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Heart of Lapland is the local destination company that seeks to develop and market the tourism industry in Haparanda, Kalix, Pajala, Överkalix and Övertorneå.

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After summer comes… ruska

Ruska is a phrase the Finnish uses to describe the changing colours of leaves that occur in Lapland. The word describes the vibrant colours, as well as the very moment of the Autumn. This is a special time in Lapland since there is still plenty of daylight to enjoy and the temperatures are still above freezing. You’ve probably seen these pictures with wilderness embedded in red/orange/brown/yellow/purple leaves? This is what locals call ”ruska”. Making the landscape glow, the colours invites one to explore and spend time outside. Autumn is slowly becoming more and more appealing to visitors and there’s plenty of activities here during autumn which are just waiting to be discovered.

It’s a heaven for foodies, and photographers!

But also the adventure driven visitors who wish to see something new and exciting! We love the midnight sun of course, and can’t get enough of the northern lights – but in times of ruska, it’s easy to remember that colours in the sky and in nature will always be there. Just varies in time and place. Unique to this region is that visitors can be lucky to enjoy the northern lights and ruska simultaneously in an area of untamed natural beauty. Well, that’s quite amazing!
Ruska is nature’s way of saying goodbye to long summer days and bright evenings, and tell us that it’s time to prepare for winter with cold and snowy days. Autumn is for colourful veggies, leaves, mirrored lakes surrounded by majestic trees.

So, when is ruska?

Peak season is roughly two weeks, exact period of dates varies from year to year. The latter part of September or early October is usually a safe bet when planning a trip here.

How to experience Ruska in Heart of Lapland:
    • For the adventurous Ruska traveller:  we recommend you to surround yourself with stunning scenery and authentic villages to really get the feeling. Join on river rafting tours, quad biking, hikes, canoeing, or stay overnight in a wilderness hut.
    • For the foodie: head out in the forest and pick berries and mushrooms, cook food outside in a traditional muurikka, or go on a fishing tour. Go local and enjoy a stay at Kukkolaforsen where they are hosting autumn harvest feasts a few weekends in September (1 – 2 sep, 8 – 9 sep, 22 – 23 sep). Amazing ruska views and lovely harvest times!
    • For the mindful traveller: Slow peaceful hikes in the wilderness, enjoy local food and new exciting tastes from the region, go berry picking, meditate, play with huskies, spend time outside and look up at the sky and the surrounding colours in the untouched Heart of Lapland landscape.