North Karelia’s numerous activities make it possible to have an eventful vacation. During the wintertime you have an exceptional opportunity to go snowshoeing in Koli’s magnificent landscapes or try to steer a dogsled. During the summertime you have numerous activities to choose from, steer a water jet, try rafting in Ruunaa's rapids or spend the day shopping and when the night comes, experience North Karelian nightlife.
An all-terrain vehicle makes it possible to go anywhere! Driving an ATV that is registered for road use is fun and easy. ATVs are usually driven on small roads and terrains. ATV safaris always include instructions before starting the trip, so don’t worry if you haven’t driven one before.Attention! To drive an ATV at public roads, one has to be at least 16 years of age and have a b-class driving license.
Berry and mushroom picking
North Karelian mushrooms are known even in Italy. Mushroom pickers book their vacations in autumn, when the forests are full of mushrooms. When mushroom picking, one should make sure to only pick the known edible mushrooms. The most important edible mushrooms and the most common poisonous mushrooms should be recognized. A good way to start is to go with a seasoned mushroom picker or taking part in a guided tour.
The berry-rich forests of Finland’s provinces are waiting for eager berry pickers. Berry picking is for everybody. You can pick berries in any forest, except in preserved locations. In nature parks berry and mushroom picking is forbidden. National parks may also have some limitations.
Berry season usually starts around the end of June and the beginning of July – when the blueberry harvest begins. Afterwards come the cloudberries, raspberries. In autumn lingonberries and cranberries are in season.
Spend an unforgettable day with the dogs in the middle of the beautiful North Karelian nature such as Ruunaa’s rapids. During the day we learn to harness the dogs, learn to steer the sled, and go through the safety matters.
Come enjoy the beautiful landscapes and meals in the wilderness!
North Karelia’s snowy hills invite you and your friends to experience an unforgettable skiing winter adventure. Koli’s wide range of hills let you choose a challenge for your own taste. Spend a winter day downhill skiing; enjoy the speed and the feel of freedom.
Come to Koli to enjoy the snowy hills and beautiful wild nature while enjoying your favorite sport. Downhill skiing is also possible at Mustavaara.
Come and enjoy a fun and memorable adventure. Our jet-skis are of high quality and new. In a jet-ski safari you can cheer up and surprise your personnel, customers, friends and of course, yourself. While driving a jet-ski you feel a sense of freedom gliding on water. It’s easy, fun and safe. A jet-ski offers a steady ride and it can be fast if needed. The tours include comprehensive guidance, driving instructions, technical information and safety instructions.
In North Karelia you can dance, rock or even sing karaoke. We have something for everybody, so come on and experience nightlife the North Karelian way.The city centre of Joensuu offers a wide range of restaurants, bars and nightclubs. Welcome!
In snowmobile safaris you get to enjoy speed, freedom and a hilly landscape. Snowmobiling is one of the most high-octane activities imaginable. You may also rent a snowmobile and all the needed equipment for personal use, if you want to cruise alone.
In order to drive snowmobiles on terrain, you’ll need to at least 15 years old. Driving on official snowmobile routes and streets requires a T-class driver’s license at a minimum.
North Karelian terrain is made for this type of exercise. The highs and lows of the snowy hillocks provide a fun form of winter exercise for all ages. Snowshoe tours are on offer all over the province. Come and experience snowshoeing in a safe atmosphere with a guide. Snowshoeing is easy, fun and suitable for the whole family.
Wild animal watching
A safe way to meet the large carnivores of the taiga forest is to spend a night in an animal watching lodge in the middle of the wilderness. During the nights you may see and photograph real live brown bears, wolverines, golden eagles and even wolves and lynxes. You will also get a chance to traverse the forests, enjoy the hot saunas and taste Karelian delicacies.
Many stores and specialized shops can be found in North Karelia.
Large shopping centers such as Iso Myy and Metropol offer a wide array
of services. Taitokortteli is a handcraft and culture quarter in the
center of Joensuu.
You can explore small idyllic butiques in other North Karelian
municipalities or find products from factory outlets. Pleasant shopping
North Karelia's fishing waters attract by their versatility. It is possible to fish right next to the center of the city or find a peaceful fishing spot of your very own in the wilderness. Be it a pond reflecting the sky in the shade of rugged hills, a wide lake without islands, a small stream or a roaring rapid, there is something for everybody. Fish pike-perches with a spoon lure, ice fish perch, fish pike using a spinning rod, fly fish graylings and whitefishes, brown trout and landlocked salmon for more experienced fishermen.
As all fishing enthusiasts know, fish cannot be found everywhere. Thus it’s very important to know the right spots especially when fishing on wider waters. Professional fishing guides organize versatile fishing trips all over the North Karelian region. Having a guide doesn’t guarantee a great catch, but they do know the locations of the best fishing spots – and they’re willing to share them with you! The right tools, the safety inspected equipment and personal guidance ensure a fishing experience to remember.
For nature enthusiasts North Karelia offers its best. Throw your everyday worries from your shoulders, relax and enjoy the scenery f.ex by taking the Karjalan Kierros with its fascinating hiking-, water-, and bike trails. Alone or with a guide, whatever feels the best option for you.The national parks Koli, Hiidenportti and Tiilikkajärvi are three very different and interesting hiking locations near Nurmes. Take a day trip to national park and return to your lodging to bath in a sauna and sleep.
Joensuu’s Tuupovaara has a beautiful Vekaruksen ulkoilualue which includes trails near the rapids and many tipi-like huts for accommodation. Huts are also available for wheelchair users.
Most of the trail guides and maps can be bought from Karelia Expert Tourist Service ltd offices.Helpful links for planing your trip: www.vaellus.info
North Karelia offers a huge ski track network and wonderful landscapes. It’s possible to ski as early as October at the biathlon stadium’s freezed ski tracks. After the first snow has fallen, Koli opens the first snow track and from there the summer turns into winter. Lit ski tracks offer a challenge for the evenings and there are also ski schools for people of all ages.
Horseback riding can be practiced in North Karelia in many ways. You can choose from guided lessons to short hikes or longer camps.
Ruunaa’s rapids stream and roar free in Lieksa’s river. They are the last freely roaring rapids in Finland, offering water sports enthusiast an outstanding experience.
From Ruunaa you can experience true wilderness adventures. Share the adventures with your friend or a group and try rafting using canoes, inflatable boats or wooden rafting boats.It’s possible to fish in the fishing areas of Metsähallitus or take on 50 kilometers worth of hiking routes.
Reindeer farm visits
Come and see the reindeers, a rare sight in these parts! In reindeer farms, you can get to know the farms' own reindeer herds and hear about the lives of the animals. The reindeer farms can be visited during the summer, and in winter it's possible to go on a ride in a reindeer sleigh - get your very own reindeer driver’s license!
Did you know that like moose, reindeers also have antlers? Antlers are the world’s fastest growing type of bone – a reindeer’s antlers can grow over 2 centimeters in size and half a kg in weight In just one day. Come and hear more about reindeers at reindeer farms!
Swimming pools and spas
Break Sokos Hotel Bomba
The panoramic views of our pool facility across Lake Pielinen and the warm waters of our pool will pamper your mind and body.
Koli Relax Spa
At the unique Koli Relax Spa of Break Sokos Hotel Koli you can enhance your well-being according to your own wishes and feelings.
Koli Spa Lotus
Koli Spa offers diversified services for people of all ages, regardless of weather.
Enjoy water fun and games throughout the year at Huhmari, only 30 min. drive away from Joensuu.
The Holiday centre ”Pajarinhovi” is situated not far from Kitee over a picturesque place on the coast of the Pyhajarvi lake.
Picture: Hanna Kurvi