Kuikan Kierros Nature Trail at Petkeljärvi National Park

Kuikan Kierros Nature Trail at Petkeljärvi National Park

photo by /kallu via Flickr Creative Commons

Finland Off the Beaten Path

Reindeer on road 962 near Sodankylä, Finland photo by BishkekRocks (wikimedia commons)Reindeer on road 962 near Sodankylä, Finland photo by BishkekRocks (wikimedia commons)

Ok, this isn’t a joke.  Outside of Helsinki and the other cities, everywhere is more or less off the beaten track; if you’re a foreign visitor that is.  The locals know the most popular un-touristy, tourist areas, so in off the beaten track with a campervan hire or motorhome rental in Finland we will cover some of the popular places that the locals use.  

Remember ‘Everyman's Rights’ when off the beaten track. You can pick wild berries, but not someone's fruit, you can go canoeing and camping, but not too close to someone's house, you must not leave litter and you must leave the place as you found it.  You can sleep in a campervan or motorhome on campsites or with the permission of the landowner, you must not sleep overnight on the street or country roads, in parks or parking spaces. 

The most obvious places are some of Finland’s thousands of lakes and unspoilt forests.   The parks have incredible natural sights, such as rapids, rift valleys, outstanding picturesque scenery or panoramic views.  There are 35 national Parks in Finland totalling 8,150 sq.km; an awful lot of space to enjoy, which are excellent for campervan hire and motorhome rentals because the majority will have areas suitable for overnighting, some will even have more elaborate campsites.

Paijanne National Park. Two ancient river beds dating back Ice Age have formed picturesque ridges surrounded by the clear waters of Finland's second largest lake. 

Liesjarvi National Park.  Home to traditional Finnish farms and lakeside trails.  This area is good for bird watching and only 87 km north of Helsinki. 

Linnansaari National Park.  The heart of the Finnish Lakeland, small idyllic islands are surrounded by crystal clear blue waters and forests. The area around Saimaa is good for spotting freshwater seals, who sunbathe on the lakeshore. 

Hiidenportti National Park.  This park is a wild forest in eastern Finland home to the spectacular rocky gorge named Devil’s gate or Hiidenportti

Pyha-Luosto National Park.  North of the Arctic Circle there are ancient rocky fells and acres of forest, a paradise for hiking.

Isojarvi National Park.  A remote and unspoilt area of forest and lakeshore.  Ideal for an quiet overnight stop surrounded by local wildlife.

Pyha-Hakki National park.  Some of the oldest and unspoilt forests are found in this very wild region of central Finland.

Lemmenjoki National Park.  Arctic fells and forests here are part of Europe’s last true wilderness.  Reindeer roam freely and eagles circle overhead.  If you’re a gold digger there are also opportunities for some panning.

Petkeljarvi National Park.  Sandy lakeshores and crystal clear lakes fill this park in the east of the country, great for fishing and a spot of swimming.

Kauhaneva-Pohjankangas National Park.  Two totally different experiences from this park in the west of the country.  Sandy pine forests on one side and rich bog and marshland on the other.

There are of course many other National Parks to choose from and other sites which will be even more off the beaten track than these, but from these few suggestions there will always be a place to stay overnight and you won’t feel totally alone when the wolves start howling!

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