Northern Finland transforms in the summertime, and there's no shortage of activities and animals to seek out under the midnight sun. On this seven-day itinerary, meet domestic animals like huskies and reindeer as well as wild ones, like brown bears, golden eagles, and wolves. Try fishing in one of the area's many lakes, visit the only polar bear in the country at a wildlife park, and spend a sunlit night looking for passing bears before the week is up.


  • Visit Rovaniemi, the capital of Lapland, and cross into the Arctic Circle
  • Meet iconic Finnish animals like huskies and reindeer
  • Find the only polar bear in Finland at Ranua Wildlife Park
  • Learn how to fish on a lake near Pyhä

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Rovaniemi Rovaniemi
Day 2 Meet Arctic Animals Rovaniemi
Day 3 Visit Ranua Wildlife Park Rovaniemi
Day 4 Transfer to Kuusamo, Overnight Bear Watching Experience Kuusamo
Day 5 Transfer to Pyhä, Go Fishing Pyhä
Day 6 Bird & Wildlife Watching Tour Pyhä
Day 7 Transfer to Rovaniemi, Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Rovaniemi

Aerial view of Rovaniemi with the city on the left and the river in the center
An aerial view of Rovaniemi

Tervetuala! Welcome to Rovaniemi! Once you arrive at the airport, a private driver will take you to your accommodation in town. Rovaniemi is known as the official town of Santa Claus and is located right by the Arctic Circle—there's even a physical line that you can cross on foot. The small city of 63,000 residents is also the capital of the Lapland region, so there's plenty to look forward to in the coming days.

Day 2: Meet Arctic Animals

Photo of a gray and white husky licking its nose in a forest
Meet huskies like this one today when you visit the kennel

Your Finnish Lapland summer holiday wouldn't be complete without meeting the arctic animals that call the region home. Start with a drive to a local husky kennel to meet the photogenic dogs and learn how some Finns travel year-round by dogsled. Tour the husky kennel and learn about the everyday life of the dogs and their breeders. 

Afterward, head to a traditional reindeer farm to meet the iconic arctic animals and the herders who care for them. Discover the long history of reindeer herding in Lapland and observe how modern-day herders continue the tradition every day on the farm. Get up close to the reindeer themselves and even feed them!

Day 3: Visit Ranua Wildlife Park

A photo of two small polar bears playing in the snow
See polar bears like these at Ranua Wildlife Park
Located an hour south of Rovaniemi, the Ranua Zoo is the northernmost wildlife park in the country. It's home to around 200 animals representing 50 arctic species, like brown bears, reindeer, wolves, owls, and otters. Most famously, the only polar bear in Finland lives in this park. Get the full experience on a 1.5-mile (2.5 km) walk around the park as your guide reveals facts about each animal. Afterward, treat yourself to a buffet lunch before returning to Rovaniemi.
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Day 4: Transfer to Kuusamo, Overnight Bear Watching Experience

Photo of a young brown bear lying on a rock in a springtime forest in Lapland
See wild bears in their natural environment from the safety of your cabin

Today a driver will pick you up and take you on the roughly three-hour drive to Kuusamo. In wintertime, this sparsely-populated town is packed with tourists heading to Ruka, one of the largest skiing resorts in Finland. Visitors take advantage of the ample pine forests and light of the polar day in the summertime to go bear-watching.

This evening, pick up some drinks and snacks and meet your local guide, who will take you to Kuntilampi ("Bear Pond"), a protected area popular with brown bears and white-tailed eagles, ruffs, and other birds that come out in early summer. Spend the night looking for bears from the safety and warmth of a log cabin fit with large windows and openings for camera lenses. This is your chance to capture an unforgettable moment or just observe animals in their natural habitat. If you get tired during the night, take a break on one of the cabin's bunk beds.

Day 5: Transfer to Pyhä, Fishing Experience

Aerial view of fishing boat with young woman and man in blue summer lake in Finland
Enjoy the peaceful views learning to fish in Northern Finland

This morning, a private driver will pick you up from Kuusamo and bring you to Pyhä, another spot that plays a dual role in Finnish Lapland. In the winter, it's a popular ski resort, and in the summer, it's a gateway to Pyhä-Luosto National Park and the hiking trails, lakes, and natural fells beyond.

Spend the day on a guided fishing trip on one of the area's many lakes. Your guide will teach you everything you need to know about fishing, even if you've never done it before, and take you out to the best fishing spots on the lake. If you're lucky, you might catch local fish like trout, pike, and grayling, but views on the still, peaceful waters will be plenty of compensation if your line stays untouched. Afterward, gather around a campfire for snacks and warm drinks.

Day 6: Bird & Wildlife Watching Tour

Keep an eye out for the European Golden Plover
Keep an eye out for the European golden plover

Head back into nature today on a guided outdoor tour of the Pyhä area. Your guide will drive you to the best spots to see native Lapland wildlife, like reindeer, the European Golden Plover, several species of owl, and arctic foxes. Of course, these animals have their own agendas, so which ones you glimpse will always be a surprise!

Day 7: Transfer to Rovaniemi, Depart

Photo of a river in Rovaniemi with Lumberjack's Candle Bridge and a boat
The iconic Lumberjack's Candle Bridge in Rovaniemi
Today marks your last day in Northern Finland. A private driver will take you from Pyhä to Rovaniemi Airport, about 90 minutes away. Safe travels!

More Great Finland Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Finland? Check out these other Finland itineraries, explore different ways to spend a week in Finland, or discover the best time to visit Finland.


Map of Lapland Animal Summer Adventure: Rovaniemi, Kuusamo & Pyhä - 7 Days
Map of Lapland Animal Summer Adventure: Rovaniemi, Kuusamo & Pyhä - 7 Days