Barely 6 miles from the Russian border on the shores of Lake Inari, Nellim is as quietly and beautifully remote a spot as you will find anywhere in Finnish Lapland. The village has a petrol station doubling up as a general store and cafe, an Orthodox Church and Nellim Wilderness Lodge. This is owned and run by Jouko and Mari Lappalainen who have painstakingly converted what was once the local school into an authentically crafted home reflecting the mixed local culture of Inari, Skolt and Northern Sami.
The hotel consists of 2 buildings facing in on each other around what was once the children's playground: there are 12 simply furnished twin and single rooms with private WC/shower and decorated with fabrics personally chosen by Mari; 8 apartments also with with private WC/shower and configured with varying numbers of bedrooms capable of accommodating differing family sizes and two privately owened log cabins in the grounds surrounding the hotel exclusively reserved for guests on a first come first served basis. The hotel's principle public area has a lounge seating area, restaurant and bar hand crafted by Jouko himself.
Outside there is a Safari House with kick sleds, toboggans and skis free for you to use; a log fired sauna whose hot, sap filled air provides the perfect warm up after a day's adventures; a reindeer skin tepee and a traditional Kota in which you have dinner one night. (The Kota, a tradtional Sami shelter and meeting place is known to be frequented on occasions by Santa). Immediately to one side of the main building are the husky kennels behind which a pathway leads down through the pines to a frozen lake.