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Saariselkä Finland – The Gateway To Lapland


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Hildegaard Mansell



Welcome to Saariselkä, the gateway to the enchanting region of Lapland in Finland. Nestled amidst stunning natural landscapes, Saariselkä is a hidden gem that offers a perfect blend of wilderness, adventure, and Finnish culture. Whether you are seeking a thrilling winter getaway or a serene escape in the midst of pristine nature, Saariselkä is sure to captivate your senses.


Situated in the northernmost part of Finland, Saariselkä is a small village located in the Inari municipality. It is approximately 250 kilometers from the Arctic Circle, making it an ideal destination for experiencing the magic of Lapland. With its untouched forests, sparkling lakes, and snow-covered landscapes, Saariselkä is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.


One of the main draws of Saariselkä is its proximity to Urho Kekkonen National Park, the second-largest national park in Finland. This vast wilderness spans over 2,500 square kilometers and offers a range of activities, including hiking, cross-country skiing, and wildlife spotting. Additionally, Saariselkä is renowned for being a prime location to witness the mesmerizing Northern Lights, also known as Aurora Borealis.


Aside from its natural wonders, Saariselkä is also known for its rich Saami culture. The Saami people, the indigenous inhabitants of Lapland, have a deep connection with the land and are proud of their heritage. Visitors have the opportunity to learn about Saami traditions, meet reindeer herders, and even try traditional delicacies.


Whether you visit during the snowy winter months or the midnight sun-filled summers, Saariselkä offers a wide range of activities and attractions for every season. From dog sledding and snowmobiling in winter to hiking and fishing in summer, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this picturesque Finnish village.


In this article, we will delve deeper into the wonders of Saariselkä and explore the various activities, attractions, and cultural experiences that it has to offer. So, pack your bags and get ready to embark on a remarkable journey to the heart of Lapland in Saariselkä, Finland.


Saariselkä: A Magical Destination in Finland

Saariselkä truly embodies the magic and beauty of Finland. Located in the northernmost part of the country, this idyllic village is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, nature lovers, and those craving an authentic Finnish experience.


What sets Saariselkä apart from other destinations in Finland is its pristine natural surroundings. The village is surrounded by vast expanses of untouched forests, rolling hills, and crystal-clear lakes, providing a picturesque backdrop for all kinds of activities. Whether you’re exploring the trails of Urho Kekkonen National Park, skiing down the slopes of Kaunispää Fell, or simply enjoying a peaceful hike in the wilderness, Saariselkä offers a truly immersive and unforgettable experience.


Another highlight of Saariselkä is its unique location within the Arctic Circle. This means that visitors have the opportunity to witness the enchanting phenomenon of the midnight sun, where the sun remains above the horizon even at midnight. During the summer months, the golden glow of the sun creates a surreal and ethereal atmosphere, casting a magical spell over the landscape.


But Saariselkä’s magic doesn’t stop with the midnight sun. When winter arrives, the village transforms into a winter wonderland, with powdery snow covering the ground as far as the eye can see. It’s no wonder that Saariselkä is a popular destination for winter sports enthusiasts, offering a wide range of activities such as skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing. You can also experience the thrill of husky sledding or embark on a thrilling snowmobile safari to explore the snowy landscapes.


In addition to its natural beauty, Saariselkä is known for its warm hospitality and the authentic Finnish way of life. Visitors have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the local culture, whether it’s by enjoying a traditional sauna experience, tasting delicious Finnish cuisine, or learning about the indigenous Saami culture. To truly embrace the local way of life, consider staying in a cozy log cabin or a traditional Finnish cottage, where you can unwind and enjoy the tranquility of the surroundings.


Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a deeper connection with nature and culture, Saariselkä is the perfect destination. From the stunning landscapes to the rich cultural experiences, this magical village in Finland is sure to leave a lasting impression on every visitor.


Discovering the Wonders of Lapland

Located in the northernmost part of Finland, Lapland is a region that showcases the raw and untouched beauty of the Arctic. Saariselkä serves as an ideal base to explore the wonders of this enchanting region. From natural wonders to cultural experiences, there is so much to discover in Lapland.


One of the main attractions of Lapland is the stunning phenomenon of the Northern Lights, also known as Aurora Borealis. Saariselkä is situated far away from light pollution, making it an excellent location for witnessing the dancing lights in the night sky. Imagine standing in awe as the vibrant colors of green, pink, and purple swirl and dance above you, creating a spectacle that seems almost otherworldly.


In addition to the Northern Lights, Lapland is home to breathtaking national parks, including Urho Kekkonen National Park. This vast wilderness is a paradise for adventurers, offering an array of activities such as hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, and even wildlife watching. The rugged landscapes, pristine forests, and glistening lakes provide the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable outdoor adventure.


No trip to Lapland would be complete without experiencing the magic of Santa Claus Village. Located in Rovaniemi, the official hometown of Santa Claus, this iconic destination welcomes visitors of all ages to explore the Christmas spirit. Meet Santa Claus himself, cross the magical Arctic Circle, and send postcards to loved ones from the Santa Claus Main Post Office. It’s a truly magical experience that will leave you with lifelong memories.


For those interested in experiencing the local culture, Lapland offers an opportunity to learn about the indigenous Saami people. Visit a traditional reindeer farm, where you can interact with these gentle creatures and learn about the important role they play in Saami culture and livelihood. You can also try your hand at traditional activities, such as reindeer sleigh rides or even learning the art of Lappish handicrafts.


As you explore the wonders of Lapland, don’t forget to indulge in the local cuisine. From hearty reindeer stew to delicious smoked salmon, Lapland offers a unique gastronomic experience that reflects the flavors of the region. Whether you’re enjoying a meal in a cozy log cabin or dining in a traditional Sami tent, the local food will tantalize your taste buds and leave you wanting more.


From the jaw-dropping beauty of the Northern Lights to the cultural richness of the Saami people, Lapland is a region that will leave you in awe. Saariselkä provides the perfect starting point to explore this magical destination, allowing you to create unforgettable memories and immerse yourself in the wonders of Lapland.


Activities and Attractions in Saariselkä

Saariselkä offers a plethora of activities and attractions that cater to every interest and season. From exhilarating outdoor adventures to cultural experiences, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this enchanting Finnish village.


One of the main highlights of Saariselkä is its excellent winter sports opportunities. With its abundant snowfall and well-maintained slopes, this village is a paradise for skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced skier, you can find a wide range of slopes suitable for all levels. Additionally, Saariselkä offers thrilling activities such as snowshoeing, ice fishing, and ice climbing, allowing you to fully embrace the winter wonderland.


For those seeking a unique and memorable experience, a visit to the iconic Santa Claus Village is a must. Located about 250 kilometers from Saariselkä, this magical place in Rovaniemi is known as the official home of Santa Claus. Meet Santa himself, visit the Santa Claus Main Post Office, and cross the magical Arctic Circle. This enchanting attraction is the perfect place to unleash your inner child and make lifelong memories.


If you’re interested in immersing yourself in nature, Saariselkä offers access to the stunning Urho Kekkonen National Park. With its vast wilderness and remarkable biodiversity, this national park is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Explore the hiking trails that wind through ancient forests, admire the panoramic views from the top of Kaunispää Fell, or venture out on a guided wildlife safari to spot reindeer, elk, and even the elusive arctic fox.


In addition to outdoor activities, Saariselkä provides a unique opportunity to experience the magical phenomenon of the Midnight Sun. During the summer months, the sun remains above the horizon for almost 24 hours a day, casting a golden glow over the landscape. Take a leisurely stroll at midnight, go fishing in the shimmering lakes, or simply relax and soak up the surreal ambiance of this natural wonder.


To truly immerse yourself in the local culture, don’t miss the chance to learn about the indigenous Saami people. Visit a traditional reindeer farm and learn about their unique way of life. Experience a reindeer sleigh ride, where you can glide through the snowy landscapes guided by these gentle creatures. You can also learn about the art of Sami handicrafts, such as intricately woven textiles and traditional jewelry.


After a day of exploring and adventuring, indulge in the soothing and relaxing Finnish tradition of the sauna. Saariselkä offers a range of saunas where you can unwind and rejuvenate both body and mind. Whether you choose a traditional wood-fired sauna or opt for a modern spa facility, the sauna experience is not to be missed during your visit to Saariselkä.


From winter sports and outdoor adventures to cultural encounters and relaxation, Saariselkä has it all. Explore the abundant activities and attractions this village has to offer, and create lasting memories in the heart of Finnish Lapland.


Visiting the Iconic Santa Claus Village

No visit to Saariselkä would be complete without a trip to the renowned Santa Claus Village, a place that embodies the magic and wonder of Christmas. Located in Rovaniemi, which is approximately 250 kilometers from Saariselkä, this iconic attraction is a must-visit for both young and old.


As you step into the Santa Claus Village, you’ll be transported into a world of enchantment. The village is filled with charming wooden cottages and snow-covered landscapes, creating a picture-perfect Christmas setting. This is where the magical journey begins, and you’ll soon find yourself immersed in the joy and excitement of the holiday season.


One of the main highlights of the Santa Claus Village is the opportunity to meet Santa Claus himself. Step into his cozy log cabin, share your wishes and dreams with him, and pose for a memorable photo. Santa Claus greets visitors from all over the world with warmth and cheer, making everyone feel like a child again.


The Santa Claus Main Post Office is another must-visit attraction within the village. Here, you can send postcards and letters to loved ones stamped with the special Arctic Circle postmark. Imagine the delight on the faces of your friends and family when they receive a Christmas greeting all the way from the North Pole.


One of the most magical aspects of the Santa Claus Village is the crossing of the Arctic Circle. A designated line marks the spot where the imaginary line of the Arctic Circle passes through, and you can proudly say that you’ve crossed into the Arctic region. It’s a memorable moment that adds to the overall experience of being in this unique and enchanting place.


The Santa Claus Village offers a wide range of activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy. Take a ride on a reindeer-drawn sleigh, where you can experience the traditional mode of transportation in Lapland. You can also explore the village on a husky sled ride, guided by these friendly and energetic dogs.


Additionally, the Santa Claus Village boasts a variety of shops, where you can find a diverse array of Christmas-themed gifts, souvenirs, and handicrafts. From traditional Finnish Christmas ornaments to locally made clothing and accessories, there’s something to suit every taste and budget. You can find unique treasures to take home and remind you of the magical time spent at the Santa Claus Village.


No visit to the Santa Claus Village would be complete without indulging in some mouthwatering Finnish cuisine. The village offers a variety of eateries and cafés where you can savor traditional Lappish dishes, such as sautéed reindeer, smoked salmon, and hearty berry desserts. Treat your taste buds to these local delicacies as you immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere.


A trip to the Santa Claus Village is an experience that captures the essence of Christmas and the spirit of wonder. It’s a place where dreams come true, and the magic of childhood is rediscovered. So, make sure to include a visit to the iconic Santa Claus Village on your itinerary when exploring Saariselkä and Lapland.


Exploring the Natural Beauty of Urho Kekkonen National Park

Located near Saariselkä, Urho Kekkonen National Park is a treasure trove of natural wonders that captivate the senses and offer a glimpse into the pristine wilderness of Lapland. Spanning over 2,500 square kilometers, this vast national park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.


As you venture into the heart of Urho Kekkonen National Park, you’ll be greeted by breathtaking landscapes that seem straight out of a postcard. Towering fells, expansive forests, glistening lakes, and meandering rivers create a mesmerizing tapestry of nature’s wonders.


Hiking is one of the best ways to explore the national park and immerse yourself in its natural beauty. The park offers numerous well-marked trails of varying difficulty levels, catering to both beginners and experienced hikers. Whether you’re embarking on a short scenic walk or a multi-day trek, you’ll be treated to magnificent views of rugged wilderness, sparkling waterfalls, and panoramic vistas.


During the winter months, Urho Kekkonen National Park transforms into a winter wonderland, where you can indulge in a variety of snow activities. Cross-country skiing is particularly popular, with over 200 kilometers of trails to explore. Glide through the peaceful snowy landscapes, surrounded by the tranquility of nature. The park also offers opportunities for snowshoeing, downhill skiing, and snowboarding, making it a perfect destination for winter sports enthusiasts.


Wildlife enthusiasts will be thrilled to know that Urho Kekkonen National Park is home to a diverse range of animal species. Keep your eyes peeled for reindeer, elk, arctic foxes, and even the elusive wolverine. Birdwatchers will also delight in spotting various bird species, including eagles and owls. Experienced guides can help you discover the best wildlife viewing spots and provide insights into the park’s ecosystem.


If you’re looking for a truly unique experience, consider embarking on a guided wilderness safari in Urho Kekkonen National Park. Ride in a traditional Sami reindeer sled, led by reindeer herders who will share their knowledge of the land and their ancient way of life. It’s an opportunity to connect with the local culture and witness the symbiotic relationship between the Saami people and their reindeer.


For those seeking a tranquil and immersive nature experience, camping in Urho Kekkonen National Park is a must. The park offers designated camping areas where you can pitch a tent or set up a campfire. Spend a night under the starry skies, listening to the sounds of nature and feeling a deep sense of connection to the wilderness.


As you explore Urho Kekkonen National Park, it’s important to respect and preserve the pristine environment. Follow the principles of Leave No Trace and ensure that you leave the park as you found it, without leaving any trace of your visit.


Urho Kekkonen National Park is a natural paradise that showcases the breathtaking beauty of Lapland. Whether you’re hiking through its trails, skiing across its snowy landscapes, or simply immersing yourself in its tranquility, this national park offers a sublime experience that will leave you in awe of nature’s wonders.


Indulging in Winter Sports and Adventure

When it comes to winter sports and adventure, Saariselkä is a playground for thrill-seekers and outdoor enthusiasts. The pristine snowy landscapes and pristine wilderness provide the perfect backdrop for a wide range of exhilarating activities.


One of the main highlights of Saariselkä is its outstanding skiing opportunities. The village is home to excellent ski resorts, offering slopes for all levels of expertise. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner, you’ll find a suitable slope to test your skills and enjoy the adrenaline rush of gliding down the hills surrounded by stunning wintry scenery.


Cross-country skiing is also incredibly popular in Saariselkä. The extensive network of well-maintained trails allows you to explore the snowy forests and frozen lakes at your own pace. Ski through the magical winter wonderland, breathing in the crisp air and basking in the beauty of nature.


For those seeking a more adventurous experience, snowboarding is a thrilling option. Test your balance, carve through the powder, and feel the rush of adrenaline as you navigate the slopes. Saariselkä offers snowboarding parks with jumps, ramps, and rails, providing endless opportunities for tricks and stunts.


If you’re looking for a unique winter sport experience, try your hand at ice fishing. Saariselkä boasts a myriad of frozen lakes teeming with fish. Drill a hole in the ice, drop your line, and patiently wait for a catch. It’s a serene and tranquil activity that allows you to connect with nature while enjoying the thrill of potentially catching a fish.


Husky sledding is an unforgettable adventure that allows you to harness the power and energy of these remarkable dogs. Let a team of enthusiastic huskies pull you through snowy trails, experiencing the exhilaration of gliding through the winter landscape. Listen to the sound of their paws hitting the snow, and feel a sense of unity with these intelligent and energetic animals.


Snowmobiling is another popular winter sport in Saariselkä, offering an exciting way to explore the snowy wilderness. Renting a snowmobile and venturing out on guided safaris allows you to discover hidden trails, visit remote locations, and experience the thrill of speed and adventure. Follow your experienced guide through the snowy landscapes, admiring the untouched beauty of Lapland.


If you’re seeking a more relaxed winter activity, try snowshoeing. Strap on a pair of snowshoes and venture into the peaceful forests and snowy paths. Snowshoeing allows you to access areas not accessible by skis and enjoy the serene winter landscapes at your own pace. It’s a great way to get closer to nature and enjoy the silence and tranquility of the snowy surroundings.


Whether you’re a seasoned winter sports enthusiast or a curious beginner, Saariselkä offers a plethora of options for you to indulge in adrenaline-pumping activities and adventurous experiences. From skiing and snowboarding to husky sledding and snowmobiling, the winter wonderland of Saariselkä is yours to explore and enjoy.


Experiencing the Midnight Sun and Northern Lights

Saariselkä is a destination that offers two incredible natural phenomena: the Midnight Sun and the Northern Lights. These awe-inspiring displays of nature’s beauty provide unforgettable experiences for visitors.


During the summer months, Saariselkä experiences the magical phenomenon of the Midnight Sun. The sun remains above the horizon for nearly 24 hours a day, casting a golden glow over the landscape. This creates a surreal and ethereal atmosphere that is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. Imagine the joy of strolling through nature at midnight, basking in the warm glow of the sun, and witnessing the magic of a perpetual daylight.


The Midnight Sun provides unique opportunities for outdoor activities. Enjoy a peaceful hike in the middle of the night, go fishing in the tranquil lakes, or simply sit by a campfire and soak up the surreal ambiance. The Midnight Sun also illuminates the landscapes, enhancing the breathtaking beauty of Saariselkä.


On the other hand, during the winter months, Saariselkä becomes a prime location for witnessing the mesmerizing Northern Lights, also known as Aurora Borealis. The Northern Lights are a natural phenomenon caused by the interaction between charged particles from the sun and the Earth’s magnetic field. The result is an awe-inspiring display of dancing lights in the night sky.


Imagine standing outside, gazing up at the dark sky as it comes alive with vibrant colors of green, pink, and purple swirling and undulating above you. The Northern Lights create a magical spectacle that leaves observers in awe and wonder. Saariselkä, with its ideal location away from light pollution, offers optimal conditions for viewing the Northern Lights.


To enhance your chances of seeing the Northern Lights, venture outside of the village where the sky is darker and clearer. Join an organized Northern Lights tour with experienced guides who will take you to the best viewing spots and provide insights into this natural phenomenon. Keep in mind that the Northern Lights are a natural occurrence and their visibility can depend on weather conditions and solar activity.


Experiencing the Midnight Sun and the Northern Lights in Saariselkä is truly a magical and once-in-a-lifetime experience. Whether you’re surrounded by the perpetual daylight of the Midnight Sun or standing in awe as the Northern Lights dance across the night sky, these natural phenomena will leave you with unforgettable memories and a deeper appreciation for the wonders of the universe.


Immersing in Saami Culture and Traditions

Saariselkä provides a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the rich and vibrant Saami culture, the indigenous people of Lapland. Discover their traditions, history, and way of life as you engage with the local Saami community and participate in cultural experiences.


One of the most authentic ways to immerse yourself in Saami culture is by visiting a traditional reindeer farm. Reindeer herding is an integral part of Saami livelihood and culture. Explore the farm, interact with the reindeer, and learn about the unique bond between the herders and their animals. Experience a reindeer sleigh ride, where you can glide through the snowy landscapes guided by these gentle creatures. It’s an opportunity to understand the importance of reindeer in the Saami way of life and gain insight into their deep connection with nature.


Learn about traditional Saami handicrafts and art, which have been passed down through generations. Visit local artists and craftsmen who specialize in creating intricate duodji (handicrafts), such as woven textiles, traditional silver jewelry, and carved wooden items. Observe their craftsmanship and perhaps even try your hand at creating your own unique piece.


Food plays a significant role in any culture, and Saami cuisine offers a delightful exploration of local flavors. Taste traditional Saami dishes, such as suovas (smoked reindeer meat), leipäjuusto (pan-fried cheese), and gáhkku (a type of bread). These culinary delights showcase the authentic flavors and techniques of Saami cooking, providing a memorable gastronomic experience.


Throughout the year, Saami festivals and events take place in Saariselkä and the surrounding areas, offering insights into the traditions and celebrations of the Saami people. These events range from reindeer races and Sami cultural festivals to storytelling sessions and concerts featuring joiku, a traditional form of Saami song. Participate in these events to witness the vibrant traditions and cultural expressions of the Saami community firsthand.


To gain a deeper understanding of Saami culture, visit the Siida Museum in Inari, which showcases the history, art, and traditions of the Saami people. Explore exhibits that highlight the Saami way of life, their spiritual beliefs, and their ongoing efforts to preserve their cultural heritage. Engage with knowledgeable guides who can answer your questions and provide fascinating insights into Saami culture.


By immersing yourself in Saami culture and traditions, you not only gain a better understanding of the indigenous people of Lapland but also develop a deep appreciation for their connection with nature, their rich cultural heritage, and their efforts to preserve their traditions in a modern world. Saariselkä provides a gateway to explore and celebrate the rich tapestry of Saami culture and traditions in an authentic and immersive way.


Accommodation Options and Amenities in Saariselkä

Saariselkä offers a diverse range of accommodation options to suit every traveler’s preferences and budget. Whether you’re seeking a cozy log cabin, a traditional Finnish cottage, or a modern hotel, you’ll find a comfortable place to stay in this picturesque village.


For those looking to immerse themselves in the true Lapland experience, renting a log cabin is a popular choice. Log cabins provide a cozy and rustic atmosphere, often equipped with fireplaces, saunas, and private balconies. Wake up to stunning views of the surrounding wilderness and enjoy the serenity of the natural surroundings. Many log cabins are also conveniently located near ski resorts and nature trails, making it easy to engage in outdoor activities.


Fancy staying in a traditional Finnish cottage? Saariselkä offers charming cottages scattered throughout the village, allowing you to truly embrace the local way of life. These cottages often feature traditional design elements, such as log walls and thatched roofs, while providing modern amenities for a comfortable stay. Experience the simple pleasures of rural living, surrounded by nature, and the opportunity to cook your own meals using local ingredients.


If you prefer the convenience and services of a hotel, Saariselkä has a variety of options to choose from. From boutique hotels to larger resorts, you’ll find accommodations with comfortable rooms, restaurants, spas, and other amenities. Many hotels also offer activities and guided tours, making it easy to plan your adventures without leaving the premises. Relax and unwind in the hotel’s spa facilities, take a dip in the swimming pool, or enjoy a delicious meal after a day of exploring.


For budget-conscious travelers, Saariselkä offers hostels and guesthouses that provide affordable accommodation options without compromising on comfort. These budget-friendly options often include shared kitchen facilities, communal areas, and the opportunity to meet fellow travelers. They are a great choice for those who prefer a more social and communal atmosphere while exploring the wonders of Saariselkä.


Regardless of the type of accommodation you choose, you’ll find that Saariselkä offers convenient amenities to enhance your stay. Most accommodations provide essential facilities such as free Wi-Fi, private bathrooms, and heating systems to keep you warm during the winter months. Some establishments may also offer additional amenities like onsite restaurants, bars, and leisure facilities such as saunas or fitness centers.


It’s worth noting that Saariselkä is a popular tourist destination, particularly during peak seasons. It is recommended to book your accommodation well in advance to secure your preferred choice and ensure a smooth and enjoyable stay in this enchanting village.


From cozy log cabins and traditional cottages to modern hotels and budget-friendly options, Saariselkä offers a wide range of accommodation choices. With comfortable amenities and access to the natural wonders of Lapland, you’ll have a comfortable and enjoyable base for your adventures in Saariselkä.


Where to Eat and Drink in Saariselkä

Saariselkä may be a small village, but it offers a delightful array of eateries and watering holes. Whether you’re seeking authentic Lappish cuisine, international flavors, or a cozy cafe to unwind, Saariselkä has something to satisfy every palate.


For a taste of traditional Lappish cuisine, head to local restaurants that specialize in regional dishes. Try suovas, smoked reindeer meat served with lingonberry sauce, or indulge in sautéed reindeer, a savory delicacy that showcases the heart of the local cuisine. Pair your meal with leipäjuusto, a squeaky pan-fried cheese, and wash it down with a local beer or a shot of Sámi vodka.


International flavors can also be found in Saariselkä. Enjoy a selection of European and Mediterranean dishes, ranging from Italian pastas to Spanish tapas. These restaurants offer a fusion of global cuisines, providing a delightful break from traditional Lappish fare.


If you’re looking for something quick and casual, Saariselkä has several cafes and bistros where you can grab a light meal or a snack. Sip on a cup of steaming hot coffee while enjoying a pastry or a sandwich. These cozy establishments are perfect for a mid-day break or a quick refuel between activities.


Experience the unique ambiance of a traditional Lappish hut or teepee, where open fires crackle and local delicacies are prepared. These traditional venues offer an unforgettable dining experience, often accompanied by live music or joiking, the traditional form of Saami song. Feast on reindeer stew or grilled salmon while immersing yourself in the cultural atmosphere.


Don’t forget to indulge your sweet tooth with some traditional Finnish desserts. Enjoy a slice of homemade berry pie or a bowl of warm cinnamon buns. These sweet treats are often made using locally sourced ingredients, showcasing the natural flavors of Lapland.


When it comes to drinks, Saariselkä has bars and pubs where you can unwind after a day of exploring. Enjoy a pint of local craft beer or explore the range of Finnish spirits on offer. The cozy atmosphere of these establishments provides the perfect setting to relax, chat with locals, and swap stories with fellow travelers.


For those seeking a lively and festive evening, Saariselkä has a nightclub where you can dance the night away to the latest hits. Join the locals and visitors alike as they enjoy a night of music, drinks, and celebration.


During your visit to Saariselkä, be sure to try the local cuisine, savor international flavors, and immerse yourself in the unique dining experiences available. From traditional Lappish dishes to cozy cafes and lively bars, Saariselkä has a diverse culinary scene that will leave you satisfied and eager to explore more.


Getting to Saariselkä: Transportation and Travel Tips

Traveling to Saariselkä is an adventure in itself, as the village is located in the far north of Finland. Here are some transportation options and travel tips to help you make your way to this enchanting destination.


By Air: The nearest airport to Saariselkä is Ivalo Airport (IVL), located approximately 30 kilometers away. Several airlines operate regular flights to Ivalo from major cities in Finland, as well as from select international destinations. From the airport, you can arrange a shuttle transfer, rent a car, or take a taxi to reach Saariselkä.


By Train: While there is no direct train service to Saariselkä, you can take a train to Rovaniemi, which is approximately 250 kilometers away. Rovaniemi is a major hub in Finnish Lapland and can be reached by train from Helsinki. From Rovaniemi, you can then take a bus or rent a car to reach Saariselkä.


By Bus: There are regular bus services that connect Saariselkä with nearby towns and cities. Buses operate from Rovaniemi, Ivalo, and other locations in Lapland. The journey by bus allows you to admire the scenic landscapes of the region and is a convenient option for those traveling without a car.


By Car: Renting a car is a popular option for travelers who prefer the flexibility of having their own transportation. The roads in and around Saariselkä are well-maintained, and driving allows you to venture off the beaten path and explore the surrounding areas at your own pace. It’s worth noting that in winter, when snow and ice can make driving conditions challenging, it’s important to have experience driving in such conditions and to choose a suitable rental vehicle equipped for winter driving.


Local Transportation: In Saariselkä itself, it’s easy to navigate on foot as the village is relatively small. Many attractions, accommodations, and restaurants are within walking distance of each other. Additionally, if you’re staying outside the village center, you may be able to use the shuttle service provided by your accommodation to reach the main attractions.


Travel Tips:

  • Plan your trip to Saariselkä in advance, especially during peak seasons, as accommodations and activities can get booked up quickly.
  • Dress warmly and in layers, as temperatures in Saariselkä can drop significantly, even in the summer.
  • Carry plenty of insect repellent during the summer months to protect yourself from mosquitos.
  • If you’re visiting in the winter, be sure to pack appropriate winter gear such as thermal clothing, hats, gloves, and warm footwear.
  • Check the weather conditions and come prepared for changing weather patterns, particularly during outdoor activities.
  • Respect the environment and follow the principles of Leave No Trace by disposing of waste properly and respecting the natural surroundings.

With the right transportation and travel preparations, reaching Saariselkä is a rewarding journey. Embrace the adventure and get ready to immerse yourself in the captivating beauty of this enchanting village in Finnish Lapland.



Saariselkä is a magical destination in Finland that offers a blend of natural beauty, adventure, and cultural experiences. From the awe-inspiring Northern Lights and the golden glow of the Midnight Sun to the vast wilderness of Urho Kekkonen National Park, Saariselkä offers an unforgettable journey into the heart of Lapland.


Whether you’re skiing down the pristine slopes, embarking on a husky sledding adventure, or immersing yourself in Saami culture and traditions, Saariselkä captivates visitors with its unique charm and natural wonders.


Indulge in the local cuisine, from traditional Lappish dishes to international flavors, and experience the warm hospitality of the people. Explore the vibrant Saami culture, visit reindeer farms, and learn about the traditions that have shaped the region for centuries.


With a variety of accommodation options, you can choose between cozy log cabins, traditional cottages, or modern hotels that cater to every traveler’s needs. Enjoy the amenities and facilities that Saariselkä has to offer, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable stay.


Whether you’re exploring the village on foot, taking advantage of the local transportation options, or embarking on a self-drive adventure, Saariselkä is accessible and easy to navigate.


As you journey through Saariselkä, remember to respect and preserve the stunning natural environment and to follow the Leave No Trace principles. Saariselkä embraces environmentally-friendly practices and encourages visitors to appreciate the beauty of the wilderness responsibly.


As you bid farewell to Saariselkä, you’ll be left with cherished memories of breathtaking landscapes, thrilling adventures, and the warm hospitality of the locals. Whether you visit during the winter months when the village is blanketed in snow or during the summer when the Midnight Sun graces the sky, Saariselkä promises a journey filled with wonder, discovery, and unforgettable experiences.