The landscape is made up of pine forests, river valleys with sandy banks and rapids, and in the north of vast mires. Oulanka National Park is close to Ruka. If you like cross country or downhill skiing, Ruka is also a must-visit in the winter! As a family-owned business, you can see the attention to detail anywhere you look. It leaves the body and the mind thoroughly relaxed. If you’re looking for connecting with the Finnish lifestyle, this is definitely your program. Make sure to do this activity without wearing any perfume or mosquito repellent that day. You can find them here below: Only toilet paper and bio waste are allowed. The meal ended with bilberry frangipane & meadowsweet meringue and vanilla ice cream. Reindeer roam free and they simply love to stroll along the roads. Thanks! This massive guide helps you plan that Finnish Lapland escape that leaves your body relaxed and heart peacefully satisfied, whether you’re visiting as a couple, solo, or with a family. You and the internet asked, so I answered! They are also related closely to silence and slowing down. They are only a 20-minute, scenic drive away from each other. He provides guided tours in Oulanka national park, tours for all the natural sights in the region, and unique nature photography packages (auroras, hello!). You will have so much fun! Antti from Ratia Forest Service is a wilderness guide. Der Oulanka Nationalpark liegt im Nordosten Finnlands direkt an der russischen Grenze. The lowest altitudes, 151 metres, are in the river valleys. We were with bear guru Kaitsu, who knows bears inside out. Palosaaren Reindeer & Fishing Farm gives fishing tours spanning between a couple of hours to a full 5-night Lapland fishing trip with helicopter flights and wilderness tent camp. You can find the winter weekly program here. From the 1930s, the Finnish Tourist Association kept boats on the river and renovated the wooden cabins found across the park for accommodation purposes. We’ll stay at a cottage near Ruka and plan to visit Oulanka National Park. Nature. It’s hard to explain in words, but there’s something magical about this place and its people. Oulanka National Park: In the rugged landscape of the Karhunkierros Hiking Trail, you will observe the power of water. The personnel of Sport House Ruka gives a great tutorial about how everything works before you jump on the bike. We got to enjoy two different programs here. Hi! I was in awe watching her work effortlessly on the open flame with pots, pans, and glow-fried salmon while telling stories, giving us tasks, and explaining the secrets of each ingredient. Here are the winter trails: https://www.nationalparks.fi/oulankanp/trails/wintertrails. Oh yes! Being here helps you understand how nurturing and recharging encounters with people, animals, and even physical places (like the sauna!) From 2002, Oulanka was the first of the two Finnish national parks which became part of World Wide Fund for Nature's PAN Parks, the other one being the Southwestern Archipelago National Park. It also seems that they understand each other without using any words. The breakfast with tasty wild food dishes is yummy. Rukan Kuksa introduced me to wild food flavors I hadn’t discovered yet. Drive 40 minutes from Ruka to the meet-up place at Kuntijärventie 127 (a map app takes you there easily). My sauteed reindeer tasted perfectly homemade. All meals can be catered to the cottage or served-to-order at the restaurant. The park was established in 1956 and was expanded in 1982 and 1989. At the moment, there are regular daily flights from Helsinki. If you’re in Ruka, this place is a must! This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. There’s a parking lot just next to the peak so you can leave the car there. My colleague, Omar, got so smitten with the burgers at RUOK Burger that we came back the following day for another bite. When I’m talking about Ruka-Kuusamo in this post, I’m referring to the whole area. Lastly, we sat down together to enjoy a delicious wild food lunch. It has that cozy, laid-back, ski resort type of feeling. By Car. Here you can find public transport options for Oulanka! In the park there are also rare birds such as the Siberian jay and capercaillies, which are fond of the herb-rich forests in the park. Oulanka National Park: In the rugged landscape of the Karhunkierros Hiking Trail, you will observe the power of water. You can also freely use the village’s boats, sup boards, canoes, and other equipment. You have a lot of options for spa treatments in Ruka and Kuusamo. The other thing is, that if I’m traveling as a family, someone (read: me) has to buy, prepare, and pack all the snacks and food we need. <3, (Oh, and did you see my 2 replies on your response of the email I had originally sent you? Oulanka National Park is situated 40 minutes away from Kuusamo by car. First things first, it’s totally safe to move around in the Finnish forests. As a Finland coach, I get a lot of questions about where to have guided experiences about the Finnish sauna and the Finnish lifestyle. Enjoying Ruka-Kuusamo’s Summer and Autumn Activities: Watch the video! Yes, there is! If you need to throw away diapers etc. Canoeing on the Oulanka River is a very family-friendly activity and it’s so special to see nature from the river’s view. My favorite bike trail was the scenic route on top of the Ruka fell. A summer heatwave in Finnish Lapland is not a rare thing either! I can warmly recommend all the restaurants in this post as an utterly delicious pre-activity. It looks fabulous! Obviously, I needed to know what they were talking about! The area is characterized by numerous natural sights. Lastly, a lot of Finns just drive the whole journey themselves. Oulanka National Park is a unique and versatile combination of northern, southern and eastern nature. (Let’s hope said bear is friendly, and likes to cuddle with humans. It would be cool if I could hug a bear, along the way! 1. This visit is truly special as you don’t feel like a customer but a welcomed house guest. The husky kennels in Ruka-Kuusamo offer husky visits and personalized husky experiences for private groups in the summer and autumn. The workshop is guided by the owner of Isokenkäisten Klubi, Sirpa, who is an incredible chef and food educator. It’s safe to say that I have never stayed in such a stunning chalet like the one at Rukan Salonki. Trails like Karhunkierros and Pieni Karhunkierros as well Kanjonin kurkkaus, Keroharju Trail and Könkään keino are popular in Oulanka. If you’re hungry and close to Kuusamo city center, head to Ravintola Talonpöytä. The gondola takes you to the top of the Ruka Fell. ...feel connected with the Finnish culture (even if you aren’t in Finland), ...be confident with the Finnish communication style (even when it’s filled with silence), ...be prepared to meet and get to know Finns. With the sauna evening (described earlier in this post), you can enjoy a spa moment the Finnish way as you are shown the magic of whisking in the sauna. A summer visit to a reindeer ranch is also suitable for little children. The facilities are good (bunk beds, a toilet etc. Thank you for sharing this and for your wonderful description of all of the places you visited. The area's highest hills reach to 380 metres above sea-level. If you are visiting Oulanka during high season and want to beat the crowd, I’d go soon after breakfast or in the late afternoon (note that the cafe can be closed if you arrive too late in the afternoon). The number of mosquitoes varies a lot throughout the summer. You have lots of options. A matter of fact, here is a bucket list of all of the beautiful natural sights in the area. They fell in love with the white water rafting that is the special feature of this region. For example, the electricity used by the resort is produced with water and wind power. All of the rafting guides told me that if I want to experience the Kitkajoki at its maximum speed, I should come back in June. Pohjolan Pirtti is the place. The area is rich in animal and plant species, even endangered ones. There are over 180 kms of biking routes in Ruka-Kuusamo. There are road signposts from Kuusamo, Ruka and Kemijärvi to the visitor centre. Kiutaköngäs, Taivalköngäs and Jyrävä falls. The Day as a Finn – program was one that was very nostalgic for me because it transported me back to my countryside childhood. I got several Instagram direct messages from my followers saying “you need to eat at Pizzeria Ruka!” Given that my followers are quite the foodies, I had high expectations about the place and I was not let down. Give yourself (or someone in your family, what a great surprise!) The major towns “near-by” are Kuusamo, Oulu and Rovaniemi, all of which have an airport. Im nördlichen Teil Finnlands, fast 200 Kilometer östlich von Ranua liegt der Oulanka Nationalpark. The Oulanka National Park is located 60 km north of Kuusamo and 40 km south of Salla. Seriously, if I had no strings (like my dear family and mortgage) attached, I would probably persuade Pohjolan Pirtti to adopt me, and then happily sit in the corner of the gigantic living room with my laptop. If you want to hike the Little Bear’s Trail (more about that in the next paragraph), I recommend “Juuma” as the starting point. National park Photo Region Land area (km²) Established Visitation (2009) Coordinates … Our mouth-watering starters included creamy morel mushroom hot pot, and local rainbow trout smoked accompanied with malt bread and crispy deep-fried birch. The best burgers in town. For many Finns, the sauna is a place for calming down and listening to oneself. If Kuusamo is not Mother Nature’s own amusement park with rapids, canyons, fells, and lakes, I don’t know what is. Learn how your comment data is processed. You can get close to this spot with a pram by driving your car to the parking lot at Myllykoskentie 30, Oulanka. They have different sized cabins, so be sure to browse through their diverse offerings here. The sea-buckthorn mocktail I ordered was super fresh and the perfect starter for what turned out to be a very hefty meal. So during our vacations, I spend a lot of time prepping food. Kiitos <3. I am planning to come to Finland in September. Thank you so much! After four hours of strolling and a lunch break, we have completed this circle route which I highly recommend! 1 liter/person.Snacks: For example, bananas, dried fruits, nuts & seeds. Oulanka National Park (Finnish: Oulangan kansallispuisto) is a national park in the Northern Ostrobothnia and Lapland regions of Finland, covering 270 square kilometres (104 sq mi). Services Capacity: 110 tents, 20 camper vans or trailers (all with electrical outlets) and 10 cabins that house 4 people each. Do you recommend renting a car in Ruka-Kuusamo? Kuusamo is a town in Eastern Lapland and Ruka is its’ best-known village. Der Oulanka Park wurde in der Mitte des 20. Tanja’s mini sauna treatment with whisks made of different trees is an incredible experience. Oulanka National Park Camping Ground. The research center also offers its facilities to visiting tourists or hikers, during the less busy seasons.[3][4]. The other thing that stands out to me is the emphasis on wellbeing. The first inhabitants in the area were Sami peoplefrom Lapland who lived here until the end of the 17th century, which was when they had to give way to Finnish settlers. The closest villages are Käylä, Juuma and Hautajärvi. Your email address will not be published. Oulanka National Park with a Baby or Toddler, Packing List for a Day Trip in Oulanka National Park, The Best Autumn and Summer Activities in Ruka-Kuusamo, Ruka Scenic Gondola and Summer Sled Track, Ruka Husky Safaris in the Summer and Autumn, Experience a Finnish Sauna and the Finnish Lifestyle at a Countryside Family Estate, 3 Suggestions for Unforgettable Accommodations in Ruka-Kuusamo, Restaurants in Kuusamo that make you want to lick your plate, The One-of-a-kind Food Experience in Isokenkäisten Klubi. Yes, there are! Here you can see all the husky activities. It’s called the “Bear’s Trail” aka Karhunkierros, in Finnish. Riverbeds and alluvial meadows are home to rare species of butterflies, and more than a hundred different bird species have their home in the park. Kuusamo is a northern town with 15 000 inhabitants that has all of the services of a good-sized Finnish city. In the summer, the temperatures are around 60-75ºF (15-21ºC). So, how to see bears? If I see you there, I’ll join you! can be. We baked traditional pastries with a huge old-fashioned oven and learned about local history and traditions. The views are just incredible. It took me a while to recognize this pattern: my best ideas and revelations… they have all happened in nature. Children above 4 years old will love this activity. What’s the best place to buy souvenirs in Kuusamo? These cabins can be used free of charge by any hikers in the area, given that they follow some basic guidelines and rules regarding the state of the cabins, the wood supply, and protecting the surrounding nature.[2]. Wählen Sie aus erstklassigen Inhalten zum Thema Oulanka National Park in … I can understand why. So, no worries if you forgot something, I’m pretty sure you can get it in Kuusamo. Kiitos! Is there a Ruka weekly program in the summer or autumn? It’s definitely rafting and a good workout with the oars. There’s a wide trail that is accessible for prams and wheelchairs. Near the visitor's center is the Oulanka Research Center, which is part of the Thule Institute and was established in 1966 to facilitate research in biological and geological sciences. Most meadows are managed in a traditional manner, and reindeer herding continues to thrive within the park, although it is restricted to people from Lapland. Instead, there is a trimmed line with poles and plenty of hidden cameras. Hanki Bar is the favorite of vacationers and locals. You can get a bus or a taxi to Oulanka national park too, check that out here. You are literally in the heart of four national parks, Oulanka being the most famous one. The closest villages are Käylä, Juuma and Hautajärvi. It borders the Paanajärvi National Park in Russia. The Kuusamo region is quite famous for Finnish folk-healing traditions which are based on the healing and integrative powers of nature. Will come back! Outdoor activities are the thing to do here and you can certainly enjoy them even if you aren’t sporty. Personally, I still want to conquer the wild rapids of Kitkajoki myself. The first inhabitants in the area were Sami people from Lapland who lived here until the end of the 17th century, which was when they had to give way to Finnish settlers. This place is also very close to the bear watching site and Isokenkäisten Klubi. I’m thrilled to hear that you will be soon in Finland. You know how most incredible places have a hit song written about them, and no matter how old you are, you’ve heard that particular song? Address: Juhannuskalliontie 27. And the hut is so inviting, every ingredient is laid out so delicately… If you have ever wished to be in a Disney movie, this is the closest you can get! Yes, absolutely you can. But then, you’re part of the experience yourself, making the food with her. This region magically makes you feel rooted and recharged. Along with the rugged geography and the varied microclimates, the location of the park is also one of the main reasons for the great variety of plants and trees, with more than 500 vascular plant species in the area. Summer is much warmer than you would expect for it being so close to the arctic circle. Nice! The summertime in Ruka-Kuusamo summons all hikers, bikers, fishers, and wanderers under the nighttime sun. We also had some tea in a thermos flask. The most beautiful Finnish food experience that satisfied all 5 of my senses was the “Cooking by the fire” workshop in Isokenkäisten Klubi. If you’re in the wilderness, how are the bathroom breaks arranged? Download this Free Photo about Scenic pine forest covered with snow at oulanka national park, finland, and discover more than 6 Million Professional Stock Photos on Freepik After everyone has received their needed equipment, there’s a car transfer to the starting point where you get further rafting training. Communal spaces: kitchen, showers, drying room for laundry, swings, sandbox and a fenced area for pets. Yes, it most certainly is. The parking lot is free of charge, and during summer days, it’s very full. We’ll also visit Rovaniemi and will stay three days in Helsinki. A trip to the Oulanka National Park is a must, if you ask me. Drive 7 km to Käylä. The address of the starting point is Juumantie 134, Kuusamo. The park was established in 1956 and was expanded in 1982 and 1989. This is a unique experience your body and soul will never forget. These are superb high-quality chalets in Ruka. There will be plenty of splashes and a bucketful of water for those sitting in the front. Yes, all good with the emails! This next program embodied these elements into a single evening. So, you have been warned, visiting this area may completely change your life! You’re not going to bump into a bear when you’re simply walking in the wilderness. I would definitely check out Bjarmia Pottery and Design shop in Kuusamo city center. The reindeer hot pot was designed as a hangover food and for tens of years, it has been one of the top sellers in this restaurant. It’s just a 20-minute drive away from Ruka. To be honest, I had hesitations with this one. This experience I will never forget! Oulanka has a nutrient-rich soil, which makes it ideal for the rare and demanding flora that is found here. I’m a little envious to the locals of Ruka-Kuusamo who get to enjoy this every day. Ruka Ski Resort became carbon neutral in 2018. I really enjoyed the scenery and seeing the experiences, especially conversations with the locals. The restaurant is open from February to October. This is my recommended way to start your Ruka visit. Oulanka National Park Trails. I love guided wilderness tours because I always have a lot of questions about nature, animals, and history. Lots of flavors and you won’t be hungry for a long time. Also, using an electric fat bike is as easy as riding a regular bike. My main course was wild venison tenderloin steak with fried potatoes, dark spruce tip sauce, and season’s veggies. One problem I seem to be having is that many of the parks are only reachable by car, I do not drive and was wondering if there is any point where I can access Oulanka by public transportation. Surprisingly, reindeer aren’t really scared of cars and they rarely make jumps or sudden moves. There are also some winter trails, which include the Rytisuo Snowshoeing Trail (7.5 km) or the Oulanka Wilderness Trail, from Juuma to Kiutaköngäs (26 km) which can be also explored with skis, snowshoes or even snowmobiles. Campsites and dry toilets are available, just like in other national parks around Finland. Most likely an actual person empties the outhouse (yep! Visitors are allowed to pick berries and mushrooms, but are not allowed to hunt game or fish without a license. Guests can freely use the lakeshore sauna and rowboat. If you do this tiny hike, be sure to visit the Finland- Russia border zone too. The hilly landscape is dominated by Scots Pine forests, which have remained untouched by saws and axes since the felling took place there in the early 20th century. Satu is a true wild food expert and we were able to forage mushrooms and talk about herding as a profession. There are lots of cool local products from wool socks to wild food to classic Finnish brands like Marimekko there. Our visit started with giving the reindeer their breakfast and learning about each reindeer’s life. With its almost 200 000 visitors in the year 2019, Oulanka is one of the superstars of Finnish national parks. Combined with the autumn morning mist, you’ll feel as if you’re visiting an enchanted fairy kingdom. ClothingProper shoes (hiking boots are not a must on this hike)Comfortable underwear, socks, shirt, and pantsDepending on the weather: a waterproof jacket and pants, a warm knit, a beanie & gloves, GearMap/trail guidesPlastic garbage bag (there are no bins on route)Charged phoneCharged cameraToilet paperHand sanitizerInsect repellantCashCar keys. An outhouse sounds a bit scary, but basically, it’s like a compost. I’m Varpu. I was wrong! Finden Sie perfekte Stock-Fotos zum Thema Oulanka National Park sowie redaktionelle Newsbilder von Getty Images. Bring water & silent snacks. The locals told me that the people from Kuusamo are never in a rush. There is only one steep climb, and it is with wooden stairs. This daredevil route and many other route options can be found here. For all updates on travel to Ruka-Kuusamo, please visit their website here for more info. You can see how important the reindeer and all the farm’s animals are to Satu, a third-generation reindeer herder. Die offizielle Outdoorseite in Finnland mit aktuellen Informationen über den Zustand des Parks; Die Webseite von Ruka mit vielen wertvollen Informationen zu der Region und einem Blog auch auf deutsch (aber mehr Informationen auf Englisch verfügbar) Kanufahren im Oulanka Nationalpark . However, Pieni karhunkierros (Little Bear’s trail) is a charming ring trail of 7 miles (12 km). Do I need to be sporty to like Ruka-Kuusamo and the activities there? I promise, the next night, you’ll sleep like a baby. On a bike, I’m super clumsy on uneven ground and was thinking that I’m going to be cycling on top of bumpy rocks and roots. The Oulanka National Park is located 60 km north of Kuusamo and 40 km south of Salla. It’s called the “Bear’s Trail” aka Karhunkierros, in Finnish. Some things are not a must, but a good idea to bring if you have space. Thank you so much for commenting! it’s a regular ‘to do’ in Finland), so if something else was thrown there, it would be picked up by that other person. This glass village hasn’t forgotten the practical side of things either. In a nutshell, it is a wild food gourmet meal workshop that takes place in a traditional Lappish hut called ”kota,” in Finnish. This makes me so glad, yay! Is it safe to travel to Ruka-Kuusamo currently? They fell in love with a local who refused to move from the Kuusamo area (which I completely understand).2. It’s a point-to-point walk stretching out 50 miles (82 km) into the rich forest land of Eastern Lapland. I would recommend this experience to any foodie! The children sit safely in the middle. All excursions begin at the safari house of Tailored Adventures in the heart of Ruka. Can we travel there in December? That’s why it’s so important that everybody follows the outhouse rules. Some of the chalets have a sky window which is perfect for admiring the northern lights, should they appear. <3 This place is a dream! Thank you soo much Sharon! travel-loving, Things to considerSunglassesSun lotion, if sunnyFoldable foam seat pad (so lovely during breaks)Pack rain coverFirst aid kitElectrolyte replacement powder to mix with drinking water to avoid dehydration, muscle cramps, dizziness, and tiredness. The encounter was as incredible as I thought it would be. You can see how the beautiful handmade pottery is made. Enjoy an early dinner. If you’re looking forward to a wilderness retreat, Isokenkäisten Klubi is a great choice. The most popular tours are the family-friendly Seven Rapids adventure, which I did, and then the only-for-adults Kitkajoki adventure. Seeing bears in their own natural habitat has always been on my bucket list. The water temperature has been set at a constant 90ºF (32ºC). The restaurant Ravintola Talonpöyta Oulanka offers café and lunch services at the Oulanka Visitor Centre. I know it is the most cliché restaurant line you’ve heard a million times but when it’s true, it’s true. It’s truly a boutique wilderness resort. It depends what your plans are. Hei Tina! Oulanka national park is amazing! thanks for this wonderful blog. If you don’t see your question here, please leave a comment and I’ll do my best to help you. If it’s windy or sunny, you won’t find any mosquitoes. After a short stroll, you’ll see the canyon and the Kitkajoki River. For example, the 40th World Fly-Fishing Championship takes place in Kuusamo in 2021. Did you know that there are lots of things you can do with huskies in the summer and autumn time? In the cabins: refrigerator, hotplate and coffeemaker (linen available on request, extra cost 3 euros). You can get a bus or a taxi to Oulanka national park too, check that out here. Ruka is the entertainment hub with a ton of activities, hotels, and restaurants. Finnish engineer driving this site. Wearing long-sleeved clothes and some mosquito repellent (you’ll find it in any grocery store in Finland) helps a lot. The Oulanka River Valley was a very important dispersal route for various species coming from eastern Finland, after the last Ice Age. This time around, I returned to the area with my colleague Omar. You’ll need to pay special attention to the roadsides when you drive but it’s not scary to drive on the roads. Oulanka National Park has one of the oldest and most legendary trails in Finland. The Oulanka National Park represents nature in the northern boreal forest zone.