Just so you know, HaparandaTornio has many sports outlets and there are several sale periods throughout winter. For instance Black Friday and after-Christmas sales, some shops will even have their special offers until January.
First thing first, the climate in HaparandaTornio is subarctic, which means you don’t have to dress like what you do in the Arctic just to be able to survive the extreme weather and environment. But still, in the coldest time like January and February, the temperature can drop to -25. The most important thing is to keep yourself dry and warm.
It’s all about layering. For the base layer, a woollen undershirt and a pair of long underwear are without doubt recommended. Synthetic fabric works as well, but it’s not as good as wool. Then we have a middle layer such as a warm sweater or fleece of choice on your upper body. Plus ski pants or other types of pants are waterproof. For the outer layer, a long and lightweight down jacket is very popular these years. A non-insulated waterproof/ windproof jacket with venting is proper for winter sports. Moreover, a beanie or a headband will be necessary depending on the activity. Scarfs are nice and comfy, yet if you are doing outdoor sports, you don’t have to wear them during that time.
As you might already know, we have a lot of snow here and often over 30 cm. Long woollen socks are also highly recommended under your shoes. And speaking of shoes, a pair of great winter shoes is essential. Once again, “waterproof” is the keyword. One thing worth mentioning here is the Finnish felt boots “Huopikkaat”. They are footwear made of felted wool. Originally from Russia and spread to Finland in the 19th century. Huopikkaat are comfortable and will keep your feet warm while you visit HaparandaTornio.
Winter City Walkabout
HaparandaTornio is a walkable place… even in winter. To begin with, you can walk down the street Västra Esplanaden from Haparanda Railway Station for about 10 minutes. You will see a tall, dark and structuralist/ brutalist architecture on your left hand side – Church of Haparanda. Whether you like it or not, it absolutely stands out from the snow. Continue your walk on Köpmansgatan, shortly you will arrive at the old quarter of the city. H.M. Hermanson trading house was built in 1832 and both Haparanda Stadshotell and Svefi folk high school are from the 1900s. After passing the square, you can walk along the waterfront and towards Finnsh border. Usually the Torne River is frozen during winter time. You might be able to walk on the ice to the shopping center Rajalla på Gränsen. Not to mention that it will be decorated with lights in the central HaparandaTornio if you come to visit around Christmas time. That’d make your walk more joyful and festive.
There are a couple of trails for cross-country skiing lovers around HaparandaTornio. In the city, you can go skiing in the Riekkola-Välivaara nature reserve, and when the Bothnian Sea is frozen, you may follow the prepared trails on to the sea ice and explore the archipelago as well. Another skiing tail in Puuluotoa is a bit out of the city but it’s 5 km long and there’s a carpark. Very easy to reach by car. Apart from skiing, activities like snowmobile safaris, dog sledding tours and snowshoeing are also quite popular. Check out availability with Nordic Safaris before your visit. You can buy your sport equipment in town but ask the hotel where you stay, you might be able to rent ski equipment from them as well.
You didn’t bring enough warm clothes here with you? Don’t worry! Like we mentioned earlier, there’re many sports outlets around HaparandaTornio, and they are all big brands.
Stadium, Norrskensvägen 4, 953 36 Haparanda
Haglöfs, Norra Esplanaden 8, 953 31 Haparanda
Intersport, Hallituskatu 8 Lappi, 95400 Tornio, Finland
Naturkompaniet, Lillgatan 4, 953 34 Haparanda
Peak Performance, Kraftvägen 3, 953 36 Haparanda