Lakeland – Lakes, Lakes and more Lakes (and some Culture too)

Finnish Lakeland sceneries. Photo Juha Maatta / Vastavalo
Finnish Lakeland sceneries. Photo Juha Maatta / Vastavalo

Finland is the country of over 56 000 lakes. You read it right: 56 000 lakes bigger in size than a hectare. If you look at the map of Finland, you’ll see that big junks of the middle and eastern parts of the country are blue. Those are all lakes of all sizes from small and idyllic lakes to real giants like Finland’s biggest and most magnificent lake Saimaa.

The areas are not blue are mostly covered by forests. In Finland’s Lakeland natural beauty and peacefulness go hand in hand.

Rent your own cabin in the woods, or go kayaking to spot the rare freshwater seals in Lake Saimaa, the biggest lake in Finland.

Don’t forget to admire the fantastic rock paintings of Astuvansalmi, a reminder that Finns have lived here since the prehistoric times.

In winter people travel from all over Europe to do tour skating in Rantasalmi’s natural ice routes in Lake Saimaa’s fabulous sceneries.

Savonlinna – Castle Town in the Heart of the Lakeland

Savonlinna Opera Festival is held a real stunner for fans of classical music. The festival is held in a medieval castle in Finnish Lakeland.
Savonlinna Opera Festival is held a real stunner for fans of classical music. The festival is held in a medieval castle in Finnish Lakeland.

Savonlinna, named after its late medieval castle, lies in the heart of Finnish Lakeland. From Savonlinna it’s easy to do trips to some of Lakeland’s most beautiful areas and sights.

Punkaharju is a beautiful nature destination, and at Kerimäki one can wonder the biggest wooden church in the world. Mark our words: Kerimäki Church will blow your mind away – it’s gigantic.

World famous Savonlinna Opera Festival is held annually in Savonlinna’s picturesque castle, amid spectacular lake scenery.

Imatra – Russian Czars’ Favorite Destination

Imatra Rapid in its full force. Photo: Kerranelamassa.fi
Imatra Rapid in its full force. Photo: Kerranelamassa.fi

In Imatra you can follow the footsteps of Russian czars to marvel one of Finland’s greatest natural wonders, the Imatra Rapid.

Imatra used to be the favorite summer destination of Russian monarchs before the revolution, and the belle epoque is still alive in the fantastic, castle like Imatra Hotel. You can also pamper yourself in Imatra’s wonderful spas.

Scenery Road nr. 62

The small country road number 62 from Imatra to Mikkeli is one of the prettiest in Finland. The road passes right though some of the prettiest lakeside sceneries on can imagine. Especially beautiful is the road section from Puumala to Mikkeli.

Mikkeli – Waterpark and Gourmet Restaurants

Mikkeli is one of Finland’s summer capitals: there’s more summer cabins around Mikkeli than anywhere else in Finland.

Thanks to the concentration of summer visitors, Mikkeli area hosts some of the best restaurants you can find in rural Finland.

Mikkeli has also Visulahti Waterpark and Xon Adventure Park to keep the kids happy.

Koli and Ilomantsi – in the Land of Kalevala Epic

Sceneries of Koli Hill and Lake Pielinen have a special place in Finnish hearts. Photo: Tea Karvinen
Sceneries of Koli Hill and Lake Pielinen have a special place in Finnish hearts. Photo: Tea Karvinen

Lakeland’s sceneries turn all the more dramatic at its northern end, an area called Northern Karelia. Here endless wilderness takes over as you enter the mythical landscape of Finland’s national epic, the Kalevala.

Koli National Park has some of the most beautiful landscapes in Finland. For generations the high hill of Koli has been almost like a pilgrimage place for Finns to travel to see the beauty of their land.

Ilomantsi on the border of Russia is as far east as you can get in Europe. Here you can find several sights related to the Kalevala epic. Ilomantsi is also the destination for the friends of world military history: here the severely outnumbered Finnish army held heroically back the Russians during the battles of the Second World War.

Inland Cruise on Heinävesi

Lake sceneries don’t get any prettier than on the Heinävesi inland cuise route.

Inland Cruise from Finland to Russia

Another interesting inland cruise takes from Lappeenrata on the Finnish side over to border to the picturesque Russian town Viaborg (Viipuri). And the best part: cruise tourists don’t need a visa to Russia for a few days visit! What a great and easy way to add Russia to your travel bucket list.

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Lakeland – Lakes, Lakes and more Lakes (and some Culture too)

Finland is the country of over 56 000 lakes. You read it right: 56 000 lakes bigger in size than a hectare. If you look at the map of Finland, you