Kilpisjärvi, a unique Finnish destination
Welcome to Kilpisjärvi, a lively little village at the top of Finland’s “arm” just across the Norwegian border. Be inspired by the unique scenery and wild nature around the village. Countless winter and summer activities are waiting for you!
Kilpisjärvi in Finnish Lapland is a destination unlike anywhere else in the world. It’s home to a vast wilderness area full of waterfalls, rivers and lakes. When travelling from Southern Finland, you will notice how the pine trees vanish and give way to a barren and unique landscape. Leave the flat part of Finland behind and you will soon discover the tallest fells of Finland – distinctive, high and barren hills carved out by Ice Age glaciers.
Kilpisjärvi is dominated by the mighty Saana fell, a go-to place for Finnish people. Saana is in fact so famous that every Finn would recognise its iconic shape. Start from the village and hike up to the summit (1,029 m). The sweeping views will leave you speechless!
From Kilpisjärvi, you can also reach the Three Country Cairn, the place where borders of Finland, Sweden and Norway meet, in Malla Strict Nature Reserve. Hike the Malla trail (11 km) or take a boat to admire the fells from a new perspective. Malla is the oldest protected nature area in Finland and is home to unique flora, so make sure you stay on the tracks. Looking for longer treks? Check the Arctic trail out and walk or ski (about 55 km one way) through the unique Käsivarsi Wilderness Area to Halti, Finland’s highest point (1,324 m). There are also many family-friendly trails such as around Lake Čáhkál.
The mountains are calling, and you must go! Kilpisjärvi is ideally located between the biggest ski resorts of Finland and the fjords of Norway. It’s only 50 km away from the sea and the rugged mountains of the Lyngenfjord region, so wind your watch back an hour, cross the border and make a day trip to Norway! You should even continue to the beautiful city of Tromsø, “the Gateway to the Arctic”.
Even if Kilpisjärvi seems quite remote, the services on offer are very good. You will find different types of accommodation, from cottages and glass igloos to hotels and holiday resorts, and many restaurants.
Enjoy Kilpisjärvi in every season
Kilpisjärvi is an outdoors paradise no matter the season. In fact, every season brings a special atmosphere! Visit Kilpisjärvi during summer and see the magical Arctic light during the Midnight Sun period (from mid-May to late July), when the sun never sets below the horizon. Summer is also the time to explore the lakes and rivers. Go kayaking, fishing, biking or hiking… the possibilities are endless! In autumn, Kilpisjärvi is bathed in a beautiful soft light while the leaves of aspens and birch trees turn golden and crimson. This explosion of colours takes place during “ruska” season.
This is Lapland’s best kept secret and the favourite time for Finns to travel north from all over the country. The best time to come and enjoy this fabulous colour show is the two weeks in the middle of September. Then let December come and Kilpisjärvi becomes a winter wonderland. Popular activities include cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing and ice fishing. The area is also one of the best places in Finland to see and photograph the beautiful Northern Lights.