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What we do International Dark Sky Places

Øvre Pasvik National Park

Showing the starry skies at the most popular entrance, for hiking to the Three-Country Cairn in the Øvre Pasvik National Park. The Three-Country Cairn is the tripoint at which the borders of Norway, Russia and Finland meet.
The Three-Country Cairn Entrance Øvre Pasvik National Park
 Credit: Bernt Nilsen


Øvre Pasvik National Park is Norway’s first certified International Dark Sky Place and is located in the Pasvik Valley about 100 km south of the town of Kirkenes in the very far northeast of Norway, Sør-Varanger Municipality in Troms and Finnmark county.

Due to the Northern latitude of 69 degrees, the park offers unique star gazing opportunities during the two-month period when the sun does not rise above the horizon. This is also beneficial for observing the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) from late August to April. Additionally, Øvre Pasvik National Park’s high latitude prevents frequent air traffic, making for a night sky free of artificial light. 

While the park has no permanent lighting installed within its boundaries, its leadership ensures that the night sky will be protected and remain pristine through outreach and education efforts throughout the Sami Region, where Øvre Pasvik National Park is found. For example, two major primary schools in Sør-Varanger Municipality are beginning to include Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) activities in their curriculum and are now planning with the park both indoor and outdoor activities about dark skies education. Also, the Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy (NIBIO) Research Center at Svanhovd is an authorized center for Øvre Pasvik National Park and will contribute by spreading the message about the International Dark Sky Park protections in its ongoing nature schools for children, citizen science activities, and open lectures for adults. 

The public can visit both the main Øvre Pasvik National Park Visitor Centre at NIBIO Svanhovd and a Visitor Point at Gjøken, closer to the National Park. For wintertime visits, visitors are strongly advised to prepare for a harsh environment with temperatures down to minus 30 degrees Celsius or colder.


119 Sq. Km




International Dark Sky Park


Fv8850 1, 9926 Svanvik, Norway
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Rolf E. Sch Kollstrøm
Bernt Nilsen


Annual Reports


Click here to find ideal environmental conditions for enjoying dark skies near Pasvik Valley, Norway (69.45, 30.05).