Urho Kekkonen National Park, Finland

Urho Kekkonen National Park, Finland

photo by MattiPaavola (wikimedia commons)

Ivalo Motorhome Holiday

 Magneettimäki (Magnetic hill) in Saariselkä Finland - photo by M.P. (wikimedia commons) Magneettimäki (Magnetic hill) in Saariselkä Finland - photo by M.P. (wikimedia commons)

Ivalo is a village of around 4,000 inhabitants to the south of Lake Inari, in the Arctic Circle.  This area may be small, but it’s very popular with both foreign and Finnish tourists, it even has its own small airport and the very popular resort of Saariselka and the Urho Kekkonen National Park.

Services for Motorhome Rental vehicles.

This is hard to believe but…..there are campsites around Ivalo and the rest of Lapland that are open all year, why?  I’ve no idea, it’s freezing, but there must be a call for it, so if you are felling brave, good luck!  The majority of sites are open from May/June to the end of September and there’s a really good choice up here for campervan hire and motorhome rental stopovers.

Things to see and do

One of the best things to do up here above the Arctic Circle is walk out into the countryside at night and look skyward for the Aurora Borealis, or northern lights.  Most commonly sighted between 65 and 72 degrees north (around the Arctic Circle and northwards) the lights are named after the Roman goddess of the dawn Aurora and the Greek name for wind Boreas.  The nearer the magnetic north pole you get the higher they appear but where ever you are they are a beautiful green and red glow.  You are more likely to see this phenomenon around the time of the twice yearly equinoxes, the 20th March and the 23rd September, but if you look up at anytime, apart from when the sun never sets, you may just catch a glimpse of them.  The Urho Kekkonen National Park at Saariselka is one of the favoured spots for visitors in search of the Northern Lights and if you venture out on foot in the dark, remember your torch!

Summertime in Northern Lapland

During the summer in and around Saariselka and the Urho Kekkonen National Park visitors can use a variety of well marked trails suitable for walking, hiking and mountain biking, both for day long adventures and some shorter trips.  There are also opportunities for gold panning or a visit to the Gold Village or International Gold Museum.  This area is so far north that it also possible to take a trip to the Arctic Ocean for a short cruise or just to dip your toe in the water.   Up here the local Sámi and Lappi people love to receive visitors, they still live very traditional lives which revolve around their reindeer but now they also work in the tourist centres teaching visitors about the traditional ways of life here.

Lapland is a wonderful and very different part of Finland and the drive up here is really worth it.  Having a motorhome rental of campervan hire vehicle has to the best option for exploring this incredible area, you can be at one with nature and even if its chilly outside, you can still see the amazing Northern Lights from the comfort of your own home.

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