Summer holidays in Lapland

Holidays in Lapland in summer? Why not.

Many people think that summer holidays and Lapland – incompatible concepts. We will try to dispel this misconception.

Finnish Lapland is no less interesting in summer than in winter. And for those who can not stand the heat and the heat, it is an ideal place for summer holidays in Finland.

A few reasons to go on holiday in Finnish Lapland in summer:

1. To see the Polar Day and Midnight Sun.

It’s unwise to go to bed in Lapland in the summer when it’s as bright at night as it is during the day. There is so much to do! If, for example, you vacation for a week in southern Finland in the summer, you will have about 100-110 hours for the active part of the holiday. In Lapland, on the other hand, you can get extra time, about 140-160 hours of activity per week :-). And your imagination will certainly tell you what to spend that time on.

Lapland in summer, Midnight Sun


2. Seeing Santa Claus and making wishes for the New Year.

Your children will be very excited to see Santa twice a year. Maybe they’ll get presents not only in winter on New Year’s Eve, but in the middle of summer as well! Not many can boast of such a good fortune.

Santa Claus in Rovaniemi in Summer


3. go fishing for trout, grayling, kumja or even salmon.

For example, here are some places where trout can be caught even by beginners without special skills and equipment: Lake Poyliojarvi in Kemijärvi (the lake is right in the city limits), the rapids Vikakongas 30 km from Rovaniemi towards Kemijärvi on the road E75, Lake Pyhajarvi in Pyuhja resort. And on some rivers in Lapland you can try your fishing luck on wild salmon.

Again, do not forget about the advantage of Lapland in summer, the Arctic Day, when you can fish 24 hours a day and find the best time to fish.

Trout fishing Lapland

4. Visit the Polar Zoo in Ranua.

Ranua Zoo


5. Swim beyond the Arctic Circle.

If the weather is not exactly tropical, although the Arctic Circle sometimes is in summer, you can go to the water park or swimming pool, which can be found in almost every town in Lapland (in Kemijärvi, Rovaniemi, resorts of Levi, Saariselka or Luosto).



6. Taste cloudberry.

Cloudberries in Lapland


7. Gather berries and mushrooms

Many Finns come to Lapland for a week or two in late summer or early autumn to pick berries such as bilberries, cranberries and cowberries. Finnish Lapland has enough berries for everyone.

And there is nothing to talk about mushrooms! Mushroom fields must be seen. It seems that only reindeer hunt for mushrooms in Lapland.

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Mushrooms in Lapland


8. To see a reindeer.

Deer in Lapland


9. Holiday in a cottage in Finland is cheap, even very cheap!

Resorts in Lapland also work in the summer, offering bicycles and boats for rent, organizing hikes through the National Parks and natural attractions. Some resorts offer chairlifts to the summits of hills, which offer an amazing view over hundreds of kilometers around. So you won’t get bored.

For example, a cottage in Lapland with all conveniences, sauna and fireplace, for 1 family can be rented for only 450-550 euros per week, including final cleaning. Examples of low-cost cottages for summer in Finland, you can see here: Cottages in Lapland in Pyhä. Even luxury cottages in Lapland in summer rent for very, very affordable prices.

Cheap Cottages in Lapland


10. Take a short hike in the National Park and look into Finland’s deepest gorge, Isokuru

Well-equipped hiking route through the national park, along the way equipped places for a campfire and grill, shelters against rain, cabins where you can sleep on the route. Many information boards, signposts, and natural attractions.

Pyuha Luosto Isokuru National Park

Kuva: Peter Johansson, GTK (

Digging out your own amethyst

The peculiarity of the amethyst mine is that mining here is done entirely by hand. Each visitor receives a small pickaxe and has the opportunity to dig up his own amethyst and take it with him. There is one rule: you can only take away an amethyst that will fit in the palm of your hand.

Püha Luosto Amethyst Mine National Park


12. Listen to the silence.

Speaking of mosquitoes. They are active only for a few weeks, from about the end of June to mid July. Then this inconvenience disappears and their number is about the same as in any other area of Finland. The non-comarine season in Lapland is May, August, September.

Many tourists from Europe specifically come to resorts in Lapland to rest in the summer. There are few people here, continuous dense silence, around the cabins walk only curious deer, and no crowds of tourists. This feeling of being lost in time and space is especially pleasant after the bustling cities with the frenetic pace of life.

Silence in Lapland


Welcome to Lapland in summer!


Cottage in Lappeenranta – 40 km from the city center. Cottage on Lake Saimaa. A large log house on the shore, 3 bedrooms. Gazebo and grill. Wood-fired sauna on the shore. A beautiful place surrounded by forest. Good conditions for fishing. An oar boat is included in the rent price. Not far from the border.

Summer in Lapland

While Santa Claus is busy with his daily chores – packing gifts for the new year, chasing elves on the hills and dealing with taxes, in Lapland, no doubt, has something to do besides visit the white-bearded. Summer holidays in Ruka or Kuusamo, two hours drive from Rovaniemi, are active and familiar to the Russian heart: forest, fishing, bathing. During the long polar days you have time to explore the surroundings and discuss it over evening meals. Orange Traveler presents 10 ideas for outdoor activities in Finland in summer.

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River rafting

Rafting in Lapland is suitable both for beginners, screaming with delight tourists, it’s called “family” in Kuusamo, and for experienced, severe extremists – there are a lot of rapids on the rivers, all of them of varying difficulty level. Waterproof uniforms will be issued at the base of Ruka Adventures, along with an oar and instructions for behavior on the raft. In this part of Lapland you float on the river Kitkajoki. There are a total of seven rapids on the river. In between there are long rafting trips during which you can enjoy the forest scenery and wave at the fishermen who keep coming across the river. Rafting in this region is a half-day event: about five hours of preparation, transfer, rafting, admiring the Jyrava Falls, traditional picnics and walking, a half-meter back to the base.

Cycling through the hills

In Kuusamo, there are plenty of places to pedal – the region has 605 km of cycling routes, with a harsh dose of extreme creativity. On the maps, which can be found everywhere, you can choose from dozens of variations of how to spend a day on wheels, send to the forest obstacle course, climb Mount Rukatunturri, its height is 490 meters, or go far into the forest and race through streams and bogs. Many of the forest trails are laid out on gravel paths, on which a ski trail runs in the winter. Despite the fact that the bike trails lead deep into the woods, it is not easy to meet wild animals, the risks are minimized, the safety of cyclists worried and chose cross-country routes, passing far from the habitat of bears and wolves. However, any other wildlife – foxes and wolverines, half-wild deer will be caught every now and then. Rental shops are open all year round in Ruka, the cost of a day’s rent of a bicycle is 22 euros.

Go berry picking

No matter what you say, sometimes some activities are quite underrated: for example, one of them is the pleasure of picking berries in the woods. Every summer in Finland, there are various championships for picking lingonberries, blueberries or cloudberries, the golden berry of the Lapland tundra. The most famous world championship is held in Suomussalmi near Oulu. The start and finish line are determined in advance, at the end of the given time berry pickers are given cash prizes and, as a rule, berry fairs are organized. You can pick berries on your own, in the proud solitude and without competitive mood, absolutely free and in any quantity – the only rule, observance of which is required by law – do not climb, like bears, on private property, even if it is a berry orchard city. The best time to pick bilberries and cloudberries in Lapland is from the end of July to the end of August. Lingonberries are picked from the end of August to the end of September.

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Visit huskies at the farm and walk the dog in the woods

In summer, huskies laze around in spacious enclosures, waiting for the new winter season, when they can take tourists on a ride through frozen lakes and snow-covered forests. That’s why a visit to the farm will be quite emotional – you will see 200 (!) sled dogs, which will happily wave their ponytails at the sight of you. The main farm in Ruka is called Era-Susi, and on its territory, apart from the dogs, there are deer – what in Lapland without them, sheep, goats, rabbits, ducks, turkeys and horses. After you’ve fed enough of the ungulates with berries and the fluffy ones with carrots, you can choose the dog you like or even a couple of them and go for a hike to the dog fighting places in Rukajärvi or take a walk through the national parks Oulanka, Kiutaköngäs, Riisitunturi. The dogs will be provided for a short time – the walk takes about an hour. Then, after giving up the leash and the belt you can have a snack by the fire.

“Photo Hunt” for bears

For good shots you will have to find a long lens – the observation point set up in the forest hut is at the edge of the clearing, about two hundred meters from the forest thicket. Bears come out of the hut with enviable regularity, attracted by the smell of salmon that the guide has laid out. Brown bears don’t like open space, so after a good meal they hurry back to more comfortable pines and deadwood. The best time to observe wild animals is from late May to late August. Long weekdays allow you to sit in the shelter for long hours and watch scenes from the life of forest dwellers. If you trust the guide from Karhutupa Karhu Kuusamo, the chance of seeing a bear increases to 99 percent. According to the ranger, this area, two kilometers from the Russian border, is home to about 1,500 individuals. And as Sharik from Prostokvashino used to say, “And let’s click them with a photo gun?”

Walking the Oulanka National Park

This is the kind of hike that will restore vigor to the spirit, joy to the thoughts, and tone to the body. Nature in its natural appearance – unhurried river Oulanka, which flows into the White Sea, waterfall Kiuta, canyons, rocks of quartzite and dolomite, and delicate calypso flowers. If you reach the northern part, you will see real swamps. On the map there are many marked roads, the most famous route is called the Bear Trail, a total length of 80 km. Somewhere the road is graveled, somewhere there are wooden bridges, and somewhere you have to wade through overgrown trails. But it’s enough to walk a small part or take one of the shorter nature roads Hiidenlampi 5 km or Riutisuo 5 km to get the full picture of hiking in Lapland – beautiful, uncomplicated, free. Losing hours and realizing that it’s night, even though it’s light, you can spend the night in one of the forest huts. It does not matter what kind of romance you may want in these parts.

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To have a traditional Finnish picnic at the rapids

One of the most beautiful places for a picnic in the woods is on the banks of the river Oulanka at the old mill Myllykoski. You can easily find it: it is situated half-way along Finland’s most famous Karhunkierros hiking trail, which begins near the village of Juuma, meanders through the forest, crosses a suspension bridge, and leads to a clearing well suited for large groups. If you’ll make an agreement with a guide, or, better, with local cook, you’ll have a good chance not only to enjoy deer staring at it, but also to try the delicious seasonal Lappish summer dish – fried fish “muika” (aka whitefish) with boiled young potatoes, fresh bread, accompanied by joyful mosquito squeaks. Sooty teapots with coffee boiled on fire, rapid river rapids, turning mill’s wheel, lively talks by campfire – it’s so nice, that all of us gathered here today!

Fishing from the heart.

The map of the Kuusamo region, and indeed of the whole of Finland, looks as if someone has spilled blue paint with a swing – there are 188,000 lakes in the country. And each of them has fish. This means that you can sit with a fishing rod on the shore, or cast a spinning rod just behind every fir tree. Everybody goes fishing in Finland – you wear rubber boots for half a day and take a break just to go to the nearest sauna. If you have some problems with the definition of a fishing spot, and you want a good bite, it’s better to take a guide. In Kuusamo, there are many fishing companies, and it’s easy to find the right one. It is the official right of any fisherman to fish for worms or trollers, but for other kinds of fishing you have to buy a license. Its cost for a week is 7 euros, and the receipt is better to have with you in case the Finnish fish inspector suddenly shows up. The license applies to Kuusamo’s six largest lakes: Kitkajärvi and Järvi Kuusamo, and to the rivers Kuusinkijoki and Kitkajoki. But with an official document you can try trolling, casting a fly, net or seine and fish for vendace, whitefish, pike, perch, roach and ruff.

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Go on a jeep safari off-road on a polar night day.

Well, let’s be honest, there is no difference in feeling between the ATV races in daylight and “dark, night” time. The sun is dozing just above the horizon, and even at two in the morning, light as daylight. But the very fact that night riding has a light flair of adventure. You can drive an ATV in Finland only if you have a driver’s license – to the woods, fields and rivers from Ruka Safaris base, it will take you ten minutes to drive it along quite a fast highway. You can go anywhere – even in the thicket, where no pedestrian set foot, or on the former ski tracks of Ruka, imagining yourself as the rafting driver – the guide will show you the best routes. The cost of a two-hour ride on the all-terrain vehicle is 75 euros.

What is sapboarding – Stand Up Paddling Boarding

If everything is more or less clear with canoeing – it is easy to rent a small boat and a pair of paddles and go sailing on rivers and lakes – if you have a desire and the ability to row. Sappboarding is definitely still untried by many. Passionate about this kind of active sport move on the water space standing on a wide board, paddling. The question “why?” is still open, but to try the Finnish version – in rubber boots and understand the difference from the “Maimskogo” in bikinis – is still worth it. To start you have to learn some simple tricks to control the board, to find the balance of the body. After the first attempts it is recommended to clarify just in case the temperature of water in the lake (it varies from 12 to 14 degrees) and be morally ready for the small crawl to the shore.

Where to stay in Kuusamo:

SKI-INN Hotel Ruka Village

Or rent a nice cottage in the woods: Rukan Saloniki Chalets

What to bring back from a trip to Kuusamo:

  • A juniper broom
  • A couple cans of tinned bear meat, or any Kuusamo Lapland Wild food
  • Cloudberry marmalade

Photo: Olga Rastegaeva, Ruka Safaris, Era-Susi, Pekka Vetelainen,

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