The Legendary Gold Fields of Lapland

Finnish Lapland is the land of myths, legends and dreams. Many are centered on Lapland’s gold fields and those people who, even today, are chasing after the world’s purest gold – the one found in and around the Lemmenjoki and Ivalojoki rivers.

Every year, the gold fever infects adventurers and tourists from near and far, too. Rising and falling for almost 150 years, the gold fever, with all its human drama of heroes and villains, has helped shape the cultural history of Northern Lapland. Kai. J. Rantanen, born in Southern Finland, was lured by gold as a young man while hitchhiking to Norway. He stopped in the Lemmenjoki area and never left.

“It’s the thrill of adventure, the dream of getting rich, but most of all it is hard work, and the exhilaration at finding a gold nugget, he says. “Of course, there is also the landscape of vast fells, animals, birds and the peace that prevails here, whether in summer or in winter.”

Thousands of kilograms of gold have been wrested from the rock and water over time; no one knows how many exactly, since gold prospectors are by nature secretive. If you want to boost your luck, go to the Tankavaara Gold Village – there, everyone strikes gold.


In Lapland, swapping the hustle and bustle of ski resorts and cities to the peace and quiet of the wilderness takes mere minutes.