Top 7 Things to Do in Saariselkä

In the North of Finland, Saariselkä welcomes you with stunning Arctic landscapes and great number of breathtaking adventures. From dog sledding to ice fishing, immerse yourself in the wintery landscapes and local culture !

Situated in Finnish Lapland, the picturesque village of Saariselkä is located within the Arctic Circle and is adjacent to the renowned Urho Kekkonen National Park, one of Finland’s largest natural parks. Its proximity to the Arctic Wilderness, diverse landscapes, and rich cultural heritage make Saariselkä a premier travel destination for those seeking immersive outdoor experiences in Finland. If you’re searching for the best activities in Saariselkä, you’ve come to the right place! Read on for our list of the top 7 things to do in Saariselkä.

1. Dog Sledding

Dog sledding in Saariselkä

What trip to the Arctic Circle would be complete without trying one of the region’s most popular activities, dog sledding? An exhilarating experience like none other, driving your own team of energetic huskies through the snow-covered landscapes of Finland is one of the best things to do in Saariselkä! With the guidance and instruction of an experienced musher (dog sled team driver), you’ll safely navigate the snowy terrain with ease.

Dog sledding in Saariselkä also offers an amazing opportunity to meet and interact with adorable huskies. Some dog sledding tours feature a husky farm tour and the chance to learn about their daily lives and that of a dog sledding musher. Also, participants can often choose between self-drive or guided options. It is an incredible experience not to be missed!

2. Snowmobiling

Snowmobile Tour in Saariselkä

Another one of our top things to do in Saariselkä is snowmobiling, which offers the chance to explore the Arctic wilderness at high speeds while covering longer distances. It's a thrilling adventure for beginners and experienced snowmobile drivers alike!

Many of the snowmobiling excursions in Saariselkä traverse the unparalleled Urho Kekkonen National Park. Participants aged 18 and up with a valid driver’s license are eligible to drive a snowmobile, while snowmobile passengers can relax, hang on, and enjoy the fast-paced ride. A certified instructor will provide snowmobiling gear, including thermal overalls, boots, gloves, and a helmet. In addition, you’ll receive a safety briefing and an introduction to snowmobiling and snowmobile driving techniques to ensure that everyone feels comfortable before setting out into the breathtaking landscapes of Saariselkä.

3. Northern Lights Tours

Northern Lights tour in Saariselkä

Since Saariselkä is located within the Arctic Circle, it is one of the best places to view the awe-inspiring natural phenomenon of the Northern Lights. The dancing colours of the Aurora Borealis range from pink to green, red, purple, yellow, and blue, and their appearance in the night sky, especially during the winter months is an almost mystical experience.

As one of the most sought-after activities in Saariselkä, Northern Lights tours range from minivan chases to photo tours, and combo excursions that offer the opportunity to take in the Northern Lights during evening snowshoeing safaris, snowmobile tours, horse riding, and reindeer sledding. Seasoned local guides share the fascinating stories and myths surrounding the Aurora Borealis, adding to the enjoyment of the activity. The Northern Lights are a magnificent sight to behold and with so many options for all ages and abilities, it is truly one of the top activities in Saariselkä!

4. Reindeer Sledding

Reindeer Sledding in Saariselkä

Reindeer sledding in Saariselkä is part of the fabric of Finnish Lapland. A traditional means of transportation and livelihood for the indigenous Sami people, the majestic reindeer plays a vital role in the cultural fabric of Finland. Since this excursion moves at a slower pace, it is an excellent family-friendly activity. After meeting these amazing creatures, you’ll sit comfortably in a sleigh covered by a blanket and will be led by your knowledgeable guide through snow-capped forests.

Many reindeer sledding tours in Saariselkä also include a warm drink and an educational portion about reindeer herding in Finland. As one of the more relaxed activities in Saariselkä, these tours are perfect for animal lovers and those who want to savour the scenery and embark upon a unique adventure!

5. Snowshoeing

Snowshoeing excursion in Saariselkä

Next on our list of things to do in Saariselkä is the accessible and sustainable winter activity of snowshoeing! With your snowshoes on and poles in your hands, you’ll only leave snowprints and a minimal environmental footprint. Snowshoeing dates back thousands of years and was a vital way to navigate deep snow for the indigenous peoples of North America, Scandinavia, and Central Asia.

As you silently snowshoe through Saariselkä’s scenic winter landscapes with your guide, keep an eye out for wildlife and tracks in the snow and don’t forget your camera! Embrace the tranquillity of Saariselkä and Urho Kekkonen National Park’s winter wonderland while engaging in some light physical activity in Finland’s great outdoors by snowshoeing in Saariselkä!

6. Horse Riding

Horseback riding in Saariselkä
Polaris Point

Connect with nature and animals by horse riding in Saariselkä! While traversing the snowy terrain of Finnish Lapland on horseback, you’ll embrace the serenity and silence of the Arctic. Beginner sessions include an introduction to horse riding and horse riding techniques from a professional instructor. With your helmet on, you’ll mount your horse and work together as a team, exploring the scenic panorama of Saariselkä’s taiga forests.

This unique experience beckons those who are searching for a winter activity in Saariselkä that travels off the beaten track.

7. Ice Fishing

Ice Fishing in Saariselkä

Ice fishing is a popular winter pastime in Finland for both locals and tourists alike. With a bit of patience and the right thermal gear, ice fishing in Saariselkä is both exciting and peaceful at the same time.

Your guide will take you to the best locale to drill a hole in the ice and cast your line! In addition, they will provide an introduction to ice fishing and ice fishing equipment. Fish such as grayling, trout, perch, and Arctic char are abundant in the waters of Saariselkä. If luck is on your side, you may reel in a big catch!

With so many things to do in Saariselkä and Urho Kekkonen National Park, it may be difficult to pick! Whatever excursion you choose, a visit to this incredible locale in Finnish Lapland promises to surprise and delight. Celebrate winter in the Arctic by booking your next unforgettable adventure! Speaking of Finnish winter wonderlands, how about discovering the top 10 things to do in Levi?