Saimaa Lake District

Finland has more than 188,000 lakes and about 180,000 islands, many of which are in the Saimaa Lake District, the largest in Europe. The Finnish Lake District is a blue labyrinth of lakes, islands, rivers and canals, interspersed with forests and ridges, stretching for hundreds of miles in a calm and stunningly beautiful expanse.

There is no more Finnish landscape than a lakeside summer cottage, surrounded by emerald green forest. In fact, more than 90% of Finland is covered by forest or water. But it is about much more than just an iconic image. Nature is a large part of our identity and an important source of well-being for millions of Finns. It’s also something we cherish: Finland has the cleanest water in the world.

The best way to experience and unwind in the Lake District is to try the iconic Finnish trinity of cottage , sauna and water. Swim, jump on a steamboat (Savonlinna), try a SUP board and just admire the view. Relaxation is guaranteed.

Finland is home to the world’s rarest seal, the Saimaa ringed seal . These inland seals have adapted to their freshwater habitat since they were cut off from the sea after the Ice Age in Lake Saimaa , Finland’s largest lake. They are only found in Saimaa Lake. Thanks to conservation measures, their numbers have recently risen to more than 300, but they are still critically endangered.

saimaa seal
Saimaa ringed seal

National parks

Wilderness Reserves