Kemijärvi features a wonderful collection of idyllic villages, rich with regional history and flavor, with breathtaking nature always a few steps away. Suomu fell is home to a ski and activity resort with some of the best slopes in Lapland. Follow the fells of Lapland to the peaceful lakeland of Kemijärvi.
How to get here?
Kemijärvi is one hour by bus from Rovaniemi international airport. Coming from Helsinki or other southern cities? Take a sleeping car in the train and enjoy the overnight ride north.
Discover the villages of rural Lapland
The peaceful atmosphere of agricultural civilization, which began in Lapland almost 500 years ago, permeates the local culture here, taking cues from the nearby fells and Finland’s longest river, Kemijoki. Kemijärvi, home to the eponymous lake, and home to dozens of villages and towns. Go back to World War II and explore the Nazi bunkers and fortifications in Ketola. Or farther back still at the Local Museum in Juujärvi to learn about rural village life and the unique architecture of the Kemijärvi region. Hike sacred Ämmänvaara, and commune with silent nature, just as the Sámi people did hundreds and thousands of years ago.
Water lovers will love the huge Lake Kemijärvi, which offers both spectacle, thrills and secret coves. Take your family to the fine sands of Kalkonniemi, or hop in a canoe and explore the nooks and crannies of the largest lake on the Kemijoki river on your own schedule.
When winter comes, the city of Kemijärvi and its environs are blanketed with a thick layer of snow. From the southeastern shores of the lake rises the Suomu ski resort which has fostered Olympic champions throughout the 20th century. The fell is also a great place for snowshoe hikes and freeriding.
Surprisingly urban, wonderfully rural
Kemijärvi combines the idyllic nature of smalltown Lapland with shops, services and accommodation. The most iconic landmark in the town of Kemijärvi is the Church. In the town center you’ll find nice locally-owned shops like Paapero, for children’s clothing designed and made in Kemijärvi. At the Poukama Spa, let the professionals pamper you, Lapland-style. Stop by Art Studio PMH to pick up an original painting from Kemijärvi artist Pirkko Mäkelä-Haapalinna. When it comes time for dinner, try the pike, fresh from the lake. Many Finns consider Lake Kemijärvi pike the best in all of Finland!
Choosing accommodation is as easy as deciding how close to the wild you want to be. Urbanites will appreciate the comfort and convenience of downtown hotels like Mestarin Kievari, Hotel Kemijärvi, the Hotel Uitonniemi or Holiday Centre Lohen Lomakeskus which sit on the edge of the lake. On the southern end of the lake, Suomu is home to the modern holiday village Suomun Villat, the Suomu Hotel, and the Suomun Mökit cottages, with a view of the slopes from every room.
Travel to Kemijärvi & Suomu
Flying to Kemijärvi and its surrounding areas is easy and convenient, it is only one hour by bus from Rovaniemi international airport. If you’re driving, just hop on Route 82, and you’re there in about an hour. Coming from Helsinki or other southern cities? Take a sleeping car in the train and enjoy the overnight ride north.