Inari Travel Guide

Lake Inari, Finnish Lapland / lifeinlapland.com

(Looking out over Lake Inari's many islands)

Inari is a small village on the shore of Lake Inari and is Finland's largest, sparsely populated municipality. It is well known as a a center of Sámi culture in Lapland and a popular summer and winter holiday destination for both international and Finnish travelers. It is also the administrative centre of the Sámi people in Finland as it is home to the Finnish Sámi Parliament Hall, Sajos. The area surrounding Inari is rich in both cultural history as well as outdoor recreational activities (hiking, fishing, camping, and more) and a worthwhile stop if traveling north in Lapland.

In the map below, you will find practical places to know about for planning your trip and things to do in Inari. Below the map you will find more helpful Inari travel information by clicking on a topic button and scrolling down to read.
Enter the name for this tabbed section: How to Get to Inari
Inari lies along the E75 highway and so is easily accessible by road. The most direct/quickest way to reach Inari thought is by plane or car. Bus is an option as well from southern Lapland if taking the train to Rovaniemi or Kemijarvi.

The Ivalo Airport (IVL), is located 32 km south of Inari. Taxi and car rental services are available for transport directly to Inari and the surrounding area.

The Inari bus stop is in the center of the village. You can buy tickets and see bus timetables on the Matkahuolto website.
Enter the name for this tabbed section: Getting Around Inari
The centre of Inari village is quite small and it is possible to walk or bike from central accommodation providers to some of the attractions/booking offices and food shops in town. In order to see more of the surrounding area, however, it is very helpful to have a car. Boat cruises offer transport to some of the attractions in the lake.
Enter the name for this tabbed section: Inari Weather
Inari is located 300 km north of the Arctic Circle. There is Midnight Sun from late May to late July and the last ice in the lake often disappears only at the end of May. Even in July, the average temperature is only around 17°C and temperatures, on occasion, can be just above freezing at night. There of course an also be days where the temperature is well above 20°C. So expect the unexpected and have at least some warm layers if visiting in summer. Winter is usually extremely cold and be prepared for temperatures dropping to as low as -30C. There are not many shopping options in Inari for warm clothing so its best to arrive with adequate clothing and layers to keep yourself warm.

For up to date weather, check out the Inari forecast on the FInnish Meteorological Institute.

(Current Inari weather conditions)

Enter the name for this tabbed section: Things To Do in Inari
Winter
  • Snowmobile Safaris
  • Reindeer Sleigh Rides
  • Dogsledding
  • Cross country skiing
  • Snowshoeing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Viewing Auroras
Summer
  • Hiking
  • Sightseeing
  • Lake cruises
  • Fishing
  • Canoeing
  • Camping
  • Berry Picking

Free Things To Do in Inari

  • Lake Inari - Lapland's largest lake. Deepest point is 92 m and a maze of over 3,000 islands. Lots of fishing and boating opportunities.
  • Pielpajärvi Wilderness Church - Church built in 1760 and located at historic Inari winter village site. 10km return hike.
  • Ukonkivi - Island and sacred Sami site in middle of Lake Inari. Free to explore island but boat/cruise hire is needed to reach island in Summer.
  • Otsamo Fell - Hiking trails goes through old pine forest, passes the fell birch zone to the treeless fell top of 418 meters. Excellent view from the top of Lake Inari and surrounding area. Trail from Inari village is 18km return. There is also a shorter trail to top of fell (6km return).
  • Tuulispää and Tuulisjärvi Hike - short day hike and viewpoint for all ages and skill levels.
  • Lemmenjoki National Park - untouched wilderness and National Park with many hiking options. Only 45km from Inari.
  • Midnight sun - In summertime, its quite a surreal experience to stay up late into the evening to watch the different colors produced as the sun floats on the horizon. In general, the night sky is luminous from May until mid August
  • Northern lights (Aurora Borealis) - many visitors come to Lapland hoping to see the dancing solar winds in the night sky.
Enter the name for this tabbed section: Inari Travel Tips
  • Practical Lapland Travel Information
  • If you take the cruise boat to Ukonkivi in the summer, you can ask the boat captain to drop you off at Pielpavuono, a starting point for the hike to Pielpajärvi Wilderness Church so that you can do the hike in one direction leading to the Sarviniementie parking area. You need to plan ahead for this however, so that your car is located at the parking area or you are prepared to hike another 3 km to town from the parking area.
  • The cruise to Ukonkivi by itself can be rather quite uneventful and long, and you only get about 20 minutes to walk around the very small island itself, on which there is nothing significant. You will not see any sacred caves or anything beyond just an island rock with trees. The view of the surrounding lake and islands is pleasant however. Just be informed if you are wanting to do something more active with your time in Lapland.
  • Both Lemmenjoki National Park and the village of Nellim near the Russian border are both less than an hours drive from Inari and so good options for day trips if staying in accommodation in Inari.
Enter the name for this tabbed section: Finding Accommodation
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