Lapland is not only about reindeers, snow and a visit to Santa Claus. Located on top of the Lampivaara hill, in the middle of the beautiful landscape of the Pyhä-Luosto National Park, is located the Lampivaara Amethyst Mine. The amethyst mine offers to tourist from all ages, the opportunity to dig their own germstones and learn more about the sustainable mining. Keep reading to discover how you can “experience the mine” at Lampivaara.

About Lampivaara Amethyst Mine

The Lampivaara Amethyst Mine was formed about 2 000 million years ago in the bowels of the ancient mountains. Nowadays the small mine located on top of the hill is open for visitors who are curious about the process of mining amethysts 100% sustainably and who want to also “experience the mine” while digging their own gem stone as part of the visit.

The mine is owned by the Mining Company Arctic Amethyst Ltd who has been focusing on the concept of sustainability for long. In 2017 the company was awarded with the first prize of the category Major Tourist Attractions during the Skål International’s 2017 Sustainable Tourism Awards.

Sustainable development is well reflected in the company culture, choices and operations. One of the most impressive things I found out about the mine is the process of mining that they use. There are no machines involved in the excavation process and amethysts are not exploded for massive production of jewelry. Instead, the amethyst is sustainably mined by hand and with the solely purpose of offering a good gentle experience for the visitors and the environment. Through this process is guaranteed the existence of the mine for many more hundred years.

Arctic Amethyst Ltd. also produces artistic jewelry and souvenirs packed in wooden “Kelo”-pine boxes. All designs are done by Lappish goldsmiths who work directly for the company. So after your mine visit, you could head to the shop and be enchanted by the pretty accessories and useful utensils sold as sourvenirs.

The experience of digging your own amethyst

Are you ready to dig for your own lucky amethyst, that has waited 2000 million years to be found?

I book the winter tour directly with the mine company. The personal was nice and friendly (as much as a Finn can be!) and they transported the group from the Luosto Center to the start of the adventure. I cannot describe the beauty of the landscape! Not even pictures could describe how it felt to climb higher and discover more and more Lapland natural treasures with the height. Now can you imagine the view on top of the Lampivaara hill? Simply mind-blowing!

Upon the arrival to the top of the hill, a warm berry juice is served and the group is moved inside the huts to learn more about the mine and amethysts. During the storytelling moment, we learnt more about the origins of the stone and its types. We could even see and touch different types of amethyst to learn to differentiate between them and their value. For example the more translucid the structure of the amethyst is, the more it is its monetary value. The same happens with the intensity of the purple colour in the stone.

After learning about the gem and how to identify one during the excavation, the fun began. I was so enthusiastic about searching and digging own amethyst stone and take it with as a souvenir home! The reality was that it was harder than I thought, or I tend to be too ambitious. You can spend around 30 minutes looking for amethysts or quartzes and at the end of your mining experience, you get to keep one stone. The excavation experience was great! Really! However, since this is not my type of work, my enthusiasm lowered dramatically after 10 mins, so my excavation part was outsource for a while.

I think the best part was to see all the kids and families being so excited about finding their own treasure and bringing it home. So if you visit Lapland with your family, you can add the mine in your to-dos.

I am 100% sure that the experience will be completely different if it is summer! Generally speaking, I recommend you to check the weather and your resistance to cold temperatures before you go. It was fun, no deny! But also quite freezing.

The location

Visiting the mine is not only about getting your hands dirty while having fun digging for your gemstone, the mine is located on top of Pyhä-Luosto’s Lampivaara fell, which will provide you with astonishing views over Lapland. The national park of Lyhä-Luosto is an attraction visited by thousand of tourist per year who want to relax in a cottage, ski, visit reindeer farms and experience Lapland. I think I have never seen such beautiful sunrises in my life! A little bit closer and you could touch the sky with your hands. The sun in Lapland is one of the things one should see at least once in a lifetime.

Regardless of the time of the year that you choose to visit the mine, the vicinity offers a complex of natural areas for enjoy and entertainment. From hiking, riding a bike and admiring the ancient and mysterious forest in summer, to  ski, walk with snowshoes, ride a fatbike or take the amethystpendolino ride in winter, you will find additional things to explore after the mine.

At the start of the mine tour, you will see the Lampivaara café, where you can recharge energies with delicious doughnuts (these are completely different than American doughnuts), pastries and refreshments (I loved the warm berry juice). If the weather allows it, you can even grill sausages or eat your own packed lunch outside the cafe.

The Amethyst Mine is located approximately. 1,5 hour drive from Rovaniemi. If you don’t have a car available, you could take the skibus which transports people between Rovaniemi-Luosto-Pyhä. However I strongly recommend you to rent a car to explore and enjoy the best of Lapland. Alternatively, if  you need car transportation, you can also contact directly the mine stuff via email or call +358-16-624 334.

Tours, tickets and prices

Before you plan your visit to Lampivaara Amethyst mine, keep in mind the time of the year when you are going. The mine is open all year long with slightly variations in the schedule depending on the season. Amethyst Mine is daily open from 1st of June until 31st of October.  Tours start every full hour from the Lampivaara café:

  • 1 June to 15 August 2019: daily open from 11:00 am until 5:00 pm (last tour begins)
  • 16 August to 30 September 2019: daily open from 11:00 am until 4:00 pm (last tour begins)
  • 1 October to 31 October 2019: open only from Tuesday to Saturday from 11:00 am until 3:00 pm (last tour begins). During October, the mine is closed on Sundays and Mondays.

If you are interested in visiting the mine earlier this winter, the location opens from Monday to Saturday. During winter, there are guided tours available in the schedule below:

  • 11:10 Meeting point: Luosto centre
  • 11:30 Meeting point: Ukko-Luosto ( 2,5 km from centre). Buy the tickets 
  • 14:30 Meeting point: Ukko-Luosto ( 2,5 km from centre). Buy the tickets 

The winter tours include a cup of hot berry juice on top of Lampivaara mountain, interesting stories and tales about geology and history of the mine, and a fun experience digging your own lucky amethyst stone from winter digging area. The price for the tickets depends on the starting point of your tour and the time of the year of your visit. Child tickets apply for kids between 3 and 12 years.

In winter:

  • From Luosto centre 75 €/adult, 37 €/child
  • From Ukko-Luosto centre 60 €/adult, 28 €/child
  • From Lampivaara Café 30 €/adult, 15 €/child

In summer:

  • From Lampivaara Café 19 €/adult, 10 €/child
  • From Lampivaara Café, Family ticket 48€/family with 2 paying adults and 2 children under 12 years.

Regular tours are available in Finnish and English language, however if you want a different language for your tour, it is much better to book it in advance. There are group tours available in German, French, Japanese (audiotape), Mandarin Chinese (audiotape) and Russian (audiotape). If you want to access more information about the mine, feel free to visit their website or contact them to the details below. I hope you enjoy and experience the mine as much as I did! Follow me on Instagram for more travel locations and inspiration.

If you wan to visit the Lampivaara Amethyst Mine, here you I leave their contact data:

Phone:+358 16 624 334, +358 400 902 677

Address: c/o Pieni Kaivoskauppa Luostontie 4, 99555 Luosto