The little-known border village of Karesuando has hosted many of our holidays over the years, and while we feel that its relative anonymity rather adds to its charm, we do understand that it’s nice to know a thing or two about your destination before you set off on your Arctic adventure! Karesuando is far from the commercialised centres of Levi and Rovaniemi and so we hope that this blog will give readers an insight into this beautiful and remote Arctic settlement… and remind anyone who has travelled with us previously of just how wonderful the area is!
Karesuando sits 250km north of the Arctic Circle and is surrounded by miles of stunning Arctic forest. The Muonio River runs through the village, separating the Finnish side (where the Davvi Arctic Lodge sits) from the Swedish side (where you can find the Arctic Star); halfway across the bridge you can stand with one foot in Finland and one in Sweden! This river freezes in winter, providing the perfect location for snowmobiling and ice fishing, or for a leisurely walk! Watch out for the reindeer that can be found grazing at the side of the road!
Karesuando is the northernmost church village in Sweden and the picturesque Scandinavian-style church perches on the Swedish side of the river. The locals will tell you that this church featured in the first ever Coca Cola Christmas commercial and while we cannot find proof of this online, anyone who has visited will confirm that it absolutely could be true – it’s incredibly beautiful at Christmas time! A number of our trips feature a visit to the church but (one of the benefits to this quaint little village!) you can wander over at any time to take a look.
The Karesuando Knife Factory
A knife factory may not sound like the most exciting place to visit on your holiday but the factory in Karesuando offers a fascinating insight into the lives of the village's inhabitants and the world-famous knives that have been produced here for decades. Using local woods and reindeer antlers, the master craftsmen produce knives that are not only useful (especially for those living in the harsh Arctic wilderness!) but also beautiful. Definitely a souvenir you will treasure for years to come. Take a look at their website for more information.
One of the best things about Karesuando is that it sits on the official Northern Lights Route. Between November and April the Lights can appear shimmering in the sky above the village, delighting visitors and locals alike. The fact that Karesuando has such little light pollution and lots of large, open spaces means that your chances of seeing the Lights are vastly increased – there’s a reason we’ve been taking Aurora Hunters there for years. Karesuando is never quite as beautiful as when the Aurora Borealis can be seen overhead - stunning!
Check out our Santa and Arctic Spirit breaks to find your perfect holiday to this charming village. From Karesuando you can explore the Arctic landscape by husky sled, snowmobile and reindeer sleigh, and truly experience all that Lapland has to offer.