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To the Conquest of the North.

With the help of Anu, who works in Hyvärilä, I was able to realize a dream. To go more North to see some reindeers. We (@volunteers_eastfinland ) spent four days in the Kuusamo area visiting these areas, Ruka, Oulanka, Hossa,..

It was a busy stay with many discoveries.

The first day, after 3 hours on the road, discovery of Hossa National Park with the sublime place Julma-Ölkky which is worth a visit. This National Park is just sublime. An hour’s drive from Hossa, destination Kuusamo where we stayed at the Youth Centre of Oivanki, a very quiet place especially at this time of year. Surrounded by nature, by the water, the perfect place to be in peace.

On the second day we visited the family reindeer farm Palosaaren poro-ja Kalastustila where we had the chance to feed five reindeer. It was a magical and incredible experience to find yourself so close to these animals. The visit was very friendly, we learned a lot about them. If you want to see reindeer, it is not mandatory to go to a farm, most of the reindeer found in Finland are free. It is very common to see them on the road ( and be very vigilant when you are driving elsewhere), just keep an eye out and you can see everywhere what is pure happiness.

We then went to Suurpetokeskus, which is an animal shelter where you can meet Bear, Fox, Lynx, Wolf Dogs. The visit is made in Finnish, which is a bit disappointing for tourists but it is quite surprising to be able to see these animals that have been saved so close. And to finish this day we discovered the town of Ruka and its ski resort. We tested summer sledding, a first for all of us and it’s just great. Family or solo, this activity is fun and offers you an incredible view of Ruka and its surroundings

So here we are on the third day and our destination was Oulanka. We went to BaseCamp Oulanka where we went rafting. An experience of madness, combining adrenaline and excitement. The place and the staff are really nice, our instructor Lasse was really nice and spoke extremely good English. We then took the road to Pähkänänkallio which is a spot with an incredible view. The walk is worth it, it is sublime.

And so here we are on the fourth and last day, we’ve been driving all day. Both on the one-way and on the way back, we made many stops in tourist information centres, museums and motorway areas. One of our last stops was Reijo Kela’s The silent People. A group of nearly a thousand people are waiting for you on the side of the road, you can stop there just to admire them or to have a coffee break. It’s a special creation but it’s definitely worth seeing.

We took the time to see, discover and make the most of this part of Finland.
This country is sublime, each small village, small lake offers a wonderful spectacle.


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