Driving Finnish Regional Road 955 from Sirkka to Inari

One of the highlights of our winter road trip through Finnish Lapland was the drive from Levi/Sirkka to Saariselkä. Since we had planned to stop at the Sami Museum in Inari, we decided to take the less busy route via Inari instead of driving down to Sodankylä and taking the wider and busier E75.

Route 955 passes through Lemmenjoki National Park and the Hammastunturi Wilderness Area, both of which are characterized by rolling hills covered by a mixed forest of pine and birch with a few openings and lakes as well as small streams here and there.

While we were expecting a small road, mainly to get us from A to B, we did not anticipate it to be this scenic and remote and ended up spending about three hours driving through a glistening winter wonderland. As it turns out, there is not a single settlement with more than 200 inhabitants along its 165 km and a good part of it is unpaved. The latter was barely noticeable as it was covered with packed snow. This probably evened out a lot of bumps and we assume it was a much nicer drive than it would have been during warmer seasons or once the snow starts to melt. When we drove Road 955, the temperature had been between -15 and -31 for a couple of weeks and while it looked like the road is cleared on a regular basis, we knew we were going to be in for a bit of an adventure when, after turning right after Tonttula Elves Village, the road was suddenly covered in snow and completely pristine, suggesting we must be one of the first travelers on it in hours. Once we were on it, we saw maybe two or three cars total during our entire three-hour trip.

If you enjoy road trips and driving, this is the road for you. We found it very enjoyable and easy to dive Road 955, making frequent stops to either simply admire nature or to take pictures. We did have good cell phone service most of the time, so don't worry - you are not completely out of reach. Moreover, we saw snowmobile tracks along parts of the road and a couple of parking areas. It looked like people had gone snowshoe hiking through the woods from there.

What struck us was also the change of the landscape over time. When starting out in Levi, the trees had been covered in a thick layer of ice and snow but the closer we got to Inra, the greener the trees were, although there was still a good amount of snow and the temperature had only increased by a few degrees form the -31°C in Levi. Check out our video, you can see the difference between the first part and the very end.

At both sides of the road, we saw nothing but untouched nature sparkling in the morning light, covered in a deep snow cover. It would have been amazing to see some Northern Lights during this drive. There are numerous fabulous photo spots if you want to capture the ice and snow covered tress with Northern Lights flickering behind them. Something we will certainly keep in mind when planning our next trip here.

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