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Lieksa is one of the top experiences in Finland in 2023

Ruunaan järvi Lieksa

Lieksa is one of the top experiences in Finland in 2023

Lieksa is a small town located in the North Karelia region of Finland. It is a popular destination for travelers looking to explore the natural beauty of the Finnish countryside and enjoy activities during the whole year.  

North Karelia Finland

The first Scan Magazine issue of the year 2023 (no. 150)  featured North Karelia as one of “The best experiences in Finland in 2023.” You can read the whole article here. Lieksa is a perfect spot to explore all around the North Karelia region and enjoy one of the best experiences in Finland this year. 

What to do in North Karelia Finland? 

Scan Magazine headlined the amazing North Karelia as: “Nature and nurture in Finland’s hidden holiday gem” – and they are not wrong! 

The easternmost Lakeland of Finland, North Karelia is known for its gorgeous nature, a great number of lakes, and its own food traditions. It is a superb vacation choice for people who seek lush nature, crystal-clear rivers and lakes, and glorious flora among other outdoorsy activities. It is also popular among artists, as they find the place inspirable. No wonder why, as “Kalevala”, the famous Finnish national epic, was also written in the area. 

Activities – hike, bike & enjoy the surrounding nature 

In addition to several lakes, North Karelia offers gorgeous wild nature and peace and quiet, but you will not get bored as there are several hiking and biking trails, local restaurants, cafes, events, husky safaris, and possibilities to use snowmobiles, snowshoes, and ski during the winter months. And this is just to begin with.

There is a total of four natural parks located in the North Karelia region: Koli, Kolovesi, Patvinsuo, and Petkeljärvi. In addition, Ruunaa hiking area, which is located in the Lieksa area, is also one of the important hiking destinations in the region. Routes in the Lieksa area are perfect for hiking, trekking, biking, and trail running. 

Runaa Finland

One of the most popular activities is to go hiking or mountain biking to a place called Karhunpolku, which is a system of hiking trails, located in the clean and stunning nature of the Lieksa area. It includes part of the long Karelian Circuit system of trails and leads through the wilderness from the Patvinsuo National Park and Ruunaa hiking area to the border at Kuhmo. Along the way are forests and lakes, so we recommend saving enough time to take in the views and enjoy pure nature. There are also rest stops and fishing areas along the way. The entire way takes up to 6-8 days and you can book activities, accommodation, sauna, and other amenities from Lieksa’s different providers. 

Relax – enjoy fishing, lakes, saunas & traditional food 

If you want to take it more easily, you can also enjoy Finnish food and relax in the sauna, do wildlife spotting in nature or go fishing.

Wildlife Finland
Photo: Erä-Eero

Right next to Patvinsuo national park, there is Musta Mäntyjärvi lake, a popular destination for fishing, canoeing, hiking, and camping. Lake Pielinen, located next to Lieksa town, is also a great spot for swimming, boating, and other water sports. The lake is also home to a variety of fish, making it an excellent spot for fishermen as well. 

In many different locations in the Lieksa area, you can enjoy a private, traditional Finnish woodfire sauna, often located right next to a lake, so you can have breaks to dip yourself in the water.  In winter, those feeling brave enough can even do a dip in the ice water! You can find saunas from many different places in Lieksa. For example, Kestikievari Herranniemi in Vuonislahti features an infrared sauna and wood-heated saunas. 

And what makes you more hungry than being outdoors? Absolutely nothing! The good news is, that there are several restaurants offering a  variety of traditional Finnish dishes, as well as international cuisine. Many restaurants use seasonal ingredients, such as berries and mushrooms – directly from the North Karelian nature. The most famous food from the Karelia region is definitely the traditional Finnish Karelian pastry. It is savory, made from rye flour, and stuffed with rice porridge, eaten with egg butter – and it is delicious!  

MatexPro fishing experience Finland

For a traditional home-cooked meal, we recommend Kestikievari Herranniemi, Hurtan Holvi, and Puustelli. For experience seekers, Ruunaan Matkailu offers a “Karelian lunch” after rafting. You can also book other meals upfront to enjoy the middle of your excursions in the area. In addition to Ruunaan Matkailu, Matexpro for example offers these services. You can have lunch made for you at Musta Mäntyjärvi lake, where they cook fish caught on the spot. Sounds like a dream!

What to do in the town of Lieksa? 

With its stunning scenery, cultural attractions, and unique shops and restaurants, Lieksa is sure to provide an unforgettable experience! 

The town of Lieksa is surrounded by lush forests and rolling hills, making it an ideal spot for outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, and canoeing.  Lieksa is also home to a number of cultural attractions. The Pielinen museum is a great place to learn about the history of the area, while the Lieksa Art Museum showcases the work of local artists. The town also has a number of traditional Finnish saunas, which are a great way to relax after a day of exploring the area. You can check all activities in Lieksa here

Lieksa Finland

What to do in the Lieksa area during the winter months? 

Lieksa is a great place to visit during the winter months. The area is full of activities and attractions, making it a fantastic destination for a winter getaway. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing spa day or an adventure-filled ski trip, Lieksa has something for everyone.

Winter activities North Karelia

The winter season in Lieksa is a time of extraordinary beauty and adventure. The snow-covered landscape is a sight to behold, and the crisp air is invigorating. The town of Lieksa is surrounded by forests, lakes, and rivers, making it a great place to explore. One of the most popular activities in the winter in Lieksa is skiing, snowmobiling, ice skating, and husky safaris. Lieksa is home to several snowmobile trails, which offer a great way to explore the area. The trails are well-maintained and offer a variety of terrain, from flat to steep. 

Husky Safari Finland

North Karelia and Lieksa are truly amazing experiences with pure nature, Finnish traditions, and several outdoor activities. It’s a unique holiday destination, without mass tourism. 

We recommend staying in a cozy Lieksa town & go explore nature and the activities around the region. Read more and book your getaway to amazing Lieksa for 2023!