REPORT: Field trip #9 – Home Stays & Visits in tourism

Our final Original Lapland Field trip took place on the sunny Thursday 22nd of August. This time we got a chance to meet entrepreneurs who offer accommodation and other services in their home environment in the municipality of Pello.

Lempeän suvanto, our first destination was only about 5 minutes away from Vihreä Pysäkki. They offer accommodation and meeting facilities in old school building on the banks of the River Tornionjoki.  The hostess of the place, Mervi Rastas, gave us a tour around the place. She has both domestic and foreign guests, individuals and groups.

Next we headed to Valkea Lodge/ Valkea Arctic Experience which was quite different from the theme of the day and other destinations. However, we added it to the program because it is relatively new (opened at the end of 2016) and still unknown to many. The Chief Antti-Pekka Palokangas is not new to this industry. He has been an entrepreneur in the tourism industry for at least 20 years and on both sides of the border. They have now in Valkea 15 log cabins with two apartment units per cabin (total 30 units), nice restaurant for 100 people and one meeting room. Winter is their main season and their guests currently come mainly from Central Europe. They offer also all kind of nature activities, such as snowmobiling, snowshoeing, skiing, ice fishing, husky safaris etc. They cooperate with other companies around our area.

Kotariipi is located in the middle of traditional Lappish village called Saukkoriipi. There we had a nice lunch in a sunny terrace. The owners Eero and Eija Saukkoriipi showed us their speciality a windmill where you can have small meetings but also accommodate. They also rent a small house for accommodation, offer a renovated cowhouse for events/parties/meetings, and by order they warm up two lakeside saunas and a hot tub.

The next stop, Saajo / Mustonen Reindeer farm, was 15 minutes away from Kotariipi. It’s a reindeer farm where you can meet also sheep, chickens and dogs. The hostess of the farm, Minna Mäntyranta-Mustonen, offers reindeer and sheep herding training courses and camps for dogs and their owners. They have a small house in the yard where the guests can come together and some can also stay overnight. They cooperate with other companies nearby and provide their services and accommodations when needed. They can also take some visitors to see the place and animals if agreed in time. You can contact her by email or phone.

Our trip ended in Puolukkamaan pirtit / Reindeer Lake Resort on the shore of lake Puolamajärvi. The hostess Anne-Mari Kovalainen has a reindeer farm which offers accommodation, meeting room, sauna facilities and some activities such as reindeer feeding, rides and safari. She has guests around the world, but mainly from Europe. It’s also possible just to visit and see the farm and animals if agreed in time.

A huge thanks to all our lovely hosts and participants! It was a really nice way to end our Original Lapland Field Trips. Hope you all enjoyed it too!



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