Iron Gate

The Iron Gate is a narrow bay in Lake Nellimjärvi lined by steep rock walls. The bay and Lake Inarijärvi are only separated by a narrow isthmus. Along this isthmus ran the Arctic Ocean Road to Petsamo, which was strategically important during the Second World War. During the Winter War (1939-1940), a line of defence was constructed in the area between the Iron Gate and Lake Matjärvi. During the Interim Peace (13 March 1940 - 24 June 1941), the Iron Gate was fortified and bases, machine gun nests and connecting trenches were built in the vicinity. A marked trail runs to the Iron Gate and there is an information board on the area's military history.

Nellim Log-Floating Flume

The log-floating flume constructed on the land between Lakes Nellimjärvi and Keskimöjärvi is a remnant of the busy logging period of the 1920s and 30s. At the time, log floating was the only profitable way of delivering timber to the mills. Log-floating flumes enabled the floating of logs from more distant areas. The log-floating flume (restored by the National Board of Antiquities in 1994-1995) is 304 metres long. By the flume, there is a replica of a loggers' cabin of the time.  


The three nations' border point called Muotkavaara is located at a distance of roughly 30 kilometres from Nellim. This border point of Finland, Norway and Russia is a popular outdoor destination, particularly in winter. Muotkavaara is rounded of the frontier zone ( and you will need a permit to the frontier zone, but the Muotkavaara itself is located out of the zone. There is guided tours offered by local enterprises.

The boader point of tree countries in Muotkavaara. Photo: Pasi Nivasalo

Church Dedicated to the Holy Trinity and to St. Tryphon of Pechenga

The wooden Orthodox church in Nellim was built in 1988. It is used for church services and is open to travellers all year round. The St. Tryphon of Pechenga pilgrimage (taking place at the end of August) runs from Nellim to Sevettijärvi. In Nellim, they have also celebrated maslenitsa during the last week before the Great Lent.

Photo: Matti Mela.