Visitor Centre at Øvre Pasvik National Park
The Øvre Pasvik National Park Visitor Centre was established in 2001 and is part of NIBIO Norwegian Institute for Bioeconomy Research. At the Centre you will find exhibitions that present the Pasvik Valley’s special nature, culture and history, you will learn about the primeval forest in the national park and the most characteristic bird and animal species that live here.
The Pasvik Valley borders to Finland in the West and Russia to the East, and has Norway’s densest brown bear population. The brown bear has therefore been given a central place in the exhibitions, and with interactive solutions, the Centre offers exciting and educational experiences for visitors.
The Visitor Centre offers a variety of experiences whether you visit us as a school class or family. The Centre is surrounded by a botanical garden, and in the immediate area there are various nature trails with different posts.
We can offer accommodation in single and double rooms with a private bathroom. All overnight guests get free admission to our exhibition and can freely make use our sauna, TV lounge and laundry room.
Please contact us for more information about the Visitor Centre, Øvre Pasvik National Park and what the area has to offer.
Summer (medio June – medio August)
Winter (medio August- medio June)
Weekend: By appointment.
The Visitor Centre arranges open lectures, courses, bird excursions, family days, field days and more. All events are listed here and can also be found on Facebook.
The exhibition at the Visitor Centre presents the Pasvik Valley’s unique nature, culture and history. Here you can learn more about the primeval forest in the national park and the bird and animal species that live here. The exhibition also deals with other protected areas in the Pasvik Valley, such as the Pasvik nature reserve, where the unique diversity of waterfowl has given this nature reserve status as a RAMSAR area. Pasvik has Norway’s densest brown bear population and this species has a central place in the exhibition.
Bird tower and shelter
The Pasvik Valley has a unique bird life that can be experienced almost everywhere. A bird watching tower open to all is situated at Skrøytnes (69.4165N 29.9461E). From here you get a good view of Lille Skogøy and the most Southern part of Svanevatn. You can also visit the bird shelter at Gjøkbukta in Øvre Pasvik (69.1547N 29.2021E).
The Cold War tower 96-høyden (69.4488N 29.9251E) was built in 1952 and provides a unique view of the landscape in Pasvik. It is especially exciting to look for brown bears on the large, open bogs. You also get a good view of Russia and the Russian city of Nikel on the other side of the border. The tower has a Facebook-site where you can find opening hours and events.
The botanical garden
The botanical garden (69.4540N 30.0408E) at Svanhovd is the only one of its kind in Finnmark. Today, there are only three public botanical gardens north of the Arctic Circle: Svanhovd and Tromsø in Norway, and Kirovsk in Russia. Svanhovd Botanical Garden opened in 1998. Here you will find plants which originate from the Himalayas, Siberia, China, Canada, Alaska and Kamchatka. The garden also contains beds for research and development, as well as thematic areas that, for example, show perennials, roses and other seedlings, ornamentals, herbs, vegetables and plants used in folk medicine in the Barents region. The growing season is short and the best time for a visit to the garden is in July and August.
Sami history and cultural heritage
Learn more about Sami culture both in our exhibition and along the path that leads to Ellenvannskoia. Read more (Norwegian only)
The Visitor Centre for Øvre Pasvik National Park is located at Svanvik. Follow county road 8850 from Kirkenes and south through Pasvikdalen for approx. 35 km. Kirkenes is a 2 hour flight from Oslo.
The easiest means of transport is to drive your own car or possibly a rental car. Other possibilities are Pasvik Taxi, bus transport from Boreal (snelandia.no) or by bicycle.
Both SAS and Norwegian fly directly from Oslo to Kirkenes, and Widerøe flies directly from Tromsø. Hurtigruten calls at Kirkenes regularly.
Find information about various activities, experiences, accommodation and places to eat at www.visitkirkenes.info.
Opening hours and contact information:
Summer (medio June-medio August)
Winter (medio August-medio June)
Weekend: By appointment.
Address: Besøkssenter for Øvre Pasvik nasjonalpark, NIBIO Svanhovd, Svanhovd 23, 9925 Svanvik, Norway
Telephone: +47 464 13 600