Wild and beautiful nature in the Arctic Circle. Among tourists it known for the mountains, midnight sun and aurora borealis.

The harsh climate made this area low populated, with majority of people living along ice-free coastal areas. Most populated areas are in Russia, Norway and Finland.

In the beginning of 20th century, the mining operations started on the far north. In many northern countries, the material production was organized as fly-in fly-out, separated from everyday life. But in the Soviet Union, it initiated the foundation of massive cities. This made it the most populated area in the north and has forever changed its outlook.

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In older times, the land was populated by Saami. They are spread along multiple countries.

Norway and Finland in the Arctic circle

Tromso, Norway. The third biggest city in Arctic circle and biggest in Norway, it plays an important role in Saami culture preservation. View from Storsteinen mountain

The cities and countryside in the Arctic circle, especially in Norway, have predominately traditional, wooden architecture. Norwegian city – Tromso has the highest concentration of it in the North.

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Bodø, Norway. The second largest city in Arctic Norway (after Tromsø). During the WWII the city was destroyed. Now, unlike wooden Tromsø, it has predominately modern architecture.

In Finnish Lapland, most of the activities are related to tourism. It is full of holiday villages and rental cottages. Northern lights is one of the main attractions. Kiilopaa, Inari.

Russia in the Arctic circle

After crossing Russian boarder the view changes dramatically. Murmansk, the biggest city in the Arctic Circle, seen from the hill, next to Alyosha monument. In many Russian northern cities, the industrial objects dominate the landscape. The cities are relatively large, 4 or 5 biggest cities in Arctic circle are in Russia.

Kirovsk, Russia. You can still enjoy the same tourist activities as in northern Scandinavia, but the view is completely different. The brand-new chairlift contrasts with old soviet apartment blocks. The city is still drowned in snow in late March, unlike ones on the shoreline

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An apartment block in Kirovsk, Russia

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Most of the cities in Russia have monuments related to WWII. This is “Alyoha” monument, dedicated to protectors of northern Russia. Murmansk.

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Military training in Northern Russia. Roadway from Murmansk to Norway. Model: 2S9 Nona (?)

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