The Northern Lights. They are awesome, stunning, amazing.
They're unpredictable, no good time to see them, sometimes they won't appear for days then they'll come 3 days in a row. Sometimes at 5pm, sometimes at 1am, sometimes when it's REALLY cold, sometimes when it's not so cold. You can't tell-although they say 'ideal conditions' are when it's really cold at midnightish on a clear night.
Fondest memory: The most memorable night we saw them they started out whispy then merged into a strong streak like this, moved around for a while before starting to dance in little waves. Impossible to explain, stunning to watch.
They come in other colours but we were only lucky enough to see the greeny ones.
Favorite thing: I have seen some of the most amazing 'Sunrise' and 'Sunsets' in December in Saariselka. Although it's worth remembering that the Sun doesn't actually rise or set as it doesnt appear above the horizon after week or so into December- so it's not strictly called 'Sunrise/set.' The colours however are still incredible whatever you wish to call it!!
look around and use your eyes! The Nature is absolutely beautiful! And I wish that you´d talk to fellow citizens. They are extremely polite and ready to help! I like them very much!
Even though Finns are known for not speaking much, these fellas are great! But first, you´ll have to get to know them better...
Take you time there, cause you need it more then ever. The huge lake Inari with its unique islands or the wide soft hills in the surroundigs of Ivalo - it's all worth seeing! Hire a boat and go on the lake, choose one of the 100 islands there and spend some hours on it - in totally lonelyness. It's a nice experience... :)
If you want to go further: Take the coach to the Finnish/Norwegian border, you'll pass some beautiful nationalparks, 2 or 3 extraordinary 'highway-shops' which are an experience themselves and sometimes you see the reindeers walking on the street even not moving when this old Finnish coach tries to pass by. You'll be surprised how small reindeers actually are, as you may expect a huge moose-like animal.
The trip further to Karasjok/NO takes about 4 hours from Ivalo. From Karasjok then you easily come to Alta, Hammerfest or to the North Cape (pleeeeease, don't go there!! Everyone who has been there is dissappointed of it!)
Of course you can also go further Eastern from Ivalo, in the direction Russian border, but don't be surprised if you're the only one who goes there... :)
If you hope to find any bus timetable or anything else about this region in Helsinki or any other places in Finland, you won't get anything. At least you have to go to Rovaniemi or call some local office in Ivalo. But it's definitly worth doing it!!
By the way, if you go there in the wintertime, it might be a bit dark for you (don't expect to see the sun!), but if you're lucky you can take part of the maybe most beautiful nature phenomenon: The Northern Lights. Once you've seen them in at least 3 colors - you'll never forget this, lifelong! Me personally, I never experienced fear and astonishment so intensively at the same time when I saw them for the first time. You can't get enough from it, and if it's really cold outside you may even have the impression that you hear the Northern Lights - a sound, better than any music!
Go on a boat trip on Inarilake to visit one of the many beautifull islands and experience the midnightsun.
Fondest memory: Being overwelmed by the beauty and variety of nature with each season so very different and radical,much like the people there's always somethng going on..