Step outside your daily routine and experience the quiet, expansive wilderness of Salla, in the middle of nowhere. Explore snow-capped forests and stare in awe at the Northern Lights from a reindeer-pulled sleigh. Climb the fells and breathe pure Lapland air. The peace and silence of mother nature waits at your doorstep, as 90% of Salla is uninhabited. Relax in a trailside hammock, or answer the call to adventure. This holiday season, the choice is yours!
How to get here?
The Kuusamo international airport (100 km) sits just south of the Lapland border with buses to Salla for virtually every flight. Those flying to Rovaniemi (150 km), the capital of Finnish Lapland, will also find daily bus routes to Salla.
The train station in Kemijärvi is 70 km from Salla, and buses run daily.
Across the unbroken snow
For 5000 years, there has been a tradition of skiing firsts in Salla. From the oldest ski ever found to Finland’s first competition slalom slopes, Salla knows skiing inside and out, upside and down.
Atop Sallatunturi, the Salla Ski Resort has 15 slopes with 6 ski lifts, ranging in difficulty from “Little Helmet” children’s slopes to speed skiing world cup slopes. From the top of the fells, the silent forests and gentle hills roll across the border, stretching to the Russian horizon. And best of all, Salla’s so remote and peaceful–you might even feel like it’s your own personal ski resort.
With 160 kilometers of cross-country skiing trails threading throughout the ski resort and its environs, you can take your time and explore the whispering wilderness at your leisure. Even if you or your family have never set foot on a ski before, Salla has you covered. At their Ski School, you can choose from their broad selection of courses or sign up for private lessons. Salla also offers winter walking tracks, no skis or snowshoes required!
All that snow and all that space afford ample time and opportunity to discover Salla on your own terms, at your own pace. The services offered in Salla are crafted by locals, with local guides to introduce you to the relaxed, nature-oriented lifestyle of Lapland. Meet reindeer year-round and learn how the people of Salla keep the tradition of herding alive at the Green Key-certified Salla Reindeer Park and learn about Santa’s most important helpers up close. The Park is more than a reindeer farm you might find elsewhere in Lapland. It’s a small forest with its own buildings and free-ranging reindeer. Buy a day ticket and spend your hours exploring the wilderness of Salla, tracking Santa’s helpers.
Other ways to discover the snowswept secrets of Salla include husky rides, snowshoe expeditions and snowmobile adventures.
Summertime brings the Midnight Sun, which is more than happy to melt the snow away. Water lovers will want to hop in a canoe to traverse the calm waters of Lake Hangasjärvi and raging rivers of Salla. Or stand in the reeds and cast your fly over the waters of the Naruska river. Patience is a virtue, and you might be rewarded with a grayling or two for your wait.
The vast majority of Salla is uninhabited and wild, with over 300 kilometers of hiking routes threading through the Salla wilderness. Discover natural wonders like the Giant’s Kettles of Kalliovaara. Climb to peak of Sorsatunturi in Tuntsa. Or just say hello to the curious and friendly Siberian Jays that accompany you along the Kaunisharju hiking path.
The Salla Ski Resort has bicycles and e-bikes on offer, so you can traverse the hundreds of kilometers of maintained bike paths in and around the Salla wilderness. In winter, experience the frosty fells and snowy forests on the back of a fatbike, or even an electric fatbike!
History and war buffs will enjoy a day at the Salla Museum of War and Reconstruction. Learn about Salla’s history, from the first skis found in Europe to the founding of Salla village. Discover the dark days of war with the giant country just across the border and the long reconstruction period that followed.
Salla is a perfect example of social sustainability in action. Despite its middle-of-nowhere location near the Russian border, a handful of inventive entrepreneurs and local business owners have come together to create one of Lapland’s most attractive destinations. They work together to ensure that visitors’ needs are well-met by the inter-connected and seamless services. The local and often family-owned service providers employ local talent, and that the social fabric of Salla weaves tighter and stronger.
Log cabins & last courses
Locally-sourced ingredients and traditions come together in restaurants of Salla for unforgettable meals and gastronomic experiences. Eat like an explorer at the log cabin restaurant Kelo, right on the slope! Or sample regional delicacies in a Lapland hut at the Salla Reindeer Farm. Kiela, a Chaîne des Rôtisseurs restaurant, offers world-class dining in the middle of nowhere. Regardless of restaurant, you can be assured of fresh, local ingredients like reindeer, salmon and cucumbers.
Salla offers a variety of accommodation choices to fit your needs: from log cabins in the trees to luxurious apartments by the slopes. Even with nature just outside your door, you’re never far from services and convenience.
Traveling to Salla
Just because it’s the middle of nowhere doesn’t mean it’s inaccessible. The Kuusamo international airport (100 km) sits just south of the Lapland border with buses to Salla for virtually every flight. Those flying to Rovaniemi (150 km), the capital of Finnish Lapland, will also find daily bus routes to Salla.
The train station in Kemijärvi, one of the most northern in Finland, is only 70 km from Salla, and buses run daily.
Salla lies on Route 82, about 30 minutes away from Highway E63, which begins in Helsinki and ends in Sodankylä in the north. Route 82 is also a direction connection to Rovaniemi.