Finnish and Swedish Lapland

Saanatunturi and Kilpisjärvi

After the magnificent days on Lofoten islands we head back for a quick dip into Finland, spending one night in Kilpisjärvi, driving through remote Lapland to Ylläs where we enjoy a hot (as in 26 degrees Celsius) summer day by the lake and an almost-mosquito-free night at Ylläksen Lyhty Ky camping before resuming our journey along the Tornio river into Sweden.

Kokkolankoski as seen from the Swedish shores

This has become a real Scandinavian road trip and we once again value the freedom of driving around in a van. We hadn’t planned on exploring Swedish Lapland and beyond but the spontaneous decision pays off and we spend a couple of very peaceful days around Luleå, Piteå and finally Uleå where we cross the Gulf of Bothnia to return to Finland once more.

Enroute, we find some terrific camping spots: Gammelstad parking lot near Luleå, a newly opened parking space (Järve stellplats) next to a superb fish smokery (Bea’s Rökeri & Hamncafé) and a cul-de-sac by a massive playground and picturesque pond in a neighbourhood of Uleå).


As far as sights go, we visit Luleå‘s Teknikens Hus (a science museum) and charming church town (Gammelstad) that happens to be a UNESCO world heritage site. We also pick our first berries of the season, eat amazing fish & chips at Två Fiskare, marvel at the beautiful way that Umeå library, a modern hotel and some small courtyard shops and bakery all find space under the same roof and spend a significant amount of time at the ferry docks watching trucks with trailers backing into the ferry.


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