Posio is many things: the center of Finnish ceramic culture, an idyllic town at the foot of Lapland’s most iconic fells, and the first destination awarded the Sustainable Travel Finland certification. In Posio, you’ll find your own rhythm among the endless landscapes, and the snow-capped forests will inspire the artistic visions inside you. Spend a day admiring the work of world-famous sculptors, or climb the fell and see what magic the silence and glory of Posio inspires in you.
How to get here?
The Kuusamo airport (65 km away) and the Rovaniemi airport (130 km) offer convenient connections year-round, either through Helsinki or directly to European cities. If you’re coming via train, Rovaniemi and Kemijärvi (97 km) are the closest stops.
As you stare up at the ropey layers of ice pouring down from the top of the cascade waterfall, a pair of red birds take flight. Unlike the birds, you have to go up the hard way. This is Posio’s famous Korouoma Canyon, the most popular ice-climbing in Finland. Every winter, the streams pouring over the top of the canyon slow to a crawl and freeze, creating not one but 14 impressive icefalls. But that’s why spiked shoes and climbing harnesses exist, right?
Korouoma is no less exciting in summer and autumn, as the whole canyon is yours to explore. Over millions of years, the Korojoki river has carved a deep valley, and the 30 km hiking trail offers the perfect opportunity for bird watching, nature photography and recreational angling. Other off-the-beaten-paths that are sure to scratch your hiking itch include the trails at Karitunturi and Palotunturi.
Posio is where you can truly feel the cycles and patterns of nature. Summer gives way to autumn in an explosion of color, not just in the trees and bushes, but also in the night sky. Auroras alight over Posio in late August and continue until April or May. Riisitunturi National Park is the perfect place to watch the dance of the Northern Lights over a fairy tale forest. When winter begins banging her drum, the forest is transformed, a mixture of high humidity, heavy snowfall and pure magic. Strap on a pair of snowshoes and pick a trail. You won’t be disappointed.
Riisitunturi National Park is also where many scenes from the movie Ailo’s Journey were filmed. The snow-crowned trees lend an quiet, ethereal presence to the little reindeer’s adventure across Finnish Lapland.
When summer drops in Posio, you’ll definitely want to visit the white sands and crystal waters of Lake Livojärvi, Lapland’s very own Riviera. Flock to the water’s edge for a picnic with the kids, volleyball and swimming. Or pack a tent and find your own secret spot to enjoy the picturesque lakeside. Even this close to the Arctic Circle, the sun is warm, the days are long, the waters inviting.
The Hirsiniemi hiking area begins near the eastern side of the lake, a 16 km journey through beach protection areas and along sandy ridges. And the best part? No matter if you come in the beating heart of winter or the lazy days of summer, Korouoma, Riisitunturi, Lake Livojärvi and Hirsiniemi are all within an hour’s drive of each other.
No Ordinary Ceramics: the culture of Posio
The Posio wilderness, whether it’s endless Arctic forests coated orange by the Midnight Sun, or snow blanketing the fells, is a muse unlike any other. Just ask Posio’s most famous artist, Anu Pentik: living legend, an artist of worldwide renown, and the creator and founder of Pentik ceramics. Inspired by the landscapes and natural wonders of Posio, Anu still creates new work, even in her 70s. Your introduction to Posio ceramics will likely be the Anu Pentik Gallery in the town center. Its 8 meter high façade is made from broken production ceramics. The ceramics exhibitions inside change biannually. The Gallery is only one part of the Green Key-certified Pentik-Mäki Cultural Centre, which includes museums, a factory shop for unique Pentik ceramics, and the International Coffee Cup Museum. Not surprising for the country that drinks the most coffee in the world.
About 20 kilometers outside of town, the Pentik Manor is an artist’s residence, exhibition center, and art gallery. Anu and her husband renovated and converted this 19th century reindeer farm into a space where ceramic art thrives. When the summer sun finally melts away the last vestiges of winter, a visit to Pentik Manor combines southern Lapland scenery, rustic tradition and vintage modern art.
A taste of Lapland
Lapland is Europe’s last wilderness, and the food gathered, hunted and grown here reflects the purity and variety of the wild. Whether it’s the five-course menu at Restaurant Tapio, nestled in the forests of Lapland, or just a sample of wildberry marmalade, you can taste wild, pure Lapland in every bite. If you come in July, be sure to taste Posio’s famous vendace at the Muikkumarkkinat (Vendace Market).
At the foot of Riisitunturi fell sits Korpihilla delicacy shop and café. This award-winning shop offers confectionary, syrups and more, made with fresh, wild herbs and berries. On a warm summer day, kick back on the terrace with a cup of coffee and watch the fluffy chickens play in the yard.
Spend your nights in comfort and privacy at a holiday village. Snuggle up by the fireplace in a family cabin at Livohka. Or listen to the waves lap the summer shores of Lake Kitkajärvi at Green Key-certified Holiday Village Himmerki. In downtown Posio, Hotel Lapin Satu offers convenience and style in a refurbished school year-round. Most Posio accommodations are located deep in the wilderness, quiet places where you can drift off to the peaceful whispers of nature.
Speaking of Green Keys, Posio is the first destination in the country to be awarded the Sustainable Travel Finland certification. Most Posio travel services–including guiding and accommodations–are owned and operated by locals, and responsibility is a foundational aspect in the services offered. Learn more about Sustainable Posio.
Travel to Posio
Posio is never too far away. The Kuusamo airport (65 km away) and the Rovaniemi airport (130 km) offer convenient connections year-round, either through Helsinki or directly to European cities. If you’re coming via train, Rovaniemi and Kemijärvi(97 km) are the closest stops. And the scenery and villages along Kemijoki river will soothe the stress right out of you.
Highway 81 cuts through the Posio municipality and offers a peaceful drive directly from Rovaniemi. Highway E63, which connects to the city of Tampere in the south with Sodankylä in the north, also passes through Posio.