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Level of difficulty: Easy

Paalasmaa is an archipelago which consists of three islands: Pääsaari (the Head Island), Toinensaari (the Second Island) and Kolmassaari (the Third Island). The islands are connected with bridges, but the archipelago itself is reachable only by a ferry of Hirvisalmi. In addition, Paalasmaa is the highest inhabited island of the inland waterways of Finland. There is also a popular Camping Area of Paalasmaa with its wide terrace, which serves visitors from the beginning of June to the end of August. (Address: Eteläpääntie 140).

NB! Notice the legal breaks of the ferry:

  • 8.30AM - 8.50AM

  • 11.30AM - 11.50AM

  • 4.30PM - 4.50PM

  • 7.30PM - 7.50PM

 

The Archipelago route of Paalasmaa

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The archipelago route of Paalasmaa reaches the whole road from the village of Kannas to the end of the archipelago. Along the route there is four especially breath-taking landscape stops: the village of Kannas and the islands of Honkasaari, Karhusaari and Arkkusaari. While you are at the stop, you can admire the shore of Pielinen with its green birches.

Route: Turn to Nurmes, drive 2,8km and turn right to Paalasmaa. The archipelago route starts from here. The last landscape-stop, Arkkusaari, is 9,8 kilometers away from the start of the archipelago route.

 

The bird-watching tower of Kaajanlampi -pond

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At the bird-watching tower of Kaajanlampi -pond, you can stop to observe the bird populations of the archipelago. At the pond you can see especially different kinds of waterfowls, like a handsome mallard, but even magnificent swans are not unusual sight in here. In addition, there is a book of previous bird observations which are seen from the tower, and an information opus of bird species which you may see from the tower.

Route: Turn to Nurmes, drive 2,8km and turn right to Paalasmaa. Drive 2,5km and turn to Lamminkyläntie. Drive 1,7km and turn right to Salmelantie. Drive 600 meters, the path to the tower starts from the left, at a spot with a post sign.

 

The observation tower of Sydänvaara -hill

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The observation tower of Sydänvaara –hill rises at the highest spot of the archipelago of Paalasmaa. The view reaches the whole archipelago. There is also a table and benches if you want to take a snack while your trip. Also, while you’re driving to the tower, the road is covered with different kinds of natural flowers, like an aromatic common yarrow and a delicate spreading bellflower. Along the route, you can also find the village house of Paalasmaa and the chapel of Evangelical Lutherians.

Route: Turn to Nurmes, drive 2,8km and turn right to Paalasmaa. Drive the archipelago route 13,8km and turn left to Saarenpääntie. Drive 2,2km and turn right at the spot with “Näkötorni” –post sign. You can find the tower after 400 meters.

 

The area- and terrain maps of the Paalasmaa

Lähestymiskartta (Paalasmaa)

Paalasmaa (maastokartta)