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Kittilä

municipality in the region of Lapland in Finland


Kittilä is a municipality in Finnish Lapland. The best known destinations here are the Levi ski resort at Sirkka, Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park in the west (Ylläsjärvi, Jerisjärvi/Rauhala) and Lemmenjoki National Park in the north. The snow village in Lainio has got a lot of attention lately.

The airport serves many destinations also outside Kittilä.

The municipality is monolingually Finnish. English is widely understood.

UnderstandEdit

 
Ounasjoki river

The main tourist information is in Levi:

Kittilä covers a vast area consisting mostly of taiga forest and bogs, with only 6400 permanent residents. River Ounasjoki runs through the municipality almost directly from north to south. Some remote villages got a road connection only after the WWII. The fell massifs, especially Pallastunturi and Levi, got some fame for their sights already in the 18th century but the remoteness was a major issue until the main village got a suitable road and a coach connection from Rovaniemi in 1923. Already in the 1930s a small hotel was built at Pallastunturi, but the visitors had to hike or travel in a reindeer sleigh(!) to get there until the road to the fell was accomplished in 1956. The 55 km long trekking route between Pallastunturi and Hetta in Enontekiö was opened in 1934 and is the oldest marked hiking trail in Finland.

In the WWII aftermath, known as the Lapland War, almost all buildings in the area were destroyed by retreating German troops, including the hotel at Pallastunturi and even some of the roadless villages.

Today Kittilä is a vivid and economically stable community and one of the very few municipalities in Lapland having positive net migration. The 2 Levi skiing resort is one of the most popular winter sports centres in Finland with almost complete set of services and top level nightlife for after ski.

For nature enthusiasts, parts of 3 Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park, 4 Lemmenjoki National Park and 5 Pulju Wilderness Area extend to Kittilä but the landscape is more or less backcountry elsewhere as well.

6 Suurikuusikko mine, located about 40 km from the main village as the crow flies, is the largest gold mine in Europe and an employer for over 1000 people. This ore rich municipality is struggling between interests of international mining companies and increasing request for unspoiled nature.

The coldest temperature ever recorded in Finland, −51.5°C, was measured in the 7 Pokka village in January 28th 1999.

Get inEdit

By planeEdit

  • 1 Kittilä Airport (KTT IATA) (5 km north from the centre). is served from Helsinki by Finnair (daily) and in season by Norwegian (4 times a week), in season also services by Lufthansa from München (weekly) and TUI Fly from Brussels (weekly), as well as some charter airlines from the British Isles and Central Europe.

Public transport to several destinations, partly, especially off season, as shuttle services that have to be booked in advance. There are several car rental companies at the airport, but advance reservation may be needed.    

By carEdit

Kittilä is situated about 150 km north from Rovaniemi. Many people coming from the south choose to take the car with them on the train from Helsinki and then drive from either Rovaniemi or from Kolari which is just some 60 km away from Kittilä (however the train to Kolari only runs twice a week).

Optionally you can drive from Helsinki. The distance is almost 1000 km and the drive will take some 12–14 hours depending on road conditions. If driving from Germany or Central Europe in general, the shortest alternative is to drive through Sweden along road E4 all the way to Luleå and then through Pajala to the Finnish border and on to Kittilä.

By railEdit

There are overnight trains to Rovaniemi and to Kolari (sparsely to the latter) from southern Finland and to Luleå from southern Sweden. From there you can continue by coach.

By busEdit

There are coach services from e.g. Rovaniemi, Hetta, Kilpisjärvi, Kolari, Sodankylä and Haparanda.

Get aroundEdit

SeeEdit

 
Särestöniemi Museum
  • The midnight sun is visible from late-May to mid-July for about 45 days on the latitude of Levi. The polar night starts early December and lasts about one month. During the winter, the northern lights are a common sight.
  • 1 Kittilä wooden church, Valtatie 93 (in the centre). The wooden church in Kittilä was designed by Carl Ludwig Engel and built 1829–1831. The church was saved in Lapland War.

In or near the main villageEdit

  • 2 Home of Kalervo Palsa (Palsa-museo), Kivitie 14 B (in the centre). Jun–Aug Tu–Sa 12:00–18:00. Home and atelier of the visual artist Kalervo Palsa (1947–1987). €5/2.50 (cash only).
  • 3 Kittilä museum of local history and culture (Kittilän kotiseutumuseo), Pakattiojantie 1 (Pakatti, some 4 km from the centre), +358 40 568 1356, . summertime Tue-Sat 11:00-17:00. A local history museum in old buildings moved here and placed in a traditional manner. Main building from the 1860s.

ElsewhereEdit

  • 4 Taatsi sieidi (Taatsin seita) (about 100 km from the main village and 11 km from Pokka, near the end of a small forest road). This sacred place for the Sami people is considered as one of the most powerful sieidi places in Lapland. The surrounding forests are protected and the place itself is a nationally significant cultural environment. There is a short trail from the gravel road. The road is not maintained in winter. There is an open wilderness hut, campfire site and dry toilet about 1 km away from the sieidi.
  • 5 Kaukonen village (20 km from the centre). A very picturesque village on both banks of river Ounasjoki by the road between Rovaniemi and Kittilä. Included to the list of nationally significant built cultural environments and most buildings were saved in Lapland War. Silence Festival in June. Free.
  • 6 Särestöniemi museum, Särestöntie 880 (in Kaukonen village, 25 km from the centre), +358 16 654-480, . Tu–Su 12–18. Estate of the artist Reidar Särestöniemi (1925–1981), one of the most important visual artists in Lapland, known for strong Lapland-inspired oil paintings. The museum includes the old buildings, and gallery and cafeteria by artist couple Reima and Raili Pietilä. Also changing exhibitions with other artists and chamber music concerts. €12/10.
  • 7 Gallery Raekallio (18 km from Levi), +358 40 484 0122, . daily 10–18. Atelier and gallery of famous painter Reijo Raekallio (1950-). Weekly changing exhibition.
  • 8 Lainio Snow village, Lainiontie 566 (Lainio, see below).
  • 9 Pulju village (74 km from the centre). Pulju is a true wilderness village. During the Lapland War it was so deep in the forest that even German soldiers didn't wander that far and therefore the village was completely saved from destruction. When president Kekkonen visited the village in 1959 he had to walk almost 30 km to get there. The road was opened in 1962. Until then the locals used reindeer to carry goods from other villages.
  • 10 Kelontekemä village (46 km from the centre). Another backcountry village which was roadless and remote enough to be completely saved from destruction during the Lapland War. Village and music festival in July.
  • 11 Ruoppaköngäs rapids, Muoniontie 2177 (22 km from Levi). Small rapids about 200 meters from the road. No maintained trail in winter. free.
  • 12 Linkupalo volcanic park (Linkupalon tulivuoripusto), Aakenuksentie (40 km from Levi). A 1.5 km long nature trail showing geological formations formed by volcanic activity some 2 billion years ago. free.

DoEdit

Most people come to Kittilä for downhill skiing in the winter. They head for the nearby ski centres Levi and Ylläs.

There are also a host of other outdoor activities offered by tour providers, see below, sorted by village.

You can also go hiking or cross-country skiing on your own in Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park. The nearest trailheads are around Aakennustunturi, both trails and skiing tracks.

  • Totovaara: 16 km by road 80 towards Kolari; also 1 Aakenustunturi nature trail (15 km) and Joutsenpolku (7 km) nature trail
  • Äijänkuusikko (10 km farther; skiing tracks, on the other side of Aakennustunturi.
  • Trail via Niritsa: 20 km from Kittilä, turn right to road 9403; also Aakennustunturi nature trail (starting 4 km from the road). The skiing tracks start at Levi 20 km away.
  • Kalliokoski: 25 km from Kittilä, drive 5 km further along road 9403. The trail and the skiing tracks start at Levi 20 km away.

Sirkka and KöngäsEdit

For activities in or near the villages Sirkka and Köngäs (about 10km north of Sirkka/Levi), see Levi.

RauhalaEdit

 
Lake Jerisjärvi.

In or near the village Rauhala at lake Jerisjärvi, near Pallas-Yllästunturi fell chain and national park.

  • Fell Trek, Muoniontie 3124, 99135 Rauhala, +358 40 509-8210. In the village of Rauhala next to Lake Jerisjärvi and Pallas-Yllästunturi fell chain. Cross-country ski tours, snow shoe tours and other winter activities; hiking, biking, canoeing tours and programmes, multi-activity programmes. Guided tours for a day or even a week. Accommodation in rooms for 1–2 persons and cottages, also independently of activities.
  • Pallashusky, 99135 Rauhala, +358 40 551-3153. several days' husky programmes in the beautiful surroundings of Pallas-Ylläs National Park.

BuyEdit

 
Kittilä centre

EatEdit

Try the Lappish speciality Poronkäristys (reindeer meat).

DrinkEdit

SleepEdit

Kittilä centreEdit

Jerisjärvi/RauhalaEdit

See also Do above.

Sirkka and KöngäsEdit

Large selection. See listings in Levi.

LainioEdit

30 km from Kittilä centre, near the road between Kittilä and Ylläsjärvi.

  • 4 Lainio snow village, Lainiotie 566, +358 40-416-7227 (M–F 9:00–17:00), . Early December–early April; 10:00–22:00 (last entry 21:00). Check-out: 11:00. Sleep in a room of snow and ice (with temperature a little below freezing). Sculpture theme 2018–2019: Game of Thrones. Warm sleeping bags etc. provided. Showers and other facilities in a nearby warmer environment. Guided tour included. Also normal cabins. Activities for overnight guests and others, including husky, reindeer and snowmobile safaris (some with ice fishing or northern light viewing), skiing and snowshoe trips; not all activities all days. Also weddings. Snow village accommodation €220–350; tour for non-stayers €15/8.

Pulju-LompoloEdit

Go nextEdit

Routes through Kittilä
MuonioLevi  N   S  RovaniemiEND



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