18 Best Day Trips From Rovaniemi (2024 Guide + Map!)

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There are many amazing places to visit near Rovaniemi and throughout all of Lapland. This guide showcases the best day trips from Rovaniemi, Finland, including national parks, cities, villages, and more!

Rovaniemi’s tourism peaks during the winter months, but I believe it is a fantastic place to visit year-round!

Are you planning your trip to Rovaniemi last minute?

If youʻre booking your trip to Lapland last minute, we have you covered. Below are some of the top tours, hotels, and more!

🇫🇮  Top Activities and Tours in Rovaniemi:

  1. Northern lights photo tour with lavvu (the BEST aurora tour!)
  2. Icebreaker ship adventure (goes to Sweden!)
  3. Snowhotel visit from Rovaniemi (wheelchair accessible)

🛌  Top Hotels and Lodging in Rovaniemi:

  1. Arctic TreeHouse Hotel (famous place by Santa Claus Village)
  2. Apukka Resort (glass igloos in a remote location)
  3. Arctic Light Hotel (top-rated in Rovaniemi)

🚗  Looking to travel around Lapland independently? Click here to check Finland rental car rates!

One of the best things about traveling there in the summer is that you have 24 hours of daylight, making some of the places on this guide easier to access as a day trip.

I have included a variety of wonderful options for Rovaniemi day trips, ranging from places only 20 minutes away to ones that are a lot further north, like Inari. There is also a map at the end of the post.

Rovaniemi day trips guide - which is your favorite?
Rovaniemi day trips guide – which is your favorite?

While I think Inari is best visited as an overnight trip, I do believe you can do it as a day trip if you head there during the summer instead of during the winter.

Did I miss any of the best day trips from Rovaniemi? Let me know in the comments. Thanks!

Best Day Trips From Rovaniemi 

1. Ivalo/Saariselka

Distance from Rovaniemi to Ivalo: 179 miles (288 kilometers)
Driving time: 3 hours, 25 minutes

Ivalo is a charming Arctic village that acts as the gateway to Saariselka, a popular resort area. Home to around 3,000 people, you’ll find this village along the Ivalo River.

As the administrative center for the municipality of Inari, you’ll find a wide variety of services here (the widest range of services in Northern Lapland), including grocery stores and small hotels.

Ivalo is one of the best day trips from Rovaniemi
Ivalo is one of the best day trips from Rovaniemi

While visiting Ivalo, you can experience the Sámi culture firsthand as well as try out a variety of outdoor activities. These depend on the season but include hiking, fishing, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling.

If you want to turn your day trip into a weekend trip, I highly recommend booking an igloo at Northern Lights Village Saariselka or Aurora Village in Ivalo. I loved both places, as you can see in my linked reviews.

2. Inari

Distance from Rovaniemi to Inari: 202 miles (326 kilometers)
Driving time: 3 hours, 56 minutes 

For those wanting to learn about the indigenous Sámi culture, Inari is your place. Here, you’ll find the Finnish Sámi Parliament, which also acts as the Sámi cultural center.

While I don’t recommend this as a Rovaniemi day trip during the winter months, I do think it is an option for the summer months when the days are long and the roads are clear and easy to drive.

Lake Inari
Lake Inari

However, the highlight for us has to be Siida (the Sami Museum). As well as changing exhibitions and an outdoor museum, there’s a fantastic permanent exhibition. It details the Sámi’s connection to the land through their traditions and memories.

Stretching out in front of the village is Lake Inari, the third-largest lake in Finland. This lake is home to Ukko Island, an ancient Sámi sacrificial site.

3. Levi

Distance from Rovaniemi to Levi: 104 miles (168 kilometers)
Driving time: 2 hours, 12 minutes 

As one of Finland’s most popular ski resorts, Levi is a fantastic day trip from Rovaniemi. During the winter (mid-November to mid-May), you’ll find 44 ski slopes here, which are serviced by 28 lifts.


Surrounding the ski resort is a ‘micro-city’, known for its awesome nightlife. You’ll also find a full-service spa and around 40 restaurants in Levi, so you can easily relax after hitting the slopes.

Boasting frozen lakes, endless forests, river valleys, and impressive fells, the natural beauty of this area is outstanding. Snowmobile safaris and sled rides offer a great way to explore the landscape.

4. Riisitunturi National Park

Distance from Rovaniemi to Riisitunturi National Park: 102 miles (164 kilometers)
Driving time: 2 hours, 12 minutes 

Next up is Riisitunturi National Park. Known for its thick spruce trees, sloping bogs, and wildlife, this national park is an adventurer’s dream.

Riisitunturi National Park
Riisitunturi National Park

The best way to explore Riisitunturi is by hiking, as there are over 25 miles (40 kilometers) of marked trails to choose from. The hikes will differ depending on the season, but Riisin Rääpäsy and Riisin Rietas are two popular trails.

To admire the beauty of this national park, head to the summit of Riisitunturi fell. Other popular activities include dog-sled rides, birdwatching, and cross-country skiing.

5. Ruka

Distance from Rovaniemi to Ruka: 125 miles (201 kilometers)
Driving time: 2 hours, 27 minutes 

Ruka is another of the best day trips from Rovaniemi. It’s a popular ski resort just like Levi, and you’ll find 39 slopes here (as well as 22 lifts).

The ski season in Ruka lasts from October to May, meaning you can enjoy a whopping 200 days of snow (more, in fact). So you’ll have easy access to the slopes!

Ruka Peak in Ruka
Ruka Peak in Ruka

Depending on when you visit, some great events are going on in Ruka too. These include the Polar Night Light Festival and the Harmaa Rinne Festival, as well as ice fishing championships.

6. Auttikongas National Park

Distance from Rovaniemi to Auttikongas National Park: 51 miles (82 kilometers)
Driving time: 1 hour, 9 minutes

Auttikongas National Park is just over an hour away from Rovaniemi. You’ll find Auttiköngäs Falls within this park, which is a 52-foot (16-meter) high waterfall surrounded by lush taiga forest.

Auttikongas National Park in fall
Auttikongas National Park in fall

Another highlight of visiting this national park has to be the Auttiköngäs Nature Trail. This 2.2-mile (3.6 km) circle trail will take you along the River Auttijoki and up to Könkäänvaara Hill.

Aside from its natural beauty, Auttikongas has a lot more to offer. It’s the perfect place for birdwatching, as you may get to spot a woodpecker or two as you wander along the trails.

7. Tornio

Distance from Rovaniemi to Tornio: 76 miles (123 kilometers)
Driving time: 1 hour, 34 minutes 

Tornio is one of the most interesting destinations you’ll find in Finland. It’s considered a ‘twin city’ (along with the city of Haparanda in Sweden) and is located along the Finnish border.


Thanks to its location, this bustling city is a mix of Finnish and Swedish cultures and languages. You’ll also find a few interesting attractions here, including the Museum of Tornio Valley and the Aine Art Museum.

Boasting a variety of outdoor activities and snowy landscapes, it’s the perfect destination for outdoor lovers. Not to mention, you can easily visit Sweden during your day trip here.

8. Pyhä-Luosto National Park

Distance from Rovaniemi to Pyhä-Luosto National Park: 70 miles (113 kilometers)
Driving time: 1 hour, 32 minutes 

Pyhä-Luosto National Park is one of the most popular day trips from Rovaniemi.

With around 62 miles (101 km) of marked hiking trails, there’s no better way to explore the park. The Karhunjuomalampi Trail, Tunturiaapa Nature Trail, and the Summit of Ukko-Luosto Fell are all fantastic hikes.

Pyhä-Luosto National Park
Pyhä-Luosto National Park

During your time here, you’ll also want to visit Lampivaari Amethyst Mine where you’ll get to learn all about this beautiful gemstone. Isokuru Gorge is another magical spot, known for its striking scenery.

While in Pyhä-Luosto National Park, keep your eyes peeled for Siberian jays too!

9. Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park

Distance from Rovaniemi to Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park: 133 miles (215 kilometers)
Driving time: 2 hours, 47 minutes 

Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park is one of Finland’s oldest and most popular parks. It boasts some of the cleanest air in the world, along with breathtaking views.

Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park
Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park

There’s a total of around 217 miles (350 km) of hiking trails in Pallas-Yllästunturi, and this increases during the summer months when more are accessible. As you can imagine, this makes it a great place for snowshoeing.

Cross-country skiing is another great activity on offer, as you’ll find around 310 miles (500 km) of skiing trails in this park. Don’t forget to visit the nearby visitor centers to learn more about Pallas-Yllästunturi.

10. Oulanka National Park

Distance from Rovaniemi to Oulanka National Park: 124 miles (200 kilometers)
Driving time: 2 hours, 27 minutes 

Next up is Oulanka National Park, another of the best day trips from Rovaniemi. Known for its rugged landscapes, there are some incredible natural attractions to see.

Oulanka Canyon is easily accessible, making it a must-visit. This impressive gorge is located just 1.2 miles (2 km) from the Savilampi Parking Area.

Oulanka National Park
Oulanka National Park

The Ristikallio Cliffs and Kallioportti Cliffs both offer jaw-dropping views of the park, while there are also several impressive rapids to see. These include Taivalköngäs, Kiutaköngäs, Niskakoski, and Jyrävä.

While hiking within the park, you’ll have the opportunity to walk over a hanging bridge as well (there are nine in total).

11. Salla

Distance from Rovaniemi to Salla: 94 miles (151 kilometers)
Driving time: 1 hour, 52 minutes 

Quite literally in the middle of nowhere, you’ll find Salla. If you’re looking to explore Lapland’s magical landscapes, then this is the place for you!

Famous for its reindeer, Arctic adventures, and, of course, the northern lights, this stunning place has something for everyone.


Salla has 5000 years of skiing traditions too, with the oldest ski in Finland being found here. Today, Salla Ski Resort offers 15 slopes (and 6 ski lifts), and it’s very remote, so you may have some of the slopes all to yourself.

Salla Wilderness Park is another must-visit, where you can meet reindeer up close.

12. Syote National Park

Distance from Rovaniemi to Syote National Park: 96 miles (155 kilometers)
Driving time: 2 hours, 1 minute 

With its wild, wooded hills, Syote National Park offers the perfect outdoor escape. Thanks to its lush old-growth spruce forest, it’s a great place for hiking or ski trekking (depending on the time of year).

Syote National Park
Syote National Park

Syote is an adventure lover’s paradise, with around 76 miles (122 km) of trails, 20 miles (33 km) of specific ski trails, and a 13-mile (22 km) canoe route. As such, there’s something for everyone.

Before you explore, head to the Syöte Visitor Center. You’ll learn so much about the park and its history, and you can get up-to-date hiking tips from the staff.

13. Kuusamo

Distance from Rovaniemi to Kuusamo: 119 miles (192 kilometers)
Driving time: 2 hours, 30 minutes 

There are lots of fantastic day trips from Rovaniemi, but Kuusamo is up there with the best. Thanks to its snow-covered landscapes, walking trails, and frozen lakes, the beauty of this area is unparalleled.

Bear watching in Kuusamo in July
Bear watching in Kuusamo in July

For those visiting in the summer, bear watching is a popular activity. Tours include a professional guide, and you’ll reside in a wooden hide, where you’ve got a chance of spotting and photographing these amazing creatures.

Other attractions in and around Kuusamo include the Hannu Hautala Nature Photography Center, the Hossa Värikallio rock paintings, and the Kujala Reindeer Farm. Ruka Ski Resort is also found nearby.

14. Lapland Hotels Snow Village

Distance from Rovaniemi to Lapland Hotels Snow Village: 111 miles (179 kilometers)
Driving time: 2 hours, 12 minutes 

For a unique experience, head to Lapland Hotels Snow Village. Annually, in November and December, this place is home to an incredible ‘frozen wonderland’, complete with decorated snow suites, which you can stay in.

Lapland Hotels Snow Village - Styve Reineck - Shutterstock
Lapland Hotels Snow Village – Styve Reineck – Shutterstock

A crazy 330 tons (300,000 kilos) of natural ice (and over 22,000 tons / 20 million kilos of snow) are used to create this icy town. This includes the magnificent sculptures, which follow a different theme every year.

While here, indulge in a three-course dinner at the Ice Restaurant or grab yourself a drink at the Ice Bar. Of course, you can stay overnight if you wish, but suites can sell out quickly.

15. Spend the Day at Apukka Resort

Distance from Rovaniemi to Apukka Resort: 10 miles (16 kilometers)
Driving time: 15 minutes 

Although close to Rovaniemi, I just had to include Apukka Resort in this guide. This place may be famous for its glass igloos, but there are so many fantastic tours and activities on offer here too, from September to April.

During the autumn, popular activities include trekking, Arctic swimming, fat biking, and wildlife encounters. Lappish culture tours are also available.

Northern lights at Apukka Resort
Northern lights at Apukka Resort

In winter, you can enjoy a variety of snowy activities such as snowmobiling, husky sled rides, ice fishing, and snowshoeing. Northern Lights tours are popular too.

Between the number of activities on offer and the two fantastic on-site restaurants, you could easily spend an entire day at Apukka Resort.

16. Korouoma Canyon

Distance from Rovaniemi to Korouoma Canyon: 66 miles (107 kilometers)
Driving time: 1 hour, 30 minutes 

Within Korouoma Nature Reserve, you’ll find Korouoma Canyon. This place is known for its striking cliff faces, scenic panoramas, and unique flora and fauna.

Korouoma Nature Reserve
Korouoma Nature Reserve

It’s most popular in the winter, as you’ll get to see the canyon’s frozen waterfalls. There are 14 of these frozen falls along the trail, which also makes it a great spot for ice climbing.

This awesome Korouoma Canyon tour will see you explore the area with a professional guide. You’ll learn all about the Arctic landscapes and hike past the waterfalls. Not to mention, the tour will finish with a traditional campfire.

17. Oulu

Distance from Rovaniemi to Oulu: 137 miles (221 kilometers)
Driving time: 2 hours, 43 minutes 

As the capital of northern Finland, Oulu has a lot to offer.

Oulu is the fastest-growing city in Arctic Europe and hosts a variety of events and festivals throughout the year. These include the Qstock Music Festival, the Irish Festival of Oulu, and Polar Bear Pitching (a unique ice challenge).


Some of the most popular attractions in Oulu include the Market Square and Hall, Oulu Cathedral, and Tietomaa Science Centre. Turkansaaren Ulkomuseo is another fantastic spot (it’s an open-air museum).

As there’s a lot to see, head to this awesome city early so you can spend a full day here.

18. Take an Icebreaker Cruise

Although there are plenty of awesome day trips from Rovaniemi that you can do by car, here’s something a bit more unique. From Lapland’s capital, you can head out on an icebreaker cruise, which is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Finland icebreaker cruise - Shen max - Shutterstock
Finland icebreaker cruise – Shen max – Shutterstock

This fantastic icebreaker cruise lasts for 8.5–10 hours and will take you through the Bothnian Sea in Lapland. Not only will you get to admire the breathtaking views, but this cruise also includes a three-course meal and hot drinks.

Better yet, you’ll have the chance to go ice-floating in a survival suit. At the end of the tour, you’ll receive a Cruise and Swim certificate, which is a great souvenir.

Rovaniemi Day Trips: On a Map

🗺️  HOW TO USE THIS MAP: You can use your fingers/mouse to zoom in and out. To get more info about a place, simply touch/click the icons. Want to save this map for later use? Click the ‘⭐’ by the map title and it will add it to your Google Maps account (Saved > Maps or ‘Your Places’).

Did I miss any of the best day trips from Rovaniemi in this guide?

Let me know your favorite Rovaniemi day trips in the comments. Thanks!

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Are you looking for the best day trips from Rovaniemi? This guide covers the top Rovaniemi day trips, including national parks, cities, and more! | Places to visit near Rovaniemi | Rovaniemi day tours | What to do near Rovaniemi | Things to do in Rovaniemi | Lapland day trips | Day trips in Lapland | Lapland itinerary | Winter day trips from Rovaniemi

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