• FINLAND
  • Rovaniemi – Hipster’s Paradise

    Tiina Kivelä

    That was a brief two-week visit to Finland and now I’m already back in the camp II. But before I turn this site back to the mountain lifestyle blog it also is, I present you with some snapshots from the Arctic hipster capital aka Rovaniemi.

    Just add the influencer to the Gelateria pic and the hiker with the Fjällräven backpack to the nature pics. Or an alligator, as I always imagine this kind of place to include all the scenes from the jungle book or Out of Africa.

    Except this jungle’s in the Arctic and really a tundra.

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä


    Where: Rovaniemi, in summer

    Café Bar 21 Gelateria & Kiosk – Angry Birds Park, Valtakatu 4 / Lordi’s Square, Maakuntakatu / Open (on a good weather): mon-sat 11-20 sun 12-20

    Koivusaari Nature Trail, Sodankyläntie 137,  Open 24/7

  • FINLAND
  • Same Trails Different Season

    Tiina Kivelä

    Yesterday I told you about trail running in Ounasvaara on summer, which made me realize that I haven’t even told you about the winter trail running in Rovaniemi! Which is almost as good – maybe even better – as the summer version.

    Just look at the snowy landscape from past February in here.

    In winter, the best option for everyday trail running up here is to follow what’s called as the “winter walking trail” in the Ounasvaara hill next to the city. Starting from the city, you first run up from the left side of the other end of Jätkänkynttilä bridge (the starting point in my guide in here) to the observation tower and resting point, with fireplace and dry wood (on a good day). From there, you continue a bit more up and then right, to the mast and Sky Ounasvaara Hotel, from the south-east corner of which (really, go to the exact corner of the hotel – it’s hard to believe but the path really goes from there) you may continue to the signed (poorly though) winter walking loop trail of appr. 6km. (You may upload the GPS track from here.)

    At the end of the loop, when you reach the cross-country trail “entrance” and parking lot, you may turn right and continue the rest of the loop trail back to Sky Ounasvaara and go back the city along the same trail you came up. Or you may as well turn left here, and continue downhill past Santasport, directly to the city and sauna and after run beers.

    Please note that running on cross-country tracks is strictly prohibited in Finland (as it ruins the tracks and is dangerous as well) and that there are also many MTB trails in the area, along which you can basically run, though I wouldn’t recommend that either (again for the security reasons).

    I know, since the MTB trails are better signed than the hiking/walking trails and for few other reasons they are very tempting for running and walking (I’ll write about biking those a bit later), but still, better to keep on the walking paths when running/hiking. For that, in addition to the winter walking path, the snowshoe tracks found in the area, especially the ones made by big tour groups, are an excellent option. They are rarely, if ever, marked, but offer a nice adventure as long as you find your way out of the forest in the end/when getting hungry. And of course, the snowshoe walking is also a nice activity to try, if you fancy that.

    I really hope that the current work they are doing on improving the overall signalization of the nature trails in the city will help and all the trails will be better marked and tempting in the future, as currently even I get lost here from time to time.

    The views are worth a detour or two, though. Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Where: Ounasvaara, Rovaniemi, Lapland