Summer and winter
Lake Saimaa is a very special place to both visitors and locals alike. Situated in the heart of Europe’s largest lake district, Saimaa offers great opportunities for outdoor activities, holidays and travel. Throughout the year, Finland is one of the best places in Europe to discover the outdoors or try something new, whether it be hiking in the endless pine forests or tasting the fresh local cuisine by the shores of its lakes. Summer or winter, experience the stunning nature and exciting holiday activities of Saimaa in Finland’s Lakeland!
The summer in Finland is truly worth experiencing. The sun barely sets around midsummer so you’ll get plenty of chance to explore during the day and to relax during the long, warm evenings. Hear the sounds of the wind through the trees and the waves lapping against the boats. Feel the coolness of the water. Laugh with friends and family under the midnight sun or simply enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the Finnish countryside.
You’ll find loads to do. Go paddling in a canoe and feel the connection to the water or just jump in and swim! Boat tours offer a great way to explore the huge lake system and an opportunity to see Saimaa’s critically endangered ringed-seal, the mascot for wildlife conservation in Finland. Choose from any number of sports and spas, and visit the local sights such as Olav’s Castle in Savonlinna. There’s also the annual opera festival which draws its audiences from all over the world.
While you’re here, you’ll want to make the most of the maintained trails by foot or bicycle, or perhaps try your hand at quad biking (ATV), horse-riding or other exciting summer activities. Leave the trails behind completely and hike just about anywhere; Everyman’s Rights allows incredible freedom of movement so that you can go, see and discover your own way. You can freely gather seasonal berries and mushrooms for yourself, take advantage of the great fishing here, and stay out overnight in the “laavu” lean-to shelters, free of charge, making your campfire and setting up camp. Getting out into the woods also gives you a chance to see the Finnish wildlife, from the red squirrel to the enormous moose or elk, or even a brown bear (but don’t worry; they don’t usually want to be found)!
Experience the breath-taking beauty of Saimaa’s nature as late summer gives way to a swathe of vibrant autumnal colour before the winter snows fall, bringing with them a new world to explore and the prospect of seeing the spectacular northern lights. The temperature can get as low as -15°c to -30°c so once the lakes freeze over and the snow drifts pile up, there’s a great choice of winter activities including ice skating, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing and ice fishing as well as plenty of hot food and drinks to warm up afterwards.
Whatever season you choose, there’s always a host of fun holiday activities waiting for you. Come and discover Saimaa for yourself!