I was looking for a winter getaway, to get out of the city, breathe some nature and feel the wild. I also didn’t want to drive for hours, so my criteria were pretty solid. The ideal spot turned out to be Luosto! Within easy reach of a very frequented airport, not very crowded, winter wonderland. For two quick days I went on an escape into the Finnish wilderness, and the trip was quite extraordinary. Let me tell you why:
1. Feel the difference
We’re driving through the night, but the snow still makes everything look somewhat bright and glowy – exactly why I love winter. After a few hours on the road, the nature does look different, more edgy and wild – the snowy trees have something to them that’s unlike the nature we’ve been surrounded by for the last couple of hours. So, why does this area seem so different? Because of the fells. If you’re not familiar with the term – fells are basically hills. Finland doesn’t have many of those, or mountains generally, the country is mainly wide and flat. The vegetation changes with hills around it, the nature reacts differently to the weather. In the dark it wasn’t even possible to see the actual fells, but nonetheless the sheer image of the starry night was astounding.
2. Get away from the usual
I feel like Luosto is an area that not many people traveling to Finland or even people living here, have on their map – yet it is famous for being one of the oldest National Parks, and also offers some decent skiing slopes – rather unusual in Finland. It’s easy to get to, about 1,5 hours from Rovaniemi, but this is still a distance that would keep some people from travelling there. But of course: the further you get away from airports and train stations – the more pure nature gets and the fewer people you will encounter.
3. Experience a true winter adventure
Luosto seemed to offer everything I was looking for: wild nature, a bit off the generic destinations and all the activities I wanted to experience – which is why I chose to come to Luosto. Lapland safaris offer great excursions out in the wild. We were booked on the Tour of the Fells snowmobile adventure with Lapland Safaris, which is the longest and most extensive excursion offered in the region. You get deep into the National park, see the most variety of nature around the fells. Snowmobiling is super popular and a common equivalent to owning a motorcycle in the North. Tracks exclusively for snowmobiles ensure safety and peace!
4. Get active
Finland isn’t really famous for skiing, as there are basically no mountains in the country. The fells are pretty much all we got! This is also the reason for why Finland never hosted any winter olympics, as all the alpine style skiing couldn’t be done here… although the first competition of the Skiing World Cup season is done normally in Levi. So for a country this famous for its winter, the skiing thing is a pretty special! There is only a handful skiing resorts in the country and most of them would be consideres as “cute” by professional skiers. Which doesn’t mean that they’re any less amazing. The untouched nature in the wilderness provides you with an amazing backdrop for your skiing and snowboarding adventure. Even though the slope distance is quite limited. Especially nice for children and families! No getting lost here, guys.
5. Perfect relaxation
A day out in nature can be exhausting, only in a good way of course! The Amethyst spa in the Lapland hotel Luostotunturi offers you the perfect ending to a long day: massages, beauty treatments or just a dip in the pool. The hotels also offers a steam bath, but the traditional Finnish thing is of course: sauna! Don’t miss out on that one either. The hotel accommodation is ideal for families and kids, with the pool, big family rooms available and restaurants having something on the menu for everyone. Another good thing about the location of the hotel: everything is basically right next to it. The starting point for almost all activities is right next door. Which is quite handy, you can just fall into the sauna after a long day out!
If you want a more independent stay or take a bunch of people with you, you can rent one of their cabins in the forest instead.
In summary: I was absolutely amazed by the wild feel in Luosto. The moment you step out of the hotel, you’re in nature and you please better not get lost. The area is a true gem, especially in winter. What about the summer, you ask? Well, in winter the population here more than doubles of people working here – as it’s really a winter destination for travelers and quite different in other seasons. The summers are full of mosquitos and the winter wonderlands turns into a massive marshland, whereas the fells appear to be very rocky – which is very nice for hiking in the wild!