This was the first stop on our tour of lapland and, had I reviewed it straight away before having seen other places I would have probably have given it a four or five, but now having seen what else is on offer throughout lapland I've had to review my rating. Being one of only two or three places available to stay in the area, the place is of course packed with people. We were camping in a tent and the camping area itself was basically just anywhere you could fit your tent in amongst the trees in between the rented cabins. This is not a major problem for us as we've camped in far worse places in forests etc. but when you're actually paying €20 odd for the privilege of pitching your tent you expect at least some reasonably flat place to do so. The on site facilities were adequate for our needs ie. toilets and showers but i have to say the hygiene standards were a bit lacking and the showers in particular smelled a bit musty. Another thing that irked me slightly was the difference in attitude in the staff when dealing with me and my husband who are both finnish speakers and the foreign tourists. It was almost as if they couldn't be bothered to deal with the "locals" and put all their efforts into pleasing everyone else, smiling and going out of their way to give advice etc. Never mind though, because the main point of coming to Kilpisjärvi in the first place is to see lapland and Kilpisjärvi boasts some of the most spectacular scenery of anywhere I've been so this made up for the somewhat snotty attitudes of the staff. If you're up to the punishing 4km trek up 744 steps and half a mountain then the hike to the top of mount Saana is well worth the effort. You can sign your name in the guest book at the top and feel very self satisfied looking down on breathtaking views of Finland, Sweden and Norways lakes and mountains. Also worth doing is the boat trip across the lake to three lands mark where you can stand on the spot where Finland Sweden and Norway meet. The trip costs 25€ each, which is a bit pricey, but as they also have the monopoly on boat rides it's the only option (except for a 16km hike) if you want to see three lands mark. If you're exceptionally adventurous (and tight with money) as we are, you might consider spending the night in the wilderness hut near to three lands mark. Its free! Finlands forestry commission builds these cabins all over lapland and travellers are allowed to stay in them for free for one or two nights. The doors are always open and the rule is that if someone else turns up, you must make space for them, you must clean the cabin before you leave and replace any fire wood you used. This place really appealed to us and if I were able to write a seperate review of it i would give it a five as this is the place where we got our first true taste of real lapland. The cabin was well equipped with a butane cooker, pots and pans, a small wood burning stove for heating and a comfortable table and chairs and sleeping area. We slept fantatically well here, except for being woken up once by a cheeky mouse who was raiding our sausage supply! The wilderness hut beat the actual camping area by a mile and I would advise anyone thinking of going to Kilpisjärvi to consider forgetting the camping centre, and heading straight for the wilderness hut!
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- Also Known As:
- Kilpisjarven Retkeilykeskus Kilpisjarvi, Finland - Lapland