North of Inari by the main road E75, lies the village of Kaamanen. It is a traditional meeting point as from there the roads and snowmobile tracks lead to North, East, South and West. To the North lies Utsjoki, to the West Karigasniemi and Sevettijärvi and Näätämö are located in the East.
Bird photographers paradise
Kaamanen has a strong fishing and wilderness culture. In River Kaamanen and other surrounding fishing waters, brown trout and grayling are caught. The area is known for its extensive wild fowl population and is said to be the paradise for the bird photographers.
Karigasniemi en route to North Cape
West of Kaamanen by the Norwegian border is the village of Karigasniemi with its 500 inhabitants. The national boarder of Finland and Norway runs in the River Inari which passes the village and changes to River Teno at the meeting point of the River Karas just few kilometres north of Karigasniemi. The closest neighbour, Karasjok, on the Norwegian side of the boarder is only 18 km away. There is good access from Karigasniemi to the Porsang fjord of Arctic Ocean and to the North Cape. Finland’s most beautiful road connects Karisgasniemi into the village of Utsjoki.
Local sights in Karigasniemi & Kaamanen
The most beautiful road in Finland
The route 970 takes you from Karigasniemi to Utsjoki following the 100 km journey alongside the River Teno continuing from there to Nuorgam. This “Route Teno” has been given the title of the most beautiful route in Finland as it travels alongside the river through breathtakingly beautiful river valley – you cannot find anything like it elsewhere in Finland.
The municipality of Utsjoki has three fells named Ailigas, all of which are located near the Tenojoki River. The highest of the three is located in Karigasniemi, near the area where the Inarijoki River turns into Tenojoki. This particular Ailigas stands an impressive 620 metres high. The second highest fell rises straight up from the shore of the Tenojoki River by the Nuvvus village. Indeed, this 535-metre high fell goes by the name of Nuvvus-Ailigas. The smallest of the three fells stands at 342 metres in height, protecting the village centre of Utsjoki.
Sulaoja is Finland’s biggest natural spring measured by water content. It has been a sacred place for the Sámi people, as the water has been believed to have healing character. Sulaoja is the southern starting gate to the Kevo Strict Nature Reserve, and there is a 2 km nature trail to the spring and surrounding nature. The path is easy to walk and provides information on the area.
Kevo Strict Nature Reserve
The Kevo Nature Reserve with its magnificent canyon is among the most rugged hiking attractions in Finland. The heart of the nature reserve consists of a canyon spanning 40km in length and in places 80m in depth, at the bottom of which flows the Kevojoki River. The rest of the nature reserve is fell highland crossed by gentle slopes of ravines. There are also large tundra-like open mires. There are two marked, rather demanding hiking trails of 63km and 86km and a two-kilometre long nature trail at Sulaoja. The unique area is a prime habitat for rare birds, which is why access is restricted to signposted trails.
Muotkatunturi Wilderness Area
Muotkatunturi Wilderness Area is a wilderness area in its true meaning as there are no marked trails and only few wilderness huts. The rolling fells, the beautiful Lake Peltojärvi and fast-flowing rivers of the Muotkatunturi area give the landscape its distinctive appearance. Muotka area is suitable for experienced hikers and outdoor enthusiasts.
Paistunturi Wilderness Area
Paistunturi is a large continuous wilderness area in between Kaamanen, Karigasniemi and Utsjoki. In the middle of the area rises the rounded fell tops of Paistunturit at the height of around 600 metres. Around are vast mires, fell heaths and mountain birch forests. Just as in the Kevo Nature Reserve which divides Paistunturi area into two, deep canyon-like river valleys cross in between the uplands. This makes river crossings in the area especially difficult during rainy seasons.