Sami Culture

Experience genuine Sami culture

The northernmost Lapland has a rich and unique culture. Inari-Saariselkä area is located in the homelands of the Sami, Europe’s only recognised indigenous people. Sami culture is a vibrant part of everyday life. Visitors are invited to explore more with local, Sami-run companies.

The Sámi in Finland

Sámis are Finland’s and Europe’s only recognised indigenous people, who have settled the area long before the nation’s borders. Apart from Finland, Sámis live in Norway, Russia and Sweden.

In Finland, the Sámi area consists of northern Lapland. Municipalities of Inari, Utsjoki, Enontekiö and northern Sodankylä are considered as the Sámi Homeland. There are around 10 000 Sámis living in Finland.

Sámi languages and cultures

The Sámi have their own languages and culture, which differ from those of ethnic Finns. In Finland, the Sámi speak three languages: North Sámi, Inari Sámi and Skolt Sámi, which are different enough for the speakers to struggle to understand each other.

Even today, traditional Sámi livelihoods help to maintain the language in a living culture. The Sámi cultures are steeped in nature, which is attested to by the Sámi languages’ rich vocabulary related to nature.

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Museum and cultural venues

Inari is the heart of the Sámi culture in Finland. The Sámi Museum, Sámi Cultural Centre and Sámi parliament are located in Inari.  Utsjoki is Finland’s only municipality with a majority of Sámi population. The northernmost Lapland provides an opportunity to experience modern, everyday Sámi culture.

Sámi Museum Siida

Siida is a captivating Cultural and Nature centre. At Siida’s exhibitions, you will experience the strong connection Sámi people have with the Northern nature. The museum upholds the Sámi culture and strengthens visitors’ respect towards nature.

Siida’s services, exhibitions and outdoor museum area provide various experiences and information for visitors. Here you can feel yourself as a part of the local northern life cycle and truly sense the Sami’s connection with nature.

Sámi Museum Siida

The Sámi Cultural Centre Sajos

Sajos is the centre of Sámi culture and administration. The purpose of the Sámi Cultural Centre Sajos is to create better possibilities for the Sámi in Finland to preserve and develop their own language, culture and business activities as well as to manage and develop their cultural self-government and to support the development of their general living conditions.

Sajos can be visited during opening hours. A guided tour in Sajos gives an insight to Sámi culture today.

The Sámi Cultural Centre Sajos

Skolt Sámi Heritage House

The Skolt Sámi Heritage House in the village of Sevettijärvi is a great place to learn about the Skolt Sámi history and culture. The Heritage House is open in the summertime and it is free for visitors. It is located next to the Orthodox Church and its cemetery. There is an outdoor museum around the Heritage House.

Skolt Sámi Heritage House

Skolt Sámi museum Ä’vv

In Norway, about 12 km from Näätämö, lies the Skolt Sami village of Neiden and Skolt Sámi museum Ä’vv. Ä’vv aims to contribute to the strengthening of Skolt Sámi culture, language and identity, as well as disseminate knowledge of Skolt Sámi past and present. “Ä’vv” is in Skolt Sami, and means the sun’s reflections on water or snow.

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Explore more with Sámi companies

Many Sámi-owned companies are family businesses involving several generations. Here you are invited to explore this vibrant culture with local, genuine Sámi-run companies.

Accommodation for all needs

Whether you prefer to sleep under a duvet or a starry sky, there is a wide range of accommodation options available.

From a high-class villa to an aurora cabin, or an all-inclusive hotel to a camping site – you can find it all in Inari-Saariselkä. Cosy holiday apartment or a private lakeside cottage offers a personal touch to your dream holiday.

Accommodation options

Activities and experiences

There is plenty to do and see year-round in Inari-Saariselkä. You can try out different nature activities or explore the intriguing local lifestyle. Why not learn from the arctic nature, or simply enjoy the silence and just be. The Far North offers authentic settings to enjoy your holiday.

Accessibility

Inari-Saariselkä is far away in the North and yet just a few hours away from southern Finland. Lapland is well connected to the world through flights, highways and railways combined with bus connections

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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Sami villages & destinations

Inari-Saariselkä is a vast area in the northernmost Finnish Lapland, homelands of the Sámi. Here you will find many exciting destinations and interesting sights. Get to know the different villages of the northern region!

Inspiration for your holiday