Enontekiö – a Home in the Arctic

In Enontekiö, you can experience the vast wilderness, rugged northern nature, idyllic villages, rich cultural heritage and the worldly atmosphere of a border community. We have clean air, clear waters and room to breathe. When you're out and about in Enontekiö, do remember that while the environment may seem barren, it's actually full of life. You’re in someone’s home: the local people, animals and plants all co-exist here.

For us, nature is everything. That’s why sustainable travel development is crucial for the whole region.

Nature and sustainability are also key in the municipal strategy. In fact, nature reserves make up 70% of the region.

Enontekiö is joining Visit Finland’s STF (Sustainable Travel Finland) program. One local company, Hetan Kota, has already earned the STF label. Many of our local travel companies are inherently accustomed to considering their environmental, social, economic and cultural sustainability. The STF program will help companies implement, document and develop their sustainability efforts and communicate effectively about them.

The municipality of Enontekiö is also part of a project to become carbon neutral by cutting down our emissions by 80% compared to 2007 by 2030.

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Remember that you’re a guest in someone’s home, so respect their traditions and surroundings

 The local museums and exhibitions provide a look into the local culture and history. Do talk to the locals as well, you might hear some of the best stories of your life! But do respect people’s privacy, don’t camp in anyone’s yard and don’t make fires without permission! Also, check first if you want to take photos of people.

The Sámi

The Sámi are the only indigenous people in the European Union.

Enontekiö is part of Sápmi, the Sámi home region that includes parts of Northern Finland, Sweden, Norway and Russia. In Finland, it includes the municipalities of Utsjoki, Inari and Enontekiö as well as northern Sodankylä. If you want to explore the world of the Sámi, you can start at the Fell Lapland Visitor Centre and then try some of the local Sámi travel companies’ services. To learn more about the Sámi, visit the Sámediggi website.

Use local services

Travel is a significant source of income for the people of Enontekiö. The people here know the local nature better than anyone else: they have been part of it for all their life. If you’re heading out on a longer hiker, you might want to stop by in one of the local restaurants to try the local delicacies and get some tips for the best fishing on your way. When you get back, there’s no need to get behind the wheel exhausted or get on a bus with a week’s worth of sweat on your back! Enjoy a proper sauna and clean sheets instead. For a memento, you can buy gorgeous traditional handicrafts. If you want to try a new sport, there’s no need to buy all the expensive gear first! You can rent it all and go on a guided tour with a local expert to get the best out of your first outing.

Sustainable hiking – leave no trace

The picture-perfect views of Enontekiö are simply irresistible, and the infrastructure for hiking is excellent. You can read more about different destinations here. Always try to use marked trails as well as established campsites and services. This limits ground erosion and makes maintenance much easier. Staying on marked trails protects the delicate local flora and gives the fauna their privacy as well. Be kind to the infrastructure, use firewood sparingly and please bring your rubbish back with you! If we all do our part, we’ll have a much better time in nature. When there is less need for maintenance, there will be less noise, emissions and erosion, too! The money saved on maintenance can be used on developing our trails and services instead. Learn more about litter (https://www.nationalparks.fi/hikinginfinland/visitorguidelines/litter) and outdoor etiquette (https://www.nationalparks.fi/hikinginfinland/visitorguidelines).

Before you head out, it’s a good idea to read up on the local regulations and current notices, e.g. on maintenance work.

Do note that you must stay on marked trails in Malla Strict Nature Reserve. Bikes are not allowed.

Reindeer herding in Enontekiö

From a cultural standpoint, the reindeer’s significance is monumental. They feed many families and keep villages alive in the North. Reindeer herding areas are places where they are allowed to roam and graze freely. The herders are also allowed to use motorised transport while tending to their animals.

Safety in the outdoors

Whether you plan to be out for a few hours or weeks, do remember that weather changes without notice in the fells, there is often no cell phone coverage and getting help into the wilderness can take a very long time. Remember to bring warm clothes, food, a map and compass. It’s important to know all your gear and learn how to use everything before you go. When planning a hike, be honest about your abilities. If you’re not used to travel in the fells, even short journeys might be surprisingly hard. Remember, it’s much harder to get lost on marked trails. Help is probably easier to come by as well. It's always a good idea to go out with a friend: you'll be safer and have more fun. Also, let someone know about your plans before you leave. If you’re not sure about your wilderness skills or simply want help finding the best views, consider an excursion with a local guide.

Sign a pledge for sustainable travel in Finland on the Visit Finland website.