In My Heart

Utsjoki is the largest Sami municipality in Finland

Utsjoki is the border municipality

Utsjoki municipality borders to Norway and Norwegian Lapland. When you come to Utsjoki you also enter the shores of the Tana river - Teno river in Finnish and Deatnu in Sami language. The Lapland brigde crosses the river between Finland and Norway. Read more about the Teno river.

This is the only municipality in Finland where the Sami or Lapps constitute the majority of the population. Most people live in three villages, Nuorgam, Utsjoki and Karigasniemi. Utsjoki is the administrative center of the municipality.

In the Utsjoki municipality there are 3 main villages:
  • Utsjoki
  • Karigasniemi
  • Nuorgam

    Utsjoki church

    Utsjok kirkeThe Lutheran church is located 6 kilometres south of Utsjoki centre at Mantojärvi lake (Mattajavri in the Sami language). The church was designed by Ernst Lohrmann. They used grey granite to build it. The work was completed in 1853.

    The church seats 230 persons with a floor space of 170 square metres. The steeple is located at the eastern end of the church, and the western end has a lower flat-roofed vestry. The altar painting 'Christ Entering Heaven' was painted in 1924 by Aukusti Koivisto.

    Church cabins

    The old church cabins are just across the road from the church are interesting. The church cabins mainly date back to the 19th century. The oldest date back to the 18th century. 14 cabins have been restored.

    The churchgoers from afar stayed in these cabins when going to church and to the markets, which were arranged at Christmas, Easter, St. Mary's Day, Midsummer, Saint Michael’s Day, and on All Saints’ Day.

    Utsjoki kirkestuer The church cabins are located on a beautiful low hill on the shores of the Mantojärvi Lake approximately 6 kilometres south of the Utsjoki village. In summer you'll find a handicrafts shop and cafeteria.

    (All photos: Olav E. Johansen)


    is the northernmost village in Finland and in the EU, 510 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle. The location is very central on route to the Arctic Ocean and the Finnmark area in Norway.

    Nuorgam is the northernmost tip of the EU The position of the point is 70°05'22"N 27°57'45"E. There is a small sign just on the Finnish-Norwegian border showing this. (Photo: Olav E. Johansen/Ossimellom)

    The proximity to the Norwegian border crossing gives Nuorgam and its 200 inhabitants a very international atmosphere. Summer is dominated by the king of fish, the salmo salar and sports fishermen from all over Europe come to try their luck.

    Read more about Nuorgam.


    Karigasniemi is one of three villages in Utsjoki municipality. It is at the upper parts of River Teno (Tana). Many Norwegians do their shopping at Karigasniemi. In the village you can hear Sámi, Finnish and Norwegian. From Karigasniemi there is a river crossing to Karasjok in Norway.

    From Karigasniemi you can reach Karasjok and from there go on to Lakselv and the North Cape or to other places in Norwegian Lapland. The road between Karigasniemi and Utsjoki follows River Teno.

    At Karigasniemi we find the sacred Ailigas mountain and also the Sulaoja fountain. Both mean a lot for local Sami. At Sulaoja there is nature trail. When hike the area, please observe that you show due respect to nature. From Karigasniemi there is a marked hiking route to the Kevo Canyon (Kevo Nature Reserve).

    South of Karigasniemi there is large wilderness area called Muotkatunturi wilderness area. To the north we find the the large wilderness area called Paistunturi.

    Kevo strict nature reserve

    At the Kevo Strict Nature Reserve you can experience wonderful Lapland landscapes.There are two marked trails. Both trails are quite demanding. The longest is 63 km long. The size of the reserve is 712 square kilometres. It was established in 1956 and extended 1982.

    Read more a lot more about the Kevo strict nature reserve.

    Here is a map of Utsjoki and the Kevo Nature reserve.

    Getting to Nuorgam and Utsjoki

    Buss routes

    A buss leaves Rovaniemi daily and the schedule can be found at:
    Eskelisen Lapin Linjat and
    Gold Line

    The Norwegian buss schedules can be found here.

    Airline schedules

    The closest airport in Finland is in Ivalo to which Finnair flies daily from Helsinki.

    SAS (Scandinavian Airlines) and Wideroe fly to the airport in Kirkenes in Norway.

    Accommodation in Utsjoki

    The Hotel Luossajohka is situated a few kilometres south of the Utsjoki centre (on the E-74).

    At Teno Salmon they have nice cottages just on the shores of the Tana river.

    Camping Lapinkylä is located near the centre of the town of Utsjoki.

    The cottages of Tenon Lomapalvelu and the center of services is located at Kaava about 10 km from Utsjoki town to the direction of Karigasniemi.

    The Tenon Lohituvat are north of Utsjoki village (only in Finnish).

    If you like to stay in a luxury cabin, the Luxuri Tenojoki is the place for you (only in Finnish. The English link doesn't work).

    North of Utsjoki village you can stay in cabins at Vetsikon leirintämökit (only in Finnish).

    Other resources

  • Read about the E-75 Simo-Vardo.

    Where the Reindeer Roam