Five unforgettable scenic drives in Lapland, Scandinavia for road travelers

If you are planning to make a long road trip to the northernmost region of Europe, Lapland, here are 5 scenic drives to include into the tour plan. Summer months July and August are the best period to tour the large wilderness above the Arctic Circle. Top 5 scenic routes were suggested by the travel guidebook Lapland.

Karasjok, Norway, Lapland, Scandinavia.There is much see in Lapland: fells, fjords, rivers, reindeer, mountains, lakes, birds and Sami culture. The natural environment, landscapes and outdoor activities are the number one reason to travel in Lapland. Some of the following routes cross the borders between Finland, Norway or Sweden.

Lakselv-Nordkapp

Travelers who are heading to Nordkapp can approach the Europe’s northernmost point from Alta or from Lakselv. The road from Lakselv to Nordkapp is the one to drive if you want to maximize your time in the spectacular scenery. Without breaks, this drive takes about 3-3.5 hours.

Here is a video that shows the landscape along the Lakselv-Nordkapp road:

Lakselv is located at the southern end of Porsangerfjorden. Heading north of Lakselv, towards Nordkapp, the road (E6 and E69) follows the shores of the fjord. You can admire fjord views practically all the way to Nordkapp, apart from two long tunnels that dive into a mountain and under the sea.

Karigasniemi-Utsjoki

The road from Karigasniemi to Utsjoki may not be one of the best known road sections in Lapland, but it definitely is one of the most beautiful. The road follows Tenojoki River which is famous for its wild salmon and trout. There are many places along the road where fishermen can stay at a cottage and hire a local guide with a boat to fish for the famous Tenojoki salmon.

One thing is common for all travelers: everyone admires the varying landscape. The lush river valley, high fells and snow-capped peaks come into view as the road undulates along the river shores. You can choose to drive on the Norwegian or Finnish side of Tenojoki River.

Narvik-Kiruna

The road between Narvik and Kiruna shows the many faces of Lapland landscape. In the west near Narvik, fjords and mountains create the unique scenery Norway is renowned for. From Narvik towards the east, the road ascends to a mountain plateau. Approaching Abisko, a whole new world opens up: mountain peaks, lakes, rivers and scarce vegetation establish a unique landscape that doesn’t look like anything you have seen before. As Kiruna comes closer, scarce vegetation gives way to lush forests as the landscape changes from fells to undulating forests and hills.

Scenes along the Kiruna – Narvik road:

Kong Olavs Veg

Kong Olavs Veg (King Olav’s Road) leads travelers from mainland Norway to the Lofoten archipelago and across the islands. The scenery is continuously spectacular: mountains, fjords, villages and fishing ports. There is not a dull moment on Lofoten no matter which road you choose to drive. Occasional bridges and ferries along the way let you admire the landscape from the sea as well.

Summer on the roads of Lofoten on this video clip:

Winter/spring on the roads of Lofoten:

Bjerkvik north of Narvik is the place to start the road trip to Lofoten. An alternative route is to take a ferry from the mainland (for instance, from Bodö or Bognes to Moskenes) and drive across Lofoten from west to east.

Karesuvanto–Skibotn

This scenic road takes you from majestic fell landscape in Finland to beautiful fjord mountain landscape in North Norway. The highlights of this trip are Saana fell in Kilpisjärvi and Lyngenfjord.

Here is a video that shows the views between Karesuando and Skibotn:

The starting point is the village of Karesuvanto that is located on both sides of the border in Finland and in Sweden. The village can be reached via E45 from Sweden and via E8 from Finland. From Karesuvanto, head west along E8.

Top 5 scenic routes was published in the Lapland travel guide.


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