Arctic Circle route

The route zigzags in the Vilma wilderness. Along it, you can see various wilderness locations of natural beauty, sights and the history and present day of the area. You can travel the route by car or walk on marked trails and visit the terrain sites. The route has lean-ons and break places. Accommodation and rental cabins are available at Suomu.

The Arctic Circle route is a car traveller’s dream in the middle of the wilderness in the Salla and Kemijärvi landscapes

A huge amount of local history can be found along this route approximately 100 km long, with short treks and stops. The route offers a sense of life in the places where people have lived and obtained their livelihood.

The test group of the route started on the first journey from Lapajärvi in Salla. Seppo Leinonen, host of the Museum of Matti the Land Keeper escorted the team, telling them stories. As a chef, Seppo knows that spices are essential. His stories, too, were given spices and meat around their bones. The people from the pages of history were given faces and we became quite familiar with them.

Not everyone has the honour of having a real man of words as a guide, with the idea being going hand in hand with figures and guide signs. Heimo Sova’s magnificent artwork series proceeds along the route, telling its own story with paintings. There is also a written signpost or map at each milepost location.

This time, the route starts from Lapajärvi in Salla, from where we visit Tiikkaja. From Isomaa, we head towards Vilmajoki and then continue further to Sinnamo and Suomujärvi. We visit Tonkopuro and Suomu via Riutukka, and the ferry village of Räisälä, returning to Lapajärvi via Joutsijärvi.

Map boards can be found at the Joutsijärvi shop, Kursu at the Lapajärventie crossing, Museum of Matti the Land Keeper in Lapajärvi, Aitaselä crossing in Isomaa and Pilkkavaara crossing in Lakijänkä. In Raakku at the Aitaselkä crossing, in Tonkopuro on the yard of Tuulenpesä, in Suomu at the bus stop in the yard of the hotel and the Arctic Circle Hotel, and at the ferry shore in Räisälä.

>>Look on map

Along the route, you also get to trek in nature.

Marked nature trails include:

- Lapajärvi trail approx. 10 km, of which 4 km in the terrain and 6 km on the village road. Guide posts also on the terrain and on the side of the village road.

Departures: From Tasasenkangas at the Pilkkavaara-Lapajärvi road, Museum of Matti the Land Keeper or Tiikkaja.

- Tonkopuro Tuulenpesä - Riutukka trail 6 km in each way.

- Suomu - Kirppakangas - Tonkoperä Tuulenpesä trail 7 km in cone direction.

- Suomujärvi - Seitakivet path 1 km back and forth.

Enquiries and guidance during the daytime:

Host of the Museum of Matti the Land Keeper Seppo Leinonen, tel. +358 400 011312

The Arctic Circle trekking route is a joint project realised by Salla Collective Forest, the municipality of Salla and Vilman Kilta ry, and it is part of the Salla village route.

Contact information: