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'''Saariselkä''' [] is a largish winter sports center high up in [[Finnish Lapland]], some 250 km north of the Arctic Circle and nearly 1000 kilometers away from the southern capital [[Helsinki]].
Nestled in a valley, Saariselkä is a compact strip of a village with one gas station, one main supermarket, one liquor store and a slew of hotels , shops and restaurants, but it's quite manageable on foot and located only 30 km away from the town of [[Ivalo]] and its airport. The fell fells of '''Kaunispää''' and '''Iisakkipää''', both equipped with ski lifts and , are the primary center centers for winter sports, looms nearby.
==Get in==
===By plane===
The easiest method is to take a Finnair flight from [[Helsinki]] to [[Ivalo]] airport (1:40, price €100-250 depending on the season), and then a connecting 20-minute bus ride into town. UK tourists may arrive at the airport at Kittilä, and take a three-hour road trip to Saariselkä, via [[Sodankylä]].
===By bus===
==Get around==
Once in Saariselkä, you can pretty much walk anywhere you want to, but if you have gear in tow just hop aboard the (all day ticket 2 euros€5) '''Ski Bus''', which shuttles between the village and the slopes approximately once an hour.
* Many tourists, especially the Japanese, come to Saariselkä to gawk at observe the '''aurora borealis'''. While they occur with a probability as high as 75% every night in season (November to March or so), they are all too often obscured behind a bank of clouds so don't count on it.
* But there's plenty of standard Lappish tourist fare to keep you occupied during the day as well, ranging from '''husky safaris''' and '''reindeer-pulled sleighs''' to '''snowmobile''' and '''snowshoe''' treks through the countryside.
They also arrange viewing the ''''Northern Lights'''' with a private guide, a wonderful way to spend an evening in the Tundra ( if only the lights could be guaranteed ! )
*<do name="Top Safaris" alt="" address="Hotel Laanihovi" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">A safari company that offers a wide variety of safaris and is owned by the same people that run the Hotel Laanihovi.</do>
* <buy name="Supermarket Kuukkeli" alt="" address="Saariseläntie" directions="" phone="+358(0)16668741" email="[email protected]" fax="+358(0)16668680" url="" hours="9-21" price=""></buy>
* <buy name="Partioaitta" alt="outdoor equipments" address="Honkapolku" directions="" phone="+358(0)105494800" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price=""></buy>
* '''Kaunispään Huippu''', atop Kaunispää, []. Offers panoramic views of the mountains around and is a good option for a lunch or just a hot drink. I agree, do try the Reindeer fillet with peppercorns, worth taking a drive up for a meal.
* '''Supermarket Kuukkeli'''. The little canteen inside offers one of the cheapest eats in town. Reindeer hash, cranberry jam and mashed potatoes will set you back &euro;14,90.* '''Siulan Riista ja Kala'''. Game and Fish Delicatessen in the Siula shopping center - including a café which offers one of the cheapest meals in town. Daily (including weekends) "Lounas" (lunch) from 11 to 18h &euro;9,90 is excellent value.* '''Teerenpesä''', Restaurant and Pub, good value.
* '''Pirkon Pirtti''', most famous restaurant in Saariselkä. Hard to find vacant table - delightful log fires and delicious traditional dishes,a great place to dine.
* '''Restaurant Linnansali''', at Hotel Riekonlinna, expensive and fine. Specialities cod tongue and king crab.
* '''MuossiGrill''', snack kiosk in central square near Holiday ClubHotel, hamburgers etc.
* '''Kotipizza''', like it sounds, pizza, in Siula shopping center.
* '''Rakka''', ala carte, '''Rosso Express''', pizza and '''Houseburger''', hamburgers at Holiday Club
* '''Petronella'''. Specialities include Reindeer filet and Lake Inari whitefish.
* '''Siberia''' Restaurant (and Café) - fine dine in exotic LapplandLapland.
* Saariselkä Reservation Center, arrange all kind of accommodation.
* '''Saariselän Tunturihotelli'''
* '''Hotel Laanihovi''' (in Laanila near Saariselkä), rooms 79&euro; in the summer, 97&euro; in the high season &euro; []
* '''Vahtamapään Maja''' (in the center) []
* '''Hotel & Igloo Village Kakslauttanen''' []
==Stay safe==
Hiking Summer hiking in Saariselkä is safe if you follow safety advise and know your own limits. Routes near Saariselkä village are well marked and require only sneakers and clothes accordant with current weather. It's recommended to purchase an inexpensive map from your hotel reception or local market. Don't go alone into fields, at least without informing your hotel reception. Ask safety advises from your hotel reception if you feel unsure. Don't forget to report to your hotel when you come back. Weather conditions can change a lot even if it's warm and sunny when you leave.
Cellphone networks may not cover many places in between fields.
Tap water is potable and of high quality.
In case of emergency call number '''112'''. If you need medical consultation less urgently, contact to MedInari health service at Holiday Club (nurse and doctor services) +358(0)207205830, address Kelotie 1, Saariselkä. It's managed by the Inari community municipality and some local travel-related companies.
==Get out==
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