Serving as a gateway to the arctic resort of Saariselkä and the Sami Cultural Center Sajos, Ivalo lies on the banks of the Ivalo River in Finnish Lapland. It’s a popular base for cross-country skiing and reindeer sledding in the winter months, as well as trekking and canoeing in the summer.
A short drive north of Ivalo is the Sami Cultural Center Sajos, which occupies a striking wooden building on the banks of the Juutuanjoki River. In addition to visiting the Sami Parliament House, you can attend concerts in the auditorium or shop for traditional Sami crafts at the Duodji Shop.
Drive in the opposite direction from Ivalo and you’ll arrive at Urho Kekkonen National Park, one of Finland’s largest protected areas. Its magnificent fells can be explored on foot or on skis, with the sky illuminated by the Aurora Borealis in winter and the Midnight Sun in summer.
Ivalo Airport is a 10-minute drive from the village and has regular flights to Helsinki, as well as seasonal flights to destinations across Europe. The centre of Ivalo is small enough to explore on foot while renting a car is the most convenient way of getting around the region.