Top locations and conditions for all kinds of pursuits all year round await you right at the heart of the wonderfully scenic Lake District of Finland – the Finnish Lakeland in the Kuopio region. Its central location in the middle of Finland and excellent transport connections make the region an easy destination from anywhere. 50 min. flight from Helsinki and the plane lands at one of the most beautiful airports in the world, Kuopio Airport, located by a lake. Also the railway connection between Helsinki and Kuopio is effective and the journey lasts only about four hours.
Kuopio, one of the most popular tourist cities in Finland, is the capital city of the Eastern Finland. Kuopio is a modern and developing city of science and technology and at the same time a popular city of tourism. With its 97 000 inhabitants Kuopio is the 8th biggest city of Finland and the centre of an area, which offers excellent activities and touristic facilities for a longer or a shorter stay – and nearly without an exception, always by a lake!
Kuopio is a city of outstanding natural beauty, dominated by the Lake Kallavesi with its myriad of islands and Puijo Hill with its majestic forests. Kuopio is surrounded by the lake, which is 70 km long. Although Kuopio is Eastern Finland’s biggest town, half of its surface area is covered by forests and a third by lakes. So 35 % of Kuopio’s total area of 1730 sq. km is covered by water and the shoreline is 2833 km long. There are more than 450 lakes and ponds and approximately 2000 islands.
Lake Kallavesi, which encircles the town centre, is a part of the great Saimaa Lake System, which is the biggest in Europe. This unique lake scenery can be admired best up in the Puijo Tower rising over 200 meters above the lake surface.
The summer with nightless nights
In the summer the lakes are warm enough for swimming. Water fun is the most important thing for the locals and the tourists as well. The main activities in the summertime are: lake cruises, fishing, canoeing, motor boat safaris, JetSki safaris, golf, biking and hiking.
The boat cruising season begins soon after the ice is gone in May and lasts to the end of August. During the highest holiday season there are more than 20 daily departures for a cruise. The boats also serve as cozy restaurants in the summer evenings, complementing the other dining services at the harbor. The boats are also part of the local transport system, taking passengers to the Alahovi Berry Wine Farm, to the Rauhalahti Holiday Resort as well as to the Hietasalo Island with a marvelous beach for swimming and sunbathing. There is even a connection to the newest district in town “Saaristokaupunki – the Town of Islands”.
A traditional day-long cruise is the 10.5 hours cruise between the famous opera town Savonlinna and Kuopio along the beautiful 172 km long Heinävesi waterway with several locks on the way.
Great fun on frozen lakes
The winter is still winter with enough snow for skiing and lake ice for skating; the climate being dry and mild. Situated in the snow-guaranteed part of Finland with plenty of snow and ideal temperatures every winter, the Kuopio Region is a superb place for a winter holiday. In February the temperature is on average - 9.5 C, the snow depth 52 cm and the day light is 8 h 46 min. In March it is already warmer and days are a lot longer.
The most popular winter activities in the region are: downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, skating on the lake ice, snowshoe and husky safaris and of course winter fishing on the ice of all the lakes. Even snow golf is possible. Winter swimming is an exotic winter activity combined with a nice sauna bath.
In February and March, Kuopio offers an opportunity to enjoy the winter in a truly special way: by skating on the lake, only a few hundred meters away from the city centre. The Finland Ice Marathon skating event has contributed to the popularity of ice-skating, especially through promoting recreational and tour skating as a sport that suits people of all ages.
By Kuopio Tourist Service Ltd.