Visitors to our farm will have plenty to do at any time of year although from a dog’s perspective, there are two clearly distinct seasons; mushing season (from October or November through until April or May) and training season (late Spring, summer and early autumn).
Local people say that there are actually 8 distinct seasons up here and in reality, what we do with the dogs varies with each of these. There is, for instance, a stark contrast between the conditions encountered in early vs late ‘winter’ and those generally encountered in early vs late ‘spring’. Daylight, in particular, plays a huge role in the safari experience since the polar night lasts from December 6th to January 6th (and the mid-night sun, from 26th May to 18th July). Hence, choose your season carefully, since it will impact on whether you are more likely to be mushing through the fairy-tale, snow-laden landscapes of early winter, surrounded a great deal by darkness, or the bright, sunny landscapes of late March. You could be dog-sledding in December and not see the sun rise, and five months later, dog-sledding all night, and not see the sun set.
All the seasons bring their own rewards and we have provided more detail about what to expect during 'standard' seasons in the navigation menue whilst the information below should give you a good idea of how the 'mushing' and 'non-mushing' months interact.
In spring, local entrepreneurs organise Hetta Snow Adventure Weeks and Ice Fishing Contests. In summer the area attracts many independent motorists and coach tours, who stop off in Hetta to visit the nature centre/reindeer nature trails, and to overnight in one of the village's hotels before continuing their journey on towards Alta or the North Cape in Norway. In December, the village plays host to British Christmas charter packages. Another popular attraction during the winter months, is Hetta's unique Snow Castle, which is built yearly in December, until it gradually melts in the May spring sun. The castle attracts c. 5,000 visitors each year.
Kilpisjärvi, in the western ‘arm’ of Enontekio, attracts many summer hiking tourists, since the high fell areas (Arctic Trail and Halti) are fairly unique. It is also a popular spring destination for cross-country skiing and snowmobiling (particularly for Norwegians). Guided trips are arranged by accommodation sites during the spring season, and Kilspisjärvi also boasts its own Snow Adventure Week Program. The Arctic Trail hiking route attracts many hikers each year (approx. 5 000 - 10 000/year), who tend to overnight in the village before or after their wilderness adventure. Kilpisjärvi also attracts many motorists during the summer season, who stop off in the village on their way to or from the Arctic Ocean or Norwegian fjords. Many tourists make cruises to the Three Countries Border Marker or climb to the summit of the sacred Saana fell. In addition, some tourists explore Malla Nature Reserve, visit Siilastupa Information Point or explore the regions many nature trails.
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.