Kilpisjärvi today is known in the north as a stopover before the mountains in Norway. Specially hikers, fisherman and extreme sport enthusiastics drive pass Kilpisjärvi when heading to the ocean. Many of them stop for a day or two like we did. In this blog text I will wonder the significance of Kilpisjärvi and Chalets Rakka in our surf trip to Lofoten, Norway.
Northern Norway has become a desirable destination for many snowboarders, free skiers and other extreme elles and ethans. Past years the Arctic Ocean has called for surfers around the world, Finland doesn’t make an exception. Rumors tells that world-class waves hit the Norway’s shore when the swell is right. This blog post is not about surfing, even though it’s fascinating subject too, it’s about how our trip had a wonderful place to stopover in Kilpisjärvi.
|Santa's Chalets Rakka lies on the highland of iconic Saana|
On the way to Lofoten we stopped over at Santa’s Chalets Rakka in Kilpisjärvi and after two days of traveling it felt like a oasis in the wild. Standing outside the chalets and seeing the modern architecture in the small village gave us premonition of the inside facilities. Our prediction was correct and our tired bodies were blessed with clean bathroom and sauna. After showers and a small rest it was easy and fun to prepare the dinner together in a well equipped kitchen. The next day we got a opportunity to sleep in before another day in the car to reach the ocean. All six of us were satisfied with the comfy and spacious design, and even though we had a lot to carry (e.g. surfboards), chalet had enough space for us. Over all Santa’s Chalets Rakka was peaceful and calm even though it was fully booked.
|Living room has a door to a spacious deck at Santa's Chalets Rakka|
On the way back we had time to hike to Saana fell, which in my opinion is one of the most beautiful fells in Finland. The hike up to top is semi easy, well marked and in good condition. The route also includes a lot of steps, I heard they say the steps are the longest in Finland. The hike up took about two hours and a bit less back. Even though we were reminded and prepared the changing weather when going up, were we a bit surprised by the strong wind. I suggest to listen the hiking tips from the locals, they know it best. They also can help out with the local habits and legislation that is good to know before heading to the wilderness.
On the top of fell Saana you can see far over towards Sweden and Norway. Underneath lake Kilpisjärvi open out beautifully and the small village of Kilpisjärvi looks vivid alpine village on summer afternoon. In the summer sun doesn’t set for a while which gives you more hours to explore. On the other hand, the hike on the top of Saana is so easy, that I could imagine to walk it in the dark to see the Northern Lights. When I am writing this, the nights are already getting darker so I can easily see why they call Kilpisjärvi one of the best places to go Aurora hunting.
Every year more and more visitors finds the tranquility of the north and comes places like Kilpisjärvi too. This year for us, Kilpisjärvi and Chalets Rakka was a stopover but I believe that in the future Kilpisjärvi will be much more. The facilities are already in a good level in Rakka so for the next spring free ski trip Kilpisjärvi is really an option. I felt the whole village is ready to invest into tourism so I believe that the boost will bring even more opportunities and possibilities to travelers and visitors.
Santa’s Chalet Rakka has many local partner to ensure the pleasant stay and responding many need of our guests. I personally and on behalf of Santa’s Hotels warmly welcome everyone to Kilpisjärvi!
text: Vappu Hukkila pics: Santa's Hotels archive and Janne Jääskeläinen
Have a look of Santa's Chalets Rakka homepage from here.