Top 10 Sustainable winter experiences in Finnish Lakeland

Credits: Harri Tarvainen / Visit Suomussalmi


Press release, Helsinki, 1 November 2023

Finnish Lakeland is the up-and-coming winter haven in Finland scoring with a variety of sustainable winter experiences!
Credits: Harri Tarvainen / Visit Suomussalmi

Finland – the top-notch winter destination for all travellers has a new star on the rise! Lakeland, the up-and-coming winter haven in Finland, is best known for its thousands of lakes, hundreds of saunas, eminent forests, and cosy cottages. All of which can also be enjoyed during the colder months. Sustainable winter experiences in the lesser-travelled winter region of Finland are starting to fire up as, depending on the year, the first snow will arrive in November or the beginning of December at the latest. 

When the first snow falls, the Lakeland region in Finland turns into a truly magical winter wonderland. In the quiet of the winter season, a perfect time comes to relax in silence. So, book a snuggly cottage to enjoy the full calm of the cold and quiet. All after an active day in the crispy air of the outdoors. The beautiful icy crystals along with the darkness will feel like a warm hug when enjoyed in great company by a fire in a cozy cabin after an adventurous day on the frozen lakes.  

Visit Finland has put together the best suggestions for you. All of these are awarded with the Sustainable Travel Finland label, which guarantees a special focus on sustainability issues. Come and spend your winter holidays like the locals in Lakeland.  

Credits: Visit Karelia / Harri Tarvainen

1. Take a journey into the quiet and darkness

Have you ever experienced real darkness and felt its calming effect? In Finland, during the winter season, there are plenty of places to experience darkness and starry nights – no light pollution is guaranteed. Wandering in the dark forest will give you unforgettable experiences, as well as help you develop your mind control.

2. Catch your own food under the ice

During the colder months of the year, Finns go fishing. Hotelli Kalevala in Kuhmo takes guests right on the lakes to try fishing with nets and a jig – all through a hole in the ice. Lunch is included in the excursion, and travel will be done on snowshoes, skis, or on foot. The hotel also specializes in LGBTQ-friendly excursions.

3. Ride a zero-pollution snow scooter

Guided winter adventures on electric snow scooters are available in Puumala. The 1.5-hour safari will allow you to silently glide along the wintry shores of Lake Saimaa, taking in the scenery and enjoying the peace and quiet of the surroundings. While you stop for a hot beverage, the knowledgeable guide will let you in on the secrets of Lake Saimaa before hopping back on the eLYLY, the world’s first electric snow scooter.

Electric snow scooters are a fun and sustainable way to explore the shores of Lake Saimaa.
Credits : Lakelandgte
Experience ice fishing and catch your own dinner through a hole in the ice.
Credits: Lakelandgte

4. Feel weightless in a winter meditation

Lake Saimaa offers plenty of options for relaxing in a conscious way along its beautiful shore. But one of the most calming ones must be floating. Year-round dry suit floating will take you on a safe, relaxing journey on the gentle flow of River Vuoksi or the clear waters of Lake Saimaa.

5. Hop in the heat, followed by an icy dip

There are around three million saunas in Finland, and if you ask any locals – they will tell you the best way to experience the heat of one is by a lake. An adventure which can only be topped by bathing in winter. The Sahanlahti Resort in Puumala offers electric and traditional smoke saunas around the year but in winter, a sauna made from ice guarantees the ultimate encounter with Finnish wellness culture.

6. Glide on a frozen lake

It is a known fact that Finns love the game of ice hockey, but many also love to engage in skating during wintertime. So why not do like the locals and take part in an ice marathon organized annually in the city of Kuopio? And if endurance isn’t for you, more chilled down skating under the moonlight is also available.

Dry suit floating is a great option for relaxing and enjoying the beautiful shores of Lake Saimaa.
Credits : Mikko Nikkinen
Sahanlahti's ice sauna is a truly unique place to enjoy the Finnish wellness culture.
Credits: Sahanlahti Resort
The Ice Marathon in Kuopio is organised on the natural ice of Lake Kallavesi.
Credits: Harri Tarvainen / Visit Suomussalmi

7. Engage in a national sport

Along with ice hockey and ice skating, Finns do love to engage in cross-country skiing. Why not explore the wintry landscapes on a pair of skis and take in the sights at your own pace? The Finnish Lakeland offers hundreds of kilometers of well-maintained trails that are often even floodlit. Group excursions from guesthouse to guesthouse are available in Karhunpää.

8. Spend a winter wonder week with your family

The Sustainable Travel Finland labeled Wild Taiga organizes activities for families in the Hossa National Park. The activities range from husky rides to silent snowshoe hikes, cross-country ski trips, and learning exciting wilderness skills. There is also the chance you might experience the spectacle of the Northern Lights as a finale to your day.

9. Lavish on a night in nature

Why not suspend a night right in nature? The Panorama Landscape Hotel in Tahko opens its doors on the 1st of November 2023 with a season lasting through the winter. The hotel suites are located on the slopes of the Tahko mountain – at the edge of the vastness, by the most astonishing forest and lake views. This is a hotel experience that will blow you away but also allow you to pause.

10. E-bike around the snowy trails

The cycling trails of National Parks Hossa and Martinselkonen offer more than 150 km of cycling joy, even in winter! Fat bikes with thick tires perform perfectly on well-maintained routes. Electrically assisted, they offer a new way to explore the outdoors in winter. Fun in the sun and snow!

Hop on a bike and explore Finland's wintry landscapes.
Credits : Harri Tarvainen / Visit Suomussalmi
Located on top of Tahko mountain, the Panorama Lanscape Hotel guarantees breathtaking nature views.
Credits: Panorama Landscape Hotel

More sustainable choices

Visit the Visit Finland Travel Trade page

Find more inspiration on sustainable travel choices and the Sustainable Travel Finland programme at the Visit Finland Travel Trade page. 

Media Contacts

Visit our contacts page.

About Visit Finland

Visit Finland, a unit of Business Finland, is a national authority on tourism and an active force in promoting international travel to Finland. Its main goal is to develop Finland’s international image as a destination. Visit Finland supports the travel industry through research and helps businesses and groups develop products and services for the international market. For more information, please visit