If you ask me, a day trip in the wilderness is a must if you are visiting Lapland!
Rovaniemi is a popular destination for many travelers, and not too far away from this arctic city, lie the magnificent fells of Pyhä and Luosto.
They are the most southern fells of Lapland and definitely worth a day trip, if not a longer stay!
The area is not only a favorite destination for winter sports enthusiasts but also hikers, because it includes a famous national park, Pyhä-Luosto national park, which has superb trails on fells and hills of the ripe age of 2000 million.
When I saw how those deep gorges sliced the scenery of old-growth forests and how those windy, treeless fell-tops caressed the sky, nothing else existed for a moment. It was the most relaxing sensation.
Pyhä fell is just 1,5 hours from Rovaniemi by car.
However, you don’t need a car to visit the area. You can just take the bus from Rovaniemi to Pyhä Ski Resort. There’s an all year round commuter bus service between Pyhä and Luosto resorts once you are there.
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Best Time to Visit Pyhä in Lapland
The charm of Lapland works in any season! We have visited Lapland in August, September and several times during the winter months.
The most comfortable hiking circumstances are naturally during the summer and autumn months.
The cool summer weather spoilt us in August, 10°C (50°F) in the morning and 18°C (65°F) during the day, no rain. The perfect walking conditions.
In September, the fall foliage is spectacular. The golden carpet on the forest floor is amazing! It’s very inexpensive to rent a lovely cabin during the summer-autumn season in Pyhä – Luosto area.
Winter season is the high peak with all sorts of possibilities to enjoy the snowy nature. Just remember that you need to book early.
Things to Do in Pyhä in the Winter
Pyhä and Luosto are winter wonderlands with so many things to do. Naturally, they offer traditional activities like reindeer and husky rides.
I also recommend trying back-country skiing and winter biking!
In back-country skiing, you use short, steady skis that are wider than traditional skis. The bottom skin makes climbing effortless and coming down gracefully slow.
Back-country skiing is essentially a mix of gliding and walking. Once you get a hang of it, my bet is that you like the skis more than snowshoes!
Winter biking is so much fun and you can even conquer a fell on a bike! The robust fat bike is surprisingly easy to operate.
Cycling on the beautiful winter biking trails is definitely a wonderful sport. What if you fall down? Don’t worry, the snow is super soft!
This video shows all the winter activities of the area!
I’m also proud to tell you that Pyhä takes climate change very seriously. That’s why Pyhä Ski Resort is carbon neutral.
Things to Do in Pyhä in the Summer
Note that you don’t need to hike to see the Pyhä fell top. You can take the scenic lift. Here you find the summer timetable.
There is one thing that you should know when planning a summer day trip. Lapland can be covered with mosquitos in the summertime, especially during July.
There are no guarantees, but the safest bet is to plan your trip for the first three weeks of June or then from August onwards. In August, we saw only a few mosquitos during our trip, and they were of no harm.
Mosquitos are like the tide, sometimes there is a lot and sometimes none.
If you are traveling in July, you might want to buy a hat with a net and some Finnish mosquito repellent available at all stores everywhere in Finland.
Magical Trails of Pyhä and Luosto
Pyhä-Luosto National Park is loved and visited by locals. The route I recommend the most is “Karhunjuomalammen reitti” route starting and ending at Pyhä Ski resort.
The route is around 10 kilometers, unbelievably beautiful and easily done by walking.
This trail includes the most famous sights of the national park: the waterfall “Pyhänkasteenputous”, Finland’s biggest gorge “Isokuru” and the ridge called “Uhriharju”.
Laplanders (and nature-lovers) are a friendly bunch, and you can quickly start a conversation by the campfire. Even in Finland, where not disturbing others by talking is highly appreciated.
The upkeep of Finnish national parks is of a high standard, also in Pyhä-Luosto. There are dry toilets, campfire places with wood, lean-to shelters, and open wilderness huts.
There are many options for day trips on very easy trails with gorgeous views of Lappish open bogs. They are called “aapa” in Finnish.
The day trips you can walk by wearing just regular trainers and sportswear.
Local Delicacies and Special Things to See in Pyhä
Laplander food is delicious. I think I made a record of how many fresh home-baked donuts (pretty much all cafés serve them) a person can eat during a week.
One café is in the middle of a hiking trail in Luosto. The place is called Lampivaara and you can reach it also by parking your car at the Ukko-Luosto car park and walking the trail for 30 minutes.
Lampivaara wilderness café is actually next to an amethyst mine which is a cool place to visit!
The mine offers guided international tours and you get to dig an amethyst.
In Pyhä, Café Loimu at Pyhä Luosto Visitor Centre Naava serves excellent home-style cooking and a delicious lunch buffet.
This Visitor Centre is also the best place to get maps, hiking tips and all sort of awesome information about the area from the amazing staff.
The Bus Connection from Rovaniemi to Pyhä
To find Pyhä as a destination, one has to write “Pyhätunturi” (Pyhä fell) in the search box of the Finnish bus site to find the right connection.
The bus connection takes 2 hours and 20 minutes from Rovaniemi bus station to Pyhä Ski Resort. If you hop in at Santa Claus Village, it takes 2 hours.
The bus connection is excellent in that way that it goes from Rovaniemi bus station to Rovaniemi airport, then Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi and then Luosto area (hotel Aurora). The last stop is in Hotel Pyhätunturi.
Hotel Pyhätunturi is where all the walking and activity routes start in Pyhä!
Bus Travel with Kids from Rovaniemi to Pyhä
Bus travel is great with kids but some problems may arrive when it comes to the toilet facilities.
So, I called the bus company to be sure. The service is run by Kutilan Liikenne Oy in the year 2019.
They operate this connection either with a big or small bus. The big bus has a toilet.
The small bus doesn’t have a toilet but the friendly staff wanted to let any family know that the driver will be happy to stop for a bathroom break if needed. So you are okay to travel with kids!
So, is a Lapland day trip in Pyhä worth your time?
Yes, yes and yes! My warmest recommendation is that if you are visiting Lapland, you head to the fells. There is magic in the hilly landscapes beyond the Arctic Circle!
What would you like to know about Pyhä and Luosto area? Let me know in the comments!
Looking for more information about Lapland? Check these other posts:
- How to Do an Unforgettable Day Trip at Oulanka National Park + Hiking Packing List
- Lapland Packing List: What to pack for winter Finland!
- 7 Things to Do in Rovaniemi from Lappish Cuisine to Ice Floating
- 15 Things to Know about Northern Lights in Lapland
- Glass Igloos in Finland: Local’s Tips for the Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience
- Pyhä Luosto National Park: Summer Hike tips + Detailed Multi-Day Packing List
Warm wishes from Finland,
After this quick cultural class, you’ll know…
- Why feeling connected with the Finnish lifestyle is easier than you think
- "The Hedgehog" template that makes it super comfortable to start a conversation
- The one question that will confuse both you and the Finns
- How to blend in with the Finnish culture, not that you have to fit in