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End of January we took a plane from Helsinki to Ivalo with Norwegian to do some snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in Finnish Lapland. Even so it was quite cloudy on our trip we were lucky as most of the tourists visiting Saariselkä are usually visiting Lapland between February and April.
So it was not that crowded. Nevertheless, we decided to stay with Suomen Latu in Kiilopää which is located at the entrance of the Urho Kekkonen National Park for three reasons – less tourists, more wilderness and only 20 km away from Saariselkä which we visited with the daily ski bus running between Kiilopää and Saariselkä.
In Helsinki we were waiting to get on board of the Norwegian flight to Ivalo.
The flight was pretty smooth. We had no turbulences. Here a view over Lapland shortly before landing in Ivalo.
At the Ivalo Airport you have to walk from the plane to the terminal in order to pick up your luggage. The airport is quite small but is decorated in a “Lapland style”.
With the Eskelinen bus, we went from Ivalo Airport to Kiilopää. The bus ticket was 13 EUR.
Once we arrived at the Fell Center Kiilopää we got our room key from the reception, carried our luggage to the room and changed our clothes in order to get ready for our first adventure. Night Snowshoeing!
The entrance of the Urho Kekkonen National Park where we started our night snowshoeing tour.
The moon was sufficient to brighten up the area for snowshoeing.
Like frozen creatures on our way up to the Fell.
The peak of the Fell.
The next day we woke up early and went cross-country skiing. We borrowed the whole equipment from the Fell Centre and they also properly waxed the skis beforehand.
The weather turned however bad and we had to ski in a snow storm.
Trying to capture some images and videos with the GoPro camera.
Later on, we also participated in a guided tour which was organised by the Fell Centre. The guide was French and lived in Finland for over 16 years.
Back in the Fell Centre we went to the smoke sauna and had a swim in the river next to it.
Dinner at the Fell Center Kiilopää.
The next day we went to the Saariselkä Ski Resort to do some sledding.
Endless amount of snow mobiles.
And of course Santa’s Office (by Arctic Resort Kakslauttanen).
Patrick entering a Tipi which we found on the way up to the Fell. Here we had a short break to warm ourselves up with warm tea.
Konstantin taking pictures from the top of the Fell.
The view from the summit was just breathtaking.
Searching for the right way to walk.
Checking the altitude with the Suunto Ambit3.
View towards the Saariselkä ski resort.
Konstantin sitting in a small hut on the way back to the centre of Saariselkä to take the bus back to Kiilopää.
Ready for snowshoeing adventures!
A group of tourists doing snowshoeing on the other fell.
Patrick walking next to a reindeer fence.
And then we also some some reindeers …
Searching for a spot to cross the fence ….
And then we found a gate to cross the reindeer fence …
The Luulampi Päivätupa hut where we decided to stay for a while before we returned back.
Leaving our snowshoes in front of the hut.
And lit on a fire to warm ourselves up.
Then we continues our way back to the Fell Centre Kiilopää.
In general, we had a very great time in Saariselkä and Kiilopää. We can highly recommend the Fell Centre Kiilopää. The price value is really good, your are close to the wilderness, the food was good quality and the staff was nice too. We will definitely come back here in the future.
Interested in more stories from Lapland? Here is another story from the Abisko area in Northern Sweden.