Located just an hour’s drive from Rovaniemi, Ranua is a destination offering outstanding once-in-a-lifetime experiences throughout the year.
The pride of Ranua is the Arctic zoo that is home to fifty animal species and two hundred animals. The zoo is located in a genuine wilderness region in the heart of the forest.
The atmosphere-rich wooden walkways cover approximately one kilometre and lead visitors from one experience to the next.
The most loved animals of the Ranua Zoo are the polar bear sow Venus and her son Sisu.
Sisu, is an iconic Finnish word meaning the determination and perseverance of Finns, a name that excellently describes the young polar bear.
You can see the polar bears throughout the year, as polar bears do not hibernate. In fact, winter is their favourite time of the year. The polar bear enclosure includes their own tranquil sleeping place and a large pool where they can enjoy swimming, diving and playing.
Visitors can independently see the polar bears and also enjoy daily feeding demonstrations with zookeepers telling interesting facts about the polar bears and their habits. The zookeeper throws food for the polar bears into the pool, which is a good chance to see the polar bears jump and do tricks.
As with other bears, polar bears are omnivorous, meaning they eat meat as well as vegetables. The polar icecaps don’t have many vegetables on offer for bears to eat, but in Ranua the polar bears eat salmon accompanied with apples and carrots.
Even the zoo’s newcomers are not afraid of below-freezing temperatures.
The Pallas’s cat, or manul, has a thick and bushy coat that protects it from the biting cold of the Central Asian mountain ranges at elevations of up to 5,000 metres. The stern expression of the cat is some kind of indication that it is not easily startled!
Ranua Zoo is also home to the muskox, the animal with the longest and best heat-insulating coat of all the animal kingdom. This year the muskox cows received the company of a muskox bull that arrived from the Korkeasaari Zoo in Helsinki. The handsome Iisakki bull spends his time wooing the cows.
A visit to Ranua Zoo is perfected with an overnight stay in a glass igloo on the shore of the picturesque Lake Ranuanjärvi. The glass igloo is an outstanding accommodation allowing you to enjoy spectacular views of the starry skies and Northern Lights.
Despite the wilderness location, the igloos are fully equipped. Right next to the igloo is a wilderness lake beach with water that is definitely pure!
The Ranua glass igloos are the first igloos are Finland’s first igloos to have a private sauna and kitchenette.
The igloos were completed last autumn. Before the grand opening, the zoo put a post on Facebook asking people to say who they would spend a night with in a glass igloo. The post receives 1.3 million views. This appeal told us that the igloos would definitely be very popular. Indeed, that is exactly what happened.
In addition to appealing to regular tourists, the igloos and the magnificent location also inspired great interest among bloggers and film stars, who have wanted to experience the unique experiences of the igloos.
There are twenty glass igloos on the shores of the Ranuanjärvi Lake, two of which can also take two extra beds. Breakfasts and dinners are served in the reception building.
Visit the Ranua Zoo website at www.ranuazoo.com for packages that include a visit to the zoo and accommodation in the Arctic Fox Igloos glass igloos.
Accommodation is also available in the zoo’s own holiday village Gulo Gulo, the cabins of which are named after Arctic animals.
If you wish to step into nature, this is also possible at Ranua Zoo. Wildlife Safaris organises a wide range of activities close to the zoo. There are snowmobile safaris, husky trips, reindeer sleigh rides and a visit to the hidden cabin of Santa Claus. In addition to the basic
programmes, unique programmes with animals of the Arctic are also arranged.
1.9.–31.5. daily 10 am – 4 pm
1.6.–31.8. daily 10 am – 7 pm
Rovaniementie 29, 97700 Ranua
Puh. 040 5177 436
(Photo: Marko Junttila)