Renowned for its unspoiled natural beauty and its fame for hosting the elusive Northern Lights, Ivalo is more than just a destination, it’s the portal to an Arctic wonderland that captures the imagination and the soul. Join us on a captivating journey through Ivalo’s enchanting landscapes, rich Sami culture, and unparalleled tranquility.
Whether you’re a winter sport enthusiast, a nature lover, or simply in search of a peaceful retreat away from the hustle and bustle of modern life, Ivalo’s magical allure is bound to leave you in awe.
As we delve into this guide, you’ll discover the top-notch attractions, cozy accommodations, and exquisite Lappish cuisine that make Ivalo a bucket-list-worthy destination all year round. Every corner of Ivalo is imbued with the calm and mystique that only the Arctic can provide, and with each step, you’ll find yourself falling more in love with this northern haven.
Things to see and do in Ivalo
The village of Ivalo and the entire Inari region offer visitors a wide range of activities. It is an important tourist attraction in Finland, especially in winter when Finns and tourists from other countries come to the area for winter sports such as skiing, snowboarding and dog sledging.
In addition to winter sports, it is possible to do various summer activities such as hiking in the forests of the region, climbing, canoeing on the Ivalo River, fishing or mountain biking, among others.
What to do in Ivalo in winter
At the beginning of the winter season, tourists and visitors from both Finland and abroad can enjoy a wide range of activities in the snow that covers the entire landscape.
Winter activities on the Ivalojoki River
The Ivalo River or Ivalojoki is completely frozen and snow-covered during the winter. This allows locals and tourists to ski or even go snowmobiling on the river.
The river was the scene of a gold rush in the 1870s and to this day many gold prospectors still come to the area to try their luck. It is possible to visit the gold panning area and other places where you can find out how the gold diggers worked.
See Northern Lights in Ivalo
Thanks to its privileged geographical location, Ivalo is an excellent place to see the northern lights in the sky.
As a natural phenomenon, there is no guarantee that you will be able to see them during your trip, but the chances of seeing the Northern Lights in Ivalo at this time of year are very high.
There are numerous ski resorts in the vicinity of Ivalo where you can enjoy all kinds of winter activities, such as skiing and snowboarding.
The spectacular views of the entire region that you will find at the ski resorts will make these sports an unforgettable experience.
What to do in Ivalo in summer
The summer season offers a variety of activities in Ivalo and other towns in the area, including hiking, cycling, climbing and fishing.
Summer activities on the Ivalojoki River
With the arrival of summer, the Ivalo River or Ivalojoki thaws and the skis and snowmobiles give way to fishing and canoeing.
There are several local companies that will let you rent a canoe for a trip or excursion on the river. Ivalojoki has a beautiful canoeing route from Kuttura to Ivalo.
If you prefer, fishing is a popular activity among Ivalo’s inhabitants, so you can also go fishing if you are in the area during the summer.
Mountain biking, hiking and climbing
The many forests and mountains that surround the region offer a wide variety of routes for hiking and cycling, as well as for enjoying the breathtaking views of Ivalo and other villages in the area. The more adventurous can also try new experiences such as rock climbing.
How to get to Ivalo
Ivalo has its own airport, the northernmost airport in Finland. Ivalo airport has two daily flights to Helsinki and, during the peak tourist season at Christmas, many airlines organise flights from all over Europe.
To get to Ivalo from the airport, there is a shuttle service that will take you to your accommodation. This service must be booked in advance so that the minibus or coach (depending on the number of passengers) will make a stop at the hotel or accommodation where you are staying.
It is also possible to get to Ivalo by bus, as many routes have a stop in Ivalo. If you are travelling from Helsinki, the journey takes about 15 hours.
Finally, you can hire a car to get to Ivalo. Road 4 from Helsinki takes you directly to the village in the Lapland region.
How to get around the village
Ivalo is not very big, so you won’t have any problems getting around. However, most of the activities and places you will visit are outside the village and you will need to use some form of transport.
The most convenient option is to hire a car so that you are free to travel anywhere in the region. However, if you prefer, you can also take a taxi or make use of public transport, but with more limitations, as it may not be fully adapted to the activities you are going to do.
Where to stay in Ivalo
There are several accommodation options in and around Ivalo. In the centre of town, there are several hotels where you can relax.
The accommodations around Ivalo usually offer the option of staying in a cottage and also give you the possibility to take part in various nature activities.
Where to eat in Ivalo
Ivalo does not offer many alternatives for eating. It is best to eat at the accommodation itself or bring your own sandwich or picnic if you are going on excursions or outdoor activities.
We hope our guide to Ivalo will help you prepare for your trip to the city. We invite you to share this article on social media using the buttons below. And if you have any questions, you can use the comments section to ask them.