As the only municipality in Finland with a Saami majority, Utsjoki is a place where different cultures meet and the Northern Lights blaze across the skies.
Welcome to the municipality of Utsjoki
The municipality of Utsjoki (Ochejohka) is the only municipality in Finland where the majority of residents are Saami. Under the blazing Northern Lights the Saami villages of Utsjoki – the Utsjoki village centre, Nuorgam and Karigasniemi – offer you an opportunity to experience modern, everyday Saami culture: a culture you can live, see, hear, taste and feel. Utsjoki is a place where the traditional Lappish costume is still worn at a number of festivals and events.
Settlements in Utsjoki are mainly located along the banks of the Tenojoki, the river that marks the border between Finland and Norway. The closeness to Norway can be seen both in cross-border trade and in the landscape. The route to the Arctic Ocean, Nordkapp and the Varanger area runs through Utsjoki. Karigasniemi and Utsjoki are linked by one of the most beautiful scenic routes in Finland, the Tenontie road, which runs alongside the river Teno. The small Saami villages of Dalvadas and Nuvvus are also located along the road.
The tourism brand of the municipality “Explore Utsjoki” was renewed during 2019. The main values in the tourism development of the area are sustainability and cultural sensitivity. The municipality is taking part on the pilot project of Sustainable Travel Finland by Visit Finland. There is also a new development started in the municipality that aims to have even more sustainable and carbon neutral tourism in the area.
Utsjoki is located in the Inari-Saariselkä tourism region. In Inari and other villages in the area, the Sami culture is still very much in evidence in everyday life. Here is where you find the genuine Lapland. Saariselkä is the northernmost travel destination in the European Union and boasts a variety of services.We can recomend this beautiful car route to explore the best parts of the region, starting for example from the Ivalo airport.