Saimaa is a stunning city in Finland that is known for its untouched and pristine natural beauty. A popular town in the country, Saimaa is known for being home to the Saimaa Lake, one of the largest freshwater lakes in Europe. 

Located in the eastern region of Finland, Saima has a vast network of lakes, waterways and it has a picturesque setting that looks like it comes straight from a fairy tale. The region has more than 13,000 islands, and all of them are surrounded by fresh water lakes. 

It is one of the most beautiful towns in Finland that captivates the hearts of nature lovers and minds of adventure enthusiasts. Whether you want to go kayaking in the lake, or go hiking through the lush green forests, or simply relax amidst the breathtaking scenery, Saimaa promises an unforgettable travel experience. 

Things to do in Saimaa

Saimaa promises you a whole lot of incredible nature and adventure. During your holiday here, you can do plenty of things and have amazing new experiences that will remain etched in your memory forever. From hiking to taking a sauna, the options are plenty. Here are the top things you must definitely do in Saimaa. 

Enjoy a day out with the rarest seals 

Saimaa is the only place on earth where you can spot the ringed seals. A native inhabitant, they are one of the most endangered species of seal. As per the wildlife experts in the region, there are only about 400 of these seals left, and they are all in Saimaa. 

Found near the Saimaa Lake, these are one of the only two seal species that live in freshwater. Known for their distinct appearance, they have a dark grey coat with curvy shapes scattered all over the body. These shapes are as unique as a human fingerprint.

Since the population of these seals is low, the local authorities have taken many initiatives to preserve their habitat. During your visit to Saimaa, you can go on a sea safari in the evening, which takes you on a three-hour boat ride around the lake. It is a great way to see the wonderful being up close and also spot several colourful birds in the region. 

Have a sauna

Sauna is an integral and inherent part of Finnish culture. You cannot return from Finland without going to a Sauna. There are many saunas in the region, and the locals visit them just to relax, and escape the daily mundane. 

The saunas in Saima are more than just a place to unwind and relax; they have a deep connection to the local traditions and culture. So, immerse yourself in the Finnish culture and just let go off all your worries and enjoy living in the present moment. 

Go on a hiking trip

Saimaa offers a multitude of outdoor activities to satisfy your adventure cravings. Nestled in the most picturesque setting, the city is surrounded by glistening lakes and lush green forests, giving you a chance to go on a hiking trip. 

There are many hiking trails in the region, and if you are visiting Saimaa during summer, you must definitely try going on a hiking expedition through the local national parks. It gives you a chance to explore the pristine and untouched beauty of the region and revel in the tranquil surroundings. 

Take a Sleigh ride

Saimaa is a place where you can enjoy throughout the year, whether it is winter or summer, you will surely find a plethora of activities to do. During winter, Saimaa turns into a true wonderland, and the snowy season opens up the doors for activities like ice skating, ice swimming, ice fishing, snowshoeing and sledding. 

You can take a sleigh ride over the frozen lake. It is an experience that will be remembered forever. As you glide on the ice, the scenic beauty surrounding you will fill your heart with mirth and a sense of pure bliss!

Go Camping

Does the idea of spending a night out in the open arms of nature under the blanket of a million stars excite you? Then Saimaa is the perfect place for you. Hop onto a boat from Saimaa and reach the car-free island, which is better known as Linnansaari National Park. 

This stunning natural park is a national treasure, which stretches about 40 km long and is about 5-10 km wide. The Park is renowned for its picturesque lake scenery and is surrounded by dense forests. 

Here, you can set up a camp or stay in a tree tent and spend a day soaking the pristine natural beauty around you. 

Best time to visit Saimaa

Saimaa is an incredible place in Finland that you can visit at any time of the year based on what you want to experience and do. The average temperature here varies a lot throughout the year. Although the weather is cold for most of the year, you also get snow and rain. 

If you want to visit Saimaa during summer, you must plan your travel between June and August. June to August is also a great time to enjoy outdoor activities like hiking. There are many trekking trails in the region, and each one has its own charm and beauty. 

If you want to experience snowfall and enjoy indulging in winter activities like skiing, November to December is the best time.  

How to reach Saimaa from Helsinki?

The Finnish capital city, Helsinki, is a perfect gateway to reach Saimaa. A beautiful city itself, Helsinki is the perfect example of a modern European city. The city has a typical European vibe and is bustling all day. 

Unlike the countryside, Helsinki is quite busy, and people here are constantly on the go. After exploring the capital city and visiting the popular tourist spots, you can head to Saimaa to see nature’s artwork.

From Helsinki, Saimaa is about 260 kms and it takes about 3-4 hours to reach the city. The cheapest way to reach Saimaa from Helsinki is to take a bus from the capital city. There are regular buses from here, and the drive takes about 3 hours. 

If you are uncomfortable with travelling by bus, you can take a train. The Finnish Railways operates trains to Saimaa frequently, and the journey takes about 2 hours. 

  • Destination
  • Travel
  • Finland

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Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Ltd. (MHRIL), a part of Leisure and Hospitality sector of the Mahindra Group, offers quality family holidays primarily through vacation ownership memberships and brings to the industry values such as reliability, trust and customer satisfaction. Started in 1996, the company's flagship brand ‘Club Mahindra’, today has over 250,000 members , who can holiday at 100+ resorts in India and abroad.

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