Murmansk Oblast

Sacred Lake of the Sami

Why Seidozero on the Kola Peninsula attracts tourists, mystics and explorers

18.03.2022 // Seidozero (from the Saami, "Seidyavvr" — a sacred lake) is one of the most famous and mysterious places in the Arctic Circle. It is located in the Lovozero Mountains, near the villages of Revda and Lovozero, at an altitude of 189 metres above sea level. Many tourists come here to enjoy the incredible beauty of these places, but there are also some looking for traces of Hyperborea, the northern counterpart of Atlantis.

The valley of the lake is located between the mountains. North winds and cyclones are rare here, allowing for the existence of a special micro-climate. The hydrology of the lake, unusually rich in fish, is also unique. Rare species of plants grow along the shores, with rare animals prowling amidst them. But the lake attracts travellers not only for its natural beauty. Seidozero is one of the most mysterious places in the Polar region, sacred to the Sami. Stories were told about the lake, and ceremonies were held on its shores.

Length — 8 km
Width — 1.5 to 2.5 km
The Elmorayok River flows in
The Seidyavrjok River flows out

The Legend of Kuiva

One of the legends associated with Seidozero tells about Kuiva. Kuiva was the chieftain of the Chudins (other legends call them Swedes), who came to rob and kill the Sami. But he was defeated and remained forever imprinted on the rock, becoming a seid — a spirit living in the rock. According to scientists, the outlines of the giant are formed by micro-colonial fungi and single-celled algae that grow on the rocks and change their colour.

In Search of Hyperborea

The Seidozero area also attracts aficionados of mysticism. They believe that Seidozero was once one of the centres of the Hyperborean civilisation (the northern counterpart of Atlantis). This mysterious country and its inhabitants, Hyperboreans, are mentioned by some ancient authors. Boreas is the name of the strong north wind in the mythology of Ancient Greece. Hyperborea, thus, is a country even further away, beyond this north wind.

This mysterious country, whether it really existed or not, became the centre of so many legends that now it is usually perceived as fiction. For example, the works of ancient Greek historians and geographers say that in Hyperborea, it rains copper drops, which then turn into coins; the moon hovers so low that you can see its surface in all the details; and, finally, that Hyperboreans are able to fly.

More than once expeditions of enthusiasts were sent to the places where Hyperborea could be located. They found various artefacts that, in their opinion, proved the existence of a mysterious civilization — semblances of fortresses, gates, perfectly hewn stones with writings, and roads lined with huge stones, found in the vicinity of Seidozero.

Other scientists, on the other hand, see it only as a quirk of nature, perfected by time. However, the flow of those who want to solve the mysteries of Seidozero does not dry up over the years.

How to get there

On foot, you can go through the Elmorayok mountain pass from Revda village. By boat, you can start from Lovozero village on Lovozero lake, reach Motka-Guba, then sail 2 km along the forest road to Seidozero. You can come up with your own route, but it is safer to use the services of local guides or contact a travel agency.

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