In the heart of Finland’s Lakeland, Saimaa is a jewel of the Finnish countryside. Saimaa is Europe’s fourth largest freshwater lake, yet impossible to view all at once; left by the raking effect of the ice age and melting glaciers, it is strewn throughout with thousands of forested islands, rocky cliffs and sandy bays. Boat tours and cruises let you experience Saimaa at its best.
To imagine Saimaa, imagine first the open water, then the forested shoreline on each horizon, with the sun on your face and a calm breeze in your hair. It harbours quiet beaches, and lively towns, hidden inlets and vast open waters. Straddling the old trade route, there’s even Europe’s northernmost medieval castle in Savonlinna which looks down at all who would pass through.
Saimaa boat tours – out on the water
Saimaa’s huge size accommodates anything from one-man canoes to sizeable cargo ships, making boat tours the ideal way of seeing it. Harbours in towns like Savonlinna and Mikkeli offer all the services you’ll need for your boat trip.
Boats of any description are available in Saimaa. Along with rowing boats and canoes, motorboats are incredibly popular with both locals and guests alike. Many companies offer hired use of their boats while others will offer tour packages with a guide who knows the area and can take you to the best spots.
Life among the waves – Saimaa’s other residents
Lake Saimaa’s intricate network of waterways and forests creates a range of different habitats for fish, wildlife and birds.