Evästauko auringonlaskussa, kuva: Daniel Taipale

Bucket list

Paradise for outdoor lovers and nature photographers

Walking close to national parks, among the fells and wildly roaring waterfalls, you are guaranteed to find a view that speaks directly to you. Here are a few places to add to your Kuusamo bucket list.

Valtavaara

Located close to Ruka, Valtavaara is among the highest fells in Kuusamo. Stunning views towards Riisitunturi fell located behind Ruka and Konttainen as well as Lake Kitkajärvi open up by the old fire guard’s hut on top of the Valtavaara fell.

Kesäilta Valtavaaran maisemissa, kuva: Harri Tarvainen
Konttainen

Konttainen is part of the adjacent line of fells made up by Pyhävaara, Rukatunturi, Valtavaara and Kumpuvaara. From the top of Konttainen, you can admire the beautiful scenery that opens up towards Riisitunturi, glistening behind Lake Kitkajärvi, and Valtavaara and Rukatunturi fells.

Auringonlasku Konttaisella, Ruka-Kuusamo
Pyhävaara

The Sámi people have considered Pyhävaara a holy place, and a seida, a sacred site marked by a rock, remained there until 1830. The scenery opening up from atop Pyhävaara towards Ruka is fantastic, but Pyhävaara itself is fairly photogenic with its rough rock walls.

Kesämaisema Pyhävaaralla, Ruka-Kuusamo
Myllykoski waterfall

Myllykoski waterfall, located along Kuusamo’s most popular day trail, Pieni Karhunkierros Trail, lets the hiker wander all the way down to the raging waters. Built in 1926, the former mill is now open to hikers in the day time so they can catch their breath, and a lovely scene opens up from the mill bridge towards the suspension bridge crossing River Kitkajoki.

Myllykoski Pieni Karhunkierros -reitin varrella Oulangan kansallispuistossa
Hossan Värikallio Rock Paintings

Located about an hour’s drive from Ruka, the 60 rock paintings at Hossa National Park’s Värikallio are among the largest concentrations of prehistoric rock paintings in Finland. The pictures on the steep rock wall rising up from Lake Somerjärvi were painted from the ice or a boat in the Stone Age, approximately 3,500–4,500 years ago.

Riisitunturi

Located about a half an hour’s drive from Ruka is Riisitunturi National Park and its most photographed destination, Ikkunalampi Pond. It’s like an infinity pool created by nature – the edge of the pond seems to end in nothingness while behind it you can see the line of fells created by Pyhävaara, Rukatunturi, Valtavaara, Konttainen and Kumpuvaara.

Riisitunturin Ikkunalampi
Kuntivaara

Located within close proximity of the Russian border, the views opening up from the top of Kuntivaara have pure, untouched snow as far as the eye can see, all the way to Nuorunen fell and the old Salla in Russia and to Iivaara fell to the south. You can reach the top of Kuntivaara on a snowmobile, and it’s the perfect distance for a day trip from Ruka.

Maisema Kuntivaaran laelta kesällä, kuva: Mari Limnell
Juhannuskallio

The name of Juhannuskallio, the Midsummer Rock, which is located close to the peak of Rukatunturi fell, derives from the Midsummer celebrations that were once held on the rock and at its base. Grand views open up from the top of Juhannuskallio in the surroundings of Ruka, even all the way to Russia. In the winter, the snowshoeing trail leading to Juhannuskallio is the perfect spot for admiring crown snow-loads on trees.

Please note: Juhannuskallio has a special restriction area so stay on the marked paths!

Juhannuskallio kesällä, Rukatunturi
Kiutaköngäs waterfall

Located in the Oulanka river valley, Kiutaköngäs is among the most popular waterfalls in Finland. A marked path leads you right next to the waterfall. The flooding Kiutaköngäs in the springtime is quite the sight. In the winter, beautiful ice and snow bridges are created on the edges of the waterfall. You can get to know the scenery in advance from the Kiutaköngäs waterfall live webcam!

Retkeilijöitä Kiutakönkäällä Oulangan kansallispuistossa

Kiutaköngäs livestream

Unfortunately named places

Kuusamo has the most unfortunately named places in all of Finland. The reason behind the unfortunate name might have been its remote location or difficult terrain. So we have set up a post of unfortunately named places on top of Rukatunturi fell. You can check it out and try to pronounce the names—they are real tongue twisters!