LOCATED IN SAMI LAND & REINDEER HERDING AREA
The Teno River Valley Route earned its place on the route map by its unique landscapes, not found anywhere else in Finland with occasionally steep fjell sides on both sides of the river valley leading to high tundra at a much higher elevation. It’s a very easy 2-3 day route 100 percent on pavement on low-traffic road between Karigasniemi and Utsjoki, and then continuing with occasional traffic to the northernmost point of European Union, in Nuorgam. The route is ideally done as a part of a longer tour, but it’s certainly worth as a stand-alone route as well. The road has a bus connection multiple times a week from Karigasjoki village to Utsjoki village, so ideally you time your way back to the starting point according to the bus timetables. Though waiting around the way back is not too bad either as there are great accommodation options all the three villages, wherever you finish your ride.
The road in the Teno River valley has for long been said to be the most beautiful road in Finland. When it comes to paved roads, it could well be the case, as the geography of the route is completely different from anywhere else in the country. The steep wall on both sides of the valley can occasionally be up to 300m high, the famous salmon river of Teno flowing freely on the bottom. Despite the route being in the valley, there is a surprisingly lot of climbing, which creates now and then viewing points overlooking the valley.
The Karigasniemi-Utsjoki section has surprisingly little traffic, making it a pleasant and easy ride from village to village, with a chance to spend a night on the route in one of the lodging options on the way. Furthern on between Ustjoki and Nuorgam, there is some regular traffic, though not bad at all in the Western European standars. The route can be done with any bicycle as it’s 100 percent paved and in good condition and despite there being a moderate amount of climbing, none of the climbs are steep, making the tour less strenuous as well.
Logistically, the route is rather straightforward as well, as there is nowadays a bus connection from village to village, though not every day. Some in-advance planning, therefore, is needed to catch a ride back to the starting point.
Photos: Taneli Roininen
Traversing the famous Teno River valley on an easy low-traffic paved back road, connecting the villages of Karigasniemi and Utsjoki. Further on, there is some traffic till Nuorgam, but the scenery stays as splended as ever.
Views over the valley with occasionally up to 300m walls on the sides of the river, climbing to the Finnmark highlands and Utsjoki highlands
Great services available in the three villages to take it easy and wait for a bus back to the starting point after the tour.