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Lapland 'Land of the Midnight Sun' 7-day Self-guided Walking Tour Level 2
Wilderness nature, silence, midnight sun and clean air - tour type: self-guided, individual walking tour (guided tour on request)
On this Western Lapland walking holiday you will walk mainly in the Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park. The nature of Lapland is so captivating, you will want to return again and again. The Lappish atmosphere offers many experiences that stimulate all senses and feelings. During your walk, you will; pass through boreal old-growth forests, rocky ravines, marshes rich in cloudberries, along crystal clear lakes and streams. You will climb to the fell tops where you can admire the beauty of the wilderness stretching out in front of you. You may pass some reindeer on your hike or indeed in the village. Bathe in the golden light of the midnight sun. In summer, the sun does not set. From late May until early August, the sun stays above the horizon 24 hours. In autumn, there is also plenty of daylight: in August around 23 to 16 hours and in September around 15 to 12 hours. Both summer and autumn offer wonderful colour contrasts. In autumn, the changing colours are a spectacle to behold and they are at the most vivid in the second week of September. This time of change is known as ‘Ruska’. The fell area of western Finland is renowned for having the cleanest air and nature in Europe. Not only will you see pure beauty, but you can also stand and listen to the sound of silence. You can finish your days relaxing in a typical Finnish sauna. This tour comes with a warning, as Lapland will certainly put a spell on you!
Level of difficulty: 2 + / 4 = moderate +
The fells can be considered most likely as hills -not mountains- as they are eroded remains of Svekokarelids (mountains that existed three billion years ago). Therefore the elevation differences are quite moderate. You walk on both narrow and wide paths, on duckboards and steps (mainly on paths). Sometimes the paths are bare (undemanding), sometimes there are rocks and roots of trees on the path ground. There are some steep and rocky stretches in the ascents / descends, but these stretches are relatively short. Anyhow, because of these short but demanding stretches, surefootedness is required.
The third day’s trail, Pyhäkota – Kukastunturi – Äkäslompolo, is quite long but the elevation differences are moderate and the paths are undemanding. The Pirunkuru trail is only for surefooted, as the ascent to the fell is steep and more importantly on craggy rocks. There is an easier optional trail (Hillapolku) to substitute with the Pirunkuru trail. As a whole there are more undemanding stretches than demanding stretches and the trails are very rewarding. About mosquitos: worst period with many mosquitos is normally for two weeks somewhere in July. Best periods without / with less mosquitos are in June, August and September (depending on year).
Slow Tours offers a number of other Walking Tours in Europe
Independent arrival in Sirkka (Levi). Transfer from Kittilä airport to Sirkka if booked.
Kätkätunturi, 14 km | + 310 m / - 310 m
Your first fell to conquer is the beautiful Kätkätunturi fell. The ascent and descent include some short steep and rocky stretches, but the nature and its colors on your way and the view to the adjacent fells and to Immeljärvi Lake from the fell top are wonderful.
Pyhäkota – Kukastunturi – Äkäslompolo, 19 km | + 240 m / - 260 m
Today you get a transfer to Pyhäkota at Pyhäjärvi Lake. You walk along the lakeshore and through forest and marshes until you reach the foot of the Lainiotunturi fell. You continue a moor-like fellside of the Lainiotunturi fell and arrive to Kotamaja hut with fire place, a beautiful spot between three fells, Pyhätunturi, Lainiotunturi and Kukastunturi. The ascent to Kukastunturi fell is easy. From the treeless top you can admire a wonderful view out to the surrounding fells, lakes and wilderness. You descend to the forest and walk to Äkäslompolo village.
Pirunkuru, 13 km | + 270 m / - 270 m OR Hillapolku 9 km | + 40 m / - 40 m
Today you can choose between demanding Pirunkuru ravine trail or undemanding Hillapolku trail encircling Kesänkijärvi Lake. Overnight in Äkäslompolo. Pirunkuru trail: on this trail surefootedness is required. The trail includes demanding rocky ravine ascent. You walk through forest to Kesänkijärvi Lake and continue the lakeshore with view to Kellostapuli fell. Then you have a demanding but rewarding ascent in the rocky ravine of Pirunkuru to the top of Kesänkitunturi fell. Take the ascent slowly with many breaks to admire the view at the same time. After Kesänkitunturi you arrive to Tahkokuru ravine and to a hut with campfire place. A forest path will bring you back to Äkäslompolo. Hillapolku trail: this trail is flat and undemanding with designated campfire spot. Hillapolku, literally “cloudberry trail” goes around the clear watered Kesänkijärvi Lake between Kesänkitunturi and Kellostapuli fells.
Äkässaivo and Äkäskero, 15 km | + 260 m / - 250 m
Today you have a transfer to Äkässaivo. You walk to a steep-walled ravine lake and the massive Seita rock, an ancient Sámi worship and sacrifice place. Then a walk through a coniferous forest brings you to ascend to Äkäskero fell. There is one demanding but short stretch before you reach the top. You cross the long moor-like fell top with awesome color contrasts and scenery. After that, you can visit another ancient Sámi worship site and admire a beautiful view to Äkäsjärvi Lake. Finally you will arrive at a small water mill Äkäsmylly. Transfer back to Äkäslompolo village.
Kellostapuli, 12 km | + 220 m / - 220 m
Today’s trail goes around Kellostapuli fell and across Kellostapulinkuru and Varkaankuru ravines. This varied trail runs on paths, duckboards and steps and is maybe the most beautiful of all. Through forest along the fellside of Kellostapuli, you arrive to Kellostapulinkuru ravine between two fells. Admire the barren beauty of the craggy rocks of the ravine. In Varkaankuru ravine instead, you walk a relatively long stretch along a lovely stream in a forest with verdant deciduous trees. Return to Äkäslompolo through coniferous forest.
Transfer to Kittilä airport (if booked).
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