Close to the borders of Norway, Russia and Finland, the Pasvik Valley (Pasvikdalen) stretches from Kirkenes in the north 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.
The national park centre is located on the historic Svanhovd farm, 40 km south of Kirkenes. Open year-round, the centre features exhibitions, a botanic garden, hiking paths, café and information about the national park and other protected areas.
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.
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.
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.
Øvre Pasvik Camping