10 tips for an active winter holiday in Ranua

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January is coming to an end and the days are slowly getting longer. The holidays and longer holidays at Christmas and New Year are just a memory, but the next holiday season is soon ahead here in Finland, as ski holidays are celebrated all over in weeks eight, nine and ten. In this blog post, we present ten tips on how it is possible to spend a winter holiday full of activities in Ranua.
Snowmobile tracks at lake Ranua

1. Ski in many cross-country ski tracks of Ranua

Cross-country skiing is easy in Ranua in many different places. Right next to the center of our village, you can find e.g. Oravi ski trails maintained by the municipality of Ranua, where you can find routes of various lengths from kilometers up to ten kilometers. It is also easy to make longer ski trips, as the Oravi trails connect to the trails on the Ranua Wildlife Park Nature Trail in the form of a connecting trail. Along the routes you will also find a couple of places for firemaking, which allows for ski trips with the younger members of the family as well. With a dog in Ranua it is possible to ski on the Zoo Park’s 3.5km trail tour.

Oravin hiihtoladut Ranualla
Cross-country ski tracks in Oravi (c) Tuomas Haapala

Lake Ranua, located in the center of the village, is surrounded by a classic ski trail, which has a total length of about 15 kilometers. There is also a shed along the trail, where it is possible to make fire during a casual ski trip.

Outside the village center, there are mainly trails maintained by local volunteers, at least in Simojärvi, Ruona and Impiö. You can find a more detailed and comprehensive explanation of Ranua’s ski trails in one of our previously published blog posts.

2. Try ice fishing at lake Ranua

Ice fishing at lake Ranuanjärvi

In addition to its ski trails, Lake Ranuanjärvi is also a great destination for ice fishing. The lake, known for its many different species of fish, is very easily accessible from many different places. In addition to Arctic Guesthouse & Igloos’ own beach, the lake is easy to reach, e.g. Ikosenpuisto (park) and Multilahti (bay), better known as a swimming beach in summer.

The main prey fish in Lake Ranuanjärvi are e.g. various roach fish, perch and pike, burbot and highly valued whitefish, which has settled in the lake well thanks to the improvement of water quality in recent years.

If the more traditional ice fishing experience has already begun to get a bit boring, it is possible to experience something new in Ranuanjärvi: namely, ice fishing inside igloos. All ten of our AuroraHut glass igloos are equipped with their own ice holes. It is also possible to move Igluja to the desired location on Lake Ranuanjärvi.

If you want to go on a guided ice fishing trip in Ranuanjärvi, you can book this service through our online store. The price of the ice fishing trip includes a guide to the secrets of ice fishing in Ranuanjärvi and equipment rental. It is also possible to include firemaking at the lake Ranua lean-on.

3. Jump on-board of Finnish horse sleigh or try husky sledding

Arctic Borealis Huskiesin koiravaljakkoajelu Ranualla

Finnish horse-drawn sleigh rides and husky rides are experiential activities that are worth experiencing at least once in a lifetime and why not also during a trip to Lapland. Of these activities, horse-drawn sleigh riding is suitable for all ages, while guiding huskies also requires a little more from participating in the activity.

In Ranua, it is possible to try these activities in connection with Ranua Zoo. Ranuan Hevospalvelut Oy organizes a wide range of sleigh rides for groups of different sizes, and you can book long-distance husky rides from Arctic Borealis Huskies.

4. Be brave and try ice swimming

Ice swimming is a traditional winter hobby in Finland, but only a few and the chosen ones dare to try it (for example me, the author, would never dare). At its best, winter swimming is in connection with visit to a sauna, in which case it is possible to move to the hole in the ice when you are well warmed up, and after the refreshing dip, it is possible to quickly get back to the warmth of the sauna.

At Arctic Guesthouse & Igloos, you can try ice swimming in the best way possible. In our courtyard, you will find a lakeside sauna that has been praised over the decades, and the distance to the hole in the ice on Lake Ranuanjärvi is only about a couple of tens of meters. So if you want to experience this experience during this skiing or winter holiday, we are an excellent location to try it.

5. Explore the surrounding nature with snowshoes

Lumikenkäilyä Ranualla

Snowshoeing is a great way to get to know the surrounding nature and, above all, the parts of winter nature that would otherwise be almost impossible to reach. This is a very traditional activity, the level of challenge of which is very easy to regulate with your own pace of progress and route choices.

In Ranua, it is possible to practice snowshoeing practically anywhere, as untouched nature is easily accessible also right in the center of our village. Popular snowshoeing terrains can be found e.g. at Ranua Zoo vinicity and at the Ranuanjärvi nature trail.

6. Enjoy the thrill of speed with a snowmobile

Ranua - Vanttaus kelkkareitti
Wintery landscape in snowmobile tracks between Ranua and Vanttaus

Snowmobiling is certainly an integral part of the winter vacation plans for many people heading to Lapland. In Ranua you will find really versatile and well-maintained toboggan routes, with connections to Rovaniemi, Vanttaus, Posio, Syöte, Ii and Simo. You can find a map of Ranua’s snowmobile tracks on the Ranua municipality’s website. You can find real-time information about the maintenance situation on snowmobile routes in the Infogis map service.

Arctic Guesthouse & Igloos is also a great destination for snowmobilers. Namely, our accommodation is located right next to the snowmobile track network found in Ranuanjärvi, in addition to which the services we offer are well suitable for snowmobilers. In our yard there is room for a large number of snowmobiles at a time, in addition to which it is possible to park even large trailers in the yard. There are plug-in places for motorhomes. A long driving day, on the other hand, is nice to end with a supportive meal and a relaxing sauna, which are also included in our range of services. You can familiarize yourself with our accommodation options.

7. Skate in our outdoor rinks or indoor ice rink

Ranua also has plenty of opportunities to play ice sports. Ice skating is possible on outdoor ice at least in the center of Ranua, Kuha school, Impiö and Ruona. Ranua indoor ice rink, on the other hand, hosts open shifts during school holidays, for which you can find more detailed information and dates on Monkkari 2.0’s Facebook page.

8. Northern lights photography in Ranua

Northern lights photography in Finnish Lapland during winter
Whole winter season is excellent time for Northern lights photography (c) Jari Romppainen

The whole winter season is also a great time to take pictures of the northern lights and this, combined with the handsome winter artillery landscapes, creates a great setting for taking more stunning nature pictures. If you are interested in filming the northern lights in Ranua, but need tips on equipment or places, for example, we warmly recommend contacting Jari Romppainen, known as an active photographer, aka @jarcce on Instagram.

9. Accommodate yourself comfortably in AuroraHut or guesthouse

For Arctic Guesthouse & Igloos, one of the best things to do is that especially in winter, our location is ideal for many winter activities. Ranua’s snowmobile tracks, cross-country ski trails and the best ice fishing spots on Lake Ranuanjärvi are located right next to our own shore, and Oravi, for example, is only about a kilometer away. Ranua Zoo is only a five minute drive from us and you can drive to Rovaniemi or Syöte in about an hour, for example.

We also arrange private transports to airports and activities for our visitors. 

10. Enjoy downhill in Honkivaara or Oravi

Mäenlasku Ranuan Honkivaarassa
Beautiful landscape in Honkivaara (c) Vesa Kekonen

Downhill skiing and sledding are nice and traditional winter activities that are certain to provide nice moments for the whole family. In Ranua, it is possible to lower the hill with many different tools, both on the Oravi hill in the center of the village and in Honkivaara on Papinpalontie. There is also a smaller and illuminated hill located on the other side of the lake from Arctic Guesthouse & Igloos, for which we lend sleds at no extra charge.

More comprehensive list of winter activities in Ranua

You can find a more comprehensive list of Ranua’s winter activities in our previously published blog post. If you are interested in the possibilities of a winter holiday in Ranua, but still need more information, please send us a message via the contact form below. Otherwise, we warmly welcome all tourists to a winter holiday in Ranua. You can book accommodation for winter and ski holidays through our online store.

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