Explore the Nattanen Fells and River TankajokiIn Sompio you can experience the perfect silence of nature, the dancing northern lights, the wonder of snow, the glowing autumn colours and the unbelievably bright midnight sun.
Pyhä-Nattanen is perfect for day trippers
The impressive Pyhä Nattanen is one of Sompio’s better known fells and is relatively easy to reach. You can purchase a guided tour to Pyhä-Nattanen from Tankavaara’s Gold Village as well as a canoe trip down the river Tankajoki. On this trip you can enjoy Sompio’s naturally captivating beauty completely stress-free, with the help of a competent guide. On both trips you might even spot some reindeer.
Pyhä-Nattanen is in the Sompio Strict Nature Reserve and its summit is a great spot for admiring the midnight sun. There are six pointed Nattanen fells altogether, but according to the rules and regulations of the strict nature reserve, you can only visit Pyhä-Nattanen and Terävä-Nattanen. The Nattanen range is made up of hard, red granite, which was too hard for the ice age to grind down into the rounded shape that characterises the other fells in Finland.
It is easy for a hiker to ascend Pyhä-Nattanen, but the 7km trail does require a good basic level of fitness and includes some more demanding sections, due to loose rocky patches. You can walk the trail clockwise or anti-clockwise. If you go clockwise, you will get to the hiker’s shelter after a couple of km, well before the summit.
The beginning of the trail leads you through enchanting Lappish forest. The approach to the summit is steep. In parts you really need to concentrate, as the slope is made up of scree and large rocks. But there’s no need to rush in this landscape, for the surroundings are breathtaking. The higher you climb, the wider your view of the Nattanen fell chain, the large blue Lokka Reservoir looming in the landscape, the beautiful Sukkula pond and the Sokosti fell area in the distance towards Russia. Hopefully your camera battery is charged and there is space on your memory card!
On Pyhä-Nattanen’s summit there are are granite tors. Tors are unusual looking stacked rock formations and are a number of metres high. From the top of the tors you have an unobstructed view in all directions. This is the perfect spot to sit peacefully, admire the landscape and enjoy a hot drink from your thermos. Pyhä-Nattanen is an ancient sacred site for the Sami people and the tors are the homes of the gods. Please remember to respect the holiness of this place.
At the summit there is also an open hut with a woodburning stove, the only place up there where you are allowed to make a fire. Feel free to sign your name in the guest book!
Please note: The road that leads from Vuotso village to the beginning of Pyhä-Nattanen’s trail cannot be driven in winter or late spring when the snow and ice starts to thaw, so Pyhä-Nattanen is only suitable for summer and autumn hiking. However, during the winter you can see the Nattanen Fells from the summit of Iso Tankavaara: a maintained circular trail departs from Tankavaara Visitor Centre.
Paddle the River Tankajoki
The River Tankajoki with its endless bends flowing through the wilderness, is perfect for paddling. Jungle-like sections along the river create a true sense of adventure.
Three ways to experience Urho Kekkonen National Park
Finland’s legendary national park, Urho Kekkonen National Park, is in Sompio. The vast wilderness park is spectacular, but easy to access.
Rules and guidelines for Sompio Strict Nature Reserve
Different rules apply to a Strict Nature Reserve than to a National Park or anywhere else in Finnish nature.