Ivalo is a village in Finnish Lapland, mainly known for the large and popular tourist resort Saariselkä south of town, which draws visitors both in winter and summer.
Ivalo has almost 4000 inhabitants.
The town is located in the north of Finland, in the province of Lapland about 300 kilometers above the polar circle. Ivalo lies along the river of the same name which discharges in Lake Inari, 20 kilometers north of town. It's the second-largest lake in the country.
Local economy is based on tourism. In winter months people visit the region for winter sports (including tours by sleds pulled by reindeer or huskies); in summer months tourists make long hikes, go fishing, or even look for gold nuggets.
The city's airport is situated over 10 kilometers southwest of Ivalo. Ivalo Airport is Finland's northernmost airport and easily reachable by rental car via the E75 (Rovaniementie) which runs straight through town. Saariselkä lies over 25 kilometers south of the airport and is also reachable via the E75.
Public transport in and around Ivalo is excellent. There are connections with several destinations in the vicinity, including the recreation area Saariselkä and even far north, to the North Cape in Norway. There's also a connection with Murmansk in Russia. In winter months buses run to the ski runs.
Ivalo is a small village and you can easily drive around in a rental car. Parking is free. Bear in mind reindeer and elks which may suddenly cross the road. They are mainly active when dusk is falling. Special winter tires are compulsory from December until the end of February.
Ivalo itself has a very poor choice of accommodations: there are two hotels. Most people therefore don't stay in the village, but go to the recreation area Saariselkä where you'll find excellent hotels. Here you can also rent apartments or cabins.
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