Karesuvanto is a large village in Lapland’s north western arm, situated on the banks of the Muoniojoki River, one half in Finland, the other in Sweden (Karesuando). From Karesuvanto it is a 110 km journey to Kilpisjärvi and 88 km to Muonio along Highway 21. In Karesuvanto, on the Finnish side, there are about 450 inhabitants. In Swedish Karesuando, on the opposite side of the river, there are about 600 inhabitants. The villages, located on either side of the border river, have been connected by a year round bridge since 1980. In addition to Finnish, the villagers speak Swedish, Sami and Norwegian, creating an international atmosphere.
The pine tree border line runs through the village of Karesuvanto, so only birch tree forests grow to the north of the area, of which the fell birch plays a notable role. Kaarevaara Hill on the Swedish side, creates a magnificent backdrop for Karesuvanto, with the sun appearing out from behind it only at the end of January. From the top of Kaarevaara - a excellent vista point - you can admire the vast wilderness and the fells lying up to one hundred kilometres away in the horizon. Karesuvanto’s neighbouring villages include in Finland: Kuttanen, Jatuni and Markkina, and in Sweden: Kuttainen, Saivomuotka, Paittasjärvi, Sudjavaara, Maunu, Mertajärvi and Idivuoma. Hundreds of years ago people from various cultures met at Karesuvanto. They created lively trade in the river valley. People used to live by combining different sources of livelihood - farming, livelistock management, reindeer husbandry, fishing and hunting. In the valley can be found also one of Lapland’s oldest churches and market squares. The border river has long been a busy passage way, especially for winter time traffic, between the Gulf of Bothnia and the Arctic Ocean. Still at the beginning of this century, chains of pack reindeer, the most important means of carrying goods and people, travelled along this route. Lappish trading items were of commercial value and good pack reindeer were worth a lot. This is why most Lapps did not like to travel alone, since both their goods and their reindeer were at risk.
Other Lapland resorts nearby: Olos, Kakslauttanen, Hetta, Levi, Ylläs and Kilpisjarvi