A year-round outdoor paradise
In Kilpisjärvi, nature is constantly changing. The local lifestyle is based on the changing seasons, and with each new season the village has something different to offer its visitors. The village is at its liveliest in early spring, when snowmobilers, ski trekkers and tourers, off-piste skiers and even hang gliders are summoned by the fells. In the summer Kilpisjärvi is a paradise for hiking, fishing, canoeing, mountain biking and motorcycling, while in winter the long polar nights give you the chance to enjoy the peace and quiet whilst breathing the cleanest air in Europe. Local businesses are able to provide the best tips and suggestions for enjoying your stay.
Ice swimming in Kilpisjärvi lake is the perfect way to end a winter day. You can also steel your body by taking a dip in the Arctic Ocean in Norway, which does not ice over even in winter. The Kilpisjärvi lake does not have a designated public swimming area, but the Tundrea Holiday Resort offers ice swimming to its guests, as well as a sauna and hot tub available for rent. For a separate fee you can go ice swimming and use the sauna at Lapland Hotel Kilpis, even if you are not staying there.
Kilpisjärvi has Finland’s longest skiing season, starting in November with off-track skiing through untouched snow, and ends in June with the Midsummer skiing competition.
Come on a short husky ride over the frozen Kilpisjärvi lake, or go on a multi-day Arctic wilderness adventure with a local guide. A short but surely unforgettable husky trip is suitable for all ages and does not require any special skills. A multi-day trip will require a certain level of fitness as well as a positive attitude. You can go on a husky ride from November until May. You can also meet the huskies in spring and summer on a guided hike, where a Siberian husky will accompany you and your tour guide.
In the clear waters of the fell lakes in the northeast of Lapland, you can catch grayling, brown trout, whitefish, perch, pike as well as the native Arctic char. Local guides can direct you to the best fishing waters in both summer and winter. In Kilpisjärvi you can also easily combine your fishing trip with ice fishing excursions and with sea fishing in the Artic Ocean.
Finland’s longest winter and best snowfall offer excellent opportunities for snowshoeing. You can go on a leisurely trip with a local guide to enjoy the peace of nature or to follow some animal tracks, or you can rent equipment to go snowshoeing independently to see the Northern Lights. Kilpisjärvi offers the best possibilities in Finland for seeing this spectacular natural light show, which can be seen on up to three nights out of four.
In Kilpisjärvi you can snowmobile on trails maintained by Metsähallitus (the national body for the administration of forests), which requires a permit from them. You can approach local tour companies for information about their guided snowmobile safaris.
Hiking and trekking
There are significant altitude differences in Kilpisjärvi, and the terrain can be difficult to negotiate at times. Many of the highest peaks are over 1,000m (3,280 feet) above sea level and their treeless terrain is covered by rocks. Swamps, dwarf birch and crossing large rivers can also pose problems for keen hikers. The large areas of moorland at the bottom of the fells are pleasant landscapes to walk through.
The MS Malla takes visitors to the Three-Country Cairn in summer, from once the lake has thawed until the end of September. The boat departs from the shore of the lake near the Kilpisjärvi Hiking Center. The trip lasts a total of three hours, with the cruise taking half an hour each way. From the Kolttalahti port, it is a 3km (2-mile) walk to the Three- Country Cairn.
Let yourself and your camera be captivated by the fells. Kilpisjärvi is a true wonderland for photographers. The changing seasons, light and weather conditions, landscapes, flora and fauna all offer unique photo opportunities for even the most experienced nature photographers.