is now one to harvest and prepare for the winter. Berries and mushrooms and game from the forest are collected and make for some of our most famous culinary delights. The people of the region are also noticing a crispness to the air and it is time to gather wood and prepare an open fire and a sauna to warm us on the chilly evenings.
Good to know while planning your trip