Enjoy the rich
Lapland outdoor life
“Do you believe in ancient life and pure nature? Here we have fascinating tales to tell and outstanding places to show. Venture safely led by our guide into the enriching Arctic nature.”
Polar Lifestyle & PolarLife Personality
The northern way of life is special in a number of ways. The polarity of seasons, changing weather, seasonal activities and long distances have created a special way of life that can be experienced in the Inari-Saariselkä region. Although nowadays locals and travellers can enjoy all the luxuries of modern world, the closeness of wilderness offers an opportunity to venture out and escape from the all too busy world…
In the Inari-Saariselkä region, you will experience a unique cultural environment. You will witness at first-hand how the locals live this far north, in beautiful, yet extremely demanding conditions. Inari is also home to the indigenous Sámi people and the municipality is the only one in Finland with four official languages.
Safety in Finland and Lapland
Finland is a very safe and stable country. It is very safe to walk outside, also when dark. Large animals, such as bears and elks, try avoid encountering people in nature. During summertime, there are some mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are not dangerous. You can easily avoid the mosquitoes by wearing protective clothing and applying insect repellent. You can buy insect repellent from all local stores. Read more: Statistics Finland: http://www.stat.fi/tup/satavuotias-suomi/suomi-maailman-karjessa_en.html
There are a number of things you need to know when travelling in the nature of Lapland. We have made a handbook called “Travel safely in the Arctic nature of Lapland”. We highly recommend you to read these safety instructions before travelling to Lapland.
Please find your own “Safety Instructions in Arctic Nature” from here: Arctic_Outdoor_Travel_Safely_web
Unique PolarLife to be experienced. Saariselkä lies at the gateway to two of Finland’s largest national parks, Urho Kekkonen and Lemmenjoki national parks. This area is well-known for its distinctive gold panning history and Sámi culture.
The Urho Kekkonen National Park was founded in 1983. It is the second largest national park in Finland. This vast park extends eastwards from the resort of Saariselkä through the wilderness of Finnish Lapland and all the way to the Russian border. The expansive fell highland region and dense forests of the Urho Kekkonen National Park allow you to experience our northern nature in all its glory. The park provides a variety of opportunities for day trips as well as being an outstanding setting for traditional wilderness hiking.READ MORE
The Saariselkä area was overwhelmed by an unprecedented gold rush in the late nineteenth century. Gold was excavated along the Ivalojoki River, its tributaries and brooks since 1868, but today companies have bigger dreams and more money at stake.READ MORE
The Sámi Museum and Nature Centre Siida is located in the lovely village of Inari, about 40 kilometres north of Ivalo Airport. Siida is a very popular place to visit and offers you the unique opportunity to acquaint yourself with changing exhibitions on culture, art and nature throughout the year.READ MORE
Stretching over 70 kilometres, the River Lemmenjoki flows through the national park. Northern nature shows its barest and most beautiful aspects here, and the park is home to several rare and endangered species.READ MORE
SUSTAINABLE NATURE VALUES
Our beautiful and pristine nature is very important to us. We consider sustainable nature values in all our activities. The aim of sustainable nature values is to safeguard opportunities for a good life for current and future generations. We enjoy a special location close to two national parks, Urho Kekkonen National Park and Lemmenjoki National Park. There is something we all can do to achieve a sustainable future.
To reduce the quantity of waste and its environmental impacts is a goal we all share in this region. We are constantly striving to reduce quantities of waste. A joint effort by Metsähallitus and hikers is to reduce the quantity of waste and its environmental impacts. How to make sure you leave no trace: http://www.nationalparks.fi/en/hikinginfinland/rightsandregulations/litter/howtomakesureyouleavenotrace Read more about litter free hiking: https://julkaisut.metsa.fi/assets/pdf/lp/Muut/sustainabletourism.pdf Principles of sustainable tourism by Metsähallitus
- Support the preservation of valuable features at the sites and promote their protection
- Minimise the strain put on the environment
- Strengthen local aspects
- Promote use of the sites to promote health and wellbeing
- Promote growth and job creation in the local economy
- Communicate together the values and services of the site
People of all nationalities have the right to enjoy the Finnish countryside freely under the traditional Finnish legal concept known as Everyman’s Right. But together with these wide-ranging rights comes the responsibility to respect nature, other people, and property.
According to Everyman’s Rights, you may Source and more information: http://www.nationalparks.fi/hikinginfinland/links
Everyman’s Right in Finland (PDF): http://www.ymparisto.fi/en-US/Nature
Ministry of the Environment: http://www.ym.fi/en-US/Latest_news/Publications/Brochures/Everymans_right(4484)
GOOD TO KNOW
Seasons in Lapland
In Lapland, snow typically covers the ground from November to May and remains on the highest fells until June. The smaller lakes start to freeze over around November, although the vast Lake Inarijärvi usually gets its ice cover sometime in December. At the same time, the sun is slowly starting its rest for the winter, marking the beginning of the Polar Night.
Kaamos, as the Polar Night is called in Finland, is a time of dim blue light, twilight. When the Polar Night begins, it is time light candles, switch on Christmas lights and enjoy the cosy twilight by the fireplace. On many nights, the Northern Lights (Aurora borealis) dance across the sky making the darkening nights of autumn and winter really special. In December, January and February, temperatures can drop as low as -30 Celsius, although usually it is not that cold.
After the sun starts to once more rise above the horizon around mid-January, this is the perfect time for winter activities and warmer days. Skiing, snowmobiling and snowshoe hiking are perfect outdoor activities for enjoying the beauty of the Arctic and its expansive snowscapes. As the amount of daylight increasing towards March, fishing conditions also improve, a time that sees many locals engaging in very popular ice fishing on the frozen lakes. The end of March and the month of April are some of the best months in Lapland. Temperatures are rising, the days are getting longer and you can truly enjoy staying out late and enjoying the winter to the fullest.
In May, the snow and ice rapidly thaw and there is already a huge period of daylight. The rivers flood and the birds return from their winter habitats in the south, making it a truly special occasion to observe nature. Summer can arrive as early as May, or not. You never know. Sometimes temperatures can exceed 20 degrees Celsius as early as late May, making it truly special, as you have the chance to ski wearing a t-shirt!
In summertime, the sun never sets above the Arctic Circle for up to two months. The Midnight Sun is truly a special experience. For many locals, the summer is the most loved season. You can stay up late, have barbecues, bathe in the sauna and enjoy the eternal feeling of daylight with friends and family. Fishing is also good on the lakes and rivers. Atlantic salmon starts its migration from the ocean back to its natal rivers, making summer the perfect season for fishing enthusiasts to visit northern Lapland. Hiking, canoeing, rafting, fishing, boating, MTB, yoga – summer is full of all kinds of activities in the Far North. Just remember to bring your sleep masks with you if you want some sleep during the night.
In late August, autumn starts to gradually colour the trees and the ground. When night-time temperatures fall below freezing in early September in the north, we witness the vibrantly colourful ruska, as the locals call it. Ruska is a popular season for hiking, especially on the fells and in the national parks of Lapland. It is also a good time for mountain biking or fishing – and of course – wild berry picking!
The first Northern Light can usually be seen already in late August, but September and October are perfect months for aurora spotting, due to very dark nights before the first snowfall. Ruska continues until October, a time when daylight hours are drastically reducing and temperatures start to drop, preparing nature for once again welcoming the snowy winter.
Weather in Finland
Finnish Meteorological Institute: https://en.ilmatieteenlaitos.fi/weather/inari
Foreca Weather: https://www.foreca.com/Finland/Inari
Campfires may only be lit with the landowner’s permission, or in the designated public campfire sites and cooking shelters in many national parks and other popular areas, where firewood is provided free of charge. Campfires may not be lit anywhere during forest fire warning times. Make sure you put out your campfire carefully.
The emergency number in Finland is 112.
Mobile phone coverage in Finland
Telia, coverage map (https://www.telia.fi/asiakastuki/verkko/verkko/verkkokartta)
Elisa, coverage map (https://elisa.fi/kuuluvuus/)
DNA Finland, coverage map (https://kartat.dna.fi/Peittokartta/)