Scandinavian Winter Travel Planning

How cold is it in Scandinavia during your Winter holiday? Don't let the weather put you off.

Practical information for travelling and packing for Scandinavian Winter tours

In Scandinavia & Finland , the winters are long and cold with large amounts of snow in the north. Temperatures vary quite significantly from south to north, and from coastal to inland. The coldest temperatures, and also the clearest skies are found inland and far to the north.

The Gulf Stream plays an influential part in the weather patterns of Scandinavia. Areas on the Norwegian coast, as with other areas of Northern Europe experience the powerful warmer air moving into these areas, keeping it warmer than other areas of the world on the same latitude.

That said, you will be far north, and in winter you will encounter blistery cold days, sometimes with temperatures as low as minus -20°C to -30°C.

So it is important to be well prepared for the weather conditions. Regardless of the weather, locals head out and get active in the snow and you can join in the fun!

The following saying in the area is a good mantra; “there is no such thing as bad weather, there is only bad clothing”.

  • Houses and major structures are built to withstand cold temperatures and you will never be cold inside.
  • It is important to always keep your head, hands and feet nice and warm. These are the parts of your body that most easily loose heat. So be sure to pack good quality beanies and gloves.
  • When considering clothing, think 'layers'. Lots of layers that work together to provide you 'outside weather' and 'inside cozy' comfort.

The largest investment if you normally live in the southern hemisphere is a pair of warm boots. However, we strongly recommend that you do invest in, or borrow, some nice warm winter or snow boots, as that will ensure you have an enjoyable holiday rather than always being cold. Your boots need to be sizable enough to fit two pairs of thick, warm socks.

With your travel documents, you will be provide a complete list of what to bring with you for your Winter Scandinavian holiday.

Recommendations from 50 Degrees North past guests:

We are happy to pass on the recommendation that you think about buying Simple Crampon Slips (Brodder in Norwegian & Icespikes in Finnish) that go on over your shoes and help prevent slipping on ice.They can be purchased online before you go.

Sometimes it is hard to know if you will need crampson slips as the conditions change a lot depending on when you go and where you go. If you would prefer to wait and see, you can also find these crampon slips when you arrive in Scandinavia - you can find them in the supermarkets, outdoor shops and hardwares.

Is Winter clothing provided on 50 Degrees North tours or can I rent?

It’s recommended that you purchase or borrow clothing. Renting clothes when you arrive at your destination could mean that you don’t get your preferred choice. There are generally few options, if any, for renting winter clothing unless you are taking part in an activity. On some 50 Degrees North daytrips & overnight trips outer layers are provided or available for rent. Having said that, each year, more rental services are popping up to help the Scandinavian traveller so ask one of our Scandinavian Destination Specialists for details when arranging your trip.