Towns and villages
- 1 Sodankylä (town). See below
- 2 Tankavaara (some 90 km north of Sodankylä centre along E75). Gold digging village, including opportunities of gold digging on site or as expeditions. Large collection of geological samples. Visitor centre and trailhead for the national park.
- 3 Luosto. Ski resort. Skiing, husky safaris etc. Amethyst mine open to the public. Adjacent to Pyhä-Luosto National Park.
- 1 Urho Kekkonen National Park. The second largest national park in Finland, with mires, deep forests and ranges of treeless fells. In the western parts there are good services, while most of the park is wilderness. The adjacent Sompio strict nature reserve includes the same habitats in a smaller scale.
For Sompio and the Ruijanpolku trails drive 88 km to the north from Sodankylä centre along E75, to Vuotso, turn east along the Sompiojärventie forest road. There are trailheads after 9, 10 and 13.5 km; for the UKK trail and Nuorttijoki drive 145km east to Tulppio in Savukoski; for other options, see the park article Free.
- 2 Pyhä-Luosto National Park (by Luosto).
|Climate chart (explanation)|
Sodankylä is situated in the heart of Finnish Lapland. It provides a perfect environment for both the active hiker and the person seeking peace, space and silence. Vast forests, unspoiled wild nature, wide open aapa mires and rugged fells of Northern Lapland in particular, are characteristic to this area. The Luosto ski resort, the Tankavaara gold village and parts of the Urho Kekkonen National Park are in the municipality.
The northern part of the municipality belongs to the Sámi native region.
There are no airports or railway stations in Sodankylä, so the only way to get in is by road, i.e. by car or bus. Buses along national road 4 (E75) between Rovaniemi and Ivalo stop in Sodankylä; the distance from Rovaniemi is 130 km, from Ivalo 160 km. Onnibus.com has a line to Rovaniemi.
You can get around in the town itself by foot. However many attractions are located tens of kilometres outside of it and there are just a few buses a day (mainly just along highway 4), hence a car is the most practical mode of transportation.
- Northern Lights research centre.
- Alariesto Art gallery, Jäämerentie 3. M–F 09:00–16:00. An art gallery presenting the art of the local painter Andreas Alariesto.
- The old wooden church. Built in 1689.
A large variety of activities are available around the municipality in winter as well as in summer: snowmobile driving, ice fishing, reindeer farm visits, snow shoe walks, cross-country and downhill skiing, riverboat cruises, fishing, hiking and cycling.
- 1 Ilmakkiaapa mires (35 km to the north along E75). Easy 2·400m trail along duckboards over the aapa mire to a birdwatching tower. In spring the trail is flooded, otherwise no equipment is needed in dry weather, as long as you keep to the trail. Rubber boots needed for berry picking. Take your binoculars with you, to better see the birds. Right to access applies. Free.
- Viiankiaapa (20 km north along road 4). A huge aapa mire system (66 km²) with vast flark fens and rich birdlife. Two nature trails with shelters, campfire sites and bird watching towers. Free.
- 2 The Midnight Sun Film festival. Probably one of the world's northernmost film festivals, held in June each year since 1986, attracting an international audience.
- 1 Hotel Bear Inn (Hotelli Karhu), Lapintie 7, ☏ . Check-in: 13:00, check-out: 11:00. Single rooms with private saunas or upgraded rooms equipped with relaxing power steam showers. Lounge with bar and a separate restaurant. Lunch buffet Monday through Friday at 11-14; after 15.00 daily, dinner à la carte.
- 2 Hotel Sodankylä (Hotelli Sodankylä), Unarintie 15, ☏ .
- Guesthouse Kolme Veljestä (Majatalo Kolme Veljestä), Ivalontie 1, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The northernmost Lidl on earth. True, a Lidl as such is nothing special, but this here is the northernmost on earth as a banner just outside the store proudly proclaims
|Routes through Sodankylä|
|END ←||N S||→ Kuusamo → Turku|
|Ivalo ← Tankavaara ←||N S||→ Rovaniemi → Helsinki|