The breath-taking Saimaa lake system stretches for miles in all directions. Its islands and peninsulas pepper the landscape and the unblemished beauty of its National Parks harbours endangered species. Rising from the waters are the stone walls of the world’s northernmost medieval castle in Savonlinna, and the surrounding region is full of cultural landmarks, from the blossoming gardens of Kenkävero to the Stone Age rock paintings of Astuvansalmi. Take a look at the unique sights and attractions of Lake Saimaa.
Where nature meets culture – sights in the ancient region of Saimaa
The stunning natural beauty of Lake Saimaa and its forests speaks for itself. No-one can fail to be charmed by its green forests, blue skies and rocky archipelago.
One of the most famous aspects of the lake is the critically endangered Saimaa ringed seal which is at the forefront of Finnish nature conservation. Having adapted to freshwater life in Lake Saimaa since the last ice age, its need for sufficient ice and snow for nests leaves its young vulnerable due to climate change in the region. Your best chance of a sighting is by boat; look for them sunning themselves on rocks, or bobbing in the water.
Our ancient ancestors from the Stone Age would have seen and hunted these seals when they made their settlements and artwork around Astuvansalmi. These settlements have been unearthed, the research of great interest to archaeology, and the rock paintings are still visible to this day even after five thousand years. Boat tours and cruises from Mikkeli offer a chance to visit these wonderful sights of Saimaa.