In the Cavalry Museum you can experience the fire of the fierce Hackapelites and succumb to the charm of the red-panted dragoons The exhibition opening in the summer of 2019, on the other hand, has been entirely modernised to meet the needs of today’s visitors. It displays the history of the Finnish cavalry in a…
The route starts from the Parikkala railway station and ends at Mikkolanniemi Activity Centre, on the east side of Akonpohja in Saari and Lake Pieni Rautjärvi, by the road 4014. The marked route is actually a cycling route, because it runs on roads.
An open tower with a single platform is by a shallow bay, surrounded by lakeside meadows and fields. In springtime, the place is teeming with mallards and pochards. Driving instructions: When coming from the south on main road 6, there’s a sign to Uukuniemi (4021) after the Saari population centre. Drive for slightly under 1km…
The three-metre-tall, open tower with one platform is by a bay, bounded by horsetail, bushes and trees. In early May, large quantities of swans will gather to Rautalahti. If you’re lucky, you may even spot the tundra swan. In early summer, the bay is an excellent place for listening to nocturnal singers. Driving directions: The…
Haapajärvi is classified internationally as a valuable bird lake, surrounded by forests and fields. The spring migration brings many waterfowl, waders, gulls, and terns. In July and August, the area is teeming with moulting waterfowl and their young. The tower is an open, one-platform tower, about 5 metres high. Driving instructions: From Lappeenranta centre, take…
In Konnunsuo, on a wide open field, there are two bird watching towers, 500 metres apart. One of the main migration routes for birds migrating via South-East Finland stops at Konnunsuo fields. In spring, you can see whoopers and tundra swans, various species of mallards, waders, geese, and cranes. From August to October, sparrow hawks,…
Level: (* *) two bears The Sallatunturi Area, south of the Salla village, on both sides of Via Karelia (950), has many types of nature reserves, encompassing open string bogs, old forests, and fells. There are also many magnificent nature destinations outside of the protected areas: wilderness hills, large mires and lush river banks. The…
Level: (**) Two bears Kolvananuuro is a magnificent gorge, millions of years old, between main road 6 from Joensuu to Kajaani and road 73 from Joensuu to Lieksa. The site is dramatically different from the surrounding terrain. A demanding hiking trail runs through craggy terrain – but the views are worth seeing. The trees are…
Level: (*) one bear Näränkä Nature Forest in Kuusamo has pristine nature that is unique in Finland and the entire western Europe. In addition to forests, the small bodies of water and swamps in the area are in their natural state, providing viable living conditions for many demanding species. The reserve area has four forest…
Level (*) One bear The Iivaara Natura area in south Kuusamo has age-old hunting and fishing grounds. More recently, hikers have started to become interested in the area. Iivaara’s nature type is wilderness. The base of the area consists of precious old forests, presenting the northern forest nature at its best. A hiking trail runs…
Level: (* * ) Two bears The Valtavaara Nature Reserve is located north-east of the Rukatunturi fell. One of the highest in Kuusamo, the hill is a bounty for nature lovers. The area has great views, hardy fell side plants, rare birds, and magical snow-covered spruces in winter. Valtavaara is perfect for hiking both in…
Level: (* * *) Three bears Tuntsa Wilderness Area is wonderful for hiking because of its easy to travel terrain and because the area is easy to navigate. Some say it is one of Europe’s most beautiful outdoor recreation destinations. Tuntsa Wilderness Area is only a portion of the broader Tuntsa Area, which was described…
Level: (* * *) Three bears The Oulanka National Park has two major attractions: the great rapids of Oulankajoki and Kitkajoki, and the Karhunkierros Trail. The Oulanka region is well-known for its beautiful nature. The first plans to protect the area were made already in the 19th century. Nevertheless, Oulanka was not among the first…
Level: (* *) two bears Founded in 1979, the relatively large Kylmäluoma Hiking Area is in Taivalkoski, by main road 5, about 45km south of Kuusamo. The terrain is mainly dry pine forest, characterised by steep ridges following the bodies of water. The trails on top of the ridges have great views down to vast…
Level (* * ) two bears Hossa is one of the state’s hiking areas. It’s a great destination for hiking, skiing, canoeing and fishing. The forests are mainly easy and pretty pine forests, even heaths and magnificent ridges, left by the Ice Age. There are trees of many ages, old too, and there’s evidence of…
Level: (* *) two bears Martinselkonen is a 6200 hectare nature reserve in Suomussalmi, close to the Russian border. Martinselkonen is a Natura area, and one of the most important nesting area for birds in Finland. Nature there is typical of Kainuu with vast, old forests and coniferous swamps. The area is a great destination…
Level: (*) one bear Kalmosärkkä in Suomussalmi, south-east of Juntusranta village, is a prehistorical settlement. Kalmosärkkä is protected by the Finnish Heritage Agency and maintained by Metsähallitus. The area is regarded as nationally valuable site. Dominated by pine trees, Kalmosärkkä is a narrow sandbank, a little over one kilometre long. In the north, the sandbank…
Café Majurska, in the historical Lappeenranta Fortress, is one of the most famous cafés in town. The Café is known for its historical style and peaceful atmosphere.
A cozy restaurant near the Lappeenranta port, located in and old storeroom “makasiini”, is a combination of modern and olden times. On the fresh menu there are local treats and classic delicacies. Well suited for families. Ask for local specialties. Friendly and fast service. The space is perfect for private gatherings. The restaurant has a…
Restaurant Kielo offers honest and clean flavours from fresh seasonal ingredients. Finnish food, beautifully served.
Café Kauppaneuvos is decorated in romantic country style. Here you can try home-made baked goods and Karelian delicacies. A feast for eyes and taste buds in a relaxed, beautiful setting. Lovely space, fresh baked goods and a historical building will surely be a delight.
On road 518, between Eno and Lieksa, there’s a parking area, which has an idyllic summer café and patio. Fresh coffee and baked goods, and a beautiful scenery.
Kotileipomo Viipukka – a home-like bakery serves original rye bread and fresh baked goods
Herkkusuu has fresh baked goods, pies and rieska bread, all available for take-out as well as eating in. Herkkusuu serves home-made lunch in a beautiful setting by lake Kiantajärvi. A specialty to Suomussalmi and Kainuu is the bark bread, made by adding ground phloem to the flour as an extender – an emergency food of…
Restaurant Juomuskota at Ollilan lomamajat resort is specialised in fish dishes. Many original features make the restaurant space a unique experience. Open for booking.
Rukan Salonki Chalets have a private restaurant, Kultala, with many Lapland’s specialties on the menu,such as reindeer, salmon and willow grouse. Open for booking.
Loma-Lopotti’s Wilderness Restaurant Huilinki serves Kuusamo’s local delicacies, such as fresh fish in many forms, traditional sautèed reindeer and baked goods. Nearly everything is made from local ingredients. Open for booking.
Hotel Punkaharju – delicious lunch and high-end À la carte menu in a beautiful 165-year-old building.
The Ruoke Holiday Village is located in a beautiful natural setting. The resorts has holiday cabins and a camping area. Opportunity for ice-fishing and trips to White Karelia, Viena.
Restaurant Trapesa serves seasonal dishes and baked goods in the monastery milieu. A delicious feast is served especially on weekends and in Easter.
Café Rantakivi is a fresh and relaxed cafe and restaurant located by the lovely lake Puruvesi. We prepare food from local ingredients: the Puruvesi vendace and perch, vegetables from local gardens, and later in the summer, berries and mushroom from local forests. Café Rantakivi has a nice selection of café delicasies in a beautiful setting.
Restaurant Parppeinpirtti is near the Ilomantsi centre, in the poetry village of Parppeinvaara. It was named after Jaakko Parppei, a farmer and a folklore singer living in the area in the 19th century. Now Restaurant Parppeinpirtti offers a feast of modern Karelian food in a traditional Karelian setting. In addition to original Karelian pies, there…
A reindeer farm with a restaurant/bar set in a Lapp hut. Delicious reindeer dishes by order. Reindeer meat and products for sale.
The Tasala house is an original 50’s house that can be booked to serve traditional dishes of Lapland, with ingredients from nearby forests and lakes. They have a beautiful collection of Finnish Arabia porcelain ware. The house is by the Arctic Circle Hiking Trail.
Juhanantupa is a grand Karelian log house in the idyllic village of Hummovaara. The emblem of the house is a big old pine tree, under which Elias Lönnrot listened to Juhana Kainulainen sing Karelian poems. Juhanantupa has a modern Karelian feel. Open from summer to autumn. Hearty home-made food.
Utran Uittotupa serves North Karelian local food prepared by professional chefs. A unique setting by the Pielisjoki river.
Lohela is specialised in processing Finnish rainbow trout. Every day, we smoke-cure trout, seasoned with own very own, low-salt seasoning mix, in the mellow warmth of a soapstone stove in our premises. Our packing method keeps the fish warm for 4 hours, so it keeps nice and warm even if you have a longer way…
A historical setting in Ilosaari, Joensuu’s prime location. Kerubi is a unique place for enjoying good food and company. A great setting for relaxing, listening to music and meet people.
Maalaisleipomo Ilomäki is a country bakery that makes traditional Karelian pies. The milk used in the filling is from their own cows.
Restaurant Buttenhoff serves traditional dishes. You can find the restaurant near the Imatra rapids and Hotel Valtionhotelli, on the second floor at the end of the pedestrian centre. Try our seasonal treats, such as asparagus, fish soup and bliny pancakes. There’s a café downstairs.
Wolkoff offers traditional, local gourmet food in an atmospheric setting of a 160-year-old historical building.
Pohjolan Pirtti is in Vuotunki, some 34km east of the centre of Kuusamo. Open for booking.
Isokenkäisten Klubi is a family business serving tourists by Lake Heikinjärvi, only two kilometres from the Russian frontier zone. Open for booking.
Herranniemi has served as a guesthouse already in the start of the 19th century. In those times, people were travelling by horses of on foot. The quests were sleeping in the large room, and horses had their rest in the stables. Many kinds of travellers were met in Herranniemi. Today, Herranniemi still operates as a…
Café Houkutus – fresh baked goods and confectionery
Oivangin lomakartano is a family restaurant, hand-built from sturdy logs, honouring the food traditions of the past with a modern twist. Open for booking.
Studio Restaurant Tundra – a cozy space available for booking: a restaurant, cooking courses and a ceramics studio. Open for booking.
Arola Farm and Wilderness Holidays, traditional country dishes by order. Ingredients are from the farm and the nearby lakes. All bread is made in the Arola house and baked in the wood-heated oven. The house has 25 seats.
Café & Restaurant Kultainen Kukko offers local dishes and lunch in a cozy atmosphere. For larger festivities, the main building, Vanha Kurimo is available for booking.
Isäntärenki is a working farm, specialised in organic farming and sheep products. The lady of the house makes practical and artisan textiles from wool. Main attractions: traditional building, sheep, festive dishes on demand, high-quality woven products.
A modern hotel with a scenic view, Hotel Kalevala treats you with local ingredients. The menu has traditional dishes from home and away, all garnished with a local touch.
Ilomantsi is known for its happy people, as well as its location as the easternmost continental municipality in Finland and in the EU. Ilomantsi has many sites of military history, and our national epic Kalevala comes alive here. The Orthodox faith is very prominent in Ilomantsi. The region is known for wilderness, apex predators and…
The red and black featured in the coat of arms are typical of Karelia. The wave motif refers to the Pielisjoki river, and the embattled line to the town’s position near the eastern frontier. Joensuu is the centre of the region of North Karelia, located on the norther shore of lake Pyhäselkä, at the mouth…
The helm in the coat of arms refers to the first Finnish steam boat, Ilmarinen, launched in Puhos, Kitee in 1833. The area has had permanent inhabitants as early as in the 15th century. There are many marked nature trails, where you can get a good idea of the local nature: groves, ridges, lakes, and…
The coat of arms of the municipality has a peasant drawing a bow. This motif originates from a signet of the town of Brahea, from 1669. Lieksa was later built on the same site. Lieksa is located between Lake Pielinen and the Russian frontier. The main attractions are Koli and Ruunaa rapids. The peaks of…
The bear hunting spear heads in the coat of arms refer to old hunting practices, and to the peasant soldier Olli Tiainen, who went against persecutors. Nurmes is surrounded by vast, forested hills and the northern part of Lake Pielinen. On the outskirts of the town, the Bomba house and Karelian village show the many…
The Tohmajärvi coat of arms has an anvil and a red flame, symbolising the old iron industry in the region. The municipality is characterised by forested hills and large mires. The grove zone of Lake Ladoga is very lush and impressive. The main cultural attraction is the region’s oldest wooden church in Kirkkoniemi, dating back…
Valtimo’s coat of arms has a wolf in upright position and seven gold coins. These refer to local folklore of Simo Hurtta and his brutal ways of collecting taxes. The northernmost municipality in North Karelia is characterised by vast farmlands and wilderness, where the rugged peaks can be as high as 300 metres. Valtimo is…
The three golden spruces in the coat of arms refer to wilderness typical of the municipality of Kuhmo. Kuhmo has a famous annual chamber music festival. Kuhmo is the largest municipality in Europe by area, and bears and other apex predators are abundant in the coniferous forests, or taiga. Kuhmo as many nature activities and…
The four burning splints, used as a source of light in the olden times, symbolise the four base houses, mentioned in documents dating back to 1604. As evidenced by hundreds of Stone Age living sites and rock paintings on Värikallio, in the Hossa National Park, the region has been inhabited for thousands of years. The…
Kuusamo’s coat of arms has Northern Lights and a running reindeer. They symbolise the time when Kuusamo was the southernmost village of Lapland. Kuusamo is a paradise for a nature lover. Oulanka National Park is located in the northern part of the municipality. The Park has rugged ravines, rapids and hills. There’s a vast network…
The coat of arms has a silver arch on blue background, symbolising the fells typical of the regional nature. The municipality is located in East Lapland, almost entirely above the Arctic Circle. The local winter sports centre is on the Sallatunturi fell. You can find wilderness in the northern part of the municipality, in Tuntsa.…
Level: (* *) two bears The area is one of the largest swamp areas in Kainuu, with very diversified bird species. Lake Säynäjärvi and smaller ponds add variety. The area is very much in its natural state. There are a vast variety in mire types. Many of them are poor, but there are small lush…
Level: (* * ) Two bears Murhisalo has forever been the hunting and gathering grounds for Finland’s only White Karelian villages, Kuivajärvi and Hietajärvi. There are still signs of hunting culture and ancient travelling routes, and old fishing saunas make the area a cultural historically valuable destination. Lake Murhijärvi provided all the fish for these…
Level (*) One bear Almost the entire catchment area of Lake Jämäsjärvi at the centre of the Jämäsvaara area is in it’s natural state; no logging or ditching. On the south-eastern shore, there’s the steep Jämäsvaara with dense spruce forests. Due to abundance of decayed wood, many species of polypores and insects thrive there. In…
Level: (*) one bear Recreational Forest of Jauhovaara is in south-western Kuhmo. Known as a vantage point, the peak of Jauhovaara is 253.2 metres above the sea level. The north side, especally, is characterised by steep cliffs and magnificent views. Dominated by spruce, the area is an exception to rugged pine forests and mires otherwise…
Level: (* *) two bears The Juortanansalo – Lapinsuo Mire Reserve represents the real wilds of the Friendship Park. It is a genuine find for hikers, who love mires and travelling off the beaten path. The Kuhmo UKK trail runs through the eastern part and makes the area accessible also to less experienced hikers. You…
Level (*) One bear The Lauttavaara Nature Study Forest is used by Metsähallitus to give school groups and other visitors an insight into biodiversity and environmentally friendly forestry methods. You can find it on Via Karelia, some 10 km north of the Kuhmo centre. Other attractions nearby include the Lentuankoski rapids, Lentua Nature Information Hut…
Level: (* *) two bears Lake Lentua is the largest unregulated lake in the basin of the Oulujoki river, and the most valuable example of lakeland nature in Kainuu. The shoreline is mostly unbuilt, and there’s a strong sense of wilderness. Many of Lentua’s waters and islands, and parts of the shoreline, are Natura areas.…
Friendship Park is a network of nature conservation areas established in the Kuhmo and Suomussalmi region. It has five Nature Reserves, each independently presented in this site. On Via Karelia, the Friendship Park/Ystävyyden puisto signs take you to the Kuhmo Visitor Centre Petola. Being a network of nature reserves, there isn’t one called the Friendship…
Level: (* * ) Two bears The Iso-Palonen – Maariansärkät Nature Reserve is one of the five nature reserves of the Friendship Park in Kuhmo. Situated in eastern Kuhmo, the area is characterized by small lakes, many ponds, pine forests and ridges, formed by the Ice Age, or “särkkä”, as they’re called in Kainuu. The…
Level: ( * * ) Two bears Close to the national border, east of Kuhmo, Elimyssalo is the home of the second coming of wild forest raindeer. The species had been hunted to extinction in Finland by the mid 19th century. In the end of 1960’s, Martti Montonen, found some wild forest reindeer in Elimyssalo,…
Level: (* *) two bears Teerisuo – Lososuo Mire Reserve, south-west from Kuhmo is located by the road 5284 from Kuhmo to Valtimo. The area is a prime example of wilderness. The forest islets and mires make up a balanced mix. Pieni Teerisuo, Isosuo, Kuitisuo and Lososuo comprise an over 8 km long stretch of…
Level: (* * *) Three bears Hiidenportti National Park is situated between two water systems. The Park was established in 1982 to preserve the regional wilderness. The main attraction of the park is the canyon-like ravine, where the Porttijoki river runs from north-west to south-east. The Park is named after the Hiidenportti ravine at the…
Level: (* *) two bears Jonkerinsalo Nature Reserve is in southern Kuhmo, on the western side of the canoeing route on the Jongunjoki river. The area is ruggedly beautiful, characterized by the regionally treasured ravine of Hiidenportti, where the Louhipuro stream runs between steep cliffs. There’s a lean-to at the north end of the Hiidenportti…
Level: (*) one bear Kieverrysjärvet is a recreational area in southern part of Kuhmo close to Via Karelia and where the Russian border reaches it’s most western spot. This is a perfect destination for a day-trip. An easily passable trail travels around six lakes and ponds: Porojärvi, Syrjälampi, Valkealampi, Syvälampi, Hukkalampi ja Juolunka, and through…
Level (* *) Two bears The Mujejärvi area in Nurmes is perfect for hikers after some peace and quiet. The area is close to Peurajärvi Recreational Area, but on the eastern side of road 75. Nature, however, is different from that surrounding lake Peurajärvi. On the western side, you can find the rugged ravine of…
Level: (* *) two bears Peurajärvi is the go-to place for families. The area is small and quiet enough for a day-trip, but there’s enough to see and do to spend a weekend: hiking, swimming, fishing and berry picking. The Mäntyjärvi lean-to and a hut near Iso-Valkeinen are available for overnight stays, and you can…
Level (*) One bear Raesärkät in Nurmes is a lovely spot for a day-trip in a scenery of rolling ridges. The area has been named after a narrow stretch of ridges running from north-west to south-east. Other attractions include peaceful mires, river bends and old forestland with plenty of wildlife. Raesärkät has been appreciated by…
Level: (* * *) Three bears The scenery over lake Pielinen from the top of Koli is one of the most Finnish sights you can imagine. The area is also introduced on this site among the cultural landscapes, because Koli has been selected as one of the national landscapes of Finland. The view form the…
Level: ( * ) one bear Ukonsärkkä in the very eastern part of Lieksa is perfect for a day trip. There’s a lovely ridge and old forests. Ukonsärkkä is a treasure that needs to be found – a spot well worth visiting. There’s plenty of peace and quiet, even though you may meet other hikers…
Level: (* *) two bears The Änäkäinen area in Lieksa has recreational fishing grounds surrounded by forests. Trees are logged only moderately and respecting the recreational values. The area is closely linked to the battles in the Winter War, and some Salpa Line fortifications were built here during the interim peace. When taking a break…
Level: (*) one bear Reposuo is a valuable bird area and a mire conservation site by the Pankakoski village. It’s a great place for observing bird nesting habits and migrating birds. Reposuo is a prime example of the diverse swamp nature in North Karelia. The terrain in the Reposuo area is full of surprises. An…
Level: (*) one bear Pieni Ritojärvi lake is a lovely destination for a day trip. The round trip trail, Ritojärven kierto (5.2 km), is a nice way to see all the prettiest sights on the area in one go. The round trip trail meanders through swamps, forests and ridges around the lake. There’s a lean-to…
Level (*) One bear The Ruunaa Nature Reserve, right next to the Russian border, on the other side of the Ruunaa Hiking Area and the Lieksajoki river, is mainly untouched forest land. More than a half of the reserve is on the border zone, accessible only with the border guard’s permission. The core of the…
Level: (* *) two bears Ruunaa is best known for its rapids. The rapids on the Lieksanjoki river take you from Matkalahti to Ruunaa Nature Centre in Naarajoki over some 30 km. White-water rafting is commercially available on a rubber raft or a wooden boat. Tens of thousands of people visit the area every year.…
Level: ( * * *) three bears The Siikalahti wetland on lake Simpelejärvi is the most valuable bird wetland in inner Finland and an internationally appreciated site. In May and June, the mysterious blowing of the Great Bittern or the chorus of nocturnal songbirds is something unforgettable. And thats not all. Situated on the eastern…
Level: (* * *) Three bears The Petkeljärvi National Park in Ilomantsi is the smallest one in Finland, but it’s packed with the best examples of ridges, pine heaths and lakeside nature. The park area has never been a battle site, even though there are old trenches and a restored dugout. Nearby Oinassalmi and Möhkö,…
Level: * * * (three bears) Have you ever wandered on a large swamp? It’s an experience worth having. The size of the Patvinsuo swamp makes its horizon look like that of a vast lake with many islands. The landscape is decorated with vast expanses of swamp, their colours changing by the season, hills with…
Some 20 kilometres from Hamina toward Virojoki, by national road 7, there’s a bunker museum founded by the Virolahti municipality and the local war veterans’ associations in 1980. The governing body of the museum is the Virolahti municipal executive board. The basic exhibition is called ”The Salpa Line starts from Virolahti”. It illustrates the permanent…
Paloaukea Museum opened in June 2007 at the former arms depot of the Ylämylly garrison, in Liperi, maintained by a local association – Paloaukean Ajoneuvo- ja Asemuseo ry. The museum exhibits artefacts of the Second World War, for example a piece of field artillery. Paloaukea is the starting point in Väinö Linna’s novel, The Unknown…
Joensuu Bunker Museum is Marjala district, some 7 km from the city centre toward Kuopio. There’s a sign guiding to the museum at the Marjala interchange. The museum exhibits the structure of the Salpa Line. Fortification of the Marjala area began on 27 August 1940. The intention was to build three concrete bunkers at the…
Whereas the main theme of the Ironworks Museum is to demonstrate processing of limonite into iron, its exhibition “Möhkö in War” showcases the stages of the Winter War and the Continuation War as experienced in the Möhkö area. The exhibition shows us the people amidst the war, the fate of the evacuees, the shortage of…
The House offers restaurant services and an exhibition on military history. Artefacts are exhibited indoors, and outside there are artillery guns, a dugout and an opportunity to watch a short film. A shelter for the artillery guns was built in the vicinity of the house in the summer of 2012. Nearby, there’s a path for…
The frontier guard post has been used by soldiers under the reign of three different domains. It served first as a frontier guard for Finns, then for the Russians in the Winter War, and finally, the Germans in the Continuation War. The building is the oldest guard house in Finland and the only one preserved…
The chapel in Hattuvaara, Ilomantsi, is the only Karelian tsasovnja in the Finnish side of the border. The chapel was built in the turn of the 19th century. The log chapel was renovated in 1980. At the time, it was refurbished as suitable for year-round use.
Finished in 1906, the main church of Taipale orthodox parish is in Viinijärvi. The earlier church on the site, built in the 18th century, was the first church to start conducting church services regularly in Finnish language in 1858.
The oldest church in the monastery was made of two sheds put together in 1940, to make up a temporary church for the brotherhood. The church is a reminder of Christians not having a permanent lodging on Earth and how they always are strangers in the world.