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Tervola is a rural municipality in southwest Finnish Lapland. It usually shows to the travelers driving the Highway 4 as a group of gas stations, and therefore offers a great place for lay-by. Tourism to Tervola itself is of very small scale.

The municipality is unilingually Finnish.


Tervola belongs to the "Sea Lapland" and is culturally more bound to Kemi area in southwest than to rest of the Lapland. Highway E75 runs through the municipality following the west bank of river Kemijoki but the parish village is at the east bank. Most people ever "visiting" Tervola just drive through it. They will see the municipality just as a mixture of fields, river views, and gas stations.

Like elsewhere in the southwest Lapland the landscape in Tervola is fairly flat and dominated by Kemijoki river, fields, mires, and bogs. In northeast there are some tall hills with notable prominence. Some 8000 years ago the hills Törmävaara, Vammavaara, Kätkävaara, and Pisavaara were solitary islands far out in the northern Ancylus Lake. The ancient shorelines are still visible on them.

Numerous archaeological findings has been done from the hills, from areas lying higher than 40 meters above current sea level. Oldest historic households were established to Koivu village during the 15th century. Still standing Tervola old church was built in 1687-1689. The railway arrived here in 1908. In 1918, during the Finnish Civil War, there was short but important battle between White and Red militants. Until 1920s virtually all the people lived in agricultural settlements by the river.

Even nowadays the municipality is fairly rural. There are just 3000 permanent residents out of which less than half live in parish village. Services are the main economic sector though.

Get in

Highway 4 (E75, colloquially "Nelostie") runs through the municipality. Traffic on the road 926 (aka (Kemijoen) Itäpuolentie) has much lower traffic but this is where the municipal centre is. There are bridges over the river in the parish village and at Ossauskoski hydroelectric dam.

Coaches between Kemi and Rovaniemi do not visit the municipal centre but the main bus stop is "Hastinpolku th" by the highway 4.

Tervola belongs to Sea Lapland communal traffic. There are local bus connections from Kemi to villages in Tervola, at least in weekdays. Timetables are scarce. The Finnish-language time tables by Meri-Lapin Joukkoliikenne show details.

All trains between Rovaniemi and Kemi stop at 1 Tervola railway station. There are no indoor facilities or ticket sales at the station any more.

Get around

Virtually everyone has their own car or at least a moped here. On highway 4 the traffic is high. On road 926 very much lower. On smaller roads it's sparse.

Tervola belongs to Sea Lapland communal traffic. There should be local bus at least at weekdays but timetables are scarce. Time tables by Meri-Lapin Joukkoliikenne are in Finnish only.


  • 1 Old Churches, M.A. Castrenintie 4. The Old Church (Vanha kirkko) from 1687 and the Big Church (Iso kirkko) from 1864 are wooden churches by the river. The newest church (from 1974) is also next door. (updated Apr 2020)
  • 2 Tervola local history museum, Nelostie 372. Over 30 local buildings with old utensils and tools. Garden. (updated Apr 2020)
  • 3 Eukterion of Tryphon of Pechenga (Trifon Petsamolaisen tsasouna), Tsasounantie 1. Varejoki village was one of the places where people from Petsamo (now Pechenga in Russia) were evacuated during the World War 2. As they were orthodox christians an Eukterion was built. The Eukterion belongs to Oulu Orthodox parish. (updated Apr 2020)
  • 4 Törmävaara stone age village, Tsasounantie 16, ☏ +358 40 776 9691. One of the largest stone age dwelling sites found so far north. Small museum and reconstructed houses. Call and ask for guidance. (updated Apr 2020)
  • 5 Tervola Battle Memorial. During the Finnish Civil War in February 2nd 1918 the Whites managed to ambush a train carrying Red militants towards Rovaniemi a few hundred metres south from Tervola train station. During the following firefight over 20 Reds were killed. The Whites didn't face any casualties. After the battle the Whites got domination over West Lapland for the rest of the war. (updated Apr 2020)
  • 6 Myllyköngäs rapids, Myllykönkääntie. Small but impressive waterfall in Vähäjoki river. Some roads are for private use only but there should be access by car to the northern bank (perhaps Suolijoentie-Myllykönkääntie route??) (updated Apr 2020)


  • There is a 9-hole disc golf course in the parish village.
  • 1 Kätkävaara nature trail, Leirikätkä 74. A 7-km circular nature trail to Kätkävaara hill. Starting point at Kätkävaara Aurora Apartments. Observing tower on top of the hill. Three campfire sites and a dry toilet. Short 300m and 600m trails for disabled at the bottom of the hill. free. (updated Apr 2020)
  • 2 Vammavaara trail. One of the largest ancient sea shores in Finland - the vast stone field is about 5 km2 wide. The trail starts directly from the road 926 just before the municipal border. There is a sign to the trail. No specific parking lot. Few hundred meters from the road at y-crossroads turn right and follow the path. Lean-to shelter and a campfire site at the top about 2 kilometers from road (uphill, not as easy as you might think). If the weather is clear enough one can see tallest buildings in Kemi 60 km away. free. (updated Apr 2020)
  • 3 Elijärvi bird watching tower. Shallow lake Elijärvi is slowly overgrowing. Now it is important resting place for many migrating birds. free. (updated Apr 2020)

Pisavaara Strict Nature Reserve and northern part of Runkaus Strict Nature Reserve are located in the Tervola municipality. Both areas are nature conservation areas without public entrance. In Runkaus Reserve permanent residents of Tervola municipality are allowed to pick berries and edible mushrooms. The Pisavaara Strict Nature Reserve is closed for any access without specific written permission from the Finnish Forest Administration. These permissions are given for scientific reasons only.


Räihän rieska is the most famous product from Tervola. Their bakery shop is at Café Rieskapaikka (see below) but you'll find these rieskas from elsewhere as well.

  • 1 K-market Tervola, Keskustie 84. M-Sa 07:00-21:00, Su 09:00-21:00. K-group grocery store. (updated Feb 2021)
  • 2 Sale Tervola, Kurjentie 1. S-group grocery store. Mail service. Alko pick-up point. (updated Feb 2021)
  • 3 Sale Loue, Nelostie 2391. M-Su 09:00-21:00. S-group grocery store. Gasoline. Mail service. Basic prescription free drugs. (updated Feb 2021)

Eat and drink

  • 1 Suukosken Keidas, Kemijoen itäpuolentie 4070, ☏ +358 400 690 640, info@suukoskenkeidas.fi. May-September: every Sa 20:30-01:00. Established in 1967 this is one of the most famous social dance sites. Check your steps for twist and tango. Bar. (updated Apr 2020)
  • 1 Mäkipeura, Nelostie 3079b, ☏ +358 16 439 277. M-F 06:00-21:00, Sa 07:00-21:00, Su 09:00-21:00. Commonly known as "Peuran Esso" this is a legendary gas station and a popular place for having a break. Lunch buffet, Kotipizza pizzas, and Hesburger hamburgers (since March 2021). (updated Feb 2021)
  • 2 Rieskapaikka, Nelostie 3312, ☏ +358 16 439 221, rieskapaikka@hotmail.com. M-Th 07:00-20:30, F 07:00-21:00, Sa 07:00-22:00, Su 09:00-20:00. Popular café and bakery. Famous especially for the rieska, a Lapland style flatbread. Lunch buffet. Also cabin accommodation. (updated Feb 2021)


  • 1 Hotel Tervolahovi, Keskustie 47, ☏ +358 40 537 5059, kakko@tervolahovi.fi. Hotel by the river in downtown Tervola. Restaurant and nightclub. Riverside saunas. (updated Feb 2021)


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