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  • Winter Area Attractions

    It is said that the municipality of Enontekiö has the purest air in Europe. We also have 8 clearly distinct seasons during the year, despite the fact that there are only 62 days in which we experience the midnight sun and 200 days when we could be said to be in 'winter'. From a skier's perspective, this means that we have the longest skiing season in Finland and for those seeking the ephemeral northern lights, they are present c. three nights out of four and can be seen on clear, dark nights for many months of the year.

    We have a unique mix of terrain features, since we are at the northern edge of Europe's great boreal forests and just 20km north of our base, the taiga landscape gives way to the high tundra and exposed, treeless arctic pleateaus.

    Enontekiö is located at the intersection of three national borders, close to the Arctic Ocean. Norway, Sweden and the Arctic Ocean are only a day-trip away.

    In other words, there are a numerous places to visit and things to do when it comes to holidaying here at any time of the year.

    A good source of information information map produced by the regional marketing board which looks at the multitude of adventure activity options available in the area, in some detail.

    Retkipaikka is a website where people post details about their wilderness trips and you can effectively read trip reports and facilitate your own journey planning.

    The great fells of Enontekiö, such as Saana and Malla in Kilpisjärvi, stand watch over the nation’s oldest nature reserve, and are part of the national landscape. Even in the Lappish scale, this legendary and impressive great fell region is able to offer so much more that other areas can only dream about.

    Karesuvanto is a destination for wilderness enthusiasts. Many visitors do not spend much time in the village itself, but use Karesuvanto as a base for filling up their cars, drinking coffee or eating lunch, before leaving by boat or water plane for the Lätäseno river. At the beginning of August there is an organised Fly Fishing Contest in the village, and in autumn there are many "ruska" markets. The Arctic Canoe Race also by-passes the village.

    Other notable tourist destinations within Enontekiö include the Fell-Hotel Vuontispirtti, Raattama village in the north of Kittilä municipality, Kalmakaltio Wilderness Centre and Kelotin Rantamajat Holiday Village. Vuontispirtti, situated in the south-eastern corner of the Pallas-Ounas National Park, attracts various activity groups, such as hikers, cross-country skiers and berry pickers. Both Kalmakaltio, located north east of Nunnanen village and Kelotin Rantamajat, located on the shore of Lake Leppäjärvi, are good bases for hunting, fishing and cloudberry picking.

    We have divided this section into outdoor activities that people can enjoy in the summer months (hiking, water-sports, biking etc) winter activities (skiing, snow-shoeing etc) and nature-based tourism (picking berries, fishing etc).

    In addition, we have an orientation section about where the various wilderness areas are located in Enontzekio and what huts etc are available within each of them. Since over 60% of Finland's fells are located in Enontekiö, and over 75% of the area is protected land, this is quite a large section!

    Finally, we have a section looking at the facilities in Hetta itself (shops, accommodation providers etc) which will hopefully be of use to you, when you are actually here, so that you can find your way around!

    If you are looking for guaranteed snow and a pristine wilderness venue for your winter sporting activities, then look no further than Enontekiö. We have the best – and the most – snow in Finland. The first snow tends to fall early in October and there is generally a permanent snow cover from the end of October through until the end of May. Snow cover is thickest in mid-March, when it may reach a depth of 90-100cm but altogether, winter lasts nearly 200 days!

    Enontekiö has the lowest average temperatures in Finland and reindeer and humans are the main inhabitants of the region. Ony six bird species live here through the winter without human help. These include willow grouse and ptarmigan. Reindeer survive because of the oleic acid in their bone marrow which works as an anti-freeze.

    You can enjoy the thrill of a unique winter experience in Lapland north of the Arctic Circle during the long twilight period when the Sun does not rise above the horizon. In the most northerly corners of Lapland, this twilight period can last for up to 51 days.

    Winter usually begins in mid-October, at least a month earlier than in other parts of Finland, and it lasts up to 200 days. Temperatures can fall as low as -50°C and Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis dance here regularly.

    Irridenscent polar stratospheric clouds (also known as nacreous clouds), with a 'mother of pearl' appearance, are also a phenomena unqiue to the North. These are clouds which form in the winter polar stratosphere at altitudes of 15,000–25,000 m (49,000–82,000 ft). There are two main types of PSC: one is made up of frozen ice crystals and is not considered harmful. The other is made up, primarily, of supercooled droplets of water and nitric acid and is implicated in the formation of ozone holes.

    The stratosphere is very dry; unlike the troposphere, it rarely allows clouds to form. In the extreme cold of the polar winter, however, stratospheric clouds of different types may form. Due to their high altitude and the curvature of the surface of the Earth, these clouds will receive sunlight from below the horizon and reflect it to the ground, shining brightly well before dawn or after dusk.

    PSCs form at very low temperatures, below −78 °C (−108 °F). These temperatures can occur in the lower stratosphere in polar winter; for instance as a result of the generation of lee waves by mountains which may locally cool the lower stratosphere and lead to the formation of lenticular PSCs. Forward-scattering of sunlight within the clouds produces a pearly-white appearance. Particles within the optically thin clouds cause colored interference fringes by diffraction. The visibility of the colors may be enhanced with a polarising filter.