Posio – place where the magic begins (part I)
Posio is a town of around 3000 citizens in southern Finnish Lapland. Geographically, and in my state of mind, Posio is the place where Lapland begins, it is like a window to Lapland’s atmosphere. It is amazing when approaching Posio from the south, the landscape starts to change; trees are smaller and hills greater, reindeers have shown up on roads in good time before reaching Posio. All these things make the Lapland feel, it is the feeling that makes you feel relaxed and makes you want to come back again and again.
Hiking in Posio
On our trips, Posio has been the main destination, or at least the first stop on the way to northern Lapland, several times. In this region we have been hiking a lot, but still every time we found new paths to walk and places to explore. When going through topographical map apps (e.g. Maastokartat or Karttaselain) you don’t need to put a lot of effort to find a path which leads from campfire places and lean to’s to another.
In Posio you will find everything; national parks, nature conservation areas and other hiking routes. There are popular places and areas where you will hike all by yourself. There is something for everyone I promise! Here are my suggestions for hiking in this region.
Riisitunturi national park
Riisitunturi is one of the main attractions of Posio, with reason. Even though it is in southern Lapland, in Riisitunturi you already get to feel the arctic fell feeling, as the name tells you “arctic fell = tunturi”. When reaching the top, trees become smaller, eventually disappear and you can see all the way to Ruka-tunturi from these routes. When picking a path, you need to be realistic with your resources, it will be a lot of up- and downhill, so to maintain the good hiking spirit use consideration. Good day trips are “Riisin rääpäsy” (around 5 km) or “Riisin rietas” (around 11 km); on both routes the landscape is variant, and views are spectacular for sure. If choosing the second option, my guideline is to have at least fair hiking shape or prepare yourself with plenty of time and food!
Riisitunturi Hiking trails
From Riisitunturi starting point there is also a short back and forth route (about 3 km) to Riisitunturi wilderness hut, it is a great place to get to know wilderness hut culture, not so many of them are so easy to reach. This starting point is around ½h drive from Posio and if you are driving from Kuusamo this place fits perfectly on your way to Posio, Kuusamo – Riisitunturi is about 1h drive. Riisitunturi is a national park so routes and resting areas are in good shape. As a national park it attracts wanderers and parking areas might be busy. Worth mentioning, that when we were visiting last time, the parking area was full of cars, but when walking deeper into the national park, the mass of tourists vanished, so I wouldn’t be worried about the busy parking place. Since the last visit I have had in mind a longer hike in here and my next choice would be to head towards Iso-Kari tunturi and Kirintövaara from Riisitunturi.
Laplands riviera- Livojärvi, Posio
Livojärvi lake, so called the riviera of Lapland. Between Taivalkoski and Posio you will literally drive through the lake and there are sandy beaches on both sides; what a place to drive aside to spend a summer day swimming and eating. In summertime there are many cars and vans next to the road, who would not want to spend the day there! There is also a little café along the road, in case you do not have food with you. Few kilometers away there is a beach quite similar where the road goes on thin ground between two lakes; Iso-hietajärvi and Hankaanjärvi. This might be a more peaceful place to stop compared to Livojärvi, but views, beach and clear lake remains. If you have a tent in your car or you are travelling by van, this is the place where you want to set your camp!
All these things make the Lapland feel, it is the feeling that makes you feel relaxed and makes you want to come back again and again.
If you are interested in more about my journeys, follow my Instagram @exploreeri and stay tuned for the part II!