Cozy holiday atmosphere and Savonian warmth
The Kuopio region, formed by the city of Kuopio and the municipality of Siilinjärvi, is the vibrant heart of beautiful Lake Finland. The area is known as Mother Nature’s favorite, surrounded by thousands of pristine lakes, where the freedom of being, adventure and warmth are the forces of nature.
The Kuopio area includes over 70 neighborhoods and villages, creating a magnificent and diverse travel destination with lively urban centers, lakes, forests and countryside. Representing a particularly lively and traditional rural landscape in the Kuopio area are Maaninka, Karttula, Vehmersalmi, Riistavesi, Juankoski and Nilsiä.
Maaninka – Picturesque Rural Idyll
First recorded in history books in the 16th century, Maaninka is a beautiful combination of fields, shores and forests. Favorite destinations for hikers and birdwatchers include the Viannankoski, Patalahti and Kinnulanlahti bird observation towers, as well as Finland’s highest free-flowing waterfall, Korkeakoski. Thanks to numerous canals, fishing and boating enthusiasts can access best fishing spots in Maaninka all the way from the Gulf of Finland.
Karttula – Cozily Compact Neighborhood
In the lush Karttula, you can explore Kuopio’s industrial history at the Syvänniemi roller factory and the ruins of Souru iron works. Additionally, visitors can enjoy generous natural offerings, excellent hiking and sports opportunities, and the beautiful Syvänniemi Church completed in 1925, which also has an interesting history.
Vehmersalmi – A Magnet for Water Tourism
Vehmersalmi is dominated by stunning waterways and is one of the favorite destinations for water tourism in the Kuopio area. The beautiful natural surroundings have also attracted several artists, most notably Akseli Gallen-Kallela, whose famous work, “The Forging of the Sampo,” was painted in Vehmersalmi during the summer of 1893.
On the Vehmeri nature trail, hikers can explore the traces left by the Ice Age, the ever-changing forest landscape, and its inhabitants. The well-equipped campfire site provides a comfortable place to take a break even during the winter, whether you are skiing or snowmobiling.
Riistavesi – A Beloved Recreational Destination
Riistavesi offers several beautiful natural sites and hiking trails where you can admire the rugged Savonian landscape of forests, rocks and lakes. Popular destinations include the Niittylahti hiking trails, the Mustalahti observation tower and the birdwatching towers around Lake Keskimmäinen. In the vicinity of Lake Keskimmäinen, you can also explore an extremely rare plant life. The lake and its surroundings are part of a national bird sanctuary conservation program.
Other vacation activities in Riistavesi include canoeing, fishing and frisbee golf. At the Riistavesi Local Heritage Museum, you can learn about the life of the rural folk with guidance from the museum’s curator.
Juankoski – Following in Juice’s Footsteps
Juankoski has been the hometown of several significant artists who have made their mark in the hearts of Finns, including composer Kaj Chydenius, actress-singer Eija Ahvo, Veijo Pasanen, who portrayed the beloved circus clown Hermanni and Finland’s rock legend Juice Leskinen. Visitors are reminded of Juice Leskinen’s musical legacy in the heart of Juankoski at the Juice Square, where a lifelike statue of Juice is placed.
Apart from its artists, Juankoski is also known for its nearly 300-year history of industrial activity, which can be explored in one of the Finland’s most extensive and well-preserved ironworks areas. The water route from Kuopio to Tahko passing through Juankoski is one of the most beautiful water travel routes in Savo. Beautiful lake and hill landscapes can also be admired from the Pisa Observation Tower, located on the highest point of the Pisa hiking trail.
Nilsiä – A Neighborhood for Nostalgia Enthusiasts
The nationally valuable landscape of Pisa extends from the border with Juankoski to Nilsiä, which is known primarily for Tahko, the fourth-largest ski and tourism center in Finland. Tahko welcomes visitors with over 80 experiences and activities, three golf courses, 21 restaurants, a hotel, a holiday spa and hundreds of rental cottages. Tahko, especially enticing for skiers, is Finland’s most active year-round tourism center, where generation after generation return to enjoy, relax and have fun.
Amidst all the activities, visitors can also explore Aholansaari, a culturally significant place. It is the birthplace of “Ukko-Paavo” Ruotsalainen, the leader of Finland’s revivalist movement, and his former residence, Paavon pirtti, is a culturally significant site protected by the National Board of Antiquities.
In Nilsiä’s town center, travelers will find a wide range of services. It’s worth stopping by the market square for a cheerful summer day and even in the winter, the square hosts vendors and various events.
A warm welcome to Savo, where you can immerse yourself in beautiful nature and captivating culture!