Althought that some trips are better to arrange from Inari (I will cover this later), and Inari has also some unique features of its own, Ivalo has more facilities and its location is little more centric than Inari's for trips to the nature.
For example river Ivalojoki runs through Ivalo and this river is very recommendable for canooing. Quite popular route is to get to Kuttura (I will cover this later, again) and canooing from there to Ivalo. Ivalo has also an airport for northeast traveling in Finland and car renting office etc.
Ivalo has some 3000 inhabitants and has all the major facilities the Finns appreciate, like Alko (finnish nationwide alcohol selling monopol) and good range of arctic and Lapland oriented service providers.
I do not pretend the importance of the sole booze selling shop in the area of some hundred square kilometres and laborious traveling options. But if you somehow want to have for example Fernet Branca or little bottle of cognac for your rambling in the unique nature of Lapland, surely Ivalo is the place to get your things.
If you get the chance to go husky sledge riding, DO IT!!!
The dogs love to run and are fairly easy to control, if you'd prefer not to 'drive' then you can ride in the front and enjoy the scenery. It's such an amazing and unusual experience, to enjoy it to the full make sure you're properly wrapped up especially your face as the wind chill can be a little harsh. Sunnies are also handy to keep you eyes warm and your lashes from freezing!!
Also bare in mind that alot of excited dogs can be VERY loud and a little scary for young children, be prepared for this.
You should have plenty of opportunity to check out these magical creatures in this neck of the woods. Whether it's simply by the side of the road while driving along, or at one of the activity places where you'll get an opportunity to pet them, take photos and even ride in a sleigh pulled by one.
A magic moment for both adults and children (please note, unfortunatley they only fly for Santa on Christmas Eve, so don't get your hopes up too high for the full reindeer experience!)
No trip to this part of the worl would be complete without a trip to see 'The Big Man Himself!'
We were lucky enough to get a personal home visit, but he's often found resting in his cabin in the woods near Saariselka.
I think the ear to ear grin shows how chuffed i was!
Saariselka hasn't got masses of mountains for skiing, it has a 'fell' which is smaller than a mountain but bigger than a hill. For a competent skier there's probaly not even half a days exciting skiing without getting bored but it's an excellent place to learn or brush up rusty skills. They offer lessons in boarding and skiing for all ages, and ski and board hire is avaliable- also cross-country skis avaliable.
Ivalo itself is not really exciting place, but the region is fantastic for hiking, fishing and all sots of nature activities.
We were taken here so that we could have a panoramic view of the area abd also to show us how close we were to the Russian border.