Find Inner Peace in Finnish National Parks
Finland is a land of green forests, clean air and pure nature. In Finland you also have freedom to roam; No matter whether you are local or a tourist, everyone has a right to get in touch with Finnish nature. The best way of doing this is to visit one or more of the 40 Finnish national parks all over the country.
Unlike in some countries, Finnish nature – including national parks – is available for everyone and completely free of charge to enter. Each national park in Finland has it’s own unique landscapes and attractions and also a visitor centre where you can get detailed information about places to visit, hiking routes, campfire sites, restaurants, cafés and other services in the area.
Did you know that only a 20-minute walk in the forest lowers your blood pressure and reduces stress? They are good enough reasons to take a small tour and visit 5 beautiful national parks with their most famous attractions right now.
Are you ready? Let’s go!
1. Koli National Park
Koli National Park is located in North Karelia in Eastern Finland. Koli is best known for its’ national landscape that has inspired the greatest Finnish artists of all times – composers, writers and painters – including Jean Sibelius and Eero Järnefelt.
The forested hills decorated by the blue skies and sparkling lakes are best to admire on top of the highest peak of the national park, Ukko-Koli. Throw a coin into ’Uhrihalkeama’, a huge crack in the middle of the rock that’s known as an ancient sacrificial site, or investigate the Z-shaped cave of ’The Devil’s Church’. And if you arrive at winter, make sure you’ll have a drive along the Europe’s longest inland ice road across the Lake Pielinen.
2. Bothnian Sea National Park
How about combining a day at a national park with a lovely summer day at sea? In Finland also this is possible. Consisting of a chain of rocky and remote islands and islets, Bothnian Sea National Park stretches for 160 kilometers along the West Coast of Finland. 98 % of the national park is under water.
The islands and skerries offer a lot to see for a traveler, and during summer season many of them are reachable by water buses. Visit a lighthouse island of Säppi, where you can meet wild muflons and even Highland cattle, or Katanpää Island that used to be home to convicts and conscripts. The most recent additions to Bothnian Sea National Park are the lighthouse island of Kylmäpihlaja and an old military island of Kuuskajaskari that are the first ever areas included to a national park that are not owned by the Finnish government.
3. Nuuksio National Park
Do you have only a couple days to spend in Finland? In that case you will love this news; It’s enough to spend a day in a national park! Nuuksio National Park is located right next to Helsinki, and it’s easily reachable even with public transport within an hour from the Finnish capital.
In Nuuksio National Park you can find very typical features of Finnish scenery – it’s like a small version of Finland! Rugged crags, sparkling blue lakes, green forests with diverse flora and fauna and clean air. Whether you’re an expert, a beginner or even in a wheelchair, Nuuksio National Park has a hiking trail for you. Nuuksio is the place to escape the busy streets of Helsinki.
4. Repovesi National Park
Are you fascinated by heights? Then Repovesi National Park is the place to be. Located in Southern Savonia, 190 kilometers north-east of Helsinki, Repovesi National Park attracts madcaps with the best rock climbing spot in Southern Finland and a 50 meters long overwater hanging bridge.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a crazy adrenaline-filled daredevil to enter Repovesi National Park. Even if the Olhavanvuori Rock drops 50 meters down vertically, instead of climbing you can reach the top by hiking along a safe trail – the views are definitely worth the effort. Along the most popular trail, Ketunlenkki, you’ll get to cross a strait with a ferry that even the smallest hikers love.
5. Lemmenjoki National Park
Lemmenjoki National Park isn’t only the northernmost national park in Finland – it’s also the largest one. Lemmenjoki, romantically translated as ’The River of Love’, leads you to the original homeland of Sámi people.
In Lemmenjoki National Park the Sámi families will take you to a river cruise to see the awesome Ravadas Falls and introduce you to the Sámi culture. You can try to find treasures by gold panning, see real gold diggers at work and reindeer running wild, admire the Northern Lights flaming on the sky or camp under the famous Finnish Midnight Sun.
Do you feel like exploring more of Finnish nature? Find your nearest Finnish national park here: Nationalparks.fi