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Utsjoki

Giisá village hall | Ellin polku trail | Utsjoki church cottages | Saami bridge

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Skaidijärvi trail | Alaköngäs | Northernmost point of the EU

Glowing autumn colours

As the light grows fainter and the weather turns colder, ruska slowly creeps over the marshes and the fells. The birch trees put on their bright yellow cloaks, the aspens blush prettily and the leaves of the bog bilberries, blueberries and black crowberries seem to catch fire.

The glowing autumn colours appear when the shrubs and trees start preparing for the long winter. Chlorophyll, which provides plants with their green colour, is transported from the leaves to the trunk and roots for storage, leaving behind a number of other pigments. 

So, when does the season of autumn colours actually begin? The late Professor of Botany at the University of Turku, Paavo Kallio, defined the beginning of ruska in the region of the Paistunturi fells as follows: “Ruska begins on the 10th of September at 2 o’clock in the afternoon, give or take five days.”

The period of autumn colours lasts two to three weeks. Savage night frosts and arid weather conditions will intensify the brightness of the colours to a level that is almost blinding in its beauty. Animals are often also spooked by the fiery colours. The birds seek shelter in the rushes and dark coniferous forests, and the fish flee towards deeper waters.

Ruska paints the landscape with bold hues for just a little while, so take the time to bask in its splendour when you get the chance. The breathtaking glow of the colours provides a boost to creativity as well, so this is the best time to organise recreational and development events at the workplace. The colours and the lovely fresh scents of autumn will give you energy to see you through the long winter months

When travelling along the Tenontie road, you can compare the autumn colours of Finland to those of Norway. Can you spot any differences? You can admire the splendour of ruska for a few hours or a few days from the back of a mountain bike, or by going for a hike in the fells. Explore the wilderness in Utsjoki, walk through a world of colour and seek refreshment and rest at an inn when dusk arrives. The bright autumn colours will be there to greet you in the morning, inviting you to continue onwards with your journey.