Why Finland is a perfect canoeing destination?
It can be tricky to select you next holiday destination if you are not a much travelled and experienced paddler. You can find information on blogs , web sites and from reliable tour operators’ catalogues or ask a friend for advice. Nowadays paddling trips are arranged to practically every corner of the world. As you start to plan your vacation, first ask yourself what kind of experiences you are looking for. Finland, like the rest of Scandinavia, some northern states of the USA and Canada is a genuine northern destination with boreal climate and northern nature. Finland Lakeland has a few advantages I would like you to consider:
- lake Saimaa in Finland Lakeland is one of the largest chains of inland lakes in Europe with its 4000 square kilometres of waterways. Its endless inland archipelagos makes lake Saimaa the ultimate vacation destination for adventures. The potential for routes is really limitless.
- In Finland we don’t like to mix hiking with paddling. The majority of lakes are directly connected by water passages and the best lake routes can be paddled completely without the rigours of portaging. The sheltered bays and islands of a big lake like Saimaa offer a unique alternative to a traditional lake and river routes. Light gear is not crucial because you don’t have to transport it by land.
- Compared with many river routes lakes offer most stable paddling conditions from early spring to late fall. Fluctuations of water level, dams or other obstacles don’t bother the lake traveller. The difference between Finland and Sweden is dramatic !
- Unique Lakeland nature. Large protected areas of Lake Saimaa are home to the most endangered seal species in the world, the Saimaa ringed seal. They live in the waters of Kolovesi and Linnansaari National Parks.
- The law of ”Everyman´s rigths” gives everyone (including foreigners) the chance to enjoy the great outdoors and the freedom of the waterways with very few restrictions. This also means that quota permits, official entry points and dates, user fees and group size limits are truly unknown even in Finnish protected areas. Have a look at Everyman´s rights on Ministry of Environment website!
- Closer than Canada, less crowded than Sweden. If you are looking for a total northern wilderness experience, in a remote roadless region with no permanent settlement perhaps you have to fly to Canada or Alaska. You must then remember that all wilderness areas are not ‘friendly’ and they sometimes pose insurmountable obstacles to the uninformed and novice visitor. If you are not ready for that and choose a popular destination like Sweden with congested routes and mart-like canoeing centres you’ll soon find out that all the necessary ingredients of a genuine wilderness feeling are missing. Finnish Lakeland is a place where you can leave the crowds in a friendly way.
- The Finnish soul is like an old-fashioned Sauna: A bit rough on the outside – inside heart of gold. Find out for yourself !