Winter season activities
Saariselkä is a thriving holiday destination located 250 kilometers above the Arctic Circle. It’s home to the Europe’s northernmost ski resort and the vast Urho Kekkonen National Park. Saariselkä is a true winter wonderland that offers endless adventure – from husky safaris and reindeer spotting to snowmobiling and trying to catch a glimpse of the legendary northern lights. You’ll also find plenty of great local restaurants, bars and cafes.
Experience a winter safari with your own team of huskies. This dog sledding expedition will take you through magical winter landscapes as you learn to drive your own team of dogs. And it’s also a chance to really get to know some of the Saariselkä locals: the energetic, lovable and hard-working huskies! After a warm welcome from the barking dogs, you’ll be guided through how to control the sled, which you will ride with a partner. You can switch places halfway through the expedition if you like. An experienced musher will introduce you to these beautiful Arctic creatures and of course there will be plenty of time to take pictures of this amazing experience.
Adventure through the snowy forests and wide-open fells on this guided snowmobile safari. Your guide will lead you through a true winter wonderland as you explore the snow-covered beauty of northern Lapland. During this three-hour guided tour, you will learn first-hand about how nature thrives even in the harshest winter conditions. You will feel the clean, crisp wind against your cheeks and get to leave the everyday behind as you zoom through the powdery snowdrifts. This exciting adventure is perfect for anyone who enjoys speed and the great outdoors. Before heading out, you will receive instructions on how to safely handle your snowmobile. Please note that all snowmobile drivers much have a valid driver’s license, be at least 18 years of age, and be able to clearly understand safety instructions in English. Passengers do not need a driver’s license.
At some point around late August, the sun finally dips far enough below the horizon that stars reappear in the skies above Finland. With the return of the stars comes one of the north’s most magical phenomena: the northern lights. These bright dancing specters, also known as aurora borealis, appear as green or purple sheets of bright light in the sky. Aurora hunting by minibus is a comfortable (and warm) way to get to experience this natural wonder for yourself. Your best chance to catch a glimpse of the northern lights is above the Arctic Circle in the winter months when the sky is clear. This guided tour will take you to the best spots in the area to hunt for this once-in-a-lifetime experience. As the northern lights are a natural phenomenon, we can’t guarantee that we will find them.
Reindeer are unquestionably the symbol of Lapland. And it’s no wonder since reindeer outnumber people here by 200,000 to 185,000. If you’ve always dreamed of meeting reindeer up close, this activity is most definitely for you! Over the course of this 90-minute guided tour, you will get to interact with a friendly herd of these lovable creatures of the north. You’ll learn about reindeer and the local indigenous Sàmi (Saami in Finnish) people who have herded them for centuries. You’ll also get to take a sleigh ride through the picturesque snow-covered forest, where the local reindeer like to graze.
Challenge your friends or family and battle it out to see who is the fastest driver on the Frozen Ring Circuit. After a 10-minute practice session and small break, drivers have 15 minutes to clock the best possible lap time in the qualification round. Those drivers who make it through will move on to Grand Prix race, where one driver will be crowned the fastest of the fast. This 90-minute activity includes training, qualification and race rounds.
Snow shoe experience
When the snow is deep and the forest is white, we buckle up our snowshoes and head out to explore the breathtaking natural surroundings. Feel the crunch of the fresh snow under your feet as we hike into the magical winter landscapes and away from the everyday. If you enjoy hiking, you will love snowshoeing. Please note that this activity suits most people, regardless of experience or fitness levels.
With a vast and diverse landscape and over 200 kilometers of well-maintained cross-country ski trails, Saariselkä offers you a different skiing experience for every day of the week. Perhaps the most breathtaking scenery you’ll find is from the top of the Kaunispää and Kiilopää fells, both of which offer stunning views that span hundreds of kilometers of Lapland nature. You’ll find a number of cabins and cottages that can be rented along your route for lunch or breaks. We would be happy to tailor a guided skiing tour to your group’s wishes, ability level and more. Please let us know if you need assistance with equipment rental.
Our Ice Cube villas are located right next to the Saariselkä Ski & Sport Resort, which is the northernmost ski resort in Europe. In fact, the slopes are so close that our villas offer a true ski-in, ski-out experience. You’ll find a total of 15 different types of slopes, offering something for every level of skier – from beginners and little snow bunnies all the way up to the most experienced skiers. The pride of Saariselkä, and Finland’s longest street, is called Freestyle Park. This 1200-meter-long street is a snowboarder’s dream. And the Junior Park offering challenges and lots of fun for kids of all ages. We are happy to arrange lift tickets, personal instructors, and all the skiing, snowboarding or any other equipment you need.
Holiday Club Saariselkä Spa
Europe’s northernmost spa, Holiday Club Saariselkä, offers calm and relaxation during your stay. The tropical hot tubs and water massage are sure to warm your body and soothe your soul. You can visit the sauna, relax in the steam rooms, and swim in the large pools. When you’re done, dine or enjoy drinks in one of the on-site restaurants, both of which offer an atmosphere and menu inspired by Lapland.
Get to know the Sàmi culture
If you want to learn about the culture and heritage of the Sàmi people who have inhabited northern Lapland for generations, this is the best place to do it. The Sàmi Museum and Nature Centre Siida is an indoor/outdoor museum dedicated to preserving and sharing the history, culture and language of this indigenous people. You will also learn all about this dynamic and beautiful part of the world, including about the landscape, traditions, climate and much more.
things to do
Saariselkä is a thriving holiday destination. It is the northern most ski area of Europe but it has much more to offer than beautiful slopes. The range of services in the area is large and tourists often spend an hour or two on the ski slopes to spend the rest of the day enjoying various activities such as husky, reindeer or snowmobile rides, watching the northern lights or dining in one of the area’s good restaurants.