Saana, the most iconic of the Finnish fells*, stands in northwestern Lapland, right by the Scandinavian Mountains. The fell is located along Highway E8 in the Käsivarsi Wilderness Area, by the picturesque Kilpisjärvi village and the eponymous lake. Its surroundings are home to Finland’s highest fells, breathtaking natural sights, and a mere 400 inhabitants. It is Finnish Lapland at its wildest and mightiest.
The top of Saana rises up to 1029 meters, and it offers one of the most impressive views in all of Lapland. The fell is a sight to behold from a distance as well. The location offers an optimal setting for a variety of production types, from nature documentaries to adventure fiction.
Saana has special significance in the Sámi culture, where the fell is held sacred by many.
*Fell = a small mountain with tundra-like terrain; summit above the tree line.
Accommodation in the Kilpisjärvi village consists of a few hotels, a holiday resort and rental cabins. For examples of accommodation in the area, take a look at the film-friendly Santa’s Chalets Rakka, Tundrea Holiday Resort and Lapland Hotels Kilpis.
The total accommodation capacity of the municipality of Enontekiö is approximately 1200 beds. Most villages in the rest of the municipality lie along Highway E8, and their accommodation varies from hotels and cottages to holiday villages.
Restaurants & Catering
For a taste of the local cuisine, there are a handful of restaurants and cafes in the Kilpisjärvi village. Some restaurants are only open for in the summer, while others operate year-round. The forementioned accommodation providers all offer restaurant services.
Some additional local services that may be useful when filming at Saana include:
- Snowmobile and ATV rentals
- Flight services (helicopters and hydroplanes)
- Reindeer and husky experiences
- Transportation services
- Guide services
Lapland is the most connected wilderness in the Arctic. Thanks to its five airports, vast and well-maintained road network and efficient public transportation, getting around is effortless throughout the year.
You can travel to Kilpisjärvi by bus. There are direct bus lines to the village from the railway stations in Kolari and Rovaniemi, as well as the Kittilä and Tromso Airports. For timetables and tickets for buses, visit Matkahuolto.
As all of Lapland, Kilpisjärvi is easy to reach by car. If you opt for a rental car, the film-friendly services of ScanCar are available across the region.
Crew & Filming Equipment
Production service companies that operate across Lapland:
Angel Films offers equipment rentals for productions in Lapland. The company also owns sound stages in Helsinki.
Thanks to the Finnish concept of the Everyman’s Right, most of the Lapland nature is free to film in. In the case of Saana, this means that if your production is on a smaller scale and does not cause disturbance to the nature, there is a chance you may not need to worry about permits at all. But if you’re unsure, it’s always best to ask.
Saana and the rest of the Käsivarsi Wilderness Area are managed by Metsähallitus (Parks & Wildlife Finland), and permits are required for all off-road traffic and any temporary structures. Metsähallitus handles filming and permit applications on a case by case basis. For more information, please see their instructions for permits for film production in state-owned areas in Finland.
Film Lapland does not issue permits, but we’re more than happy to help you determine whether you need one and with the permit process, so please don’t hesitate to contact us.