• Paddle the Grand Lake Saimaa

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Paddle the Grand Lake Saimaa

On the map, Lake Saimaa looks like the outcome of an enormous explosion. As a result, its almost labyrinthine form makes the lake great for kayaking.

Due to the number of stretches of open water linked by straits and dotted with islands, it’s hard to believe Saimaa is Finland’s largest and the fourth largest natural freshwater lake in Europe.

Landscapes on and around Saimaa are simply breathtaking. In the shelter of the archipelago, there are hardly any waves, which makes kayaking routes suitable even for more inexperienced paddlers.

A national park of 130 islands

One of the most favoured kayaking waters on the Saimaa is the Linnansaari National Park, with 130 islands covering more than a hectare in the area.

There are 21 guest harbors in Linnansaari, which means break spots are never far away. Head for the shore whenever you feel you need a rest, a snack, or coffee prepared over open fire.

No Lack of Services

The main island of the national park, Linnansaari, is a nature reserve with practically no buildings on it, and the few existing barely impinge on the natural surroundings.

Nevertheless, the Sammakkoniemi campsite caters for all paddling travellers’ needs with accommodation, a small shop, and the obligatory sauna.

Trips for everyone – spot a seal!

The Saimaa ringed seal is among the world’s most threatened seal species, and Linnansaari National Park is the best place in the world to spot one.

For  a quick peek into the national park, a few hours’ guided kayaking tours are available.

For more serious paddling, book one that takes several days and includes other national parks on the Saimaa, too.


Finnish Lakeland is the largest lake district in Europe with an abundance of scenery and shoreline. Lose yourself in thought or be inspired by the vast clear lakes, intricately splintered by islands, isthmuses and green spits.


This information is financed by the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY) for the Häme region.

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