In autumn, Finland is at its most colourful: here's where the Ruska 'leaf peeping' is most spectacular...
One of the most underrated seasons in Finland is Ruska; autumn time where the colours are vibrant and show off Finland’s dramatic scenery. The phenomenon is especially evident in Lapland, where landscapes virtually explode into spectacular displays of colour. The peak season lasts two to four weeks in September.
Henri Anundi of VisitFinland suggests the best places to enjoy the riot of colour that is Ruska in Finnish Lapland:
Kilpisjärvi is a tiny village located in the north of Finland on the Norwegian border. This peaceful village is one of the few places in the world where you can enjoy the Northern Lights and Ruska simultaneously in an area of untamed natural beauty.
Kilpisjärvi is one of the best places in the world for Arctic treks as its secluded location and stunning scenery lend themselves perfectly to treks for adventurers, nature lovers and photographers.
Ylläs is one of Finland's most popular ski resorts during the winter months however in September, before the snowy winter season, the seven fells of the area offer great terrain for leaf peeping too. It's a terrific place to get active too. The Trek Bike Park lets brave riders experience the rush of 3km downhill. Horse riding is a less hectic way to take in the countryside or simply rent a canoe or kayak, and borrow a map to discover the local Lappish nature on your own.
Like Ylläs, Levi is another of Finland’s ski holiday resorts and the area benefits from striking hills and valleys, perfect for enjoying the Ruska season. It's also home to Lapland’s largest spa water world, Spa Hotel Levitunturi, where you can enjoy 17 pools, saunas, outdoor jacuzzis and a children's play house for kids aged four to seven.
During September there will be some exciting events in Levi including marathons, a car rally and a theatre festival.
Harriniva Holiday Centre in Muonio is located along the Swedish border of Finnish Lapland and offers activities for the adventurous Ruska traveller including river rafting and quad biking. Those who wish to enjoy Ruska at a more relaxed pace can take a self guided or escorted walk in the fells or a trip on a fishing boat (equipment and boats are available to rent), two ideal ways to observe nature's spectacle or try miniature or frisbee golf.
After a long day exploring the outdoors guests can relax at Aurora Wellness and Jeris Spa. The holiday centre is also known for having one of the largest husky farms in Finland, housing approximately 400 dogs.