The Three-Country Crain

Where Finland, Sweden, and Norway Meet – The Three-Country Cairn

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I am fascinated by Northern Sweden, Norway, and Finland. The land has a beautiful midnight sun, but it is also where the three countries meet.

Finland, Sweden, and Norway meet at Lake Goldajärvi, at a location called The Three-Country Cairn. This cairn is in a remote location on the northern border. The easiest way to visit The Three Country Cairn is through the Finnish Sami village of Kilpisjärvi, Finland. One of the best times to visit The Three Country Cairn is in the summer months.

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Finland, Sweden, And Norway’s Meeting Point – The Three Country Cairn

Sweden, Norway, and Finland all meet at The Three-Country Cairn, which marks a spot of the official borders or where countries meet. When three countries meet together, this is a geographical feature known as a tripoint. The meeting of Norway, Sweden, and Finland is considered one of the northernmost tripoints in the world.

The border between Sweden, Norway, and Finland was decided in the Strömstad Treaty of 1751. The area marked for the border at that time is a cairn about 150 meters from today’s Three-Country Cairn.

The borders in this area changed due to wars, and concessions were also due to wars. In 1809, Sweden ceded Finland to Russia. Sweden and Russia decided that the new Finland-Sweden border in the north would follow the most northern river.

In 1897, the point of the three countries changed again. Norway and Finland (now administered by Russia) decided that the new tripoint for their countries would be the Southern, not the Northern river.

Norway and Finland cut just a bit of land from Sweden when they decided on this new tripoint area. But this did not stop them as they put a cairn made of stones on the new spot they had decided.

The Swedes disagreed with this new location, so in 1897 they refused to contribute any stones to the new cairn to protest the new tripoint spot where the three countries met up. Finally, in 1901, Sweden agreed to the new tripoint location and contributed some stones for the 1897 cairn.

About The Three-Country Cairn – Finland, Norway and Sweden

The Three Country Cairn is the cairn or spot that marks the exact location where Sweden, Norway, and Finland meet. In 1926, the current cairn monument was built to mark Sweden, Norway, and Finland’s boundaries and meeting points.

The Three-Country Cairn is a beige-looking conical frustum structure made of concrete. It is built 10 meters (33 feet) out into Lake Goldajärvi; as it is built on the lake, many consider the Three-Country Cairn as the world’s smallest island to divide three country’s borders.

The Three-Country Cairn is 489 meters (1,604 feet) above sea level. It is about 14 square meters (150 feet) in diameter and 4 meters (13 feet) high. It is quite a vast, imposing structure that is literally out in the middle of nowhere in this northern outpost.

Lake Goldajärvi is a rare bifurcation lake, which means the lake has two different drainage basins, and the drainage cannot be divided as it is somewhere in the middle of the lake. Lake Goldajärvi flows to Lake Kilpisjärvi, the Norwegian Sea, and the Lyngen Fjord in Norway.

Lake Goldajärvi is known as Koltajärvi in Finnish, Golddajávri in Sami, or Koltajaure in Sweden.

The Three-Country Cairan is known as Kolmen valtakunnan rajapyykki in Finnish, Golmma riikka urna in Northern Sami, Treriksrøysa in Norwegian and Treriksröset in Swedish.

Visiting the Three-Country Cairn – Finland, Norway and Sweden

The Three-Country Cairn is a shared monument that marks the border point between Norway, Sweden, and Finland. Positioned high in the mountains, it can be reached only by those willing to take an adventurous hike through rugged terrain. This sacred site should certainly not be missed by anyone seeking a truly unique and culturally enriching experience!

Visiting The Three Country Cairn will take a bit of hiking and also some planning. It is not as easy as driving your car to a parking lot and walking over to the spot.

Visiting the Three-Country Cairn From Kilpisjärvi Finland

Kilpisjärvi is a small Sami village in Northern Finland. Like most Sami Villages in this region of Finland, the town is built around one major road.

Even though Kilpisjärvi has about 100 residents, it has its school, nearby hotels, and the northernmost research station for the University of Helsinki.

Besides The Three-Country Cairn, the area has a Saana Summit of schist and gneiss rock formations. Geologically, the Saana Summit is part of the Scandinavian mountains.

You can reach The Three-Country Cairn by walking 11 kilometers (6.8 miles) along a hiking trail at the Malla Nature Reserve.

You can also reach it by a public boat (MS Malla) and then do a 3-kilometer (1.9-mile) walk in the cairn. The boat only runs in the summertime if you do not want to do a lot of hiking to visit the Three-Country Cairn. The boat is one of the easiest ways to see the cairn.

Visiting the Three-Country Cairn From Norway

You can also reach The Three-Country Cairn via Norway. It is recommended that you go on the E8 road near the border. There is a large car park by the E8 just across the Finnish border, and from there, you can reach Kilpisjärvi. The E-8 parking lot is about 8 kilometers from Kilpisjärvi, Finland.

Visiting the Three-Country Cairn From Sweden

From Sweden is the most challenging route to visit, The Three-Country Cairn. To reach it from Sweden, you must hike at least 70 kilometers (43 miles) one way. The hike is quite a difficult one as there are several river crossings.

A snowmobile trail in The Three-County Cairn area is named after the Crown Princess of Sweden, Victoria.

You can freely walk around The Three-Country Cairn if you do not have any duty-free items that need to be declared in any country.

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Content References

To find out more about Kilpisjärvi Finland, you can visit their website to visit the area and where to stay when you are there. Their website contains information on where to stay and activities you can do in the area besides just the Three-Country Cairn.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is Lake Goldajärvi located?

Lake Goldajärvi is located on the northern border of Finland, Sweden, and Norway.

What is the Three-Country Cairn?

The Three-Country Cairn is a landmark located at Lake Goldajärvi where the borders of Finland, Sweden, and Norway meet. It marks the point where the three countries’ territories converge.

How can I reach the Three Country Cairn?

The easiest way to visit the Three Country Cairn is through the Finnish Sami village of Kilpisjärvi, Finland. From there, you can access Lake Goldajärvi by various means, such as hiking, biking, or taking a guided tour.

When is the best time to visit the Three Country Cairn?

The summer months, typically from June to August, are considered the best time to visit the Three Country Cairn. During this time, the weather is generally milder, and the area is more accessible for outdoor activities.

What activities can I do at Lake Goldajärvi?

At Lake Goldajärvi, you can engage in various activities such as hiking, fishing, boating, wildlife spotting, and photography. Additionally, you can explore the surrounding wilderness and enjoy the serene natural beauty of the area.

Is the Three Country Cairn easily accessible?

While the Three Country Cairn is located in a remote location, it is relatively accessible. The easiest way to reach it is through Kilpisjärvi, and from there, you can choose from different transportation options to get closer to the cairn.

Are there any accommodation options near Lake Goldajärvi?

Kilpisjärvi, the nearest village to Lake Goldajärvi, offers various accommodation options such as hotels, cabins, and camping sites. It’s advisable to make reservations in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons.

Can I cross the borders between the three countries at the Three Country Cairn?

The Three Country Cairn is primarily a landmark and not an official border crossing point. However, it’s possible to cross the borders between Finland, Sweden, and Norway at designated border checkpoints nearby.

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