The Nordic country of Finland is popularly referred as ‘the country of 1000 lakes’. Indeed it is one of the rarest countries in the world where majority of its landscape is adorned with unscathed thick forests and lovely lakes.
Even the term ‘country of 1000 lakes’ falls short to describe Finland’s amazing geography. Actually there are around 2, 00,000 lakes (official records state: 1, 87,888). However there is a region in south-east Finland that aptly justifies this tag – the biggest Lake District in entire Europe.
This thousand lakes region in Finland in fact accommodated much more than 1000 lakes which are dotted by numerous beautiful islands and covered with vast forests. With relatively spare population all over, there are few better locations that offer an ideal travel experience. Another amazing feature of this region is the almost round-the-clock daylight during summer season. When days a so long and nights - almost nil !
Let it be varying seasons like summer or winter, Finland’s lakes’ offer eye-feats and entertainments in plenty. Summer will be a bustle of spectacular natural sceneries, when people can relish in full by means of lake cruises, yachting, fishing and swimming. Whereas in winter, all the rivers, lakes and even forest stand frozen – making a giant playground for outdoor activities like Nordic skiing, skating, hiking ... So nature lovers, solitude seekers and adventurists can choose a season as per their preferences.
Amongst Finland’s around Two Lakhs of lakes (with 20,000+ kilometres of splendid shoreline), the top five, in terms of size and charm, are as follows…
The largest and arguably most beautiful of all Finnish lakes, Lake Saimaa is situated in eastern Finland, between the cities – Joensuu and Lappeenranta.
A priceless jewel of Finland’s natural beauty, this lake is characterised by an extensive water-body dotted by thousands of isles and countless bays. A fishing paradise, Lake Saimaa is home to ‘Saimaa Salmon’ (a land locked variety of the popular Salmon fish).
The deepest and second largest lake in Finland, Lake Päijänne extends from city of Lahti to the city of Jyväskylä (Southern Finland). This lake offers diverse sceneries with its landscapes – isles and shores – each varying in geographical shape.
The southern parts of this mighty lake are home to ‘Päijänne National Park’, an apt location for adventurous hiking trails. Päijänne Lake is a famous fishing site too.
The only major lake among the ‘top five’ that doesn’t belong to Finland’s celebrated ‘thousand lakes region’, Lake Inarijärvi comes third in the list of big-sized Finnish lakes.
Perhaps the only one of its kind in terms of pristine nature and wilderness, Lake Inarijärvi accommodates about three thousand isles. This lake area offers one of the very best cruises thro’ unspoilt nature! Another speciality of this lake is its excellent water quality. It is said that there is no need to bring drinking water while travelling in Lake Inarijärvi.
The fourth largest lake in Finland, Lake Pielinen lays north to the city of Joensuu. Another lake boasting of majestic sceneries, Lake Pielinen is beautified with many little isles and neighboured with pine forests.
Koli National Park, a well known natural site in Finland, is located on the western shores of this lake. Pielinen’s waters also houses a diverse fish variety including the land locked Salmon.
Located to the west of the Finnish city of Kajaani, Lake Oulujärvi is the country’s fifth largest lake. Better known by nickname ‘Kainuu Sea’ due to its vast fishing resources, Lake Oulujärvi is rated as a top pike-fishing destination and is a favourite hunt of trollers.
Apart from its own share of charming shores and sand dunes, what makes Lake Oulujärvi distinct is its Island of Ärjänsaari – an isle with high sand banks.
In a country like Finland that ranks high amongst the most stable countries in the world… whose capital (Helsinki) is world’s no.2 safest city… outings can be enjoyable in every sense. Almost countless pristine locations lay unexplored in not so large a country!