The Posio area has traditionally been inhabited by nomadic Forest Samis and even the name Posio means a certain part of a traditional Sami pole tent. The first Finnish settlers arrived during the late 1500s, to the Sirniö area. They came from south-east, following the lake district of eastern Finland northward. This is still heard in the speech of the locals as the Posio dialect belongs to the Kainuu dialects of the eastern dialect group instead of the far north dialects of the western dialect group, spoken in the rest of Lapland. The priests from Pudasjärvi parish are known to have travelled here to hold services already in 1688. However, the nearest church remained in Kuusamo until 1927, when Posio got its own.
Geographically Posio belongs to the Koillismaa highlands. The landscape is hilly and most of the area is around 300 m above sea level. There are much more lakes in this area than elsewhere in Lapland, and Posio is a prominent "summer cottage municipality" (kesämökkikunta) as there are thousands of private holiday homes by the lakes. The speciality of these highland lakes is a local form of vendace, which is about 4–5 cm long and has soft bones. This vendace, known as Kitkan viisas, "the wise one of the lake Kitka", is considered a delicacy, and since 2013 the name has got protected designation of origin (PDO) status in the European Union.
The climate in Posio is sub-polar temperate. The area enjoys one of the heaviest annual snowfalls in Finland. A postcard-like view showing masses of frozen snow on tree branches is fairly typical to this area.
Posio has around 3200 inhabitants of which 1300 live in the parish village called Ahola. The most famous person living in Posio is interior designer Anu Pentik (1942–) and around 100,000 admirers of Finnish design visit the Pentik Mäki Cultural Centre next to the Pentik ceramic factory annually. Otherwise, Posio attracts mostly nature enthusiasts.
The municipality is unilingually Finnish. English is widely understood, like elsewhere in the country.
- The closest airport is Kuusamo Airport (KAO IATA), 63 km east. The airport has direct connections to Helsinki International Airport by Finnair. There are daily bus connections from Kuusamo to Posio.
- Rovaniemi Airport (RVN IATA) is 133 km west, and has direct connections from Helsinki International Airport operated by Norwegian, Finnair and SAS, and some flights from elsewhere. Also from Rovaniemi there are daily bus connections.
Posio has coach connections from Kuusamo, Rovaniemi, and Oulu, which all have further connections to Helsinki. The bus connection from Kuusamo is 45 minutes, from Rovaniemi 2 hours, and from Oulu 4 hours. A single-way ticket costs about €13/adult from Kuusamo, €26/adult from Rovaniemi and €42/adult from Oulu. Check Matkahuolto for details.
The nearest train station is in Rovaniemi, which has good connections from the south. From the train station you need to take a bus to Posio.
Posio town centre is located on the crossroad of Road 863 (Taivalkoskentie, from Ranua and Oulu), Road 947 (Maaninkavaarantie, from Salla) and Road 81 (Kuusamontie, from Rovaniemi to Kuusamo). Coming from the south, taking the car on the train is usually the most convenient way.
The easiest way to get around in Posio is by car. The sights are scattered around the municipality and the distances are long. In the town centre, the main attractions are within walking distance. Hiking is the best way to reach the natural attractions, at least for the last kilometres.
- 1 Pentik Manor (Pentik-kartano), Timisjärventie 26, ☏ . An 150 years old reindeer herding estate turned into an art gallery and artist residence. Summer café.
- 2 Posio local history museum (Posion kotiseutumuseo), Lohiranta 15 (40 km from the centre), ☏ . June 25th to end of July: Tu-F 12:00–18:00. Old items and buildings from Posio area. The main building from 1895. Guided tours by request. €2.
- 3 Posio church, Taivalkoskentie 28 (3 km from the centre). Wooden church built in 1926–1927 by the lake Posio. Open during the services.
- 4 Naumanniemi local history museum, Naumanniementie 15 (10 km from the centre). Exceptionally well preserved, self-sufficient agricultural estate from 1866. Still owned by the Luokkanen family and used as a private home. Guided tours must be pre-booked.
- 5 Akanlahti log transfer facility, Lohirannnatie 163. The Akanlahti facility was used to dispatch timber from Lake Kitka to Lake Livojärvi. The facility was in operation from the 1930s until the 1960s. This is is the only remaining log transfer facility in Finland.
- 6 Erakko-Eemeli's hut. A hermit known as Kala-Eemeli (1905–1966) lived in this very small hut from 1959 to 1966. The locals have maintained the hut as it was when Eemeli died by drowning in the nearby lake.
Pentik Mäki Culture Centre is a renowned cultural and shopping tourism site in Posio centre, besides the world’s northern most ceramics factory. You can explore collections of ceramics and design as well as do shopping for interior design products in Pentik’s factory outlet.
Pentik Mäki comprises the factory shop, cafeteria, Rural Memories Exhibition, Old Ceramics Exhibition, the International Coffee Cup Museum, Pentik Home Museum, and Anu Pentik Gallery. Admission to exhibitions and museums is free of charge.
Pentik Mäki has grown up beside the world’s northernmost ceramics factory. The internationally renowned company was founded in 1971 by Anu Pentik and Topi Pentikäinen. In addition to Finland, the company has shops in Sweden and Norway.
- 7 Pentik Mäki Culture Centre, Maaninkavaarantie 3, ☏ . M–F 10:00–17:00, Sat–Sun 10:00–16:00; gallery daily 10:00–16:00. Free, guiding €38+.
Hiking in 2 Korouoma Nature Reserve or 3 Riisitunturi National Park are popular year-around activities. Posio has good possibilities for fishing and ice-fishing and the licences are fairly easy to get. In wintertime Posio has over 75 km of ski tracks. Weather permitting, the skiing seasons starts in November and lasts until the end of April. There is a maintained ski track also in Riisitunturi National Park, which leads to the top of the fell.
The 950-km UKK Trail runs through Posio from south-west to east. The trail visits both Syöte and Riisitunturi National Park.
- 1 Palotunturi nature trail, Lamminvaarantie (33 km from the centre). A 4-km nature trail rises up to the top of the Palotunturi fell. The trail goes through old-growth forest, which hasn't been subject to forestry for over 200 years. The amount of dead wood material on the ground is exceptionally high. The day hut on top of the fell is suitable for sleeping. The hut is an old fire guard's cabin and it served as a air defence station during World War 2. There is a parking lot where the trail starts. No public transportation but taxi.
- 2 Hirsiniemi nature trail, Hirsiniemi (20 km from the centre). A 16-km nature trail that goes around the lake Pernunselkä, which is part of the lake Livojärvi. Lots of sandy beaches and several campfire sites. The trail starts from a parking lot, goes by the northern bank to the holiday village Livohka and then back by the southern bank. There is a boat crossing near Livohka. No public transportation. The road to Hirsiniemi parking lot is in poor condition.
Riisitunturi National Park
Riisitunturi National Park is north-east of the town centre. The National Park and its surroundings form a wilderness region characterised by slope mires, hillside spruce copses and southern fell nature. Special features of the area are the slope mires. In wintertime, the spruce dominated forests are shrouded in a thick covering of snow and ice, and hardened crown snow. The region also has an abundance of smaller lakes. Maaselkä is the watershed between the east and west, and it runs through the park.
The park is almost entirely at a height of over 300 metres above sea level. The two summits of the Riisitunturi Fell itself rise to a height in excess of 450 metres. Popular places to visit include the Riisitunturi Fell summits with the wilderness cabin between the summits, and the landscape sites along the excursion trails. Riisitunturi National Park was chosen as Finland's Trekking Destination of the Year in 2010.
Korouoma Nature Reserve
Korouoma  is a rugged canyon hundreds of millions of years old, occurring in the bedrock fracture zone. The canyon was given its current form by the impacts of the Ice Age. The deepest point of the canyon is the central section at 100–130 metres deep. The canyon and its high cliffs form an impressive landscape to enjoy throughout the year. The Korouoma region has a diverse range of different nature types with ridge terrain and small groves. Korouoma is a fairly popular hiking area, with 5-km and 8-km day hiking trails from Saukkovaara and Koivuköngäs and a 30 km trail through all the area, with an open wilderness hut. In wintertime Korouoma becomes a popular destination for ice climbers, and it is stated to be the best in Finland.
As of November 2019, the 30 km trail is closed, as the stairs down to the canyon are in bad condition, and because of a flood caused by a beaver dam, some bridges on the trail have been destroyed.
5 Lake Livojärvi is one of the most popular summer destinations in Posio, and is often stated as Lapland's Riviera. The lake is characterized by very clear water and large sandy beaches and at sunny summer days the beaches might be surprisingly crowded.
Sirniö Smith Village
The village of 6 Sirniö in south Posio is well known for its smithery traditions. The smithery culture dates back to the village's origins in the 17th century, when the rural location forced the villagers materially independent. The international blacksmith event has been organised in Sirniö every June since 1998. In addition, the village provides experience services with blacksmith themes for tourists.
The village itself survived the destruction of the Lapland War and the oldest buildings have been built already in the 1700s. The whole village belongs to the list of nationally significant built cultural environments.
- 1 K-Market Muikku, Posiontie 26, ☏ . M–Sa 07:00–21:00, Su 10:00–21:00. Groceries.
- 2 S-Market Ahola, Posiontie 49, ☏ . M–Sa 08:00–22:00, Su 10:00–21:00. Groceries. Gasoline.
- 3 Alko Posio, Posiontie 49. M–F 09:00–21:00, Sa 09:00–18:00, Su closed. Alcoholic beverages.
- 4 [dead link] R-kioski Posio, Posiontie 44, ☏ . M–F 08:00–20:00, Sa 09:00–20:00, Su 10:00–18:00. Some groceries. Mail service.
Eat and drink
Posio shares similar food culture with the rest of the Lapland, including extensive use of reindeer meat, fish and wild berries. A true local speciality on the menu is a local form of vendace which is called Kitkan viisas. It is a PDO product in the European Union.
- 1 Korpihilla Café and Delicacy Shop, Holtinojantie 5 (in Tolva village), ☏ . Tu–F 12:00–16:00. Korpihilla is located in the village of Tolva near the Riisitunturi National Park. Korpihilla offers home made delicacies made from local, natural ingredients. Their signature drink Kuohuva Kuusenkerkkäjuoma, a sparkling spruce sprout drink, has won many awards.
- 2 Lomakeskus Himmerki (Himmerki 8, 97900 Posio), Himmerki 8, ☏ . À la carte restaurant with beautiful view to lake Kitka.
- 3 Restaurant Peikonpesä, Kauppakuja 2, ☏ . M closed, Tu–Th 11:00–19:00, F 11:00–02:00, Sa 12:00–02:00, Su 12:00–19:00. Restaurant pub with pizzas, kebab, sandwiches and à la carte.
- 4 Restaurant Lapin Satu, Kattavaniementie 1 (2 km from the centre). M–Th 10:30–19:00, F 10:30–21:00, Sa 11:30–21:00, Su 11:30–18:00. À la carte restaurant at hotel Lapin Satu.
- 5 Kotipizza Posio, Uimaniementie 7, ☏ . M–F 10:00–19:30, Sa 10:00–18:00, Su 10:00–16:00. Finnish pizza franchising Kotipizza at Neste gasoline station.
- 6 Café Ingan Tupa, Toritie 4, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. M–F 08:00–16:00, Sa–Su closed. Café with home made cakes and buns. Also delicacies from local producers.
- 7 Café Säikkä (Kotakahvila Säikkä), Taivalkoskentie 183, ☏ . in summer daily 11:00–17:00, winter closed. Summer café at a sandy beach by the lake Livojärvi. Traditional bakings and local handicrafts for sale. Cash only!
- 8 Restaurant Tapio, Saarisiulantie 16, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. open by request. Fine dining restaurant with a selection of local berry wines. Confirmed reservation is a must. five course menu €62.
Cottage accommodation is the most popular way to accommodate in Posio. There are over 2500 holiday cabins in the Posio area.
- Villi Pohjola Reservations Centre, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Villi Pohjola rents over 60 holiday cabins in the Posio area, ranging from wilderness huts to modern holiday cabins
- 1 Hotel Lapin Satu, Kattavaniementie 1 (2 km from the centre). Small and cozy hotel by the lake Posio. Own restaurant.
- 2 Wilderness Hotel Kirikeskus, Kiririnteentie 1, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. A small hotel by Kirintövaara downhill skiing slopes. Single, double and 4 person rooms. Restaurant. single €64/night, double €88/night, family €112/night..
- 3 Holiday village Himmerki, Himmerki 8 (by lake Kitka), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. A holiday village with various types of cabin accommodation from low-key to modern villas. Own restaurant and good outdoor activity possibilities.
- 4 Lapiosalmi nature travel center, Lapiosalmentie 9 (14 km from the centre), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. M-F 08:30–16:00. Cottage accommodation by a lake. Caravan and tent site available. Meals by request if at least 4 persons. Lots of activities. Car transfer service.
- 5 Holiday Village Livohka, Kaarelantie 23 (30 km from the centre), ☏ . Few rooms, several cottages and a restaurant by the lake Livojärvi. Discount price if you are a member of the Trade Union for the Public and Welfare Sectors JHL.
- 6 Aneen Loma, Anetjärventie 72A (28 km from the centre), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. A working agricultural farm with apartments and cabins. Caravan area with electricity. Travelers with pets must contact the estate in advance.
- 7 Ylitalo Reindeer Travels (Ylitalon Poromatkailu), Alajärventie 12 (31 km from the centre), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. All inclusive lodging at a reindeer farm. Minimum stay for 3 nights.
- 8 Naali Lodge, Saarisiulantie 16, ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. An all inclusive small lodge in the wilderness. All visitors stay in the lodge for one week and enjoy the pre-arranged activities. 8 bedrooms for 2–4 persons with a common living room, toilets and showers. Own restaurant.
- Ruka ski resort in Kuusamo is only an hour ride away from Posio. Ruka is one of the biggest ski resorts in Finland.
- Ranua, about 90 km west, famous for its zoo with Arctic wildlife.
- The Simojärvi-Soppana area, with easy hikes for a day or several, and infrastructure for kayaking and boating. See Ranua.
|Routes through Posio|
|Rovaniemi ←||W E||→ Kuusamo|
|END ←||N S||→ Sirniö → Taivalkoski|
|Ranua ←||W E||→ END|