Attractions in Norway
A beautiful mountain road passing gorges, waterfalls and brooks will take you from Kilpisjärvi to the Arctic Ocean. It is worth stopping at one of the viewpoints along the way, since the undulating and busy road may not let you enjoy the beautiful landscapes otherwise. It is also worth stopping by the Rovijoki waterfall or trekking around Lulledalen if you have the time.
Kilpisjärvi is also only a couple of hours away from three of the Hurtigruten’s port stops: Skjervøy, Tromsø and Finnsnes.
Day trips to Norway
The Rovijoki waterfall is also known as the ‘bridalveil’ waterfall. It is 28–30m (92-98 feet) high and is located right next to the E8 road in the valley between Kilpisjärvi and Skibotn. It is easy to miss this waterfall since the viewpoint is not signposted. The distance from Kilpisjärvi to the viewpoint is 36km (22 miles).
Lulledalen forest trail
Lulledalen is famous for its orchids. Sixteen different varieties grow in the area, of which the ‘lady’s slipper’ is the most famous. The lady’s slipper blooms in June and July. Certain other orchids, such as the ghost orchid, only bloom towards the end of August and in September. There are signs to Lulledalen’s forest trail from the E8 road, 34km (21 miles) from the Kilpisjärvi border crossing point. The trail’s starting point is well signposted. The trail is easy to navigate, making a 3km (2-mile) hike before returning to its starting point. Part of the trail runs through an area of protected taiga forest. At the end of the trail there is a shelter (‘laavu’), a campfire and an outhouse.
In Skibotn you can visit the old market area, a Norwegian convenience store, admire the incredible Lyngen Alps on the other side of the fjord, take a dip in the Arctic Ocean, or try sea fishing (no special permit required).
Travellers interested in the consequences of climate change can go to Steindalen’s glacier to see glacial retreat for themselves. You can reach the Steindalsbreen glacier through changing terrain by following the river that was formed of its glacial melt. There is a slight incline at the beginning of the trail, but after Steindahlshytta (a cabin available for rent), the trail rises and follows through a lush valley where sheep openly graze. Approaching the glacier the trail turns to moraine. The towering, snow-capped Steindalstinden (1,511m or 4,957 feet) and Gaskacohkka (1,507m or 4,944 feet) mountains loom on both sides. The journey to the glacier and back is about 13.5km (8 miles). The distance from Kilpisjärvi’s border crossing point to the start of the trail is approximately 85km (53 miles).
Bollmansveien, located in Falsnes near Skibotn, is a road constructed in autumn 1944 by Russian, Yugoslavian and Polish forced labourers and prisoners of war, which nowadays is a popular hiking destination.
In summer, from Halti you can continue your hike another 10km (6 miles) towards Guolasjärvi on the Norwegian side of the border, which is connected to Kilpisjärvi by road. There are no marked trails between Halti and Guolasjärvi, so it is worth bringing a compass and buying the Ráisduottarháldi 1:50,000 map of the northern border area of Norway. The trail from Guolasjärvi to Halti is very rocky and difficult to negotiate and is therefore not recommended to inexperienced hikers. Guolasjärvi is about 120km (75 miles) from Kilpisjärvi. In summer there is a bus which travels between Kilpisjärvi and Skibotn, but there is no public transport to Guolasjärvi. Kilpisjärvi’s transportation and car relocation services can arrange transport or move your car for you.
The capital of northern Norway, Tromsø, is located approximately 160km (100 miles) from Kilpisjärvi. Tromsø and the surrounding area has a long maritime history and a Sami heritage. Nowadays Tromsø city centre, located on an island, is popular for its café culture, quaint boutiques and youthful atmosphere. The city has a university of more than 10,000 students, a centre for marine biology research, and a Northern Lights observatory. The most famous sights are the architecturally impressive Arctic Cathedral, famous for its midnight concerts, the Northern Lights Planetarium, the Polaria aquarium, Tromsø Museum, and the Botanical Gardens.