Useful Information

Susiluola (Wolf Cave), Finland. Public Domain.
Susiluola (Wolf Cave), Finland. Public Domain.
Location: On Vargberget (Wolf Mountain). In Kristinestad at the border of Karijoki.
Open: Cave: entrance gated, otherwise no restrictions.
Wolf Cave Exhibition: 22-MAY to 20-AUG Tue-Sun 12-17.
Fee: Cave: free.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: bring torch/not necessary
Guided tours:
Address: Karijoki municipial offices, Tel: +358-6-268-0101. E-mail: contact
Karijoki Guides, Maija Ala-Heikkilä, Tel: +358-6-268-0405, Cell: +358-50-362-8135.
Kristiinankaupunki Guides, Tourist Bureau of Kristiinankaupunki, Tel: +358-6-221-2311, Cell: +358-40-569-3796. E-mail: contact
Wesander Marketing, Raymond Wesander, Cell: +358-400-365-405. E-mail: contact
Wolf Cave exhibition, Pyhävuori, Tel: +358-6-2221- 803. E-mail: contact
Wolf Cave Tourist Center, Paarmanninvuori, Tel: +358-40-508-0405. E-mail: contact
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1997 multidisciplinary research project initiated.
2001 work interupted because of the danger of collapse, cave stabilized and a protecting wire netting placed at the ceiling.
2002 Wolf Cave Exhibition opened to the public.
2003 excavation continued.
2006 Joakim Donner, Professor Emeritus in Geology and Paleontology, challenges the idea that the materials found in the cave were created by humans.


Susiluola (Wolf Cave), Finland. Public Domain.
Susiluola (Wolf Cave), Finland. Public Domain.

The Susiluola (Wolf Cave) is a small horizontal crevice in crystalline rock. Not an impressive cave as one might think, but still an important shelter for Stone Age people living here far in the north. The place was known for a long time by the locals, but the cave was completely filled with sediments for very long and not visible. In 1997 the National Board of Antiquities, in collaboration with the Geological Survey of Finland and the Helsinki University Department of Geology started excavating this location. Because of its importance this archaeological site is today open to the public. There is a museum nearby which tells about the archaeological work. The excavations are still in progress so the site is not generally open, but it is possible to visit it on guided tours for groups.

The excavation produced an enormous amount of material, but it was difficult to interpret. It seems, this cave was occupied by humans before the last Ice Age, more than 120,000 years ago. But actually there is disagreement among archaeologists, if the materials found in the cave were created by humans. Obviously the question if humans lived in Scandinavia during warm interstadials is easy to answer, yes they did, they lived close to the glaciers in the stadials and they followed the herds of their prey to the north during interstadials. Nevertheless, the massive erosion by the glaciers has destroyed most remains, and so this remains a theory as long as there is nor hard evidence. The importance of this site was actually the possible evidence for a theory, and unfortunately the remains are not clear-cut enough. The discussion is still ongoing.

The cave itself may be visited by booking a tour with one of several tour operators. Of course one can also go there and have a look through the iron gate. Obviously the whole cave is visible through the bars. We recommend to start at the Susiluolan opastuskeskus (Wolf Cave Tourist Center), which is located on Paarmanninvuori hill in Karijoki. It contains the Susiluolanäyttely (Wolf Cave Exhibition), a small museum. An audiovisual presentation of the landscape and life in and around the Wolf Cave some 120,000 years ago is completed by findings, maps and background info on Neanderthals. Beneath the archaeological details, the geology of the area and the geology of the cave are explained. At the center a 1 km long trail starts, which connects the Wolf Cave, a rock garden, a bronze-age burial site and a moraine, which is locally called devil's field.