No matter how many winter holidays I spent in Lapland, I have only one childhood memory of travelling to Lapland in summer; When I was 10 years old, we drove through Lapland on the way to Sweden and Norway.
At least we stopped by the fell Saana before crossing the border. I remember it well, as it’s the only time in my life I’ve visited my namesake.
At the start of August, I took my second ever summer trip to Finnish Lapland. I and two fellow Finnish travel bloggers, Gia from Matkakuume.net and Lotta from Watia.fi, were invited to Muonio by Harriniva Hotels & Safaris. The adventurous and active four-day holiday in Muonio proved that there’s absolutely no reason to drive through Lapland without stopping—not even in summer.
I will give you the first reason right away; Did you know that the cleanest air in the whole world, excluding the Antarctic, is measured in Muonio? We are truly breathing the most pollute-free air here in Finland.
Do you even need any other reasons?
Oh, you do? Don’t worry, I can give you plenty of reasons!
Nature in Lapland has an endless number of outdoor activities for each type of traveller. Whether you’re seeking for guided tours or individual activities, outdoor adventures for fits or fats, or new experiences for madcaps or pussycats, seek no more. Muonio has it all.
What to do in Muonio in summer? Read about the most fun summer activities in Muonio that I got to try during my trip to Lapland! As a little extra goodie, I’ll share a few tips for additional outdoor activities that you can also try—even if I didn’t have time to.
White river rafting in Muonionjoki river
Harriniva’s location by the river Muonionjoki is more than convenient for a wild white river rafting experience. The adventure starts right in front of the hotel.
The first rapids are waiting for you just after a very short paddling. The experienced captain will make sure no one, and I mean no one, gets out of the boat with dry clothes. All necessary equipment is of course provided by the hotel.
Even if I’m an experienced kayaker myself, Äijäkoski rapid forced me to concentrate real hard on my performance. Äijäkoski is one of the fastest and most powerful rapids in Muonionjoki river, and therefore it’s very popular spot for fly fishing. Muonionjoki—which continues as river Tornionjoki when heading more south—is the longest wild river in Europe, so you’ll be guaranteed to find an easier paddling spot in case the idea of white river rafting feels too extreme for you.
I’m always in for a good adrenaline spike, so I would be more than ready for another rafting adventure already!
But how risky is a white river rafting adventure in Muonionjoki river? Well, this is exactly what we tried to ask from Kalle the Captain. I wonder if it was the sarcasm speaking (very typical quality for men in Lapland), but the answer was; ’20 percent of the rafters never came back’.
What do you think, was it pure sarcasm, or could it be true…?
Fatbike experience in the forests of Muonio
Fatbiking is becoming more and more popular—also in Finland! And I don’t wonder why.
I got to try a fat bike for the very first time in my life in Muonio. I have a mountain bike at home, and it’s actually my only bike, so I use it all the time. And yet I was surprised how light and easy a fat bike is to ride, even in the muddy forest trails.
Therefore I dare to say fat biking is a great activity for absolutely anyone who knows how to ride any kind of bike. If you’re in good shape and thirsty for a challenge, you should definitely bike to the top of one or more fells of Muonio, like Olos, Pallas or the stunning Särkitunturi fell.
Canoeing from lake to lake
Just a quick glance at the top of the page will reveal that I love kayaking. Luckily I didn’t need to drag my own kayak all the way to Lapland.
The other holiday destination owned by Harriniva is called Torassieppi. Located just 20 km east of Harriniva hotel, in Torassieppi you can go paddling with a traditional canoe on calm lakes.
The numerous lakes in Muonio are combined with wide riverbeds. When looking at the map the little lakes and rivers form like a blue pearl necklace that you could follow with a canoe for a small eternity. You can have a short canoeing trip and paddle through a lake or two, or you can pack your tent and some food and go through several blue pearls of Muonio.
Dive deep into the world of wild herbs
As most of the Finns, I’m an enthusiastic ‘mushroom hunter’ myself, and picking chanterelle, porcini, brittlegill and other wild treats is an annual tradition for me. When in the forest, nibbling wild berries is part of the fun, but wild herbs are still sort of a grey area for me. Even if participating in an introduction course is something I’ve been thinking of for a while.
The chef of Torassieppi restaurant took us for a little forest walk to pick up some wild mushroom and berries, but also wild herbs. Did you know that you can make ‘cabbage rolls’ out of many different leaves that you can find just outside your house? Or that many weeds growing in your garden are actually edible (at least the ones in Finnish gardens)? How about a nice cup of tea made of beard moss? Did you know you can actually do that?
I didn’t know it either! Until now!
Even if I got another Lappish sarcasm slap on the face during our wild herb experience, our little forest walk boosted the idea of taking a closer introduction into the world of wild herbs. I will definitely take part on a course as soon as possible!
A day hike to the top of beautiful Särkitunturi fell
Perhaps you already read my tribute for the beautiful Särkitunturi fell? If not, I suggest you do it now!
We didn’t have enough time to walk to the top of Särkitunturi during the actual blogging trip, but I just couldn’t leave Muonio until I had seen it with my own eyes. I had heard so many wonderful stories about this fell, and I couldn’t help wondering what can be so amazing and extraordinary in it.
When I started my journey back home, Särkitunturi fell was my first stop on the way. And thank god I did it!
What you can find on top of Särkitunturi is like from a fairytale. I still can’t describe the place as anything else than stupidly entranced praises. This is the best tip I can give you; If you actually are just driving through and you only have time for one stop, make sure you’ll stop in Särkitunturi! You just have to see it with your own eyes.
Thirsty for more fun summer activities in Muonio?
Perhaps you should try one (or more) of the following…
Stand Up Paddling: SUP boarding arrived in Finland a few years ago and quickly became one of the most popular water sports. In Torassieppi it’s safe to try Stand Up Paddling on a calm and shallow water, even if you have never tried anything similar before.
Hiking in Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park: You could spend the whole summer in Muonio just hiking. Measured in the number of visitors, Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park is the most popular national park in Finland. Its’ most popular trail is called Hetta-Pallas—it’s 55 km long and it’s the oldest marked hiking trail in the country. Find ideas for shorter day hikes here.
Fooling the fish: Muonio is a real paradise for fishers. From the river Muonionjoki you can catch wild salmon, sea trout, grayling and whitefish. Muonio has more than a hundred lakes which are filled with pike, whitefish, vendace, perch, burbot and ruffe, and if you’re lucky, you can catch even brown trout and landlocked salmon. Just pick your (fishing) battle!
In Muonio there really are fun summer activities for everyone, or what do you think? What would you try first?
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*Blogging trip was provided by Harriniva Hotels & Safaris. Most of the photos were provided by Gia.
The thirst for adrenaline and love for outdoor activities are all mine.*