Welcome to Kilpisjärvi – be enchanted by the beauty of nature!

Home to the country’s highest fells, untouched wilderness, glassy lakes and ponds, freely roaming reindeer herds, and landscapes which you would never have thought you could find in Finland. You can find them all in Kilpisjärvi, a village of under one hundred permanent residents, which attracts tourists throughout the year. This fabled and inspiring fell region, located near the Arctic Ocean where three countries meet, gives you possibilities to do and see things that you’ve never been able to before. Welcome to Finland’s only mountain resort!

Where is Kilpisjärvi?

The village of Kilpisjärvi is located in the northwest extremity of Lapland in the municipality of Enontekiö. Kilpisjärvi is the municipality’s northernmost village, and the last village before the Norwegian border. It is only a 50km (30-mile) drive to the Arctic Ocean, mostly downhill since the village is located about 500m (1,640 feet) above sea level. The village is bordered by Kilpisjärvi lake and the Saana fell, sacred to the Sami people.

The legend of Kilpisjärvi

According to legend, many years ago Kilpisjärvi was inhabited by giants. The sullen giant Saana fell in love with the graceful maiden Malla. At their wedding, where they were to be married by the sharp-minded wise man Paras, the jealous rival suitor Pältsä summoned the wicked witches. Suddenly, the wedding ceremony was interrupted by fierce glacial winds, which brought enormous masses of ice. At the last second, Saana whisked his bride into his arms before they were frozen in place. The grieving bride’s tears formed the lake that is now Kilpisjärvi.

Many centuries later, the masses of ice melted and the giants were freed. Saana had become even more sullen than before, and the round-faced Malla jumped into her mother’s arms, their tears forming the Kitsi waterfall. Memories of Saana and Malla’s wedding appear in Kilpisjärvi every autumn in its beautiful seasonal colours – the church clothes of the wedding guests had been ripped apart and blown away by the wind into the the hills and valleys. The youngest giants can still be seen at the bottom of the lakes, thousands of years later, in the skeletons of the giant pine trees.