Situated at the heart of Lapland, Sodankylä is a large area, home to both mining activities and national parks. Sodankylä is known around the world for its Midnight Sun Film Festival, but any holiday in Sodankylä would not be complete without a visit to the only working amethyst mine in Europe or the Urho Kekkonen National Park, which is located partly within the area.
The main tourist attraction in Sodankylä is the charming scenery of Lapland, and in mid-June, the Midnight Sun Film Festival brings a cosmopolitan atmosphere by attracting 15,000-25,000 annual visitors. Especially popular are the silent films presented with live music.
Before leaving the centre of Sodankylä, take time to visit its two churches located nearby, the Sodankylä Old Church and the Sodankylä New Church. The new church was built from locally mined grey stone and has a light and restful atmosphere. The old wooden church, built in 1689, is now used only during the summer.
For local history enthusiasts, don't forget to visit the Sodankylä Museum of Local History and Culture. Explore the traditions of Sodankylä in a Lappish house or a summer barn. However, a holiday in Sodankylä would not be complete without the glimmer of gold, so visit the Tankavaara Gold Museum and try your hand at panning for gold.
A relaxing and low-cost holiday in Sodankylä can easily be organised if you include a visit to the Urho Kekkonen or Pyhä-Luosto National Parks. Urho Kekkonen National Park is one of Finland's most popular hiking destinations. Start from the Koilliskaira Visitor Centre then follow the nature trail of your choice. Pyhä-Luosto Visitor Centre Naava provides information on the mountain paths of the Pyhä-Luosto National Park. In the Pyhä-Luosto area be sure to visit Lampivaara Amethyst Mine and search for precious stones.
Sodankylä is easily reached if you first fly or take a train to Rovaniemi, but the long distance to go to Lapland is easiest to cover by car. You might want to stay, for instance, in a distinctive glass igloo at Kakslauttanen Igloo Village.