The village of Ivalo is the centre for Finland’s Sámi culture. Pleasantly situated on the shore of Lake Inarijärvi, Finland’s third largest lake, and next to the River Juutuanjoki, Inari is in the midst of Europe’s largest untouched wilderness, and is a truly alternative destination for anyone seeking to ‘get away from it all’.
Home to Finland’s Sámi Parliament, Ivalo has obvious influences of this nomadic people, none more so than the altarpiece of the Sámi Church, entitled ‘The Revelation of Christ to the Sámi People’. In the village you’ll find Siida which houses the Sámi museum and the North Lapland Nature Centre, as well specialty stores selling original handcrafted Sámi gifts and souvenirs and a restaurant. Natural state, and are home to many rare species, including bears, wolves, moose, and wolverine. The Siberian jay and capercaillie both nest here, and there are numerous migrant species that make this region their home for the summer.
The Aurora Borealis, and they play a large role in the mythology and folk culture of the indigenous Sámi people. Because Ivalo is so far above the Arctic Circle, for two months of the summer the sun does not set, and these nights without darkness are another key attraction for the region.
In Ivalo, the atmosphere is always international and visitors from all around the world flock here. Ivalo features the northernmost airport in Finland and the EU and it welcomes winter flights. In the streetscape one can see Norwegian and Russian shoppers year-round. The village is the administrative centre for the municipality of Inari, and also its largest population centre, so it comes as no surprise that this is where you can find the widest range of services in northern Lapland. The well-stocked grocery shops open their doors every day of the week, from early in the morning until late at night, including Sundays.