• FINLAND
  • Mountainbiking in Rovaniemi Finnish Lapland

    Tiina Kivelä Creative MTB

    I really thought I had already written something about mountainbiking in Rovaniemi. Especially after the great winter ride last winter (see the pic below). But no, I hadn’t. And so here you go, finally, a little story about biking in Rovaniemi, Finnish Lapland.

    In Rovaniemi, the easiest way to the MTB trails, summer and (!) winter is in Ounasvaara, the hill right next to the city centre.

    The past years local cyclists and entrepreneurs (with some help from the town) have done a great job opening, mapping and signposting the trail network. Currently, the biking trails might even be the best signed and groomed of all the trails there is (thing of which I am sometimes a bit sad when on my nordic skiing or running mode).

    Basically, you can just hopping on your (own or rented) bike and go. Alternatively, you can book a guided tour from any activity firm in town (below my favourite). Extra nice is that the mellow hills makes the trails very suitable for beginners and casual riders, as long as you know how to ride a bike.

    Mountainbiking in Lapland

     Also note that in Finland, including Lapland, you are allowed to bike on almost every trail and public road. Exception the trails in national parks and other restricted areas, and no biking on the nordic skiing trails either. Nevertheless, national parks with their magnificent nature and sceneries have started to open and prepare some of their trails for biking too. Both in summer and winter.

    While mountainbiking in Rovaniemi is good enough, there’s nowadays many other good places for biking both south and especially north from Arctic Circle. Rovaniemi working as kind of a gate for the real wilderness and outdoor possibilities in whole Lapland.

    When traveling a bit north from Rovaniemi, Pyhä-Luosto National Park or all the way to Urho Kekkonen National Park (UKK) in Saariselkä, or north-west to Ylläs, you will find excellent network for both summer and winter biking. In addition, some ski resorts like Levi and Ruka offer a bike park for downhills etc.

    Tiina Kivelä Rovaniemi

    Special treat: Go in winter and rent a fat bike and maybe a guiding too (RollOutdoors is a good company for that – non paid advertisement this is ) and have fun in the winter wonderland.

    And if going in summer (too), go biking at night. The midnight sun’s something you don’t want to miss.


    Where: Rovaniemi, Finnish Lapland

  • FINLAND
  • Well-Staying in Hotel St. George Helsinki

    Tiina Kivelä Creative

    During my recent bleisure (= a bit of business + a lot of self care) trip to Helsinki, I stayed a night in Hotel St. George. And now I may also say it’s the best hotel I’ve ever stayed in Finland.

    Of my stay, I have to highlight few things especially. First of all, the excellent bread in breakfast (also available in the St. George Bakery, in where you find also Nordic’s first Monocle shop). Then, the enchanting spa experience with Finnish and Turkish sauna, a pool and ice bath (the sauna is very needed after a stroll out in the almost brutal arctic winter & windchill, see the outfit of the day).

    Third, I enjoyed the decor and art all over the place (also the architecture is worth noting) and the excellent beds and bathroom essentials (definitely new luxury). And the day of travel, business and spa ended well in Wintergarden with their signature zero-waste (!) cocktails. In there, I chose the smoky one for a little cold I managed to get on my way. And because it contained salt, which I really needed after sweating my worries away in the sauna.

    Last but not least, the holistic well-being  concept by Hintsa Performance was exactly of what I think every quality hotel of today should have. It’s not fifty shades of grey, but fifty shades of taking care of your body mind & soul, for optimal quality of life and performance.

    St. George says to be #forbetterstay and I have to say I really stayed well.  The stay provided me all the solutions I needed for my problems at the moment, and the ultimate self-care and relaxation.

    Exactly the kind of enchanting experience I’m looking for this year and more than a good example for others concept designers.

    May I already go back?

    Tiina Kivelä Hotel St. George

    Tiina Kivelä Hotel St. George Helsinki

    Tiina Kivelä Hotel St. George

    Tiina Kivelä Hotel St. George

    Tiina Kivelä Hotel St. George

    Tiina Kivelä Creative

     


    Where: Hotel St. George, Helsinki, Finland