Travel Guide Arctic Lakeland Kainuu

  • Arctic Lakeland, Wild Taiga, Hossa National Park
    Arctic Lakeland, Wild Taiga, Hossa National Park Photo: Lassi Rautiainen
  • Arctic Lakeland, Wild Taiga
    Arctic Lakeland, Wild Taiga Photo: Travel Dudes
  • Summer in Paljakka, Finland
    Summer in Paljakka, Finland Video: Visit Paljakka Finland
  • Wild Taiga Summer Activities - Kainuu Arctic Lakeland, Finland Video: Wildtaiga
  • Arctic Lakeland Husky trekking in Wild Taiga Photo: Leander Mundus
  • Arctic Lakeland, Fatbiking all year round in Wild Taiga Photo: Travel Dudes
  • Arctic Lakeland, Trail Running in the nature reserve Photo: Vaarojen valokuvaajat
  • Arctic Lakeland, Wild Taiga, Hossa National Park Photo: TravelDudes
  • Arctic Lakeland, Wild Taiga, Hossa National Park Photo: George Turner
  • Arctic Lakeland, Wild Taiga, Hossa River Photo: Hannu Huttu
  • Arctic Lakeland, Paljakka resort summer view Photo: Paljakka
  • VR 360 video - Bear watching, Wild Taiga Finland Video: Wildtaiga
  • Arctic Lakeland, Paljakka resort beach Photo: Paljakka
  • Arctic Lakeland, Paljakka, Hepoköngäs, one of the highest waterfalls in Finland Photo: Paljakka
  • Arctic Lakeland, Paljakka Strict Nature Reserve Photo: Hannu Huttu
  • Arctic Lakeland, Paljakka hiking view on the top of the hills Photo: Paljakka
  • Arctic Lakeland, Paljakka hiking lake view Photo: Paljakka
  • Arctic Lakeland, Paljakka Fishing Park Photo: Paljakka
  • Arctic Lakeland, Paljakka Fishing Photo: Paljakka
  • Winter in Paljakka Finland Video: Visit Paljakka Finland

Arctic Lakeland Kainuu

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The Arctic Lakeland Kainuu region is the northernmost part of the Finnish Lakeland, right on the border with Lapland. There you will experience the best of both worlds: a holiday paradise with blue lakes in summer, a white wonderland with snow-covered forests in winter. The Arctic Lakeland offers a harmony of nature, culture, activities and sports. In the Paljakka and Wild Taiga Kuhmo-Suomussalmi holiday regions, visitors are provided with local and authentic experiences instead of mass tourism.

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Hossa National Park and nature reserves

Hossa National Park is the most famous protected area in the region. It captivates with its crystal clear waters and the historically significant rock paintings of Värikallio. Numerous well developed hiking, cycling and canoeing trails make Hossa National Park the ideal place to get to know the vast Taiga forests.

Besides the famous Hossa National Park, many smaller and less visited natural jewels invite visitors. The Friendship Park near Kuhmo was founded 30 years ago as a reserve for the rare and protected “wild forest reindeer“, which has its habitat here. Today the reserve is also home to Finland's largest predators: brown bear, wolf, wolverine and lynx.

Don't worry: although you use the same paths, you are not in danger. It is extremely rare to meet any of the wild animals during the day. They are nocturnal, very shy and wary of people.

In Finland, natural biodiversity has long been promoted through the designation and maintenance of nature reserves. In Paljakka holiday resort, nature lovers will find two protected areas to explore: the “Paljakka Strict Nature Reserve“ and the Hepoköngäs Nature Reserve.

The “Paljakka Strict Nature Reserve“ is the only area in the Arctic Lakeland (even the only one in Southern Lapland) where there are still large areas of untouched forest. The Finnish “Strict Nature Reserves“ were established to protect and explore nature. Therefore most of these reserves – unlike national parks – are not open to the public. The “Paljakka Strict Nature Reserve“ is an absolute exception! Feel welcome to visit this unique reserve and get to know the untouched Finnish nature!

The Hepoköngäs Nature Reserve was built around one of Finland's highest waterfalls. The Hepoköngäs waterfall of the same name is a popular destination for excursions with its 24 m drop. The waterfall is most impressive in spring and early summer, when the melt water makes the river swell. The thunder of the waterfall can be heard several hundred metres away. A well-developed, 600 m long footpath leads from a parking lot to the waterfall and offers several viewing platforms. The path is accessible to wheelchair users and is even kept clear of snow in winter.

Midnight sun activities in Arctic Lakeland Kainuu

Artic Lakeland, Observe wild bears
Photo: Wild Taiga

The Kainuu Arctic Lakeland region offers a wide range of activities in the beautiful nature. Hiking and cycling are particularly popular in summer and autumn, as is canoeing on the many calm or wild waters. Because of the midnight sun, the days are particularly long and active holidaymakers can spend their time outdoors at late hours.

Wild Taiga Kuhmo-Suomussalmi is one of the few areas in Europe where it is possible to spot and photograph rare animals in their natural environment. In addition to carnivores such as bears and wolves, you can catch a glimpse of moose, wild forest reindeer, flying squirrels, beavers and some of the largest native birds of prey. The wildlife viewing season begins in late April when the bears awaken from their hibernation.

Bear Watching in Wild Taiga Finland
Video: Wildtaiga

If you would like to travel with an expert, you can take part in a guided tour. The small entrepreneurs have gathered local traditions and knowledge to offer visitors a unique experience.

The locals are very aware of the impact tourism can have on their homeland. Therefore they work hard to keep a good balance – according to the definition of sustainable tourism.

They will take you to nature reserves where you can hike with huskies, go on a trail run or take part in a photo hike. At other events you will learn to identify and follow the tracks of wild animals in nature.

Explore local traditions, food and culture

Arctic Lakeland, Kuhmo UNESCO: City of Literature
Photo: I. K. Inha

The "Wild Taiga Kuhmo-Suomussalmi" region on the Finnish-Russian border is a textbook example of the mixture of rich tradition and strong local culture. If you are looking for cultural insights, the area offers history, folk music, memories of the Winter War and concerts.

Kuhmo has been awarded the title of "City of Literature" by UNESCO - because this is where the important Finnish national epic "Kalevala" was created. In a way, the region is the cradle of the culture and identity of the Finnish people. The information centre "Juminkeko" introduces interested people to the importance of the Kalevala and to the Karelian culture.

In Wild Taiga Kuhmo-Suomussalmi people still live very close to nature. Therefore wild berries, mushrooms, fish and game meat are an important part of the local cuisine. In the cafés and restaurants you have the opportunity to taste the rich aromas.

All regions

Kajaani

There is a small but fine selection of cool places worth visiting in Kajaani. You can find our suggestions below.

Kuhmo

Kuhmo offers various possibilities for outdoor pursuits in Arctic Lakeland Kainuu. Our travel guide is full of great tips. Get to know all fascinating tours, great offers and attractions in the area.

Paljakka-Puolanka

There is a small but fine selection of cool places worth visiting in Paljakka-Puolanka. You can find our suggestions below.

Paltamo

There is a small but fine selection of cool places worth visiting in Paltamo. You can find our suggestions below.

Ristijärvi

We currently do not have any great recommendations in Ristijärvi. Do you have any? Please use our route planner and publish them. They may appear here soon.

Suomussalmi

There is a small but fine selection of cool places worth visiting in Suomussalmi. You can find our suggestions below.

Ukkohalla-Hyrynsalmi

There is a small but fine selection of cool places worth visiting in Ukkohalla-Hyrynsalmi. You can find our suggestions below.

Vuokatti-Sotkamo

Vuokatti-Sotkamo offers various possibilities for outdoor pursuits in Arctic Lakeland Kainuu. Our travel guide is full of great tips. Get to know all fascinating tours, great offers and attractions in the area.

Nature Parks and Reserves

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