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Enontekiö

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Enontekiö (Sami: Eanodat or Iänudâh, Swedish: Enontekis) is a large sparsely populated municipality in the north-western arm of Finnish Lapland. The municipality contains part of Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park, a number of designated wilderness areas as well as all peaks of more than 1000 meters in Finland, among them the highest peak Halti at 1,324 m (4,344 ft) above sea level. Enontekiö has the second lowest population density in Finland, with only 0.2 people per km² (2010 data). A significant section of the municipality lies above the tree line.

Location of Enontekiö

Villages[edit]

  • Hetta (Heahttá in Sami) – Hetta is the main village and administrative centre of the municipality so the names Hetta and Enontekiö are used interchangeably.
  • Kilpisjärvi (Gilbbesjávri in Sami) – The northernmost village of Enontekiö is the location of Sana fell and a great starting point for a trip to Halti. Tripoint with Sweden and Norway in Malla Nature Reserve.
  • Karesuvanto (Gárasavvon in Sami or Karesuando in Swedish) – the main border crossing in Enontekiö between Sweden and Finland

Other Destinations[edit]

Landscape near Kilpisjärvi, early September.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

Enontekiö airport is situated 6 km west of the main village of Hetta. Currently it is only served by Flybe airlines during spring, but numerous charter flights land throughout the winter. At present there are no air services during the summer months due to poor demand.

Kittilä Airport located between Kittilä and Levi, 150 km south by road, is probably the next nearest airport within easy reach of Hetta. A bus service connects Kittilä to Hetta (see below)

Alta Airport in the northern Norwegian town of Alta is 200 km north by road. Bus connections between Alta and Hetta are possible but more complicated.

By car[edit]

Usually people arrive to Enontekiö by car, either from the south or from the neighbouring countries, Norway and Sweden. From Norway you usually enter through the border town of Kilpisjärvi by European route E8, further east via Kautokeino and Kivilompolo by road 93, or through Sweden. From Sweden there are several crossings south of Hetta and Karesuando/Karesuvanto to the west.

Cars are available for rent, if booked in advance, at most major airports, including Alta and Kittila. There are limited rental car services in Hetta, mainly run by local entrepreneurs – if you want to rent a car in Hetta it is best to ask for details at your hotel. Demand is low, so there is no need to pre-book; journeys must conclude in Hetta. Cars can also be taken on the trains from southern Finland.

It is possible to get someone to drive your car to where you need it. Ask at your hotel.

By train[edit]

The Finnish rail network terminates over 300 km to the south in Rovaniemi and Kolari. Swedish trains from the south go to Luleå and Boden, and along Malmbanan from there via Kiruna to Narvik in Norway.

An overnight train allows you to have a good rest before continuing by bus or car.

By bus[edit]

Up here in the north, the bus network is the next best way to get around. There are a number of routes north from Rovaniemi, the most import of which is Rovaniemi–Hetta service, which operates twice daily. This service connects Rovaniemi via Kittilä Airport, the ski resorts of Levi and Olos, Muonio and finally Hetta, with various stops in-between. Officially, [http://www.matkahuolto.fi/fi/index.html Matkahuolto releases bus schedules for September–May and May–August so be sure to check the website for the latest timetable. The journey from Rovaniemi to Hetta takes around 4hrs 50min, and the journey from Kittilä to Hetta takes around 2hrs 30min.

The Swedish bus service Lanstrafiken Norrbotten Busses provides a service from Alta to Kautokeino. From Kautokeino you can take a bus across the border to Finland with Eskelisen Lapin Linjat to Hetta, but only during the summer months, June–August.

In summer there is also a service by Eskelisen Lapin Linjat between Tromsø in Norway and Rovaniemi, via Kilpisjärvi, which can be used also to reach Hetta (with quite a long wait at Palojoensuu).

By bike[edit]

The Eurovelo cycling route nr 7 from Nordkapp to Malta ("Sun Route", 7,409 km) comes down trough Finnmarksvidda, passes Hetta and continues down through Sweden. There are no biking lanes or other special arrangements for bikers up here, so there is no big advantage of the Eurovelo route, but there may be more information and tips on it than on the other options – and usually there is just one road to choose from.

Distances are huge but the hills are not very steep, the roads are mostly well maintained and traffic is light. Mind your clothing – even in July average temperatures are around 10°C (50°F) in some parts of the municipality.

The coaches usually take bikes, so you can choose what legs to go on your own.

Get around[edit]

National road 21 in winter, near Kilpisjärvi.

Practically there are three forms of transport in these parts of Finland: your own car, taxi and coach. Coaches run one or two times every day from Rovaniemi. Bikes are useful in the summer and can be taken on the bus. In the winter there is a network of snowmobile routes and snowmobile tracks.

There is a system with taxis driving on request by bus fare along certain routes around the municipality ("kutsutaksi"). These are primary meant for elderly inhabitants of small villages needing to visit Hetta once in a while, but are open to anyone. They mostly drive weekly and must be requested before 18:00 the preceding evening. Check these if ordinary buses do not seem to fit and you do not want to use normal taxis. With some luck they may allow a chat giving insight in local life in quite an other way than using tourist facilities.

There is also transport from the airports (still valid?).

Then of course, trekking is one of the reasons to come here. There is lot of nature to be explored by foot, ski, bike, canoe or similar means. Snowmobiles can also be rented (but are restricted to waterways and marked routes, some of which require paying a fee).

See[edit]

Wilderness areas, national parks and nature reserves in Enontekiö.
Palsa swamp in Enontekiö.

Views and nature.

  • 1 Fell Lapland Nature Centre, +358 20 564 7950, e-mail: . Mon–Fri 9–16, in season daily 9–17. In Hetta
  • 2 Järämä WWII Fortification Camp (Järämän linnoitusalue), Käsivarrentie 5465, 99470 Karesuvanto (Drive the main road number 21/E8, about 20 km from Karesuvanto village, in the direction of Kilpisjärvi.), +358 400 556 215. Järämä renovated fortification camp, known as Sturmbock-Stellung to the Germans, is located in Enontekiö municipality, in the north-west of Lapland. Originally it was built by Germans and is just one part of a larger network of fortification camps, built during the Lapland War, to protect the harbours of the Arctic Ocean. The camp is dug partly into the bedrock. No real battles were ever fought in this fortification camp.

Do[edit]

  • Hiking, cross country skiing, whitewater sports etc.
  • Downhill snowsports, snowmobile and husky safaris and other programme services
    • Hetta Ski Resort (Hiihtomaa), Hetta Hiihtomaa Peuratie 23, 99400 Enontekiö, +358 40 586 4428. 10am-6pm. Located on the slopes of a small hill near the centre of the village, Hetta's ski resort has several gentle pistes (no drop greater than 100m) suitable for skiing and snowboarding serviced by drag-type ski lifts. There is also an illuminated cross-country ski track which starts here and can be used free of charge. Equipment hire and lessons available from the portacabins at the bottom of the main slopes. Due to the low number of customers and gentle slopes this is a perfect place to try skiing or snowboarding for the first time.
    • Hetta Huskies, 211Hetantie, 99400, Enontekiö (Drive out of Hetta on the road south to Palojoenso and the Swedish border. The farm is c. 2 km after the turn to Norway.), +358 16 641 590. Hetta Huskies is Enontekiö's only husky farm. Run by a British woman and the first Finn to reach the South Pole unsupported, it offers everything from farm visits and short taster rides to day-safaris and multi-day wilderness journeys. The farm is constantly praised as one of the best run and dog-friendly in Finnish Lapland but its prices are surprisingly competitive. Sledding is only available in snowy months but farm tours and other products with dog interaction are available year round. See website for details and prices.
    • Käsivarren Luontopalvelut, Saharannantie 66, +358 40 589 1940. Program services

Buy[edit]

  • 1 Sportbutikk (Sport-Hetta Oy), Ruijantie 15 (in Hetta centre, by the road towards Kautokeino), +358 400 184 185. Sports and leisure clothing and shoes, ski waxes and goggles, snowmobile accessories and parts, fishing supplies and fireworks before New Years Eve. Also a small hardware store.
  • 2 K-market J Ad Rantakokko, Kustaavantie 1 (in Hetta centre), +358 16 530 1100. Mon–Fri 8:30–20:00, Sat 8:30–18:00. Grocery store. Also hardware.

Shops also in Kilpisjärvi and at some other locations.

Eat[edit]

Food is expensive in this part of Finland, so you should expect to see this reflected in menu prices. The produce available is limited as you might expect, but reindeer and fish usually feature on most menus.

Hetta[edit]

  • Hotel Hetan Majatalo (Hetan Majatalo Oy), Riekontie 8, 99401 Enontekiö, +358 16-5540400. Traditional and excellent Lappish and Finnish food from buffet in an idyllic dining room is served during high-seasons and on request.
  • Café Silja, Riekontie 1 99400 Enontekiö (opposite the municipality building in the centre of Hetta), +358 40 7775879. Food served until late on Friday & Saturday. One of the few dedicated eating establishments in Hetta. Serves a nice range of cake and drinks, as well as soups and main meals. Their 'Poro' (reindeer) Burger is probably their speciality dish. Fridays and Saturdays also features a karaoke night. Expect to pay €2-5 for coffee and cakes, €8-15 for main meals.

Kilpisjärvi[edit]

See Kilpisjärvi

Other Areas[edit]

  • FellHotel Vuontispirtti (Tunturihotelli Vuontispirtti), Vuontispirtintie 267, 99340 Raattama, +358 400380093. Restaurant (non alcohol service , cafe, breakfast buffet and dinner buffet every day at the high seasons. ( March, April and September )

Drink[edit]

Hetta[edit]

Kilpisjärvi[edit]

See Kilpisjärvi

Sleep[edit]

Hetta[edit]

  • 1 Ounasloma Luxury Cabins, Ounasloma Oy Ounastie 1 99400 Enontekiö, +358 16 521055. Ounasloma has 13 luxury cabins located in a small area just off the main road and very close to the lake. All mod cons and underfloor heating to keep it nice and toasty when it's -35°C outside! Run by a nice man called Alpo who is also a great source of advice for local activities. From 58 euros per night.
  • 2 Hotel Hetan Majatalo (Hotelli Hetan Majatalo), Riekontie 8, 99401 Enontekiö (right in the centre of the village of Hetta), +358 16-554 0400. Lapland's oldest family company in tourism, Hetan Majatalo was founded 1924 and is now into it's fourth generation. Old-time, traditional inn and a modern hotel with 27 spacious room for 2–6 persons. As a speciality hotel rooms have a loft with a skylight window and sufficient space. Lobby with fire place and piano. Wi-Fi and public computer, small library, playgrounds in- and outdoors, souvenir corner, fitness room, waxing room for skis, small kitchen, loundry. Lappish and Finnish food. Sauna.
  • 3 Holiday Village Hetan Kota (Lomakylä Hetan Kota), Ounastie 583, 99400 Enontekiö (4 km east of the village centre, at the end of the lake), +358 400 183 020. Check-in: 14.00, check-out: 12.00. from 50€/night.

Kilpisjärvi[edit]

See Kilpisjärvi

Other Areas[edit]

  • 4 FellHotel Vuontispirtti (Tunturihotelli Vuontispirtti), Vuontispirtintie 267, 99340 Raattama. Accommodation, hotel rooms and cabins; restaurant (non alcohol service) just east of Pallas-Ylläs National Park.

Go next[edit]

See the neighbouring countries Sweden and Norway. Especially road to Skibotn in Norway has incredible canyon sights.

This city travel guide to Enontekiö is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.