ruka gravel pyöräily

Ruka, cyclist's paradise: 900 kilometers of gravel routes and bike park of the year 2023

900 kilometers of gravel cycling routes, over 20 bike park trails, and numerous mountain biking trails in Finland's most stunning landscapes. Restaurant offerings that rival those of the capital city's cuisine and relatively affordable accommodation during the summer season. Is this the ultimate recipe for a cyclist's summer vacation?


The finest national parks and best gravel roads of northeast finland await 

Gravel cycling is the fastest-growing subgenre of cycling. What a coincidence for Finland, where there are so many gravel roads crisscrossing that one couldn't ride them all in a single summer, even if they wanted to. As cyclists know, the challenge often lies in piecing together suitable routes from the good sections of road. 

Ruka is the first travel destination in Northern Finland where gravel cycling has been introduced so extensively into tourist services all at once. In spring 2024, a breathtaking 900-kilometer network of routes will be launched, offering both short and long variations of the best gravel roads in the Ruka and Kuusamo region.

"The Ruka-Kuusamo gravel routes offer a diverse riding experience and gravel flow, sometimes winding along forest paths, and then continuing onto a straight gravel road where you have panoramic views of the fells and lakes," describes Mikko Saarinen, CEO of Allegra Nordics, the company responsible for route planning.

"This is a truly unique package; it includes trails with just the right amount of adventurous spirit, where you can even stop for berry-picking along the way if you wish," he continues.

The gravel routes consist of several different hubs, with the largest ones located in Ruka village and Kuusamo center.

"You can combine routes in various ways, which means that different types of cyclists will surely find suitable loops for themselves," Saarinen summarizes.

The Ruka-Kuusamo gravel routes will be fully released during spring 2024. If you want to hear about the news first, subscribe to our newsletter or or become a loyalty member .

What is gravel cycling?

Gravel cycling is a form of cycling that focuses on riding primarily on gravel roads, forest trails, and dirt roads. It combines features of both mountain biking and road cycling and provides the opportunity to explore new routes and enjoy nature. The sport originated in the early 2000s in the United States.

gravel pyörä
Gravel biking
National parks and landscapes
bike park ikoni
Ruka Bike Park
lasten pyöräily
Cycling for kids

Ruka bike park is finland’s bike park of the year 2023 

Ruka earned the well-deserved title of Bike Park of the Year at the end of the summer season in 2023, as the ski resort concluded its fourth official bike park season. Downhill riding has been practiced at Ruka by enthusiasts before, but recent years' developments have brought about twenty trails and three lifts for cyclists to use. 

What sets Ruka Bike Park apart from other destinations is its diversity: easy routes for children, green flowy trails for beginners that are easy to ride for cyclists of all skill levels, and more challenging trails for enthusiasts. Gondola and chairlifts make biking in the mountains a relaxed experience. In Ruka Bike Park, you'll see many riders exploring the sport for the first time, for whom Ruka is their first encounter with the fascinating world of downhill riding.

The cyclist's menu at ruka is more versatile than anywhere else 

Coffee breaks, snacks and meal stops are essential parts of all cycling disciplines. Cycling burns energy, and it's customary to at least enjoy coffee during the ride, or if we're being really honest, more often than not, burgers. Restaurants in the Ruka and Kuusamo area have realized this: on both sides of the fell, there are restaurants where you can enjoy artisanal pizza, delicious bowl dishes, stir-fries, juicy burgers, or local fish dishes. Many have found that they should have stayed in Ruka longer just to have time to try out all the interesting eateries. 

There are plenty of accommodation options for cyclists. The ski resort is one of Finland's largest during the winter season, and there are plenty of rental cottages and apartments available. Since summers are quieter compared to the winter season, many accommodation providers offer affordable deals during the summer vacation period. The website has a convenient Accommodation Finder that combines the offerings of various accommodation providers in the area.

Mökkimajoitus punainen ikoni Ruka-Kuusamo
Offers on all accommodation
Offers on Ruka Ski-Inn accommodation

There it is, the cyclist's paradise 

"The sun shines bright just over the horizon. In the land of the midnight sun sunsets seem to last throughout your whole cycling tour. Dark green forests form a shimmering patchwork with the Kitka waters. On the right, the peaks of Ruka, Valtavaara, and Konttainen rise as a velvety ridge from the landscape. We've just cycled up with our mountain bikes along the winding trail on the slopes of Pyhävaara Nature Reserve, and our breath catches for a moment. Pyhän Jyssäys is one of Ruka's designated mountain biking trails accessible directly from the village of Ruka.

Though the climb was challenging, the views are worth every effort. It's easy to understand why people want to cycle in these landscapes. The weather is just right, not too cold, not too hot. The elevation changes are moderate for the cyclist, not too much.

There it is, the cyclist's paradise, in the highlands of Northeast Finland, in the land of free running rivers, endless gravel roads and rugged fells.""

ruka auringonlasku
pyöräilyä rukan metsissä

Are you interested in a summer vacation in Ruka? 

Explore Ruka's gravel routes, Ruka Bike Park, find accommodation or read below to discover other fun activities in Ruka and Kuusamo during the summer.

Vaellusta kansallishuvipuistossa, Ruka-Kuusamo
Retkeily ja vaellus Rukalla
Icon persoona kesäkelkka
Rukan kesäkelkkarata
Icon persoona koskenlasku
Lappis-Vesipuistoon kansallishuvipuistossa, Ruka-Kuusamo
icon frisbee golf Ruka Kuusamo