Five Under-the-Radar Lakes in Finland

Grab a canoe and head for one of these lesser-known watery wonders in Finland.

Pine-scented air, rugged hills and forest-strewn lakesides are just some of the ingredients that make up Finland's wild landscape. A country known for its natural beauty and outdoorsy inhabitants, Finland is not short of adventurers looking for a slice of the great outdoors. With this in mind, we've compiled a list of five under-the-radar Finnish lakes for a nature-fuelled escape that dodges the crowds.

Lake Saimaa

Best for: watersports

Despite being the country's largest lake, Lake Saimaa is still relatively unknown to people outside Scandinavia. A haven for paddleboarding, canoeing and kayaking thanks to its string of quiet waterways, the lake is pockmarked with over 14,000 miniature islands where you can anchor up and explore. Tired from a day of water-fuelled activities? Head to Hotel & Spa Resort Järvisydän's Lake Spa for a traditional smoke sauna, then follow this with a quick cooling plunge into the lake.

Lake Goldajarviwith

Best for: an international dip

Head for a refreshing swim in these international waters to skip customs and straddle the borders of Finland, Sweden and Norway all in one go. Marked by a stone, the Three-Country Cairn, the tripoint can be reached from a wooden platform that stretches into the lake, allowing visitors to walk around the boundary. Plus, with warm currents that pour into the lake from the west, a swim here is surprisingly warm compared to in neighbouring lakes.


Best for: secret swimming

This forest-lined lake is secreted away at the foot of a steep hill, sheltering it from the view of passers-by and making it almost impossible to come across by chance. Surrounded by a nature reserve, the mirror-still waters here are pure, peaceful and deeply inviting (not least because they're usually totally empty). You'll even find beach huts for a spot of shade at the south end of the lake, so you can easily spend the day here - just remember to pack a picnic.

Nuuksion Pitkäjärvi

Best for: back-to-nature breaks from the city

An emerald lake within easy reach of Helsinki, this lily-coated freshwater pool offers a typically Finnish landscape of wild woods, craggy rocks and moss-carpeted shores. Surrounded by nature trails and hiking routes suited to a variety of abilities, this is the spot where urbanites flock for a quick back-to-nature escape. For those in search of a deeper immersion in nature, the nearby Finnish Nature Centre Haltia offers a closer look at the country's natural wonders from its futuristic complex of wooden exhibition spaces.


Best for: hiking with a view

Just a few hours' northeast of the Finnish capital lies Repovesi National Park, a former site for intensive commercial forestry that was transformed into a pristine national park in 2003. Home to the crystal-blue waters of Laurlampi, the nature reserve is brimming with pine forests and hikeable hills, and it's usually far less busy than some of its larger counterparts.

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