Kuusamo is best known for its proximity to Ruka Ski Resort. With peaks between 500 and 700 metres above sea level, this resort can compete with anything in Europe. Despite offering a world-class ski experience, Ruka draws few crowds, fostering a more relaxed and sociable atmosphere.
Evidence of the city's popularity as a winter sports base is everywhere, but there is more to Kuusamo than snowboards and black runs. The fells surrounding the town are the ideal habitat for spotting elusive sub-arctic animals such as wolves, wolverines and Finland's national animal the brown bear.
At 250 metres above sea level, it's easy to see the attraction of Kuusamo's plateau location for animals and people looking to take advantage of the alpine conditions. Rivers flow down from this pinnacle in five different directions, eventually connecting the region to the Gulf of Bothnia and the rest of Finland.