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Introducing Inari

Though it’s Finland’s most significant Sámi centre, and one of Lapland’s major visitor destinations, you might miss the tiny village of Inari (Sámi: Anár), if you’re not paying attention. Don’t, for this is the place to begin to learn something of Sámi culture: it has the wonderful Siida museum and the brand-new Sámi cultural centre, as well as excellent handicrafts shops. It’s also a great base for locations like Lemmenjoki National Park and the Kevo Strict Nature Reserve.

The village sits on Lapland’s largest lake, Inarijärvi, a spectacular body of water with more than 3000 islands in its 1153-sq-km area. Inari is the seat of the Finnish Sámi parliament, and the spectacular wood-and-glass Sámi cultural centre, Sajos, that will hold it, as well as a library and music archive, should have been completed in the centre of town by the time you read this. It will also have exhibitions and a craft shop.