Even though Enontekiö is high in the Arctic, it doesn’t mean that the lakes are frozen year-round. In fact, many people come North to explore the wild and pristine waters of this rugged landscape between c. mid June and mid September. About 5% of the municipality's area is water since a number of large rivers originate here and there are also 825 small and large lakes. Key rivers include the Muonionjoki, the Ounasjoki, the Ivalojoki and one of the headstreams of the Tenojoki. The best ones for paddling journeys are described below. Even the name 'Enontekiö' is linked to water since 'Eno' is an old Finnish word for 'major river' and 'tekiö' is derived from the verb 'tehdä'.
Late May and June, after the snow-melt, is arguably one of the best times of year for kayaking in Enontekio but paddling is possible through until the end of September, when the banks of your river may already be white, in the early mornings, from the early winter overnight frosts.
Most of the products and journeys offered here can be undertaken by either canoe or kayak, depending on availability. Canoeing (or open boating as it is often called) is a beautiful, elegant way of exploring the water and enjoying the wildlife and scenery and makes many of the journeys more accessible for families since it is easier for the stronger members of the group to support the weaker members in canoes than in kayaks.
The Recreation and Canoeing Division of the Finnish Canoe Federation recommends reading the Safety Guidelines for Paddling before entering the terrain and we can provide more information on the water situation, terrain transportation and accommodation options.