Saariselkä is located in Northern Lapland, 260 km North from Rovaniemi. The little village is located in a fell area, by the Urho Kekkonen National Park, in the heart of Lapland. As we climb up the fells of the area, the big forest opens into dwarf trees and bushes and some of the summits are treeless, offering incredible views of infinite landscape.
Saariselkä village has about 350 inhabitants, making this destination one of the most authentic in Lapland. It belongs to Inari municipality, which together with Ivalo has about 7000 inhabitants. There also have one of the biggest Sámi communities in Finland, with about 2000 Sámi living in the area.
Saariselkä is well known for its gold rushes during its history. The first gold rush started back in 1869 and lasted until 1900. The second gold rush started in 1936, when Aleksanteri Peltovuoma discovered the Tankavaara gold area. Years later, in 1945 gold panning started in Lememjoki River. The biggest golden nugget ever found in Finland was found in Luttojoki River, close to Laanila. Its weight was 393 grams and we can be sure that Evert Kiviniemi was very happy the day he found it. Nowadays it is still possible to find gold in Saariselkä area. Many amateurs gold diggers come to Lapland, and there are still a few professionals making their living from this precious metal.
Activities and safaris
Saariselkä is the ideal destination for those looking for an authentic and natural experience in Lapland. A good local infrastructure and good selection of hotels provides a comfortable base to explore winter at its best. Highlights include breathtaking snowmobile safaris on the fells, rides with husky sledges in the wilderness around the beautiful Urho Kekkonen National Park, or a peaceful and traditional visit to an authentic reindeer farm hidden deep in the forest.Husky and reindeer ridesSnowmobile SafarisNorthern LightsCross country skiing
Distances from Saariselkä
- Ivalo airport: 27 km
- Rovaniemi: 258 km
- Santa Claus Village: 249 km
- North Cape, Norway: 450 km
- Helsinki: 1068 km to the south