Winter wonderland awaits you!

North Karelia’s numerous winter activities make it possible to have an eventful vacation. Play in the snow, go skiing or snowshoeing, experience winter fishing or just let your mind and soul relax by watching the beautiful sceneries. Here are some tips to help you plan your winter trip in North Karelia.

A couple on the top of the Koli Hill

Experience Koli on snow

Koli, the oldest bedrock of Europe, is at its best in snow cover during the winter holidays. National Park and its environment offer a lot to see and do to travelers. Koli offers for example snowshoeing, husky safaris, relaxing spa and downhill skiing. During the winter holidays there are also many skiing events.

Winter holiday in Koli


Äksyt Ämmät travel agency

An eco-friendly travel agency Äksyt Ämmät guides you to the best cross-country skiing trails, to get familiar with Finnish culture and to experience other unforgettable adventures. With a guide, you will get more out of your vacation  and enjoy your adventures with ease.

Find your adventure

A man skiing on the frozen lake

Ski tracks

Besides many other winter activities, in North Karelia there are several, well maintained cross-country ski tracks for every skill level.

For example Ilomantsi, the easternmost municipality in Finland and one of the snowiest places in the whole country has well maintained ski tracks for every taste. In Joensuu you can jump on skis almost straight from the town center and Koli area offers an endless amount of snowy kilometers for skiing enthusiasts.

Read more about the tracks in Ilomantsi

Skiing tracks in Joensuu area

Ski tracks in Koli

Happy sleddogs

Book winter activities online

Are you looking for winter fun and guided activities in North Karelia? Here you can explore winter wonderland with sled dogs and hike with snowshoes on the frozen lake. Every winter night has a possibility to spot colorful northern lights and admire stars on the sky. From guesthouse to guesthouse skiing tours introduce you to Finnish culture and lifestyle.

Read more about the activities

A happy couple sitting in front of the smoke sauna

Try Finnish sauna and ice swimming

To get the most out of Finnish culture, we highly recommend you to try Finnish sauna. Relaxing sauna traditions have several positive impacts on your health. The bravest ones can also dip themselves in ice cold water to cool down after sauna.

More information

Find more winter activities

A silhoutte of paddlers

Bomba Action

Guided tours and excursions | Nurmes

Bomba Action has a wide range of activities around the whole year in the area of Nurmes. They offer e.g., jet ski safaris, fishing trips, atv safaris, canoeing and hiking. In wintertime, you can try for instance snowmobile and husky safaris. All safaris are always made by the customer requests.
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Bomba Spa

Relax and spa | Nurmes

Bomba Spa is located in Break Sokos Hotel Bomba, in Nurmes. You can enjoy in the hot and cool water pools, try Finnish, and steam saunas and relax in massaging showers and streams. You can also take a look over the Lake Pielinen and starry sky in warm outdoor jacuzzi.
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Wildlife photography and viewing | Lieksa

Erä-Eero in Lieksa provides wildlife photographing and watching all year around. You can observe wildlife safely in log cabin, which includes heaters and sleeping facilities. Especially wolverines, bears, wolves, and various birds can be spotted in the area.
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Feel Koli

Guided tours and excursions | Koli

With Feel Koli you have possibility to explore Koli Hills and Koli National Park more closely. Local guide will tell stories about the history, nature, and secrets of Koli and you can enjoy the pureness of nature without rush. They organize year-around private tours on request for smaller and bigger groups.
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Joensuun Jääkarhut

Ice swimming | Joensuu

Here you have an opportunity to try typical Finnish winter activity – ice swimming! Joensuun Jääkarhut is located three kilometers from Joensuu city center. If you don’t want to swim, you can also just enjoy the stay in warm sauna and feel the calm atmosphere around you.
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A coffee pan by the open fire

Jongunjoki Travel

Guided tours and excursions | LIEKSA

Jongunjoki Travel offers accommodation, outdoor activities, and relaxation in the middle of nature. The range of activities is wide, and you can try e.g., mountain biking, canoeing, hiking with snowshoes and cross-country skiing. You also have possibility for wildlife watching in safety surroundings. In wintertime, if you are lucky, you might spot the Northern lights here!
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Two bikers by the lake

Koli Active

Guided tours and excursions | Koli

Koli Active offers outdoor services and activities in Koli National Park around the year. In wintertime you can try e.g., ice swimming, ice fishing, snowshoes tours and snowmobile tours. In summer season there are guided hiking, fishing, and paddling tours. There are also available cave adventures around the year.
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Koli Downhill Skiing Center

Skiing and downhill skiing | Koli

Koli Downhill Skiing center locates right next to Break Sokos Hotel Koli and has amazing views over the Lake Pielinen. In total there are six ski slopes with different skill levels and four lifts to take you back up. Restaurant services are available both in lower and upper stations.
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Kolin kylpylä talvimaisemassa

Koli Relax Spa

Relax and spa | Koli

This unique Koli Relax Spa is located in Break Sokos Hotel Koli. From Spa you have beautiful views over the Lake Pielinen and Koli National Park. Enjoy your stay in various hot and cool pools and saunas. In outdoor pool you have possibility to view starry night and beautiful landscape.
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Kontiolahti Outdoor

Guided tours and excursions | Kontiolahti

Kontiolahti Outdoor operates in the area of famous Kontiolahti Biathlon Stadium and provides wide range of outdoor activities in beautiful surroundings. You can for instance familiarize yourself with biathlon, skiing, and biking. They also rent equipment for different activities.
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Karu Survival

Guided tours and excursions | Kontiolahti

With Karu Survival you can experience Finnish nature and four seasons safely with professional local guides. They are teaching survival skills in wilderness and also providing guided tours in hiking, canoeing, skiing, and fishing. They also rent outdoor equipment.
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Lakeland Karelia

Guided tours and excursions | Kitee

Lakeland Karelia in Kitee offers different kinds of activities around the year. They have e.g., kayaking tours, cruises on Lake Puruvesi, snowshoeing and hiking trips. They also have a Finnish smoke sauna available by the lake Puruvesi.
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Outdoor Center Ruunaa

Outdoor Center | Lieksa

Outdoor Center Ruunaa provides tours for white-water rafting, canoeing, and fishing. Also, there are available fatbikes, over 50 km of hiking trails. In wintertime you can rent snowmobile, snowshoes or go to cross-country skiing. Outdoor Center has also accommodation and a restaurant.
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Horse riding | Koli

Paimentupa is located right next to Koli National Park. It provides riding on Icelandic horses in beautiful sceneries of Koli. Paimentupa also offers accommodation in cottages and apartments and has some meal services available.
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Ruunaan Matkailu

Guided tours and excursions | Lieksa

Ruunaan Matkailu in Lieksa welcomes you to Ruunaa rapids in summertime. In the Ruunaa area you have also great opportunities for hiking and fishing. Ruunaan Matkailu rents various equipment for activities, e.g., canoeing, fatbiking, snowmobiling and snowshoeing. They also provide accommodation in cottages in Holiday Village.
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A man ice swimming on the lake

Saunakeidas – Sauna Oasis


Saunakeidas locates in Ilosaari, Joensuu, by River Pielisjoki. Two spacious saunas are open daily. Note, that you need to book the visit in advance to get the access to saunas with own PIN code. There are separate changing rooms for men and women.
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Sisu Fishing

Fishing | Kontiolahti

Sisu Fishing in Kontiolahti offers various guided fishing tours, island trips and fishing courses around the year. Outdoor dining with local ingredients is also possible to arrange together with fishing trips. Services are suitable for all ages and skill levels.
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Sleddogs on ice

The Eräkeskus Wilderness Lodge & Huskyfarm

Guided tours and excursions | Lieksa

The Eräkeskus Wilderness Lodge & Huskyfarm is located in Nurmijärvi, Lieksa in the middle of wilderness. The Eräkeskus offers various activities like hiking, kayaking, and biking. Their specialty is husky safaris in wintertime. In husky farm live over 100 huskies. Service is available in English and Germany.
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Äksyt Ämmät

Guided tours and excursions | Several locations

Äksyt Ämmät is a responsible travel agency and program service provider in Nurmes. They provide nature and culture holiday with a local twist and co-operates with other local companies offering their online shop for others as well. All their products and services are available in online shop.
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