Suomen Latu Kiilopaa
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Suomen Latu Kiilopaa Saariselka Reviews
Wilderness Center Away From the Crowds Feb 25, 2012
If you're looking for a retreat in Northern Finland away from the crowds of Saariselka (about a 16 minute bus ride away) and want a vacation centered on outdoor activities, this is a great place to go.
This center has cabins, a hotel AND a hostel located next to the main building that has trail information, knowledgable guides, cross country ski rentals, snow shoe rentals, a cafe, reading room, saunas (of course) and mini-mart (not extensive, do your serious shopping in Saariselka).
This center is off all on it's own and is located right next to Urho Kekkonen National Park. It does have a bus that runs between the center and Saariselka on a daily basis. I visited during the winter where cross country skiing trails and snow shoeing trails started right outside the main building. In summer I believe these are replaced by hiking and biking trails.
What I really loved about this place was all the little extras that came with your stay. Free daily activities were available from beginner skiing clinics to nighttime snow shoe hikes and pancake frying. The center also can arrange tours for you such as dog sledding and Sami village visits. Free saunas available from 3-8 as long as you're a guest and the traditional smoke sauna with (brrr) ice swimming hole available on certain days for 10 Euro.
The cafeteria serves 3 meals a day buffet style with a limited order by dish menu. The food was nothing to write home about, but they were FANTASTIC about accommodating my food allergy. And reindeer tastes pretty good in a stew :)
This place far exceeded my expectations. It's not luxurious (I stayed in the hotel, perhaps the cabins are more upscale?) but it's very user friendly. Remember though that is isolated. The night life is pretty much star gazing and Northern Lights hunting.
Link to the center: http://www.suomenlatu.fi/kiilopaa/en/
Part of the In Search of the Northern Lights travel blog
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