Finland is a country located in Northern Europe. Officially the Republic of Finland, the country has an area of about 130,666 square miles, and 10 percent of this total is composed of lakes, rivers, and ponds. Finland's rivers have a number of mouths or drainage points, such as the Gulf of Bothnia, Gulf of Finland, Archipelago Sea, and the Arctic Ocean. However, most rivers and their accompanying tributaries eventually drain into the Gulf of Bothnia. The longest rivers in Finland are the Kemijoki, Tornionjoki, Tenojoki, and Iijoki.
The Four Longest Rivers in Finland
The longest river in Finland is the Kemijoki River, which has a length of about 550 kilometers. The river flows primarily within or along the country's borders, through places such as Kemijärvi and Rovaniemi, before draining into the Gulf of Bothnia. Along its course, the Kemijoki also merges with the Ounasjoki River. Additionally, 15 hydroelectric power plants have been constructed along the river, which produced approximately 34% (about 4.3 TWh) of Finland’s total hydroelectric power in 2003.
The Tornionjoki River is the second longest river in Finland, with a length of about 522 kilometers. Also called the Torne or the Tornio, the river starts at Kiruna Municipality, Sweden, flows through Finland, and eventually reaches its mouth at the Gulf of Bothnia. Half of the river's length forms part of the border between Sweden and Finland. The Tornionjoki River has a number of tributaries such as the Njuoraätno, Kåppasjåkka, and Sarvájohka.
With a length of 344 kilometers, the Tenojoki River is the third longest river in Finland. Also called the Tana River, the Tenojoki flows through both Norway and Finland, from its source at Anarjohka-Karasjohka to its mouth at Tanafjorden, Norway. The river has a basin size of about 6,323 square miles and is used for transportation and fishing. In particular, the Tenojoki is renowned for its large quantity of salmon. In 2002, a total of 219,461 pounds of salmon was caught, and each salmon had an average weight of 10 pounds. About 152 kilometers of the river's length forms the international border between Norway and Finland.
The Iijoki River is the country's fourth longest river, with a length of about 330 kilometers. The Iijoki flows within Finland, starting in Iijärvi, a lake near the municipality of Kuusamo, and eventually reaches its mouth at the Gulf of Bothnia. The river has a basin size of about 5,479 square miles, as well as more than 150 rapids along its course. In addition, the Iijoki has a number of tributaries, such as the Livojoki and Siuruanjoki.
The Longest River Entirely Within Finland
The Ounasjoki River is the longest tributary river in Finland, and the largest tributary of the Kemijoki River. Additionally, the Ounasjoki is located entirely within the borders of Finland, which also makes it the longest river that flows exclusively within the country’s borders. The river originates at Lake Ounasjärvi, Finland, which has an elevation of about 1,480 feet, and drains into the Kemijoki River at Rovaniemi. The Ounasjoki also has some tributaries of its own, including the Syvä Tepastojoki, Marrasjoki, and Meltausjoki.