With forty national parks in the Nordic country of Finland to visit, you won’t be able to see them all during one holiday. Whichever park you visit, you won’t be disappointed. But, if you’re looking for sheer beauty that’s sure to bowl you over, here are the three most beautiful national parks Finland has to offer.
Urho Kekkonen National Park
Finnish identity is entwined with the rolling hills, deep green forests, and sparkling lakes that cover the vast majority of central Finland. When you travel through the landscape in the summer months, you’ll be awestruck at the green and blue colours that permeate the scenery. Finland has been nicknamed The Land of the Thousand Lakes, but in truth, there are around 188,000 lakes in the country.
To explore the lakes and forests in all their splendour, visit Finland’s numerous national parks. If you’re lucky, or unlucky depending on your point of view, you might even see some of Finland’s mythological monsters are creatures that are said to live in the country’s lakes and woods. You could come across the hairy, large-nosed Peikko who lives in dark forests and rocky ridges, or Näkki, who appears friendly at first before showing her true horrible and scaly appearance.
Näkki can be found lurking in pools and under bridges. If you find monsters fascinating, you’ll love trying to spot them in the habitats of Finland. You’ll also love playing the fun slot game reactoonz, which features some colourful horned monsters with boggled eyes.
If you only have time to visit one Finnish national park, Urho Kekkonen National Park is a good choice. At around 1,500 square miles, it’s one of the largest parks in Finland. You can explore the vast wilderness of Finnish Lapland on foot or skis all the way to the Russian border. Along the way, check out the remote Korvatunturi, which is famous among Finns for being the home of Father Christmas. In the winter months, you can also see the magnificent Northern Lights.
Koli National Park
Koli National Park was once a pagan sacrificial site. Today, it provides visitors with some of the most spectacular scenery in all of Finland. You can visit for a day, or alternatively, there are numerous cosy lodgings available if you want to stay overnight in the wilderness. One of the national park’s highlights is the incredibly beautiful and captivating Lake Pielinen, which has been the inspiration for many artists over the years.
For the best vantage point in the park, climb up Ukko-Koli hill. At the top, you’ll see amazing views of the surrounding waters and woods. There’s also a visitor centre at the top where you can learn about local culture and farming techniques. Koli National Park also features many caves, including Pirunkirkko, which is 112 feet long and up to 23 feet high. If you’re looking for some skiing action, there are two nearby resorts. Loma-Koli is ideal for families whereas Ukko-Koli is for more advanced downhill skiers.
Oulanka National Park
If you’re a wildlife lover, you’ll love exploring Oulanka National Park. Herds of reindeer thrive in the park and there are endangered species of animals like the lynx, bear, and wolverine. You could also catch sight of moose and rare bird species like capercaillies and the Siberian jay. Oulanka National Park is rugged and versatile. It features beautiful pine forests, huge mires, and rushing river valleys. The best thing about this national park is it’s never been touched by logging, so it hasn’t changed much since ancient times.
The park also features some of the most powerful rapids and impressive waterfalls in all of Finland. There are plenty of activities to do in the park too, such as rock climbing, kayaking, and walking over suspension bridges.