Five one-of-a-kind lakes in Finland

4 minute read

Credits: Marjaana Tasala

Five unique lakes that have something exceptional to them

Most lakes in Finland are in Lakeland – obviously – but they can be found in every part of the country. These are five unique lakes that have something exceptional to them; how they were formed, the role they play in culture or the clear water that flows in them.

Credits: Michael Matti

Lappajärvi Lake – a meteorite-made natural wonder

Lappajärvi lake in the coast and archipelago region in South Ostrobothnia is Europe’s largest crater lake. The 23 km-wide crater was formed after a meteorite hit the site more than 70 million years ago. Impactite, a rare rock created by the impact of the meteorite, can be found around the lake and on its islands, and even today the region still experiences shallow earthquakes as the asteroid collision still has impact on the subsoil of the lake – but don’t worry, the tremors are mostly detectable by seismographs only. At the Kivitippu Meteorite Centre, visitors can explore the events that led to the creation of the crater lake. The lake’s surroundings offer a wide range of outdoor activities, from nature trails to fat-biking and canoeing. For tips and rentals, visit the hotel Kivitippu. You can also take a Lappajärvi cruise on the M/S Veannetar

Inarijärvi Lake – the giant of the North

Located in Northern Lapland, lake Inarijärvi (Aanaarjävri in Inari Sámi), is the third largest lake in Finland – and the cleanest and clearest of all the large lakes. Even though there are hundreds of lakes in the region, the locals refer to Inarijärvi simply by the name “Järvi” (lake). There are over 3,000 islands on Inarijärvi, including Ukonsaari, a sacred site for the Sámis that’s best admired respectfully from a distance. Due to the high number of islands and islets, Inarijärvi is a charming labyrinth, but it also boasts large areas of open waters. There are great canoeing routes and several operators arrange guided trips in the summer. During the winter, the lake is optimal for ice-fishing, snowmobile rides and aurora spotting. Inarijärvi is surrounding the town and municipality of Inari, the capital of Sámi culture.

Credits: Wilderness Hotel Nellim

Tuusulanjärvi Lake – a dive into cultural history

Just a 15-minute ride from the Helsinki-Vantaa airport, Tuusulanjärvi in the Helsinki region quickly immerses visitors in the cultural history of Finland. The beauty of the lake has attracted many artists, especially during the Finnish National Romantic era. Nowadays, the region’s museums – like Ainola, a timber-built villa that was the home of the world-renowned composer Jean Sibelius and his family – transport visitors to this artistic heyday at the turn of the 20th century. Cycling the scenic 26 km route around the lake (all local hotels provide bicycles) is a popular activity, but if you’d like something more sedentary, you can park yourself on the summer terrace of hotel Gustavelund or dip your toes from the modern pier at Fjällbo Park. For more lake views, the Sarvikallio scenic lookout can be accessed directly from the road or by walking the circular 3.4 km route in Sarvikallio recreational area.

Credits : Mariia Kauppi
Credits: Maarit Kytöharju

Sääksjärvi Lake, Nurmijärvi – a clear summer day’s destination

Sääksjärvi is the largest fountain-based lake in Finland, shaped by an enormous ice floe during the ice age. The water filters and changes through the soil, making it crystal clear, and the lake is surrounded by spectacular fine sand and a beautiful pine ridge area. No wonder the beach, Sääksin uimaranta, has been described as the most beautiful beach in Finland. The shallow water makes the lake perfect for families. During summer, the beach has a café, diving platform and beach volley fields. Sääksjärvi is located in Nurmijärvi, in the greater Helsinki region, and is an hour drive from Helsinki. There are at least nine other lakes in Finland that go by the same name, Sääksjärvi. All unique and beautiful for sure, but be careful not to mix these up when navigating here.

Credits: Mauri Katajala

Julma-Ölkky Lake – the cruel canyon

Located in Kuusamo’s Hossa national park in Lakeland, Julma-Ölkky, meaning The Cruel Canyon, is the largest canyon lake in Finland, stretching over 3 km. It is an impressive sight: the rock wall rises to the height of 50 m from the surface of the lake. For the cool-headed and strong-legged, there’s a scenic suspension bridge crossing the lake. Please note, the two circle trails (5 and 10 km) that lead hikers here are demanding. If steep climbing is not your thing, don’t worry – there are boat tours that take you through the canyon. From the boat, a small rock painting in the centre part of Julma-Ölkky becomes visible. There is also a vault-like rock fracture, Pirunkirkko, or Devil’s Church, in the northern part of the canyon lake.

Credits: Marjaana Tasala

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