Close to the borders of Norway, Russia and Finland, the Pasvik Valley (Pasvikdalen) stretches south of Kirkenes to the Three-country cairn (Treriksrøysa) in the south. The 100 km-long valley has large areas of pine and birch forest, as well as several protected primeval forest and wetland areas. Pasvik has a rich and diverse flora and fauna, and is known as the meeting place for species from east and west. Norway’s densest brown bear population lives in the valley, while more than 220 bird species have been observed here. The Pasvik River runs through the valley forming the border between Norway and Russia. The river continues south through the Øvre Pasvik National Park to its source, Lake Inari in Finland.
Worth a visit
Svanhovd: Visitor centre Øvre Pasvik National Park
Svanhovd is a popular destination for unique experiences in the Pasvik Valley. Here, you find the Visitor Centre for Øvre Pasvik National Park, Botanical Garden and Conference Centre.
The Visitor Centre has an exhibition about the unique environment, culture and history of the Pasvik Valley and one can learn more about the virgin forest in the National Park and the most distinctive bird and animal species that live here. The Pasvik Valley shares a border with
Finland in the west and Russia in the east and has the largest density of brown bear in Norway. The brown bear has a central role in the exhibition, and interactive solutions offer a modern and educational experience for the visitor.
We also offer various trails in the surrounding area, where you can learn more about nature and wildlife.
The Varanger Museum’s exhibition at Strand (approx. 42 km from Kirkenes) is open during the summer. The museum is an old characteristic log boarding school dating from 1905, which was built to demonstrate Norwegian sovereignty.
“Height 96” border observation tower
If you continue 6 km south of Svanvik along route 885, you will see an old border observation tower on a small hill by the road. From the top of this tower, there are good views of Pasvikdalen and across to Nikel, which is the closest town on the Russian side. There is a mini café with souvenir sales during the summer months.
Øvre Pasvik National Park
The Park has Norway’s northernmost primeval forest, and the national park is a mosaic of old-growth forest and water. The area is located in the northwest corner of the Siberian taiga. Here are eastern species that do not occur elsewhere in the country. A walk to Treriksrøysa and Ellenvanskoia is popular. For more info contact the Visitor Center for the National Park.
How to get there
The easiest way to reach the Pasvik Valley is by car or bike. Follow the E6 highway to Hesseng and then take route 885. This road leads 100 km up to Nyrud passing farms and small villages along the way. You will find places to stay at Svanhovd, Melkefoss and Vaggetem.
For scheduled bus https://snelandia.no/
More information about Pasvik valley
Places to stay and eat