toboggan run finland saariselka


One of the best free things we did while we were in Finnish Lapland, far up in the Arctic, was to ride a toboggan through the longest toboggan run in Finland located in Saariselkä. In fact it is the longest toboggan run in Northern Europe at 1.2 kilometers long and a vertical drop of 130 meters!

Finland’s most thrilling toboggan run starts from the summit of Kaunispää fell. A fell is a high and barren landscape feature or barren hill and Kaunispää means “beautiful head” in English. Yes, I know. This fell was made for me. Watching the first sunset of 2014 in the Arctic at the top of Kaunispää was amazing.




You can either walk or wait for the bus to take you to the top of the fell but who’s got the time for waiting. We decided to walk up the fell from our hotel. (Travel tip: Hotels lend out toboggans for FREE so get one at the reception before hiking up the fell.) It was a winter wonderland out there and we thought we could see and explore the place a bit more if we walked. I mean:


finland toboggan run


But before we even got to this beautiful place WE GOT LOST. Because Mr. Group Leader me took the lead thinking I knew how to walk to the fell.

I didn’t.


Kaunispää Saariselka


Let me tell you a secret: I suck at directions. Even with Google Maps on my hand. I know, I know. I’m a seasoned traveler blablablah but I really struggle at using maps it’s not funny. I’m also an engineer and I really don’t know how I managed to pass my Engineering Drawing class where I was required to do projection drawing from different points of view. Oh. I almost failed that class. Right.


toboggan run


Getting lost in a city is fine. But getting lost in winter wilderness? Good luck! Everything was all white so it made it difficult to remember which turns we made. And you are more likely to find reindeers instead of people to help you find your way here. There are more reindeers than humans in Finnish Lapland. Fact. And the average population density is about 2 people per square kilometer. Yes, don’t even think about a winter romance with a Sami here.

Luckily Michael is the exact opposite of me and he eventually found the way to the toboggan run. It turned out I took the opposite direction at the “highway”. The toboggan run was actually very easy to find from Saariselkä center. You just turn right and there it is. Me? I turned left 😀


Kaunispää fell


The place is super gorgeous. I CAN’T SAY ENOUGH HOW MUCH I LOVE SNOW. I have miles and miles of snow-covered landscape here. The air was so fresh and crisp. I actually felt warm and sweaty under my five layers of clothing after hiking up the fell. It takes around 30 minutes to go up depending on how many times you stop to ogle the scenery and take pictures. Yes, that white dot of light was the full moon at 2:30 PM.


DJ in Saariselka


When was the last time you did something for the first time? This question was always answered with “an hour ago” in our trip in the Arctic because we seriously experienced a lot of new things here.


findland saariselka toboggan   toboggan finnish lapland


If you’re a speed freak, you will love riding a toboggan! It was a bit scary at first because we started at the highest point of the fell. As soon as I was gaining speed I tried to break and slow down but this was not good. Snow was flying all over and covered my face and I kept crashing into deep snow. Fun but cold!

On our next try, I did the whole stretch non-stop and landed at the bottom successfully. It was so fun!


toboggan run finland

toboggan lapland


What I loved about it is that it brings out the kid in you. I don’t know anyone who will not enjoy this.


saariselka toboggan



Have you ever tried riding a toboggan? If you haven’t, would you like to try it?


This post is part of the Instagram Travel Thursday hosted by Katja from Skimbaco. Join us by tagging your Instagram pics with #IGTravelThursday or blogging about travel on Thursdays! Follow me on Instagram. I post loads of fun, travel-y pics there. 


DJ Yabis is the poster boy of Dream Euro Trip and a modern day renaissance man. Originally from the Philippines, he loves throwing dinner parties and stalking rock stars in music festivals. Subscribe or follow his adventures LIVE on Facebook or Instagram. Learn how to plan your own eurotrip.

What do YOU think?

19 Responses to “Fast and Furious at the Longest Toboggan Run in Lapland” Subscribe

  1. Kev February 24, 2015 at 2:35 AM #

    Returned to Saariselka this year after having so much fun tobogganing on the slope last year. However, as it was, is no more. They’re building near it so they’ve put barriers in places & put a road straight through it. You can still toboggan from the top & near the bottom, but not the whole thing in one go. I bet they wouldn’t go through a ski slope so why treat us sledgers like that?
    As a result, we won’t be returning to Saariselka again.

    • DJ Yabis February 24, 2015 at 3:35 AM #

      Oh no =(((( Thanks for the update. The toboggan run there was really fun!

  2. Selina April 14, 2014 at 9:25 AM #

    Awesome experience! Er, except for getting lost 😉

    I would love to ride a toboggan – the closest I’ve gotten is on a theme park ride 🙁

    Just starting following you on Twitter so I can read more of your adventures!

  3. NZ Muse February 28, 2014 at 7:39 AM #

    Wow – looks and sounds like a once in a lifetime experience. Must have been a massive rush!

  4. Cat of Sunshine and Siestas February 17, 2014 at 3:11 AM #

    Looks so fun!!

  5. Micamyx|Senyorita February 11, 2014 at 1:20 AM #

    I want to try Toboggan soon! Looking at the photos made me miss my snow experience in Wales. It’s nothing compared to what you’ve experienced, but still <3 I'm freezing due to jealousy as I look at your pics 😛

    • DJ Yabis February 11, 2014 at 1:40 AM #

      It’s really fun. Would do it again and again 😀

  6. Leigh Powell Hines February 9, 2014 at 3:16 AM #

    Such gorgeous photos. So glad you are participating in the link-up.

  7. Timo Kiviluoma February 7, 2014 at 9:32 PM #

    Great fun. I posted your story to our Scandinavia community, you can see it here:

  8. Corinne February 7, 2014 at 8:56 PM #

    Your photos are gorgeous…and I love tobogganing…What a great day of being a kid all over again! Such fun!

    • DJ Yabis February 10, 2014 at 12:54 PM #

      Thanks Corinne. Loved it too!

  9. Satu VW / Destination Unknown February 7, 2014 at 7:17 PM #

    This looks brilliant!! And I can’t believe I was in Saariselkä in March but knew nothing about this…. Next time!!

    • DJ Yabis February 10, 2014 at 12:54 PM #

      Haha really? It’s just near the center 😀

  10. reeta @houseofanais February 7, 2014 at 3:32 PM #

    That’s so cool- and the photos are gorgeous! We are just trying to book a holiday in Lapland and my kids would never leave the lope if we really make it there.

    • DJ Yabis February 10, 2014 at 12:54 PM #

      For sure! Thanks Reeta.

Leave a Reply