The meeting place for three cultures on the shores of Lake Inarijärvi
A wilderness village by Lake Inari
Nellim is called the meeting place for three cultures for a good reason. Indeed, in the 1920s and 1930s, the original inhabitants of the area, the Inari Sámi people, were joined by Finnish loggers. After the Second World War, it received the Skolt Sámi population. The Skolt Sámi are an indigenous population of the Kola Peninsula in Russia, who lost their native lands in Petsamo as a result of the Second World War. The village of Nellim is close to the Russian border, on the south-eastern corner of Lake Inarijärvi. Lake Inarinjärvi can be accessed from the centre of the Nellim village by boat in the summer and snowmobile in the winter. You are likely to be able to enjoy the Northern Lights in Nellim, as there is no light pollution to spoil the view of the Aurora Borealis in the starry skies of the wilderness village.
Nellim is located about 40 kilometres from the commercial hub Ivalo. There is a new road from Ivalo to Nellim, making the journey safe and fast.
Local sights in Nellim
The renovated flume is the perfect day trip site for the whole family. The venue is accessible by car, or by the signposted path leading from Paksuvuono. There is also a lean-to shelter and a fireplace.
Nellim served as a major logging site in the 1930s and after WWII. In 1929, Atif Forestry Company commissioned a flume to cover the lower rapids of Keskimöjärvi all the way to Nellimjärvi. From there, the logs would be transported to Inarinjärvi, and finally along the River Paatsjoki to a sawmill located beside the Arctic Ocean in Elven, Norway.
Nellim Orthodox Church
Nellim’s Orthodox church is dedicated to the Holy Trinity and the memory of Trifon Petsamolainen. Built in 1987 as a prayer room, the church was consecrated by Metropolitan Bishop Leo a year later. The design of the church is based on the old part of the Petsamo convent church. The church is a reformation church, which is also used for Evangelical-Lutheran services.
Tsarmitunturi Wilderness Area
Tsarmitunturi wilderness area is a remote fell and forest area in between the Russian border and the roads from Ivalo to Nellim and to Raja-Jooseppi. The highland of Tsarmitunturi and Akalauttapää Fells are surrounded by untouched, old northern forests. In fact, Finland’s northernmost continuous spruce forest can be found here. There are no marked trails in Tsarmitunturi wilderness area, and therefore it is only suitable for independent hikers and hunters.
The beautifully rugged wilderness lake of Inari, or Inarijärvi in Finnish, is the third largest and the second deepest lake in Finland. The great lake features some 3,318 islands, as well as a series of large ridges without islands. A tight-knit network of wilderness huts carpets the shoreline and the islands, providing shelter for canoeists and boaters during the summer and cross-country skiers during the winter. During the summer season that kicks off in June, visitors have the opportunity to enjoy Lake Inari via a boat cruise – also under the Midnight Sun!
Paatsjoki Bridge on the Russian border
The border between Finland and Russia is a large part of the everyday scene in Nellim. Located a few kilometres away from the village, the Paatsjoki Bridge offers visitors an impressive view of the river, as well as the guard towers located across the border of Finland and Russia. The national border between Russia and Finland is just a stone’s throw from the bridge. It is also a popular spot for watching and photographing the Northern Lights as the River Paatsjoki never freezes. The surface of the river offers amazing reflections when the auroras appear.