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Facts about summer in Kuusamo
Kuusamo is located in the north-eastern part of the Province of Oulu. Kuusamo is an energetic, developing tourist destination, characterized by numerous rugged natural sights such as rapids, canyons, mountains and large lakes. The extensive upland region where waters flow to five different directions includes many unique areas, such as Oulanka National Park, Ruka holiday resort and the wilderness regions of southern Kuusamo. Thanks to its versatile nature and sights, Kuusamo is a popular year-round resort.
The Kuusamo Town surface area is 5,805 km², including 799 km² (14 %) of waterways. One third of the land area is peatland and a good half is forest. Neighbouring municipalities are Posio, Salla, Taivalkoski, Suomussalmi, and in the east, Kuusamo borders Russia.
Kuusamo has about 15,000 inhabitants with about 10,000 of them living in or near the Kuusamo town centre.
Kuusamo municipality was founded in 1868 but as early as 1675 it formed a regional administrative entity, Kuusamo Parish. However, the total area of the parish was considerably larger than today. All buildings in Kuusamo were built post 1945, as the municipality was almost entirely destroyed during WWII. Kuusamo Town was founded in 2000.
Climate and weather conditions in Kuusamo
The climate in Kuusamo is more continental than in most other parts of Finland. The annual mean temperature is around 0°C and the growing season is 135 days long. In summer temperatures can be 15-20˚C and midsummer even more, nights are little bit colder. The ground has snow cover for approximately 200 days from late October to mid-May. Weather today >>
Finland is known as the land of a thousand lakes and there are plenty of lakes and rivers in Kuusamo, too. In general, the waters are pure and fit for swimming. In midsummer, water temperature may exceed 20˚C (68 F). Even though the water is clean, we still advise you to drink bottled or tapwater.
The population density in Lapland is a tiny 2.2 persons per km². This leaves a lot of untouched wilderness for hikers, hunters and anglers to explore. However, we are not the only ones wandering the forests. Finland is a home to around 42,000 species of plants, animals and fungi.
The flora in the Kuusamo area is exceptionally rich due to the versatility of the relief of the landscape in the region and its geology. The limestone bedrock in many parts of Northern Kuusamo, coupled with diverse substrata, creates favourable conditions for different northern, eastern and southern species of plants. Many endangered species thrive in particular on river ravines, crests and lush fenlike swamps.
Animals and Birds
The Kuusamo region has a rich fauna and some otherwise rare birds can be spotted here. Several pairs of golden eagles nest here. The wingspan of the golden eagle is over 120 cm. A dipper is the size of a starling and catches aquatic insects and larvae on rocky rapids. The westernmost habitat for the rare Red-flanked Blue Tail is the Valtavaara Hill in Kuusamo. The most common bird occurrences in the summer are willow warbler, chaffinch, hazelhen, restart, brambling and Siberian jay. More about bird watching
Reindeer and other animals
Reindeer are half-tame domestic animals descending from deer. A fully-grown reindeer weighs ca. 100 - 150 kg. In spring and summer, reindeer graze in wetland areas and in autumn in spruce forests. In the summer, reindeer eat leaves, grass and hay, whereas in the winter they eat moss and varieties of lichen growing in the clean nature of the North. There are some 200,000 reindeer in Lapland.
The uncrowned king of the Finnish forests is, however, the elk, the largest mammal in Finland. Elks get most of their nourishment from trees and bushes. In winter, elks gather in small herds living in confined areas. In the spring, the elk cow gives birth to one fawn, which follows its mother for a year.
The large predators found in the area include brown bear, wolf and wolverine. The most common predators are the smaller fox, raccoon dog, ermine, weasel, pine marten, mink, badger and common otter. Large predators are rarely seen, as they tend to avoid people. Brown bears hibernate from autumn to spring; in January – February one or two blind and furless cubs are born in the winter nest. The following summer the cubs follow their mother roaming the forests, returning to the winter nest with her in the autumn.
When driving in Northern Finland, please take remember that reindeer roam freely in the countryside and near the roads during summer. Furthermore, elks are also on the move, so it is advisable to pay special attention to the roadsides where elk may be.
For many Finns the sauna is most relaxing place in the world! It makes one feel like a totally new person. After an action packed day out, a hot sauna and delicious meal is second to none! If sauna feels too hot, take a dip in the lake!
Summer here in the North is much warmer than people normally think. Daytime temperatures vary between 15-22 ˚C (59-72 F), and it may get even hotter. Nights are slightly cooler, so you can wear a t-shirt and shorts at all times, but it is wise to bring along slightly warmer clothing, just in case!