Finnish Lapland in summer – the ultimate summer travel guide for Ranua

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Are you planning to visit Finnish Lapland this summer? In this travel guide, we will tell you comprehensive information about things to do in Ranua in summer. The blog post includes both independent and guided activities arranged by many local businesses.
Blueberries picked from Finnish Lapland in summer

Table of contents

Cloudberry picking in Lapland

In recent decades, Ranua has created a strong brand as the official cloudberry town of Finnish Lapland. In late summer, one of Ranua’s most popular activities is cloudberry picking, which is suitable as a hobby (and why not also a part-time profession) for nature lovers of all ages.

The cloudberry image is also supported by the geography of Ranua, as most of Ranua’s land area (approx. 60%) consists of wetlands and swamps. Although the picking of cloudberries in Ranua involves a lot of mystique and the best gathering spots are not easily shared even for your own family members, neighbors or friends, the truth is that there are enough cloudberry picking spots for both our locals and those coming from elsewhere.

Map of the cloudberry marshes in Ranua

So where can you find cloudberries? Among the easily accessible places, I could mention the surroundings of the Ranua Zoo Nature Trail and the surroundings of Kirveslampi pond, which is located about 15 kilometers from the center of Ranua in the direction of Pudasjärvi. A good place to start is also the Visit Ranua website, where you can download the Ranua App to your smartphone. This application once again attracted a lot of attention last summer, when a map section was added to it, listing almost 60 cloudberry swamps in Ranua.

There are also a few things to consider when picking cloudberries. Although berry picking is part of every man’s rights, it is good practice not to pick berries directly under anyone’s window, for example. Berry pickers getting lost is also an annual problem that is a cause for concern for both the families and the authorities. It is not advisable to leave your phone in the car or at home, but to carry it with you. In addition to the Ranua App, you should download at least two other applications to your phone, which are the Emergency Response Agency’s 112 application and a good map application, such as b-bark.

When picking berries at a swamp, it is also worth noting that walks can end up being longer than expected, and because of this, you should carry both water and some snacks with you.

The cloudberry selling market in Ranua is lively both by traditional means and online. If you are interested in buying or selling cloudberries, you should head to Hillatori in Ranua, where there are sales outlets for both professional traders and private pickers, who are selling berries.

Beaches for swimming in Ranua

Multilahti beach located in the center of the town of Ranua

Swimming is both an easily accessible and very traditional summer vacation activity that retains its status from one generation to the next. Swimming in Ranua is possible in many different places. In the center of the village, there are three beaches on the shores of Lake Ranuanjärvi. The most famous of Ranua’s beaches is the legendary Multilahti, which has both a long pier and changing rooms. Another beach can be found on the beach of our company Arctic Guesthouse & Igloos. It is nice for us to take a dip after enjoying the warmth of the old-time lakeside sauna or in the middle of Ranuanjärvi from the wooden terrace of one of our AuroraHut glass igloos. The third beach in the village center is located in the Ranuanjärvi camping area.

There are even more sandy beaches in Lake Simojärvi than in Lake Ranuanjärvi, although the actual official beach by the lake is at least not known.

Enjoy fatbike rides in middle of the nature

Guided fatbike trip at lake Ranuanjärvi's marsh areas

The Fatbike is a two-wheeled mountain bike designed for difficult driving conditions, with so-called oversized rims and wide tires.

This type of bike is more versatile going than your regular bicycle bike, with access to different places in the terrain. Large tires smooth out the driving experience, allowing even an inexperienced driver to drive even in challenging conditions. There is no need to go around various obstacles in the terrain, but a fatbike can be used to drive over rocks, stumps and small pits with great care. What is also worth noting in fatbike is that it is possible to ride a bike practically anywhere: on snow, soft sand, swamp, rhizomes, forests, paths and of course also on tarmac.

In Ranua, it is possible to rent fat bikes from both the holiday village of Gulo Gulo and the Ranuanjärvi Camping Area. Both adult and children’s models are available.

The best terrains for off-road driving can be found in the area between the Ranua Wildlife Park nature trail and Oravi, where a pedestrian trail runs as a ski trail in winter, along which there are both wooded and swampy terrain. Also in this area you do not usually see joggers, for example, which allows you to practice in your own peace. Other places worth mentioning can be found on the Ranua snowmobile tracks, which take you to practically all directions when viewed from the village center.

Stand up paddling in Ranua

SUP-lautavuokraus Ranualla

Stand up paddling, or SUP boarding, has quickly become one of Finns’ favorite hobbies during the summer. Rowing means kayaking on a wide board in a body of water. Beginners are often advised to learn the sport on the lake, while more experienced ones can also board on the river or even sea. This summer sport is quite easily approachable by people of different ages, although it requires a bit of a sense of balance as well as mid-body muscle control.

In Ranua, it is possible to rent SUP ferries from the Arctic Guesthouse & Igloos online store, in addition to which we also arrange guided tours. It is possible to rent SUP boards from us for either an hourly or daily fee, which means that if agreed separately, it is also possible to use the board in other water bodies, such as Simojärvi.

Disc golf in Ranua

Disc golf track in Ranua

Oravi in Ranua has a disc golf course which was founded in 2011. A total of 20 lanes run along the Oravi cross-country running track, which makes the terrain quite interesting due to the forest element and considerable altitude variations. You can find out more about Oravi disc golf course  and its properties on the DiscGolfPark website. The Oravi course usually hosts weekly disc golf competitions as well as a bigger competition in connection with the Ranua Cloudberry festival.

Fishing spots suitable for the whole family

Ranua koko perheen kalastuskohteita
There are multiple fishing spots suitable for the whole family (c) anna Vanhala

Ranua has numerous water bodies that are also suitable for recreational fishing for the whole family. In Ranuanjärvi, which can be found near the village center, it is worth trying either Ikosenpuisto park or Arctic Guesthouse & Igloos beach. In both of these you can find easily accessible edges of the reed, from which it is possible to catch perch and pike.

The largest of the Ranua water bodies, Lake Simojärvi, offers even more diverse fishing, which is definitely at its best in the form of trolling. In addition to the usual pike and perch, Simojärvi specializes in pike perch, which can grow up to multiple kilos of weight. At least one fishing competition will be held in Simojärvi during the summer, possibly even several Lapland Cup competitions. At the end of July, a pike trolling competition will be held in Kuhajärvi, located in the village of Kuha.

During midsummer, you should head to Ranuanjoki river and park your car near the bridge over Sääskisuontie road. The target fish at that time is rainbow trout, which is put in the river every year. Especially during its first days in the river, the rainbow trouts are fairly easy catch, with both snare and fly fishing gear.

One nice place near the Ranuanjoki River is Kirveslampi, where rainbow trout were also planted in previous decades. Today, you can fish mainly pike and perch from an easily accessible place, and why not fish for different roach fish by angling.

The Simojoki River, which flows through Ranua, is also a great destination for recreational fishing, although salmon do not raise terribly high on the Ranua side. In Simojoki river, you can also catch grayling, which is a relative to salmon. If you are interested in grayling fishing with fly gear, for example, it is definitely worth checking out our previously published blog text, in which we present both Ranuanjoki and Simojoki grayling fly fishing places and the techniques that work on the river.

Running paths and hiking in Ranua

Running and nature path in Ranua Zoo

Joggers visiting Ranua should head either towards Oravi or Ranua Wildlife Park nature trail. The Oravi running path has taken a solid position among local fitness enthusiasts, and with a fairly varied terrain, there are routes of varying lengths from one kilometer up to a five-kilometer run. If getting wet does not bother you and you are interested in running in the swamp, then it is possible for Oravi to continue running for ten runs as well as a separate connecting route that takes the runner to Ranua Zoo. During the winter season, both this connecting route to the Zoo and the ten kilometer loop work as cross-country trails, and they are not actually designed for cross-country running.

In connection with Ranua Zoo, you will find a nature trail more than 3.5 kilometers long, which also offers the runner comfortable varied terrain for running. The nature trail starts next to the caravan area of ​​Ranua Zoo and walks in beautiful swamp and forest terrain, tinted with large ups and downs. Along the route you will also find information boards about the nature of the area.

Ranua also has numerous opportunities for hiking and trekking. You can find out more about these routes and their location in a blog post we published earlier this fall.

Ranua also continues to run regular running events. The traditional Heinisuo jog is run both in spring and autumn. The Athletes of the Ruona Youth Association, on the other hand, organize series runs on Ruonanpirtti in the village of Ruona on summer Fridays. During the Cloudberry festival weekend, a jogging event will be held at Ranua Zoo.

Activity parks and playgrounds for children

Kids' playground located next to the cloudberry market in Ranua

Ranua has many playgrounds for children to use. Near the center of the village, it is worth heading towards either the playground next to Hillatori market or Multilahti beach, where you can find e.g. a variety of swings and climbing frames for the little ones in the family. Ranua Zoo has a completely new and large activity park. You can find out more about the playgrounds in the center of Ranua village on the website of Ranua municipality.

Skateboard park

Skateboard park located in the town of Ranua

Ranua skateboard park was built about ten years ago and it’s located in the area between the Peura sports stadium and the Ranua indoor ice rink. Although it has been a long time since the Park was built, the Park’s equipment is still in good and regularly maintained condition. The park can be used for skateboarding, BMX biking, rollerblading and kickboarding completely free of charge.

Ranua sports stadium

Ilmakuva Ranuan urheilukentästä

At Ranua Sports Ground, it is possible to practice a variety of sports. In the field it is possible to practice e.g. various athletics such as running, long jump, high jump, javelin and puck throwing, and ball throwing. In addition to athletics, you can play football on the field and practice muscle training with a variety of equipment. More information about sports field shifts, events, etc. can be found on Ranua Peura’s website.

Beach volley courts

Hillabalooza rantalentopalloturnaus kesällä 2018
Hillabalooza beach volley tournament in Ranua in 2018(c) Mikko Pulju

Beach volleyball courts can be found in Ranua in both Multilahti and Ikosenpuisto. There are a total of two courts in use in Ikosenpuisto park and they can be freely used by both locals and people visiting Ranua. Ikosenpuisto also hosts the Hillabalooza beach volleyball tournament on the hill market weekend, which is free for both local and non – local guests. More information about Hillabalooza can be found on the event website.

Canoeing and rafting

Canoeing in Multilahti beach in Ranua

Canoeing and rafting are possible in Ranua in many different water bodies. In Ranuanjärvi, located in the center of the village, you can launch a boat, canoe or kayak in Multilahti, Ikosenpuisto and the shore of Arctic Guesthouse & Igloos. In Simojärvi, the same thing can be done in many different places. There are four actual launching places in Simojärvi, and you can find their information and location on the website.

On the Simojoki river, kayaking can bring a whole new dimension in the form of rafting. The free-flowing Simojoki is one of the best kayaking places in the whole country and it is also very suitable for beginners. The rapids at the beginning of the river in particular are easy to paddle and bring a good feel to the hobby for the beginner as well. The Simojoki River originates from Simojärvi and the river flows into the Pohjanlahti gulf in the municipality of Simo, where the distance from Simojärvi Kaitavirta is 178 kilometers. The waterfall on the river is 176 meters and there are plenty of rapids along the way. You can find a good rafting guide for Simojoki on the website.

Ranua golf course

Golf course in Ranua

Golf activities in Ranua are run by an association called Ranua Golf Ry. For its operations, the association has leased a large field area from the Christian Folk High School in Ranua, which the college normally uses as an accommodation and parking area. Ranuan Golf Ry has established a 9-lane golf course, a long-distance training area, ie rangen, and other terrain suitable for training in this area. There are also bus and distance signs on the field, and there is additional information with game diaries in connection with the building next to the bus departure point.

Ranua Golf Course is a so-called rural course, which in practice means that the rules for playing on the course are informal, without forgetting the safety of the players. Use is free and, at least for the time being, free of charge (a voluntary field fee will of course be accepted). When using the field, it is also worth considering the operation of a nearby college, for example, so that it is not desirable to play on the field at night, for example. 

Bird watching towers

Bird watching tower at lake Takajärvi in Ranua

Bird watching is an interesting activity in summer and this is best accomplished from the bird towers. There are at least three bird towers in Ranua. The nearest bird tower near the center of the village can be found on the shores of Lake Takajärvi, near the new school buildings in Ranua. The second bird tower in Ranua is located on the shores of Lake Kuhajärvi and the third in Portimo, which is located about 30 kilometers from the village center towards Rovaniemi.

Museums in Ranua

Vicarage and parish museum of Ranua

During your stay in Ranua, you can also learn about history and culture by visiting museums. The Arctic Guesthouse & Igloos’s almost adjacent rectory and parish museum presents the life of a Ranua priest and the history of Ranua’s homeland. The Homeland and School Museum in Saukkojärvi holds an exhibition presenting the rural folk school in the 1930s and 1940s. You can find more information about Ranua’s museums and attractions on the Ranua municipality’s website.

Ranua summer events

Ranuan Hillamarkkinat kesällä 2014

In Ranua, the biggest events of the summer take place in late July and early August. With these prospects, the college clubs to be held at the Christian Folk High School will be held in Ranua from 30 July to 1 August and the Cloudberry festival even the next weekend, ie from 7 to 8 August. These are both tentative dates and the realization itself depends entirely on the progress of the corona situation.

Other events of the summer will be unaware of this update in more detail as current information becomes available.

Services and activities provided by local businesses

Many local companies offer a wide range of nice pastimes for the summer season. In the next section, we present Ranua’s offering specifically in the form of supply from local businesses. This section includes a brief introduction to the company and services, as well as links to the websites of the various companies, social media channels, and contact information through which companies can be contacted.

Arctic Guesthouse & Igloos – many independent and guided activities

Kesäaktiviteetit Ranualla

Our business Arctic Guesthouse & Igloos offers our guests many guided and independent activities. In the courtyard of our inn it is possible to play many traditional yard games, such as badminton, beach volleyball, swamp, croquet and darts. There is a private beach on the shores of Lake Ranuanjärvi, which all our guests can use free of charge. In addition, we offer all guests staying with us the opportunity to use our inn’s rowing boat completely at no extra cost. In addition to independent activities, we offer a wide range of different guided activities and equipment rental opportunities, both on our own and through our partners. You can check out all the summer activities that can be booked in our online store.

Learn Japanese culture at the Japan house

Ranuan nähtävyydet - Japanitalo Ranuan Simojärvellä

The Japanese house was built on Lake Simojärvi in 1998 in cooperation with Iwasakimura of the Ranua twin municipality. Even in the house of friendship called Japan House, the visitor can learn more about Japanese culture and take part in a Japanese tea ceremony, for example. In addition, the Japan House hosts various exhibitions and various courses related to Japanese culture.

You can find out more about the history of Japanitalo and the activities on offer on Japanitalo’s own website and in a story made by Yle Egenland.

Simojärvi Trolling – trolling trips in Simojärvi and Ranuanjärvi

Simojärvi Trolling Ranua

Eero Kuosmanen’s Simojärvi Trolling, located in Simojärvi, organizes guided trolling trips in both Simojärvi and Ranuanjärvi. With Eero, who has been successfully touring Lapland’s trolling competitions for years, you can get to know the secrets of trolling with nice relaxed excursions, and you can also prepare potential prey fish for food at the same time. Eero is currently best contacted via Simojärvi Trolling’s Facebook pages.

Ranua Wildlife Park

Ranuan Eläinpuiston villisiat ja pennut kuvattuna kesällä 2018 - Arctic Guesthouse & Igloos

A visit to Ranua Zoo is an integral part of the list of many people who spend their summer holidays in Lapland. Ranua Zoo is home to Finland’s only polar bears, Venus and Nord, as well as 50 other Arctic and northern animal species, for a total of about 200 animals. The animals live in spacious enclosures in the middle of the northern forest, in a natural environment. The newest inhabitants of the park are the polar bear male Nord and the lynx sisters Jakobine and Lüsija who moved to Ranua in February 2021.

Ranua Zoo is a great day destination for travelers of all ages. In addition to the traditional park tour, the zoo has e.g. a zoo, a very modern children’s playground, a fast-paced car track, a restaurant, a café, and many interesting shops within the MurrMurr castle.

Villa Taigametsä – alpaca farm within good connections

Villa Taigametsä alpakkatila
With our sympathetic alpacas, you get to experience memorable experiences! © Henna Pätsi

Villa Taigametsä is an alpaca farm located about half an hour from Rovaniemi. Our services include farm visits and walks with alpacas. During the summer season, from the beginning of June to the end of August, our farm is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 2 pm, so it is easy to leave the farm, for example, on a passing trip. At other times, farm visits and walks can be arranged separately. You can find more information about Villa Taigametsa via the company’s website, Instagram and Facebook. It is possible to arrange space visits, for example, by e-mail.

Welcome to spend a summer holiday in Ranua

The opportunities for moving around in nature and many different activities are therefore very good in Ranua even in the summer season. Arctic Guesthouse & Igloos welcomes all travelers to spend an active and why not relaxing summer holiday in southern Lapland.

Do you think something is missing from this list or do you want the activities and services offered by your company to be included in the blog? Send me a message via the contact form below and we’ll get it right. All local businesses are welcome to join the blog post for free.

Our 10 AuroraHut glass igloos and a traditional bed and breakfast guesthouse in Ranua Finnish Lapland

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