IWSDS 2016 is the northernmost dialogue conference ever. It is held in Saariselkä, one of the major skiing and winter sports centers in the Finnish Lapland. Saariselkä is located next to the Urho Kekkonen National Park and the area has a large variety of skiing and hiking possibilities. The village also features a spa, and various special attractions and activities starting from reindeer and husky safaris to snowmobiling and aurora (northern lights) hunting.

Our venue is hotel Riekonlinna, where all attendees will also be accommodated.

Notice that kaamos or the Polar night when the sun stays below the horizon, has ended just one week before the conference, and at the time of the conference, the daylight is less than three hours long.

Up-to-date information about the weather in Saariselkä can be found at the website of the Finnish Meteorological Institute

Tips for appropriate clothing for cold weather can be found for example at

If you are interested in winter sports and activities, there are plenty of opportunities for these in Saariselkä: downhill and cross-country skiing, reindeer and husky safaris, snowmobile safaris, and more. Please contact the tour organisers directly for availability and bookings:

Access information by plane

The closest airport is in Ivalo. It lies about 25 km north from Saariselkä. Make sure to book your flights as early as possible since the airport is small and there are only few flights from Helsinki to Ivalo per day. The timetables can be found at

Helsinki–Ivalo 2016-01-12

Departure from Helsinki Arrival to Ivalo Operator Additional information
08:35 10:15 Norwegian
10:15 12:45 Finnair 1 stop in Kittilä
16:35 18:10 Finnair

Helsinki–Ivalo 2016-01-13 

Departure from Helsinki Arrival to Ivalo Operator Additional information
10:15 12:45 Finnair 1 stop in Kittilä

Ivalo–Helsinki 2016-01-16

Departure from Ivalo Arrival to Helsinki Operator Additional information
13:20 14:50 Finnair
18:45 21:15 Finnair 1 stop in Kittilä

Ivalo–Helsinki 2016-01-17

Departure from IvaloArrival to HelsinkiOperatorAdditional information
18:4521:15Finnair1 stop in Kittilä

From Ivalo airport there is a bus connection to Saariselkä. The bus leaves after the flight has arrived. The price is 10 € per person from Ivalo airport to Saariselkä.

Access information by train & bus

One can come to Saariselkä also by train. The train arrives at Rovaniemi, from where one needs to continue by bus to Saariselkä. For more information on train connections to Rovaniemi, please see and bus connections from Rovaniemi to Saariselkä