Yllästunturi fell, the Ylläsjärvi and Äkäslompolo villages that surround it, and the Pallas-Yllästunturi national park are well known to visitors, but the Kolari district has more to offer.
You can experience authentic North Finnish village life in its natural surroundings in dozens of local villages in the area. Afterwards you might have to revise the persistent myths about silent and introverted Finnish people...
One of Kolari’s numerous villages is Pasmajärvi, which won the Lapland Village of the Year award in spring 2017. This attractive village is in the south of Kolari, about 80 km from Ylläs.
Well, what is there to see at Pasmajärvi? Plenty, but not so many villagers though.
By local standards, Pasmajärvi was once a large village with about 100 inhabitants. In the 1970s, people moved away and now only a couple of dozen villagers remain. Young people are easy to count – the schoolchildren can be counted on the fingers of one hand.
Now run by the village association, the village school can provide overnight accommodation, and the proceeds will be used for community development. In fact, that’s one reason why they won the award. Village life is blooming and all kinds of projects are organised voluntarily, such as the traditional summer festival.
The old mill with its sauna is another place where you can stay for the night, and costs just 20 euros per person. The villagers will fetch your drinking water from the mill. A nature trail starts near the mill and the bird watching tower is not very far away.
Near Pasmajärvi is the beautiful Aalistunturi fell with its fire guard’s cabin, and well worth a visit. You can also go via Vaattojärvi, where the villagers have just built a new mountain bike trail. It starts from the village school in Vaattojärvi.
If you want to get away from all the hustle and bustle of mass tourism, then why not rent a car and head off towards the villages for a taste of authentic Lapland village life. Kolari Tourist Info will help you select some suitable spots, and you can also get information and maps from the Kellokas Visitor Centre at Ylläs.