Lake Saimaa is like an inland archipelago with waters clear and fresh! The water is so clean you can drink it directly from the lake! It covers a surface area of 4400km and the shoreline amounts to 13,700 km and there are about 13,710 islands in the lake.
At the end of June I was lucky enough to spend 5 days in this lakeland region of Finland, where we have one of our self-guided canoe tours: Canoe or Kayak in Linnansaari National Park.
Linnansaari National Park lies in a part of the vast Saimaa Lake System. The park was established in 1956 and covers 96 square kilometres. The park includes a watery labyrinth of channels, bays and islands as well as open waters.
Linnansaari National Park is home to about 50 of the Saimaa Ringed Seals.
The Saimaa Ringed Seal is one of the most endangered species in the world, with just 310 individuals. Although their numbers have increased since a low in the 1980s, sadly they remain under imminent threat of extinction. It is therefore very important to increase the population of ringed seals. For more information, see https://www.sll.fi/ringed-seal
In and around Linnansaari the Osprey population densities are very high, with 10-20 pairs breeding in the area annually. You can easily spot their large nests up in the pine trees.
Camping is allowed at fixed spots in several locations around the park. There is a campsite on the island is Sammakkoniemi that has simple cabins for rent, a sauna, a small cafe and an area where tents can be set up.
This is a paddlers paradise! Glide through the beautiful island landscape! Go swimming! Pick wild berries and mushrooms! Catch delicious fresh fish from the clear waters! Camp out! Watch the sunsets!
Linnansaari needs the support of visitors to area to generate income and maintain its protected status, so by travelling to this beautiful area you are helping to support its conservation and hopefully safeguard the future of the Saimaa Ringed Seal!
Sofia from the Nature Travels Team