Kuusamo is a town and municipality in Northern Finland. The high season for tourism is the winter when people head to the ski resort 1 Ruka 20 km north of the town. However Oulanka National Park 20 km farther to the north is also fairly popular and can be visited around the year.
Most people travel to Kuusamo by car. Expect a 10 h drive from the southern part Finland, more in the winter when there is snow and ice.
The nearest train station is in Oulu, from where there are connecting buses timed to train arrivals.
Having your own car is the most practical way of getting around in Kuusamo. Aside from a few intercity buses and school buses a day public transport is non-existent. You can also get around by taxi, but given the distances, it is pretty expensive.
Local bus traffic consists of two lines serviced a few times per weekday during the school year, but not in weekends or summer. Information about local and regional buses can be had from Pohjolan Matka (timetable links).
You can also use long-distance bus lines for travelling inside Kuusamo. Buses from Kuusamo bus station to Oulu for southwest direction, to Kajaani and Kuusamo border crossing ("raja-asema") for south direction, to Rovaniemi, Salla and Kemijärvi for north direction. Timetables from Matkahuolto.
Driving around during weekend is popular among the youth. Snowmobiling is very popular in Kuusamo so there are hundreds of kilometres snowmobiling routes. In Ruka village and in Kuusamo centre there is no need for cars.
- 1 Tourist centre Karhuntassu, Torangintaival 2, ☏ (general tourist info), (Metsähallitus), ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Tourist information, the Hannu Hautala Nature Photography Centre, cafeteria and a Metsähallitus’ customer service point giving information and hiking advice regarding the nearby destinations and selling fishing and hunting permits.
- Kaamosgalleria, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Art exhibitions.
- 2 Local history museum (Kotiseutumuseo), Kitronintie 6, ☏ . Old farmhouses.
- 3 Oulanka National Park Visitor Centre (Oulangan Luontokeskus), Liikasenvaarantie 132, 93999 Kuusamo (some 40 km north from Kuusamo centre), ☏ . 10:00–18:00. Information on hiking, camping and on the national park in general. Also an exhibition. Several hiking trails, including an easy 1 km trail, start here. Entrance is free-of-charge.
- Nature photo festival. 2017: 7–10 September. Free.
Out of townEdit
- Ruka, ☏ . One of the biggest ski centres in Finland.
- Oulanka National Park. Many trails, ranging from easy 1–10 km ones (including ones accessible by wheelchair and pram) to the famous Karhunkierros trail. The summer trails are generally well marked with good infrastructure. Also canoeing routes. Borders Paanajärvi National Park in Russia (border passing for wildlife only). No entrance or hiking fees.
- Karhunkierros (The trail of the bear) (nearest starting point in Ruka). The most popular hiking trail in Finland. The 80 km long trail leads through two beautiful national parks. There are also several shorter variations of the trail. The trail is easily accessible from Kuusamo airport with a bus that takes you to the beginning of the trail. Although the trail is quite easy, you should still be prepared with a decent map and enough food. Water is not a problem, as there are plenty of rivers that have clean and drinkable water. There are several open wilderness huts (autiotupa), where you can stay for free. The huts tend to get full during peak season (end of June to beginning of August), so you should consider bringing your own tent. It is possible to extend the hike all the way to Urho Kekkonen National Park by the UKK trail.
- 1 Näränkä Natural Forest. Virtually pristine nature, unique even in the scale of Western Europe (according to Metsähallitus). By the Russian border, 30 km from Kuusamo centre. Forests, natural small waterways, bogs, high hills with good views and a wilderness farm. The Hyöteikkö trail is closed as the duckboards are in bad shape; the Näränkä Vaaranpolku trail (3 km) is still reached via the Näränkä farm.
- 2 Ölökyn ähkäsy trail. Hiking trail (10 km) around the Julma-Ölkky lake. A shorter route, Ölkyn ylitys (5 km) takes a shortcut by a suspension bridge over the lake. Impressing canyon lake. Rock paintings. Both trails are fairly demanding; the terrain is rough. Part of Hossa National Park.
There are many handicraft stores at the Ruka resort and in central Kuusamo.
- Kuusamon Uistin, Kemijärventie 44-46, ☏ . 10:00–18:00 (Sat-Sun 10 16). The famous spoon lure manufacturer Kuusamon Uistin has a shop located on the factory premises. There is also a café.
- Supermarket Prisma Kuusamo, Huoparintie 1, ☏ . 9-21, Sat 09:00–18:00, Sun 12:00–18:00. Big supermarket in Kuusamo city. Daily items, clothing, sport equipment etc.
- K-Citymarket Kuusamo, Luomantie 1-3, ☏ . 9-21, Sat 9-18, Sun 12-18. Big supermarket. Here you can buy almost anything.
- Leipäjuusto a regional fresh cheese. Also known as Finnish squeaky cheese because the cheese is "squeaking" when one's chewing it.
- Poronkäristys, sauteed reindeer. A speciality of Lapland, but also available in the northern part of the Oulu province.
- Restaurant Mango (Ravintola Mango), Kylpyläntie 1, 93699 Kuusamo, ☏ . Different opening hours every day. The restaurant in the spa hotel offering healthy food.
- Spa Coffee (Spa Cafe), Kylpyläntie 1, 93600 Kuusamo, ☏ . 10-21.30. The restaurant has a la carte meals, pizza, toast, salad and different kinds of snacks on their menu.
- Sokos Hotel Kuusamo Restaurants, Kirkkotie 23, 93600 Kuusamo, ☏ . From 9 until at least 23 (some days until 4 am). Three different restaurants: Torrero for really good meal, Ollin Baari for drinks and Hotku Club for dancing.
There are many bars and pubs in Ruka and Kuusamo, Ruka is famous for its dance and karaoke bar ZONE.
- SportBar & Arena (Sporttibaari), Kylpyläntie 1, 93600 Kuusamo, ☏ . 15-22(24). This place is for sport fans. You can can go bowling, play billiards, watch sports or just enjoy a drink.
- 1 Sokos Hotel Kuusamo, Kirkkotie 23, ☏ . Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 12:00. Hotel is located in the centre of Kuusamo. Free wired Internet in the rooms.
- Kuusamon tropiikki, Kylpyläntie 1, ☏ . A spa hotel.
- 2 Holiday Village Petäjälampi (Petäjänlammen lomakylä), Petäjälammentie 6, 93600 Kuusamo, ☏ . Accommodation in cottages, camping area and hotel rooms (Hotelli Kuusanka). Petäjälammentie is some 4,5 km north from Kuusamo centre. Cottages for example in the summer time 120 euros per day.
- 3 Oivangin Lomakartano, Junganjoentie 3–4, ☏ . Oivangin Lomakartano has three log villas. They are all located near lakes known for their clean waters and variety of fish. Junganjoentie is some 13 km north-west from Kuusamo centre.
- 4 Ollila Holiday Cottage (Ollilan Lomamajat), Sossonniementie 216, ☏ . 8 well-equipped cottages around the lake Välijärvi. Every cottage has its own sauna, boat and swimming area. Some 20 km to south-east from Kuusamo centre. €50–80/night.
- 5 Isokenkäisten Klubi, Heikinjärventie 3, ☏ . Different kinds of accommodation in the peace of wilderness. Private restaurant, smoke sauna, meeting facilities and a typical Lappish hut. Heikinjärventie is some 42 km north-east from Kuusamo centre.
Locals don't like arrogant tourists, especially when they are intoxicated, so be polite to them and they are polite to you.