Rokua Geopark is the only tourist destination in Finland to have UNESCO Geopark status. On top of that, Rokua Geopark is the northernmost UNESCO Geopark in the world. UNESCO is a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation and it only awards Geopark status to sites with a unique geological heritage.
There are only about a hundred UNESCO Geoparks worldwide and each of them has a theme of its own. Rokua Geopark’s theme is the Ice Age. The legacy of the Ice Age is embedded in the history of the unique bedrock in the Rokua Geopark area. Geology has influenced the development of the area’s organic environment living nature and the spread of human settlement in many ways. Rokua Geopark is an attractive whole in which the interaction between organic and inorganic biotic and abiotic nature and human activity has created an impressive narrative that spans millennia.
The geological story of the birth of the Rokua Geopark area has also shaped the soil and climate of the area, making it ideal for the production of local food. Today the Geopark area produces unique local food, Geofood, which is closely linked to the area’s geological heritage. The environment and tourism are thus seamlessly combined in Geofood products.
Rokua Geopark comprises three different landscape areas: the River Oulujoki Valley, Lake Oulujärvi and the Rokua Esker and Dune Area. Together they form an unbroken area covering over 1,300 m2. The Geopark begins in Muhos, about 20 km east from Oulu, continuing for about 90 km to southeast to the northern part of Lake Oulujärvi. The legacy of the Ice Age and the history of the area’s development can be seen in the natural phenomena of Rokua Geopark, such as high dunes, deep kettle holes, spectacular sandy shorelines and boreal forest carpeted with white lichen. Come and explore!