Nature-Based & Cultural Attractions

In Enontekiö, we have 350 fells, 825 lakes, 200 kilometers of ski trails, 600 kilometers of snowmobile trails and 227 species of birds.

Hetta is an age-old Lapp and Sámi dwelling place, where the traditional culture – which has centred around reindeer husbandry for the last few hundred years for both the original Lappish inhabitants and the semi-nomadic Sami inhabitants, is still very much alive. Natural livelihoods are still practised, handicraft skills are passed on from one generation to the next, and the tradition of the Joiku (traditional Sámi lyric poems) continues to flourish.

We live in firm connection with nature and Lapland's 8 distinct seasons bring remarkable changes into people's daily routines. Seasonal awareness is very important for those visiting the arctic since the activities that are possible in our pristine nature vary as much with the seasons as does the rhythm of life on the husky farm. Hence, choose wisely between visiting in deep winter, late winter, spring, early summer, summer, late summer, autumn or early winter.

The best way to see and fully understand the uniqueness of the natural features in the Hetta Area is from the look-out point at the top of Jyppyrävaara Hill. The village of Hetta and the surrounding fell landscape astound visitors with their beauty time after time. Jyppyrävaara Hill itself is covered by pine dominated forest, dotted with birches as well as aspen and mountain ash. There are only a few lone spruce trees in the area, as the northern growth line of spruce is 20 km south of the area.

Lake Ounasjärvi is located between the Pallas-Ounastunturi Fell-chain and the village of Hetta. The lake is the source for the River Ounasjoki, which is one of Lapland’s longest free-flowing rivers. A small isthmus at the west end of Lake Ounasjärvi separates Lake Ounasjärvi and Lake Muotkajärvi. Together these long lakes make up a narrow almost 20 km long stretch of lake landscape that the Hetta-Muotkajärvi road runs alongside.

Northern Lights

Occurrences of the Northern Lights are best seen, for instance, between Early Autumn and Early Spring during the hours each side of midnight. Enontekiö is one of the best regions in Scandinavia to see them in because it is far from light pollution.

Auroras Now! is a space weather service maintened by Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) to help watching auroras in Finland.

Northern Lights Hunting Link Hints is just that - a website providing hints about figuring out the solar activity and your liklihood of seeing the lights.

Traditional Livelihoods/Arctic Bushcraft and Survival

Since people in Enontekiö still live close to the land, this is a great place to visit for those interested in either bushcraft or survival techniques. More information can be found on the activities section of this website.

Animals in the Hetta Area

Along with reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) the most common mammals in the area are squirrels, hares and foxes. There are also some moose (Alces alces) (although far fewer than even 200km south) and a small population of roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) close to the nature centre; the numbers of which are growing thanks to winter feeding by locals.

Other animals which thrive in the area are the otter (Lutra lutra), the stoat (Mustela erminea), the least weasel (Mustela rixosa), the pine-marten (Martes martes), the American mink (Mustela vison), the muskrat (Ondatra zibethica) and many types of moles and shrews.

Some years it is possible to meet a Norway lemming (Lemmus lemmus) in the Ounastunturi Fells, and in some years they are so prolific in Autumn that you cannot avoid them when driving around the village!

Catching a glimpse of a bear, wolverine, wolf, lynx or arctic fox, however, is far less likely. The arctic fox is nearly endangered. And, whilst frogs and lizards are supposedly common in the area (I have never seen either), there are no viper snakes in the Hetta Area, as their northern-most habitat is at the Hannukuru-Pahakuru Ravines in Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park.