Russia to Finland
Inari - Centre of the Sami Winter Tour
The village of Inari is the centre of the Sámi culture in Finland and the heritage of the Sámi culture is active and vital in Inari and its surroundings. Here you can learn more about Sámi culture, handicrafts and reindeer husbandry. SIIDA – Sámi Museum, Northern Lapland Nature Centre have created a fascinating information package focusing on the indigenous Sámi people and the yearly cycle of Northern nature. The most essential elements of the nature are Lake Inari, numerous rivers, fells and the magical change from season to season, from the Northern Lights of the polar night to midnight sun in summer. Inari is a natural and genuine choice for a traveller, who seeks untamed nature and native culture. In Inari you can make a trip to the “Ukko” island, an ancient sacrificial site of the Sámi or go hiking to the wilderness church of Pielpajärvi 7 km north from the village. In Inari you can also visit a Sámi family and learn about reindeer herding and the life of the reindeer herders’ history and modern times.
Tours can operate in reverse:
Depart Moscow/St Petersburg
Day 2 Arrive
Day 3 In
You head along the Varangerfjord towards Nuorgam through vast peatlands, passing rough weathered rocks and cliffs. You will drive through the beautiful Tana valley westward to Utsjoki. In Utsjoki the “Sámi bridge” connects Norway and Finland across the border river. We will be stopping at the church in Utsjoki which was built during the years 1850–53. Originally 22 buildings, the so-called church huts, belonged to the church which was in use until the 1930’s. Today, the 14 remaining huts are protected as cultural heritage. From Utsjoki the journey will lead south through marvellous fell landscape. You will find yourself in the kingdom of reindeer. In many areas there are more reindeer than people. We will take a coffee or lunch break on the way. This is not included in the price. Distance 350 km / 219 miles, duration 5-6 hours. In the early evening you reach your hotel in Inari.
The accommodation includes breakfast in the Hotel Rica Hotel. The double rooms are equipped with a shower and WC. Accommodation in this hotel for three nights. Accommodation at the Snow Hotel is possible - see price section.
In the afternoon you will also visit the Reindeer Farm where you will get information on the Sámi culture, past and today, reindeer and reindeer herding. You will be served coffee/tea and cake, which is included in the price.
Additional winter activities and sightseeing in Inari village:
snowmobile safari to the holy Sámi island of Ukko and wilderness church
Pielpajärvi or in the evening for “hunting Northern Lights”
Depart the hotel towards Kirkenes at 0800 for a scenic drive, which follows the
shores of Inari Lake and others. There are over 50 lakes and you will experience
some of them. There are many interesting photo opportunities, for example the
rocky "Devil’s Fields' of on the shores of lake Jänisjärvi. The drive is takes
you through the Skolt Sami region. Your guide will explain about the Skolt Sami
and some of their history. In the Skolt Sami village of Sevettijärvi there is a
small Orthodox church and interesting graveyard. Remember that when crossing the
border we will gain one hour. The drive will continue towards Kirkenes along the
Neidenfjord. It will be a one hour drive from the border to reach Kirkenes. Our
guide will take you to the airport, hotel or harbour according to your travel
plans. Distance 200km, duration - about four hours
3) Private transfer from Inari to Ivalo airport.
Price and booking
We quote this for individual requests for clients who are working with us on one of our Russian programmes.
* The Snowhotel includes dinner, breakfast, sauna & shower in morning.
Visit our Lapland information page which also has information on the climate.
Reindeer in winter pasture
South Sami tin