Clemmy Bolin

Clemmy Bolin

Published: 13 Sep 2023


Saimaa is a fascinating region located in southeastern Finland, known for its breathtaking landscapes, unique wildlife, and rich cultural heritage. Explore the enchanting beauty of Saimaa as we delve into 12 intriguing facts that make this destination truly remarkable. From its stunning lake system to its vibrant cities and charming villages, Saimaa offers a remarkable blend of nature and culture. Discover the hidden gems and interesting tidbits that make Saimaa a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts, history buffs, and adventure seekers alike. So, grab your backpack, put on your hiking boots, and get ready to immerse yourself in the wonders of Saimaa, a place where natural beauty meets old-world charm.

Table of Contents

The largest lake in Finland

Saimaa is the largest lake in Finland and one of the most breathtaking natural wonders of the country. Spanning over 4,400 square kilometers, it offers a stunning landscape of crystal-clear waters, picturesque islands, and lush forests. The beauty of Saimaa attracts tourists from around the world, who come to explore its unique ecosystem and enjoy various recreational activities.

Home to the endangered Saimaa ringed seal

Saimaa is not only known for its size but also for being the natural habitat of the endangered Saimaa ringed seal. This rare species can only be found in the lake, making it a crucial conservation area for their survival. With its distinct appearance and playful nature, the Saimaa ringed seal has become an iconic symbol of the lake and an essential part of its ecosystem.

Offers diverse recreational activities

Saimaa is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a wide range of recreational activities. From boating and fishing to kayaking and paddleboarding, there are plenty of opportunities to explore the lake’s pristine waters. In winter, Saimaa transforms into a winter wonderland, attracting visitors for ice fishing, snowshoeing, and even ice skating. Whether you’re seeking adventure or relaxation, Saimaa has something for everyone.

Hosts an annual Saimaa Ringed Seal Week

As a conservation effort, Saimaa celebrates the annual Saimaa Ringed Seal Week. This special event raises awareness about the endangered seal species and promotes various activities focused on their protection and preservation. Visitors can participate in guided seal-watching tours, educational workshops, and even contribute to conservation projects. It’s a unique opportunity to learn more about these fascinating creatures and contribute to their conservation.

A network of canals connects different parts of the lake

Saimaa is not just a single lake; it is a network of interconnected waterways that connect different parts of the region. These canals and channels, such as the Saimaa Canal, provide an essential transportation route for both commercial and recreational vessels. Navigating through these canals offers a unique perspective of the lake and allows travelers to explore various attractions and towns along the way.

A haven for birdwatching enthusiasts

Saimaa is a haven for birdwatching enthusiasts, with over 270 bird species recorded in the area. From majestic eagles and ospreys to colorful kingfishers and rare waterfowl, the lake provides a diverse habitat for a wide range of bird species. Birdwatchers can embark on guided tours or explore the numerous bird observation towers scattered around the lake to admire and photograph these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat.

Rich in cultural heritage

Aside from its natural beauty, Saimaa is rich in cultural heritage and historical significance. The region is dotted with charming lakeside towns, each with its unique character and cultural attractions. From ancient castles and museums to traditional Finnish sauna experiences, visitors can immerse themselves in the rich cultural tapestry of the area and learn more about its fascinating history.

Offers stunning midnight sun views

Located in the northern part of the country, Saimaa experiences the phenomenon of the midnight sun during summers. This natural marvel creates a surreal ambiance as the sun never fully sets, bathing the lake and its surroundings in a golden glow throughout the night. Witnessing the breathtaking sunset and sunrise over the tranquil waters of Saimaa is an unforgettable experience that leaves visitors in awe of nature’s beauty.

Provides picturesque island retreats

One of the most enchanting aspects of Saimaa is its numerous islands scattered across the lake’s surface. These islands offer picture-perfect retreats, surrounded by stunning landscapes and serene waters. Visitors can rent cozy cottages or stay in charming lakeside resorts on these islands, enjoying a peaceful getaway amidst nature’s beauty. Exploring the islands by boat or kayak is a popular activity, allowing travelers to discover hidden coves, sandy beaches, and secluded forests.

Hosts ice-trekking adventures

During winter, Saimaa transforms into a frozen wonderland, providing thrilling adventures for ice-trekking enthusiasts. The frozen lake creates a unique opportunity to explore the region on foot, walking across the vast icy expanse. Guided ice-trekking tours allow visitors to witness the captivating frozen landscapes, mesmerizing ice formations, and even visit ice caves. It’s an exhilarating experience that showcases the mesmerizing beauty of Saimaa during the winter months.

Serves as a gateway to the stunning Linnansaari National Park

Saimaa is the gateway to the breathtaking Linnansaari National Park, known for its pristine nature and diverse wildlife. The park encompasses numerous islands and islets, creating a haven for outdoor adventure and exploration. Visitors can hike through scenic trails, go kayaking in the park’s serene waters, or simply relax and soak in the tranquility of nature. Linnansaari National Park is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and offers a deeper insight into the beauty and biodiversity of the Saimaa region.

Provides relaxing sauna experiences

Finnish sauna culture is deeply ingrained in the Saimaa region, offering visitors a chance to relax and rejuvenate in traditional saunas. Whether it’s a lakeside sauna in a resort or a private cottage sauna, the experience of indulging in a sauna session while overlooking the breathtaking Saimaa landscapes is truly one-of-a-kind. The combination of the heat in the sauna and the cooling dip in the lake provides a unique and invigorating experience, leaving visitors feeling refreshed and revitalized.


In conclusion, Saimaa is a truly fascinating destination that offers a plethora of unique experiences and natural wonders. From its stunningly beautiful lake to its rich biodiversity, this region has something to captivate every nature enthusiast. Whether you’re intrigued by its rare species like the Saimaa ringed seal, or interested in exploring the charming towns and villages that dot its shores, Saimaa is sure to leave a lasting impression.With its pristine landscapes, outdoor activities, and cultural attractions, Saimaa is a destination that is worth putting on your travel list. So, why not plan a trip to this enchanting region and discover the hidden gems that it has to offer? Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or simply a getaway from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, Saimaa will not disappoint.So, pack your bags, immerse yourself in the beauty of Saimaa, and create memories that will last a lifetime.


Q: What is Saimaa?

A: Saimaa is the largest lake in Finland and one of the largest in Europe. It is located in the southeastern part of the country.

Q: Is Saimaa an important ecological area?

A: Yes, Saimaa is home to several endangered species, including the Saimaa ringed seal. The lake and its surrounding areas are protected nature reserves, ensuring the preservation of its unique ecosystem.

Q: Can you swim in Saimaa?

A: Yes, swimming is possible in Saimaa, especially during the summer months when the water is warmer. There are designated swimming areas and beaches where you can enjoy a refreshing dip.

Q: Are there any recreational activities to do in Saimaa?

A: Absolutely! Saimaa offers a wide range of recreational activities including boating, fishing, hiking, cycling, and even winter sports like ice skating and skiing. There are also numerous nature trails and national parks to explore.

Q: Are there any accommodations available in Saimaa?

A: Yes, there are various accommodation options in Saimaa, ranging from hotels and resorts to cozy cottages and camping sites. Whether you prefer luxury or a more rustic experience, you’ll find suitable places to stay in the area.

Q: What are some popular attractions in Saimaa?

A: Some popular attractions in Saimaa include the Punkaharju Ridge, Olavinlinna Castle, Linnansaari National Park, and the Saimaa Canal. These attractions offer a glimpse into the region’s history, culture, and natural beauty.

Q: Can you spot wildlife in Saimaa?

A: Yes, Saimaa is known for its diverse wildlife. Besides the iconic Saimaa ringed seal, you may encounter other animals such as moose, beavers, eagles, and various bird species while exploring the area.

Q: Is Saimaa a popular tourist destination?

A: While Saimaa may not be as well-known as other tourist hotspots, it is gaining popularity among nature lovers and adventure seekers. Its tranquil atmosphere, stunning scenery, and unique wildlife make it a hidden gem worth visiting.