Travel Responsibly in Oulu and Pohjola Route
1. Travel to (and in) Oulu with public transport
When coming from abroad, you can fly to the Oulu airport. The Finnish flight operator Finnair is committed to long-term sustainability and responsibility actions and aims to be carbon neutral by the year 2045. Finnair also lists some steps you can take as a customer when booking your flights and planning your route.
Oulu is easy to reach by train and bus via the Finnish railways and roads – so you can certainly consider flying to Helsinki and then continuing to Oulu by train or bus. From the Oulu coach station, you can continue to Hailuoto, Kalajoki, Liminka, Kempele, Raahe and Pudasjärvi close to Syöte, as well as the villages of Muhos, Utajärvi and Vaala which are all in the Rokua UNESCO Global Geopark region.
Both the railway and coach station are only a stone’s throw from Oulu city centre. So, when arriving by train or bus, you can just walk to the heart of the city in about 5 minutes. Local buses operate every day, too. The city centre itself is compact and flat so you can easily take in the sights on foot.
2. Choose eco-friendly accommodation
It’s simple: when you choose accommodation that has an ecolabel, you can rest assured that the sustainability and responsibility viewpoints are properly taken care of. Many hotels and other businesses in Oulu are hard at work with their sustainability programme, so this list will keep on expanding.
3. Live like a local and hop on your bike
In case you didn’t know: Oulu is a highly prominent cycling city and home to a great many winter cyclists. Some quarters have also named Oulu the winter cycling capital of the world.
Oulu’s infrastructure planning prioritizes cyclists and pedestrians – this means in many cases that you get around by bike faster than by any other mode of transport. Thanks to its location by the sea, Oulu is also very flat which makes cycling easy and relatively effortless.
4. Enjoy locally grown food and purchase Finnish design for souvenirs
There’s more than just a fleeting element of hunter-gatherer still there in the Finnish DNA. Thanks to the everyman’s rights, Finns are allowed to fulfil their inner hunter-gatherer needs with all their hearts. So, in the Oulu region you’ll find lots of opportunities to taste local berries, mushrooms and herbs as well as game. There are also many restaurants where you can get vegetarian and vegan food. Shop your souvenirs from local shops and designers.
5. Leave your footprints only
Both the city of Oulu and the Oulu region host a great many nature trails and footpaths. You only need sturdy shoes and, depending on the current season, a few layers of clothing, and you’re ready to go out for a hike to enjoy the nature.
There are ample opportunities to sit down and enjoy the sound of silence, light a campfire, enjoy the atmosphere and give some tender loving care to your body and mind in the region’s forests – after all, science has proven many times that spending time in nature has multiple highly positive effects on your health and wellbeing.
To preserve our nature and environment, we urge you to only leave your footprints behind. Whatever you take with you on your hikes, please also bring it back with you. Back in your certified accommodation, you can then sort your waste and participate in recycling materials properly. Read more on outdoor etiquette here.
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