What I want

I would like to visit one of the national parks in Finland for ~5 days. I am looking for a location that is

  • reasonably far away from cities
  • has dense forests
  • a slightly mountainous area that would enable 1-day hikes that reward you with a view down onto nature over a wide area*
  • is north of the arctic circle to experience the polar summer (not sure if this conflicts with the dense forests)
  • has at least one lake for canoeing

(in that order of importance)

What I found

The topological map of Finland shows that there are few tall mountains in general: enter image description here

And pictures from nationalparks.fi see to indicate that hills are all I can hope for: enter image description here

Photos from Google Streeview also show rather sparse forests: enter image description here


Can you recommend a national park or nature spot in Finland that would satisfy all the requirements listed above. Time of travel will be the second half of August. As an alternative I thought about flying to Norway or Sweden as they seem to be much more mountainous, but Finland would be the easier solution. Starting point of travel can be Helsinki or Tallinn and can include all means of travel. Renting a car is also possible.

*I don't have professional equipment such as a lightweight sleeping bag or tent so a multi-day hike would be too expensive, as I would have to buy all the equipment.

  • You won't find mountains. Eastern Finland has lots of lakes, and some fairly big hills with a nice view over a large area -- and plenty of forests. No midnight sun, but around midsummer the nights will still be very short, and never quite dark.
    – vlumi
    Jun 19, 2019 at 8:08
  • 3
    Speaking as a Finn, if you want mountains, go to Norway. Finland is flat as a pancake and even the "mountains" in the north are mere hills by world standards. Nov 8, 2022 at 0:41

2 Answers 2


@problemofficer I guess you are already over there, and I hope you are enjoying. Anyway in case others interested

Depending on how mountenous and how dense a forest you expect, but as @vlumi mentioned, no high mountains (highest point some 1.3 km), and, while there are lots of dense forests, finding any kind of a forest at altitude above, say 500m is already a challenge...

A logical source to find more about national parks would be

https://www.nationalparks.fi/nationalparks ;-)

p.s. From a global perspective, I think that the uniqueness that the Finnish national parks has to offer is mainly in:

Lakes (Eastern part, e.g. Linnansaari https://www.nationalparks.fi/linnansaarinp )

The archipelago (Southwest, https://www.nationalparks.fi/archipelagonp )

While the distance from Helsinki to "Lakes" is longer than to "Archipelago", the accessibility from Helsinki to both is about is similar (=as it is easier to fly / drive on a bigger road to some city in Eastern Finland than to get yourself into the archipelago), and both mean that a "proper visit" won't be possible on e.g. a day-trip, but better assume 1+1 days for travel + the time to spend there.


The Koli National Park could be a candidate.

  • ✅ Closest cities: Lieksa (25 km air-line distant, separated by a lake), Juuka (31 airline-distant), Uimaharju (32 km airline-distant)
  • ✅ forest
  • ✅ slightly mountainous with views
  • ✅ lakes for canoing
  • ❌ Though, it is not above the arctic circle. The combination of forest, northern latitude, and elevation might be a conflict.

Koli National Park

You could also try to approach this problem with Overpass Turbo by locating peaks above a given elevation that are less than a certain distance from a lake and a forest. It might also be feasible to filter out search results close to residential areas. However, the underlying Openstreetmap data does not carry information on whether a forest is dense or not, as of now.

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