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.
The largest Lake District in Europe: In a scarcely populated country there’s enough scenery and shoreline for all, allowing you to easily lose yourself in thought or be inspired by the vast clear lakes, intricately splintered by islands, isthmuses and green spits.
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 and a small campsite 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. An obligatory sauna can also be found there.
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.
Sailing and boating are both very much family activities in Finland. Especially during the holiday season, most Finnish boats carry crews of eager youngsters. Here are the six top reasons why you should bring your children too!