Early winter

First snow starts the winter season Winter starts early in Inari-Saariselkä

Saariselkä usually gets its first snow in October. The lakes freeze and nature falls into hibernation. The winter of the north continues with mystical polar night, the northern lights flare and the snow is soft and clean.
In Inari-Saariselkä, the winter season begins with the first snow, and the ski trails often open at the beginning of November. Spend your first snow holiday by Inari-Saariselkä versatile services, skiing, downhill skiing and admiring the northern lights! Enjoy the fresh open air, winter activities and discover the culture and traditions of the North.

In the wonderland of winter, snow blows

The trip to Inari-Saariselkä is full of unexpected encounters with Lapland’s beautiful astonishing nature and interesting culture. The Saariselkä area is traditionally known as a skier’s paradise. In addition to skiing, other winter sports offerings have also developed in recent years, and in addition to the skiing track network, there are routes for winter biking, snowshoeing, sledding and walking. In Inari and Utsjoki, you can get to know the authentic Sámi culture and today’s Sámi way of life. At the end of an active day, you can admire the northern lights dancing in the sky!

The first snow skiing tracks open early

Saariselkä area is traditionally known as a skier’s paradise. For decades, the almost endless, well-maintained trails have attracted both fitness and hiking skiers not only from Finland but also from around the world. Since the ski season in Saariselkä starts with either natural snow or cannon snow, the Opening Day of the season depends on the weather conditions. In recent years, the ski season has started  1.11. + / – 7 days.

Cross-country track map

The northernmost ski resort in Finland

Saariselkä Ski & Sport Resort is the northernmost ski resort in Europe and has an award-winning ski school. The slopes offer skiing on two fells, Kaunispää and Iisakkipää.

The slopes of Saariselkä Ski Resort offer a suitable challenge not only for more experienced skiers but also for families and beginners. Next to the slopes, you can also easily try back-country skiing. The award-winning ski school provides competent guidance for a variety of winter sports.

Saariselkä ski resort

Northern lights season at its best

At least once in your life you have to see a play of thousands of flames of northern lights in the dark sky of Lapland. The northern lights and Lapland belong together, and in Inari-Saariselkä you can enjoy the fire of the sky throughout the long northern lights season that lasts for over 200 days.

The entire Utsjoki and Inari area is conveniently located in the northern lights zone, so the probability of experiencing northern lights is high. Here you can choose whether you want to watch the aurora in the middle of the wilderness or comfortably from a glass igloo.

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Winter activities

Experience the joy of winter on the trails, on a toboggan run, in a national park or on a bike. In addition to the traditional winter activities, you can spend a memorable day with huskies, reindeer or horses.

Ski down in Saariselkä, go for a toboggan run or quiet down to enjoy the peace of nature by the campfire. At the end of an active winter day, you can admire the northern lights dancing in the sky!

See all winter activities
lumikenkäilyä Saariselällä

Snowshoe on nearby trails

The themed short-distance routes to the Fells offer storytelling day-trip routes, and all the local routes have a theme related to nature observation. The routes can be experienced on snowshoes and, depending on the snow situation, also on foot.

Many of the companies in the area organize guided snowshoe tours and rent snowshoes. Saariselkä nature trails serve as snowshoe trails and the Aurora Trail is maintained throughout the winter for walkers as well.

More about snowshoeing

Toboggan in the longest toboggan run in Finland

The trip begins with a chair lift ride to the top of Kaunispää, from where the lights of Saariselkä village open up in front of your eyes. The toboggan run is illuminated by world-renowned magnificent northern lights-themed light art. Just follow the Aurora lights that will guide you back into the valley.

You can experience northern lights gliding either as a guided tour or without a guide with a separate ticket.

The longest toboggan run in Finland

Take a holiday in the middle of authentic Sámi culture

Get to know Sámi culture and today’s Sámi way of life in the Inari-Saariselkä area. In the Finnish centre of Sámi culture, Inari, are located e.g. The Sámi Parliament, the Sámi Museum Siida and the Sámi Cultural Centre Sajos. In Utsjoki, you are in Finland’s only Sámi-majority municipality.

The Inari-Saariselkä tourist area is located in the heart of the Sámi homeland. Here you can get to know the living Sámi culture with the help of local, Sámi tourism companies.

Sámi culture

Stay comfortably

Inari-Saariselkäs diverse accommodation offer a suitable pillow under each head. You can choose from full-service hotels, spacious holiday apartments and magnificent glass-roofed cottages to watch the northern lights from.

Winter activities

Enjoy your holiday to the fullest and experience unforgettable activities! In Inari-Saariselkä, you can enjoy the nature of Lapland in many ways that are suitable just for you. See here all the winter activities and experiences that Inari-Saariselkä has to offer.

Rent equipment for winter rides

You may not need your own ski equipment, as numerous companies in the area rent equipment suitable for the prevailing weather and conditions. You might even surprise yourself by trying completely new and different forms of exercise on your vacation. Rental companies have the right equipment for the whole family to spend the winter day – fat bikes, snowshoes and skis. So you don’t have to carry your own gear!

Getting here and around

Inari-Saariselkä is far to the north – and still only a few hours away from southern Finland. You can get to northern Lapland in several different ways – by flying to Ivalo, by your own or rental car or by train to Rovaniemi, from where there is a further connection by bus to the area. Often, traveling to north is an experience itself.

How to get here?

Inari-Saariselkä is far away in the North, yet just a few hours from Southern Finland. You can get to Lapland with multiple ways, and often the trip is an experience in itself.

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How to get around?

When travelling through the arctic hills, you must remember that distances are quite often long. Be sure to enjoy the views while making your way from a destination to another.

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Destinations and sights

Get inspired by authentic Lapland