With children


Kemijärvi – adventures on the happy shores

The sparkle of water all around, the rolling dunes with their magnificent forests and the echo of the fells when you look up. Kemijärvi has it all. Luckily, we were able to explore this cosy town in the middle of Lapland’s lakes, surrounded by mountain resorts. A town that allows you to live surrounded by services and nature. Or rather, this city is in nature.

As you know, Lapland is like a second home to us. We spend as much time in Lapland as possible. Most of the time we travel towards Kittilä and from there towards Inari and the arm. For us, this wonderful eastern side of Lapland has really been completely forgotten.

Kemijärvi by bike


In the first few days, I wanted to see how strongly advertised the magnificent and diverse nature is right in the centre. Visit Kemijärvi tipped me off to explore the town with the kids on bikes. Well, that suited us perfectly, as the theme of the trip was cycling in Lapland anyway.

There is a cycle/walking route around the centre, marked on the map. We decided to take advantage of it. Get some air in your tyres, put on your helmets and take over Kemijärvi city!

We headed to the Hot Pond. It looked like an interesting place according to the map. A pond in the middle of the city centre, which was already right on the beach. There was a beautiful path around the hot pond. The kids were really into racing and cross-country skiing on their bikes. Glad I could keep up. There were small wooden bridges, narrow paths right along the shore and idyllic resting places. It was like being deep in the bosom of nature, playing by a forest pond. It was a real wake-up call to see the beautiful Kemijärvi church on the other side of the pond. Yes, we were in the centre of the city.

Another smile-inducing observation was that there really was water everywhere. Quite unexpectedly, we climbed from the pond to the shore of Kemijärvi and continued cycling, admiring the numerous islands that tempted us to jump in a kayak and dive into an island adventure. The water is the oldest of the butterflies and Kemijärvi has plenty of this lotion. No wonder, talk of a city with happy beaches.

The children were amazed, amused and delighted by the long sandy beach next to the blocks of flats. The centre of Kemijärvi is surrounded by two lakes, Kemijärvi and Pöyliöjärvi. This magnificent fine sandy beach was found on the side of Lake Pöyliöjärvi. It’s a pity that we didn’t get the right beach weather, otherwise the setting would have been perfect. Despite the rain, the beach invited the children to throw stones and swim in the autumn leaves.

What on earth is this vibe?

During the bike adventure, I started to thirst for more. I wanted to see the big picture. I was very interested in the vibe I got from the city of Kemijärvi. It had a really idyllic, natural, peaceful and serene feel, but it still felt like a big city. For this reason, we went on a slightly more extensive expedition. On our adventure, we found a train station where an intercity train was parked, waiting for the evening journey south. We took the opportunity to let the children admire the train at close quarters. It’s not often that you get a peek through the windows of an intercity. I was told that there is a night train to Kemijärvi and from there south every night.

On our adventure we also passed a swimming pool hall, a life cycle park under construction, lots of different shops and stores, a library and even the Kemijärvi Music Academy. These varied services spoke volumes about the city’s reputation as a great city.

Do you know what made this city tour look like us? Well, the fact that it really was an adventure close to nature and ended in a lava. We pedalled along the shores of Lake Pöyliöjärvi to Väärälahdenlaavden. At this point the weather had turned very rainy and windy. I was already a little suspicious of the children’s sense of adventure. But I was wrong. In the splash of the mighty curly water puddles, they pedalled into the headwind with the rain whipping in gusts in their faces. The hut was on the opposite bank of the town centre and made for a fun time of spotting with the kids. Looking out over the new shore, we found a beach, a church and a familiar apartment building perched on the beach.

A sense of danger in the inner city

The next day, we continued to explore the city centre, as the map of the city centre showed Pöyliövaara. How many cities have their own danger right in the centre? Well, Kemijärvi does and that’s where we headed.

The Pöyliövaar runs along a ring trail, which can easily be adapted to your own length. We walked about four kilometres in the area. Plus all the hooks off the trail for lingonberry woodland, climbing rocks, wildlife spotting and hide-and-seek. We stopped at a grill house near the shore of Lake Pöyliöjärvi. The grill house also has a wood stove and firewood.

The nature of Pöyliövaara was really beautiful. The brown that covered the whole landscape gave the adventure a fairytale touch. Again, I think I forgot that we are still in the centre of Finland’s second northernmost city. Pöyliönvaara is a great hiking destination for all ages because of its easy route and many variations. And the incredibly beautiful nature and super-easy accessibility are no bad thing.

Kemijärvi certainly does not lie when it advertises itself as a city that makes you naturally happy. That’s what I mean. At least we were on the hills of our happiness here on the beaches of the happy. A city adventure for our taste, perfect. Kemijärvi, I can come hang out in your town again. That sums up our day in Kemijärvi. Have you ever been or are you planning a trip to Kemijärvi? In my next post, I’ll share some tips on Kemijärvi’s nature spots.

-Salla and children
Curious Toes – Happy Souls