Utsjoki is one of the first places in Finland to welcome the ruska season. This beautiful phenomenon starts in the north and gradually moves south. Finland is such a long country that it takes time for autumn to arrive in the southern parts of Finland.
The ruska season in Lapland is quite short but intense. If you want to capture the best colours in photos, you need to be awake and quick to go photo shooting. Last year the best ruska week to experience the tree colours was at the beginning of September. After that, the leaves already started to fall, due to windy weather. But fear not, even when the leaves are gone, the ground ruska still gives the landscape a colourful pop.
When can I see ruska in Utsjoki?
The timing of the ruska season can vary a lot depending on weather conditions. Usually the trees start changing colours first, followed by the the ground ruska. So if you visit Utsjoki early to mid-September you should be able to catch a little glimpse of the colourful season here in the northernmost part of Lapland.
In Utsjoki the most colourful plants of the tree fall foliage are the mountain birch, rowan (mountain ash) as well as European aspen. The most colourful plants of the ground fall foliage are blueberry, bog whortleberry, dwarf birch and black bearberry.
If you would like to visit Utsjoki during ruska season, you can join us on our autumn holiday package, which we run weekly from Tuesday to Sunday (5 nights).
What does ruska mean? One of Finland’s most beautiful seasons explained
The word “ruska” is Finnish and means the autumn season. Ruska is the time of year when all the leaves and vegetation change their colours within a few weeks from green to various shades of red, yellow, orange and brown. The phenomenon is commonly called autumn colours, autumn foliage, fall colours, fall foliage or just foliage. It’s Mother nature’s way to show that the nature and wildlife begin to prepare for the winter.
The change of colours in the leaves is caused by a chemical reaction in plants. During the growth season and summer a green leaf stays green because of a green pigment known as chlorophyll. There are other pigments for red and yellow present in a leaf’s cells too but the green colour masks them. In the late summer, when the air gets colder and the duration of daylight gets shorter, chlorophyll starts to lose its dominance due to decrease of water and mineral intake. The veins that carry fluids into and out of the leaves are closing gradually, and in the end rapidly.
Foggy mornings are very common in autumn. Longer nights cause a decrease in temperatures. Colder air can’t hold as much water vapour so the water vapour condenses into tiny moisture droplets that stay suspended in the air. That is what we see as fog. Sometimes fog is very thin, but other times it can be so thick that one can’t see the other side of the river Teno here in Utsjoki.
Thick fog can create a mysterious atmosphere and is truly a fascinating experience! Here at Aurora Holidays we love the misty autumn atmosphere and we have put together an article for you with even more reasons to visit Utsjoki in autumn.
How to experience ruska in Utsjoki, Lapland?
Would you like to join us this year in autumn and see the riot of colour with your own eyes? You can book our 6 day autumn package (Tuesday to Sunday) for early/ mid-September and join us for some spectacular activities to get the most out of this stunning season.
We offer day hikes in the wilderness for various fitness levels, which can be combined with our berry picking seminar – autumn really doesn’t get much better than that here in Northern Lapland. Another great way to experience ruska with Aurora Holidays is the Utsjoki village tour – we’ll show our favourite places in and around the village & the best thing is: for package guests this is already included.