Lake Inari

Inari (North Sami: Anár, Inari Sami: Aanaar, Skolt Sami: Aanar, Swedish: Enare) is a municipality and a small village in Finnish Lapland, on the shore of Lake Inari. The village is an administrative and cultural centre of the Sámi people in Finland.


Winter in the village of Inari.

Because Inari is located 300 km north of the Arctic Circle, there is Midnight sun from late May to late July and Polar Night from the beginning of December to middle January. The last ice within the lake disappears at the end of May. Even in July, the average temperature is only about 17°C. Inari is the biggest municipality in Finland by area.

Four languages are spoken in Inari: Finnish, Northern Sami, Inari Sami and Skolt Sami. Inari Sami is the language traditionally used by the lake. North Sami is the biggest Sami language, spread with large scale reindeer husbandry. The Skolt Sami people were evacuated from Petsamo when Finland lost it in the World War.

Get in

The nearest airport is in Ivalo. Coaches from or via Rovaniemi pass Inari on their way to Utsjoki, Vadsø, Nordkapp or Kirkenes. By car, the easiest way to get from southern Finland is by car train to Rovaniemi. Inari lies along road E75, but it's over 15 hours by bus from Helsinki.



The lake is ideal for fishing, canoeing and boating: you are alone and will not meet any person for weeks. The landscape is very nice because of the islands, but there are lots of mosquitoes. There are open wilderness huts and cabins for rent in the islands. For boating you need the Lake Inarijärvi boating map (Inarijärven veneilykartta; chart no 480).

Canoes and bikes can be rented from the shop next to Hotel Inari. There are also opportunities for horse riding and sleigh riding with huskies, depending on the season.

There are many nature and hiking trails in the area.

There are also cross country skiing and biking trails, canoeing routes and snowmobile tracks in the area.

Cruises, fishing trips and snowmobile safaris can be arranged by Lake & Snow Inari, phone +358 16 671-108.

The Lemmenjoki National Park is nearby (45 km), the largest National Park in Finland, and, according to Metsähallitus, "one of the whole Europe’s most extensive uninhabited and roadless backwoods". The park can partly be explored by boat, but there are also marked trails and wilderness huts as well as rental huts, and a vast backcountry. The park borders to Øvre Anárjohka National Park in Norway.

Also nearby is the Muotkatunturit Wilderness Area, "literally a wilderness area" according to Metsähallitus. There are no marked trails, few wilderness huts or other facilities in the wilderness area itself – and phones are out of signal except on fell tops. Experience and adequate equipment are needed, but the terrain is quite easy. Suitable for hiking and cross-country skiing, for those who enjoy the silence. A few places are more frequented, such as the Stuorraäytsi canyon.

With a bit of luck you can observe Northern lights dancing across the dark Lappish sky any time between September and March during your night walk.


There are two supermarkets and a gas station in the city centre. The K-Market also serves as post office and pharmacy. Several dedicated souvenir shops are located along the main road (E75).

Samekki +358 16 671-086, with handicraft by Petteri Laiti, a famous Sámi goldsmith. Laiti often combines silver and reindeer horn. Among the products are leuku knives, jewellery, spoons and guksi. Not cheap, but true to Sámi tradition and highly regarded. The atelier on a side street by the church is open M–F 10AM–4PM.

Inarin hopea +358 16 671-333, by the Juutuajoki bridge, sells locally made modern jewellery inspired by the traditions and nature of Lapland. You can also watch the goldsmith at work. Open daily in the summertime (15.6–31.8) 9AM–8PM, winter M–F 10AM–5PM.

Eat and drink





Postal code 99870 Inari.

Mobile phones should work well in the village and along the main roads, but coverage in the wilderness is limited.

Go next

Routes through Inari

Vardø Utsjoki  N  S  Ivalo Rovaniemi

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Friday, February 19, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.