Local people

The Lapland way of life is fascinating and you often meet down-to-earth people who love their home region. We know that there are so many interesting people and local personalities who are eager to share their stories from Rovaniemi. Here you can meet some of them. Be inspired!

Irene Kangasniemi

Handicraft lady and nature lover

Irene has always been fascinated by the beauty of natural materials of Lapland nature and the silent stories of the objects. Lapland is filled by stories of how people, animals and plants cope with circle of seasons.

Irene with her husband Ari welcome guests to their workshop and home with the Lappish hospitality. Every visitor will be inspired by the simple but happy lifestyle of Irene and Ari.

Nature is my supermarket says Irene as she collects app 70% of the food from nature. Irene’s five fridges are full of Lappish berries, fishes, meat and herbs, and the home-made blueberry juice is becoming a worldwide-known delicacy.


Valentijn Beets

Everything for the wellfare of sled dogs

Valentijn “Vallu” is a rightful pack leader with an amazing skill to fill the room. He has set the goal for Bearhill Husky to be the best kennel out there and makes sure his dogs and team will thrive to get there.
Vallu is truly an idea man at heart. At Bearhillhusky we believe that both our dogs and our guests deserve the very best.

Our dogs because they work hard and deserve respect and care for their efforts, and our guests, because we realize that our tours are expensive, and they deserve value for money and an unforgettable experience.


Joel Manninen

Young talented chef

Joel loves Lappish forests and waters and has a great respect for everything that nature can give to the plate. According to Joel every ingredient
has a story to tell.

Joel is passionate young chef who has gained his experience from Gustav Kitchen & Bar and organic food restaurant Ostroferia.


Miia Ylinampa

Reindeer herder and sami lady

Miia decided at the age of five that she wanted to become a reindeer herder. Reindeer play a major role in Miia´s life. Hers own wellbeing, is twined with the wellbeing of her reindeer.

Nature fills not only her professional life but also her free time. She enjoys fishing, picking mushroom, herbs, and berries. Traditional Sami handicrafts especially leather work are close to her heart.

Reindeer herder is one with nature, weathers, and seasons, “nature writes the rules and we obey”. Nature will keep you humble, but also shares its offerings willingly with you.


Kimmo Tuunala

Passionate fisherman

Kimmo is passionate fisherman, so he spends as much time as possible by the waters of Rovaniemi. He doesn’t like to brag about his catches, though sometimes he definitely has something to brag about…

Arctic nature plays a great role when talking about Finnish happiness. Things that might feel huge to me in daily life, become small in nature. Our arctic nature is the best possible environment when I need to put things into perspective. Standing by the river banks is also the place dreaming big.
So I know where to go when I need to think outside the box.


Aksana Kurola

Yoga therapist & husky lover

Aksana is passionate about arctic nature, huskies, adventures, and wellness. She lives with her family in a lovely old country house by a lake, where local lifestyle is possible to experience in all it’s ways: taste local organic delights, have a yoga session and enjoy atmosphere-rich sauna, take a dip in the lake, husky sled ride, cross-country skiing or snowshoe hiking.