Its natural riches range from vast forests to fantastic fells and of course views of the Northern Lights in snowy Lapland, but Finland also boasts some breathtaking waterfalls.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best known waterfalls in Finland. From the roaring Kukkolankoski rapids to the serene Auttiköngäs falls, each has its own unique charm and beauty.
Kitsiputous Falls: The Tallest Waterfall in Finland?
Found within the Malla Strict Nature Reserve in Finnish Lapland, Kitsiputous Waterfall is thought to be the tallest waterfall in Finland. Located among the highest fells in the country, it forms as the Kitsijoki River reaches Iso-Malla Fell. There it takes on the shape of a tiered cascade, dropping approximately 387 feet over a succession of plunges.
Kitsiputous Waterfall is close to the Three Nations border where Finland, Sweden, and Norway meet, and where the climate is arctic. During the winter, it transforms into an ice fall.
In the dense coniferous forest of the Kainuu region, the Heinijoki River rushes down a steep incline over a rocky outcropping, dropping somewhere between 75 and 80 feet. The result is Hepoköngäs, one of the tallest and best known waterfalls in Finland.
The waters of this untamed cascade maintain contact with the bedrock as it falls, this classifying it as a “horsetail” waterfall. This might explain the origins of its name, with “hepo” translating from Finnish to mean “horse”. Or it’s possible that the moniker is a reference to a rock along its slope, said to resemble a horse’s head.
At its peak in the early summer, it often freezes in the winter months, creating a spectacular tableau.
Located along the Löytynpuro River in the eastern area of Maaninka, the waters of Korkeakoski waterfall negotiate jagged rocks, fanning out into the Korkeakoski Canyon. During spring floods and after heavy rains, it experiences its highest water volume, creating a thunderous roar that can be heard from a distance.
Nestled within the unspoiled wilderness of Kevo Strict Nature Reserve in the municipality of Utsjoki, the Fiellujoki River drops into the heart of Kevo Canyon, forming the Fiellu Waterfall. Also known as Fjellu, it is amongst the most famous waterfalls of Finland.
This tiered cascade plunges a total of 85 feet over the course of two steps, creating a powerful spectacle and generating a spray of mist that supports the surrounding greenery. Soon thereafter, its waters join the River Kevojoki.
Kevo’s landscape was formed in the last Ice Age, with the Kevo Canyon being much older, hewn over 70 million years ago. The shape of the canyon and surrounding cliffs muffle the thunderous rumblings of the falls until one is almost upon them.
The Ravadasjoki Waterfall, also known as Ravadas Falls, is located in the Lemmenjoki National Park, the largest such park in Finland. As the Ravadasjoki empties into the Lemmenjoki River, it falls some 33 feet in a roiling frenzy, fanning out in a horsetail. A rock in its centre forces the water to split into two streams, creating a unique visual display. The surrounding area is characterised by dense forests, with pines and birch trees adding to the beauty of one of Finland’s best waterfalls.
Located in the Oulanka National Park in Kuusamo, the Kiutäköngas Waterfall is one of the most famous waterfalls in Finland. It’s formed as, within a distance of 1,100 feet, the Oulankajoki River rushes down a series of steep rapids, dropping some 46 feet in total. Kiutäköngas is renowned amongst Finnish waterfalls for the red glow of its rocks, a phenomenon caused by the presence of the mineral dolomite and quartzite rocks in the area. The name Kiutäköngas is said to derive from the Sami words “giuuhta” and “keävngis,” meaning “deep valley” and “large waterfall.” This ancient language and naming is a testament to the waterfall’s long standing significance in the region.
The River Kitkajoki is known for its rapids and impressive flow rates. So when it’s forced through a funnel along its journey, it bursts through the other side at full speed, crashing down a tapering slope approximately 30 feet tall. This is the waterfall of Jyrava, its name derived from the word “jyrinä”, meaning “rumbling”.
Revered as one of the mightiest waterfalls of Finland, Jyrava’s location in Kuusamo’s Oulanka National Park places it amongst some of the country’s most diverse natural sites.
In the remote Käsivarsi Wilderness Area of Enontekiö municipality, Pihtsusköngäs is one of the largest and most renowned waterfalls in Finland. The waterfall is formed by the Pihtsusjoki River, which negotiates this rocky, craggy route before plummeting approximately 56 feet in a classic plunge and continuing its journey. The force of the water as it drops creates a misty spray that sustains the surrounding greenery.
The Waterfalls of Finland
As we’ve seen, Finland is home to some impressive and unique waterfalls. From thundering cascades to delicate horsetails, Finland’s best waterfalls are as diverse as its landscape.