Things to see and do

Here you are – list of 27 best things to see and do along the E75 Lapland route. Explore also hiking areas and national parks along the route.

E 75 LAPLAND THINGS TO SEE AND DO

1. Rovaniemi – a Bustling Summer Town

Rovaniemi is full of things to see and do even in summer. Situated at the confluence of two large rivers and in the middle of stunning fell scenery, nature is always on your doorstep in Rovaniemi. The scale of activities and experiences ranges from mountain biking to river cruises and art exhibitions to outdoor summer theatre. The Rovaniemi Culture Pass grants access to three central cultural attractions: arctic science centre and museum Arktikum, forest-themed science centre Pilke and the Korundi House of Culture.

Further information available from Rovaniemi Tourist Information.

Summer in Rovaniemi

2. Meet the real Santa every day

Santa Claus is a popular friend of children and adults alike. Lapland’s best known inhabitant can be met in the Santa Claus Village on the Arctic Circle on every day of the year – even in the middle of the summer!

Further information available from: Rovaniemi Tourist Information


3. From supermarkets to local specialties

Rovaniemi has large shopping centres and shops belonging to large chains. Along the E75 Lapland route there are food shops in bigger locations as well as smaller specialised shops. Make sure you are prepared, as you won’t necessarily find any food shops outside the larger locations. Shops selling local specialities and delicacies can be found in the larger centres and along the routes.


4. Road with a view to Auttiköngäs Falls

Discover the rushing water of Auttiköngäs with a one-hour’s drive from Rovaniemi and enjoy the picturesque river landscapes. Following the handsome landscapes of the nature trail (3.5 km) you can savour the delights of the cabin café and explore the log floating tradition.

Further information available from: Pilke Science Centre

Auttiköngäs Falls

5. Museums: Life in Lapland yesterday and today

The E75 Lapland route has a number of museums of various themes. In local museums you can explore livelihoods, living in the harsh northern conditions and the colourful stages of Lapland’s history.

Along the route you will also find a number of specialised museums, e.g. Sámi Museum and Nature Centre Siida and the Tankavaara Gold Prospector Museum, art museums, Korundi – Rovaniemi’s Art Museum, and the Museum-Gallery Alariesto in Sodankylä. Not forgetting the Provincial Museum of Lapland in Arktikum.

Further information available from: the destinations and local tourist information offices.

Sámi Museum and Nature Centre Siida

6. Discover the Pyhä-Luosto meaningful experiences with ease

The Pyhä-Luosto ring route has the best spots for motorists. The places of interest in Pyhä-Luosto, Kemijärvi, Pelkosenniemi and Sodankylä form a ring route with Pyhä-Luosto at its centre. 

The Pyhä-Luosto ring route brochure is available from the tourist information offices and service points. Or download it from here: www.luosto.fi /PLsights

Pyhä-Luosto

7. Excavate your own amethyst

Lapland’s amethyst was created 2000 million years ago within the depth of the Earth’s crust as it formed its shape. The slow cooling quartz solutions crystallised in the bedrock fi ssures and canyons over the course of millions of years. A few atoms from other chemical elements were combined with silicon dioxide molecules. This is where the amethyst gets its colour that varies from a light lilac shade to dark violet. The crystals had space to grow large and combine into large crystals.

Around the Pyhä-Luosto fell range was a mountainous range the size of the Alps, but the large fluctuations in temperature weathered the area and repeated ice ages shifted the overburden elsewhere. Discover the unique gemstone at the Pyhä-Luosto Amethyst Mine and dig up your very own lucky amethyst. 

Further information available from: Visitor and Culture Centre Naava, Sodankylä Tourist Information Office and the Amethyst Mine

Amethyst mine at Pyhä-Luosto

8. Gorges and treeless fell tops

Feel the atmosphere of sacred Forest Sámi sites in the Isokuru gorge and Pyhänkasteenputous waterfall. The rugged nature of Pyhä-Luosto National Park takes your breath away and gives the hike an epic feel. A trip of a few hours can also be done as a longer ring route around the fell, which will show you a more diverse example of these ancient landscapes. The Naava Visitor Centre is a good place to start the hike and for getting current tips.  


9. Laidback outdoor pursuits with geocaches and disc golf

Geocaching is an outdoor pursuit where boxes called geocaches are hidden in nature or the built-up environment. Inside the cache are a logbook and pen, and possibly some small items for exchange. The locations of the caches are published online as coordinates to be found by geocache hunters using GPS.

Further information available from: Nature/visitor centres and customer service points.

As its name would suggest, disc golf is golf using discs instead of golf balls. The basic principle of the sport is the same as for regular golf, but instead of using a club and ball, Frisbee-like discs are thrown into metal baskets. This hobby is ideal for the whole family at e.g. PyhäOunasvaara, Sodankylä and Inari.

Further information available from: the destinations and local tourist information offices.  


10. Refreshing moments on the Pappilanniemi shore route in Sodankylä

Fancy a stroll? Take the tranquil Pappilanniemi nature trail on the shore route that travels close to the village centre. The departure gate with information boards is located by the old church. This well-maintained, lit walking route covers a distance of approximately three kilometres and has a number of resting spots for savouring packed lunches.

Further information available from: Sodankylä Tourist Information

Pappilanniemi route Sodankylä

11. Experience the best lifetime moments with the E75 Lapland events

The atmosphere of the Midnight Sun Film Festival makes it one of the world’s most unique festivals. The world’s most renowned fi lm directors, upcoming names in the movie industry, international audience and common folk gather beneath the midnight sunshine to enjoy the laidback and warm ambiance of the event. Above all, this festival is a celebration of the love for film that avoids strict formalities and bureaucracy. Time: second week of June each year.

Further information available from www.msfilmfestival.fi

Inari Weeks – local events in Ivalo and Inari: village parties providing fun for locals and visitors, fishing competitions, watercross, top performers, all sorts of activities around Inari. Dates: last two weeks of July each year.

Further information available from: www.inariviikot.fi, with programmes and times.

Details about more events available online and from the local tourist information offices.  


12. Lapland’s gold lands beckon you…

The first gold rush was seen on the Ivalojoki River in the late nineteenth century. The Tankavaara gold area was discovered in 1936 by Aleksanteri Peltovuoma, or Sauva-Aslak. Widespread gold digging in Lemmenjoki started in 1945. Northern Lapland is the last remaining area in Western Europe where you can experience the atmosphere of a genuine gold digging culture.

You can explore the history of Lapland’s gold in more detail at the Tankavaara Gold Prospector Museum. In addition to Tankavaara, gold panning can be experienced in other areas in the Inari and Saariselkä district.

The Gold Panning Finnish Open is organised at the Tankavaara Gold Village at the end of July to the beginning of August each year.  


13. See the Midnight Sun

Nights are bright on the E75 Lapland route throughout the summer! In Nuorgam the Midnight Sun period is 16 May – 29 July, and around Rovaniemi 6 June – 7 July. When you want to experience the Midnight Sun at its finest, go to an open or high place. When the weather is fine you can view the magnificent and grand Lapland landscapes from high places.

The E75 Lapland activity provider companies provide guided Midnight Sun trips. Further information available from the companies themselves or the local tourist information offices.  


14. Relax in the warmth of the sauna

Finland is estimated to have around 1.6 million saunas. This figure shows just how important the sauna is for Finns. The sauna cleanses and relaxes, and improves health and wellbeing. Bathing in the sauna is an all-embracing experience that feels, smells and sounds good.

Try the aromas of smoke and birch whisks, crackling fire and hissing water for yourself. The E75 Lapland route has modern saunas, classic shore-side saunas and traditional smoke saunas in e.g. hotels, cabin villages and camping grounds.  

Birch whisk

15. Berries and forests are yours for the taking

During late summer and early autumn the forests of Lapland are overflowing with mega healthy delicacies, wild berries: bilberries, cloudberries, lingonberries, crowberries that can be eaten straight from nature.

Finland has an age-old practice for use of nature: Everyman’s Right, or the freedom to roam. Everyman’s Right means everyone in Finland can use nature irrespective of who owns or manages the area. You can traverse nature without the consent of the landowner and for free. This means you can pick as many bilberries and other berries as you like!

Nevertheless, you are not allowed to cause damage or disturbance, so stay a sufficient distance away from housing. For instance, litter must not be left in nature. Everything you bring into nature must also be taken away with you. Please remember to stay at campsites, not on lay-bys.

Further information available from: tourist information offies, nature/visitor centres and nature information huts.  


16. Nellim, the village of three cultures

Nellim is a wilderness village on the banks of the Inarijärvi Lake, located 42 kilometres northeast from the Ivalo village centre and only eight kilometres from the Russian border. The trip lexapro generic online from Ivalo to Nellim itself is a once-in-a-lifetime experience: the road originally led to the Arctic Ocean and now meanders its way over grand hills and past beautiful fjord landscapes. Indeed the village is one of Inari’s most valuable landscape entireties and an important cultural historical environment.

Affectionately termed as the three-culture village, Nellim is home to around 170 Finns, Inari Sámi and Skolt Sámi, and about the same number of holidaymakers. Nellim was already a settlement in the Stone Age around 8000 years ago.

Further information available from: tourist information in Ivalo


17. Boat tour to the Ravadasputoukset rapids, on the river Lemmenjoki

In Lemmenjoki National Park, you can experience the landscape of majestic fells from a boat. There are daily boat tours to the Ravadasputoukset rapids and Kultahamina hut during the summer months. Local tour operators also offer guided boat tours. Hop on a riverboat and travel to the rumbling Ravadasputoukset rapids in the heart of the Lemmenjoki valley. You can return by boat or walk back along a sign-posted path.

Further information, please contact Siida and local businesses.


18. Lake Inarijärvi – the largest and most beautiful

Having depths of up to 100 metres, Inarijärvi is one of Finland’s largest lakes. In addition to having expansive open water, Inarijärvi also holds 3318 islands. The shores are rocky and steep, but there are also sheltered bays and sandy beaches in places. The Lake Inarijärvi area provides an excellent opportunity for exploring the great wilderness lake landscapes of northern Lapland. On the Inarijärvi Lake you can canoe, fish or pick berries on the islands. Sites of interest on the lake include e.g. Ukonsaari sacred Sámi island and the Pielpajärvi Wilderness Church. You can discover Lake Inarijärvi by taking a boat cruise.

Further information available from: tourist information offices and local enterprises.


19. Church atmosphere of the old days

The wilderness church of Pielpajärvi is a former meeting place of Inari. The shores of the Pielpajärvi Lake once gathered Inari Sámi people to important occasions. In winter people also lived for long periods at Pielpajärvi church site. Former wilderness church was built in 1646-1648, but the current church was built in 1760. The church is one of the Lapland’s oldest buildings. The walking distance to the church is five kilometres.

Further information available from: Siida

Dating back to the early nineteenth century, the Utsjoki church cabins were owned by Sámi families and were used as accommodation and dwellings during times of important church festivities. The church cabin area used to be one of Utsjoki’s focal points and was still used a lot in the 1930’s.

Further information available from: Utsjoki Nature Information Hut

Sodankylä’s old, log-built column church was built in 1689 for the Lappish villages of Sodankylä, Sompio, Keminkylä (Savukoski) and Kittilä. The church is Lapland’s oldest and one of Finland’s oldest surviving wooden churches.

Further information available from: Sodankylä Tourist Information


20. Sámi – Lapland’s indigenous people

The Sámi are the European Union’s only remaining indigenous people, who have lived in Lapland already before the national borders were established. Currently there are around 9000 Sámi living in Finland. There are three different Sámi languages spoken in Finland: Northern Sámi, Inari Sámi and Skolt Sámi. Northern Sámi is the majority language of the Sámi. The five different national costumes of the Sámi in Finland tell which area they come from.

The Sámi district in Finland covers the area of Enontekiö, Utsjoki and Inari municipalities and the area of the Vuotso village, which is the northernmost part of the Sodankylä municipality. There are Sámi people also in Norway, Sweden and Russia. The centre for the Finnish Sámi is Inari, which is a home to e.g. the Sámi Parliament, Sámi Radio, Sámi Museum and Northern Lapland Nature Centre Siida, Sámi Educational Institute and the Sámi Culture Centre Sajos. Further information available from: Arktikum, Siida, Sajos and the local tourist information offices


21. Reindeer – the heart of culture

Reindeer is very important for Lappish culture, in addition to helping Santa Claus. Reindeer husbandry is still an important livelihood of the indigenous Sámi. Reindeer provide meat and hides and some reindeer farms also welcome tourists. Reindeer calves are born in May – June. Around Midsummer, the insect swarms make reindeer seek refuge in the open fell highlands and bogs from which the reindeer herders herd reindeer into calf-marking enclosures. In summer and early autumn reindeer gather energy and spare nutrition in preparation for the long winter. Autumn is the beginning of the mating season for reindeer and bull reindeer gather together their own doe herds.

The reindeer herders make use of the herd formations of the reindeer by gathering reindeer into separation enclosures where the reindeer to be slaughtered are separated from the herds. After the mating season, the bull sheds its antlers and the reindeer gradually move to the winter pastures.


22. Taste Lappish cuisine

The ingredients for Lappish cuisine come from the barren and clean nature of the north. These ingredients include reindeer, game birds such as the willow grouse, fish such as salmon and arctic char, wild berries and herbs. The Midnight Sun gives crops and wild vegetation a strong aroma. Lappish meals include sautéed reindeer, glowfried salmon, Lappish cheese, cloudberries, and barley flatbread.

Savour Lappish delicacies in the restaurants and cafes of E75 Lapland. Or perhaps taste juicy berries straight from the forest.


23. Park by the road and hike to experience the rugged fell landscapes

The seven-kilometre Pyhä-Nattanen daytime trail takes you to marvel at the beautiful landscapes from the fell summit at 508 metres. The views change from riversides to expansive fell highland wilderness and lake landscapes. On the journey you can take a rest along the Nalijoki River and at the top of Pyhä-Nattanen in the former firewatcher’s hut. The trail traverses the Sompio Strict Nature Reserve where walking is only allowed on the trails that are marked in the area with green stakes. The trail begins from the Sompiojärventie road close to the nature reserve boundary.

Further information available from: Koilliskaira Visitor Centre.


24. Swim in natural water

The E75 Lapland route has a number of great places for swimming in nature. The shallow, still water is warm during fine weather, but the water of rivers can be rather cool. You can also take a dip in smaller streams, perhaps during your nature hike.


25. Hiking in Saariselkä’s spectacular fell landscapes

The Saariselkä area is located close to the Urho Kekkonen National Park, the Sámi district and the gold lands of Lapland. The area offers hiking on trails of varying difficulties, or even cycling. Saariselkä is also a central departure point for long hikes into the Urho Kekkonen National Park or the Hammastunturi wilderness area. The Saariselkä resort has a wide range of services available throughout the year. The Saariselkä and Kiilopää area holds approximately 200 kilometres of marked summertime trails.

Inari-Saariselkä hiking area

26. Enjoy the landscape mountain biking

The E75 Lapland route has a number of great places for mountain biking. The trails have something for everyone, from easy trails travelling along forestry vehicle roads to challenging trails traversing the fell highlands. Mountain bikes can be hired from a number of companies along the route.

Further information and route maps: local tourist information offices, nature/visitor centres, customer service points and enterprises.


27. Finland’s most picturesque road

The Tenontie road will take you to breathtaking landscapes. The road meanders through the river valley. In some places the slopes rise steeply from the river, whereas other places the slopes are further away which has provided space for small Sámi villages, a number of which can be seen when driving from Nuorgam to Karigasniemi. Slow down the pace and enjoy the experience!

Further information available from: Utsjoki Tourist Information Office


E75 LAPLAND HIKING AREAS AND NATIONAL PARKS

Arctic Circle hiking area

The enchanting nature of the Arctic Circle close to the hometown of Santa Claus in Rovaniemi. See the magnificent Vaattunkiköngäs and Vikaköngäs rapids and catch fish from the white water. The rapids can also be reached with pushchairs.

Further information available from the Pilke Science Centre.


Pyhä-Luosto National park

Deep gorges and tall treeless fell tops, primeval forests and bedrock millions of years old create scale for human life. Also a voyage of discovery into oneself! The ambiance of the sacred sites of the Forest Sámi can already be experienced with even a short day trip.

Hiking tips and instructions available from Naava.


Urho Kekkonen National park

A dream location for hikers close to Saariselkä’s services. Feel the tales of the fells and wilds and head for a warm hut for the night. The mysterious Korvatunturi fell, home of Santa Claus, is found in this open landscape.

Hiking tips from the Kiehinen or Koilliskaira visitor centres.


Inari outdoor recreation area

Inari is the centre for Finland’s Sámi culture located on the shores of the Inarijärvi Lake. Thousands of islands, tall fells and hills, and free-flowing rivers provide plenty of new experiences.

Further information available from Siida.


Lemmenjoki National Park

The valley of the gold river takes you into the heart of the Sámi district. Enter the wilderness and the atmosphere of Lapland’s gold on a daytrip in a boat steered by a guide. In Finland’s largest national park you can also hike off the marked trails.

Hiking tips from Siida.