The northern part of Sodankylä is gold country, and over the years a few big gold nuggets have been found here. In Sodankylä you can try gold panning in Tankavaara, both in the Gold Village and at the Gold Prospector Museum.
The gold nuggets of Lapland are of purer gold than their Alaskan cousins, for example. When panning for gold, various precious stones may also be found.
The Tankavaara Gold Village also organises Finnish Gold Panning Championships in the summer, which is when you have a chance to see experienced gold miners doing it seriously.
Did you know? Pahtavaara hill sits on an underground gold mine and past volcanic activity means there is a lot of gold in the area. Near the mine is the hill of Sattasvaara, an ancient pin volcano. There is a fire guard’s hut on the peak of Sattasvaara. You can see the mine from the peak.