The Artisan Travel Blog

The magic of Menesjärvi in Finnish Lapland

I have been lucky enough to visit Menesjärvi twice during my time working for Artisan. The first time was in September during the wonderfully scenic Finnish autumn. The drive here will take you away from the small town of Ivalo and into increasing wilderness – the trees grow denser, the roads grow quieter, and you pass nothing except a small handful of houses (owned mostly by local reindeer herders) before you come across the main hotel here.

Hotel Korpikartano is located on the banks of Lake Menesjarvi which at this time of year, is a beautiful glittering vista of water, reflecting the changing colours of the surrounding trees.

Korpikartano  Aurora September 2013

I loved visiting here at this time of year, when the air is growing crisper and colder but the sky is cloudless and blue, with the sun high in the sky. However, my second visit in January showed the scenery in (literally) a completely different light and made me fall even more in love with the region.


In January, the unending lake is completely frozen and topped by a thick layer of snow, stretching on endlessly.

At this time of year, daylight hours are minimal and you get a few hours of unique polar light when the sun rises just above the horizon. This bathes the scenery in a bluish tinge and the available light reflects off the snow that covers everything, making the scenery completely magical.

The thick layer of snow also serves to soften all noise and Menesjärvi is the first place I have been where you can really 'hear' the silence. During my stay I strapped on snowshoes and made my way to the frozen lake, which in the pitch black arctic night, provided the perfect platform to view the panoramic scenery of my wilderness surroundings in the moonlight.

After snowshoeing out to the middle, I stood and looked up and was in absolute awe of the unending sky here. I have been lucky enough to travel out to Uluru in Australia and in the middle of the desert the sky and star scenery was the best I have ever witnessed in my life, but I do think that here, at the other end of the world, in a tiny village in North East Finland, the night sky ran a very close second. Even more so when I saw the faintest steak of green in the sky from the Northern Lights – I sadly didn't get a great display that night, but I know that the previous night the Aurora kept guests entertained for hours, so it was just bad timing!

As I mentioned previously, the silence is overwhelming and all you can hear is the sound of your own breath.

This, in combination with the star-filled sky that stretches on in every direction, gives you a feeling of almost complete tranquillity and utter peace. Menesjärvi to me is the perfect place to really appreciate not only the vastness of nature, but also the wonderful sense of escapism that it exudes from the second you step outside.

Read 13698 times Last modified on Tuesday, 20 February 2018

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