Treriksröset, Lappland, Exploring Sweden

Treriksröset, Lappland – Exploring Sweden

The northernmost point in Sweden is also a part of the northernmost border tripoint in the world. Known in Swedish as Treriksröset, it is the border tripoint between Sweden, Finland, and Norway. Its Norwegian name is Treriksrøysa and its Finnish name is Kolmen Valtakunnan Rajapyykki. In English, this is the Three-Country Cairn. This is a yellow concrete block, in the middle of a lake, far into the Nordic wilderness. It is one of only two sites in the Arctic where you can visit three countries within just a few seconds.

A Short History of Treriksröset

Cairns, piles of stones, have for a long time been used to mark the border between Sweden and Norway. The first cairn along the border was raised in 1752 and the line was completed in 1766. That was until the border changed when Sweden lost Finland to Russia in 1809. A few cairns have since been raised to mark the new border. These are mostly located around Treriksröset in the north and around Haparanda in the south. Rivers marked the rest of the new border.

It was with the establishment of the border in 1809 that this new border tripoint was created. The border tripoint was originally the meeting point of Sweden, Norway, and Russia. It was first with Finland’s independence in 1917 that the current situation was established.

The border tripoint was for a long time not here. It was believed that it was located at Kuokimmuodka, around 150 meters to the west. This wasn’t corrected until 1901 when a new cairn was built based on the location in the peace treaty. Kuokimmuodka is today a part of Finland and the cairn has since 1926 been replaced by the current concrete structure.

Things to Do and See

The Three-Country Cairn is in itself the main attraction here. You will not be able to get a stamp on your passport when walking around the tripoint, but you will be able to visit Sweden, Norway, and Finland within a few seconds. A feeling that only your mind will be able to create and confirm.

But it is not only the concrete structure that is impressive. There is also the view out across Lake Koltajaure (alternative names: Golddajávri or Koltajärvi), with the mountains of Norway in the distance. There are also many hiking trails with lakes, swamps, and forests to enjoy in the area.

How to Get to Treriksröset

If you go here during the summer it is easiest accessible from Finland and the village of Kilpisjärvi. This means that you have the option to hike for 11 kilometers to reach Treriksröset. That hike would take you across the Malla Nature Reserve. There is also the possibility to take a boat trip across the lake to the Swedish side and the small harbor of Koltaluokta. From Koltaluokta it is only around a 3-kilometer hike to the border tripoint. The same trip is usually easier during the winter when it is possible to ski or ride a snow scooter.

  • Flights: There are several airports in the area, but none are close by. In Norway, there is Tromsø Airport (TOS), in Finland Enontekiö Airport (ENF) and in Sweden Kiruna Airport (KRN)
  • Car: The closest accessible road is in Kilpisjärvi on the Finnish side of the border. It is the E8 that goes through the village on its way from Tromsø in the north and then south through Finland.

The driving distance to nearby Kilpisjärvi from 5 major Swedish cities, according to Google Maps:

  • Stockholm – 1410 kilometers (16 h 10 min)
  • Gothenburg – 1755 kilometers (20 h)
  • Malmö – 2017 kilometers (21 h 50 min)
  • Linköping – 1605 kilometers (18 h)
  • Kiruna – 289 kilometers (3 h 50 min)

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