Sodankylä is the second largest municipality in Finland in terms of area, and is located between Rovaniemi and Ivalo north of the Arctic Circle. Sodankylä experiences a subarctic climate with long, cold, snowy winters and short, mild summers. In the northern part of Sodankylä, a part of the Urho Kekkonen National Park is situated. The Sompio Nature Reserve, the Pyhä-Luosto National Park and Finland's largest reservoirs, Lokka and Porttipahta are also situated in this community.
Sodankyläs major tourist attractions include the Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort, Santa's Resort and the Lampivaara Amethyst Mine. The Amethyst Mine is the only one in Europe that is in operation and open to visitors. In Tankavaara there is a gold museum and a goldvillage, where every summer the international gold-washing championship takes place.