Sunset in Saimaa
Kitka river, Ruka Kuusamo
Water Sports in Finland
The Most Beautiful water sports in Finland
Land of water
Finland is clearly a country of water. With the largest archipelago area in the world off the south and west coasts, over 185,000 lakes inland and numerous rivers, water is almost everywhere.
The waters in the Nordic country are clean throughout, most of them are safe for drinking and are home to countless species of flora and fauna. In Lake Saimaa – and only here – lives the rare Saimaa ringed seal, a relic from the last Ice Age.
Most of the country's lakes are located in the so-called Lakeland in the central and eastern Finland. Wild rivers and rapids flow mainly through Lapland in the north and should not be underestimated, especially after the snow has melted. Off the south and west coast lies the world's largest archipelago with thousands of islands, islets and skerries. Some are nothing more than a bare rock, but others have forests or even inhabited houses. Many of the most beautiful natural sights in Finland are best explored from the water.
Photo: Harri Tarvainen, Visit Finland
On the way with canoe and kayak
One of the best ways of exploring Finnish waters is by canoe or kayak. Canoeing is a great way to experience the land of a thousand lakes, see breathtaking nature and discover places that can only be reached by water. In the natural silence, all you can hear is the sound of paddling and the sounds of wildlife – you might even spot a rare Saimaa ringed seal.
Whether you are a beginner on the calm lakes inland or an experienced and adventurous paddler on the rapids in Lapland and on the Baltic Sea in strong winds, Finland offers the perfect water for every level of experience. Equipment can easily be rented on-site and guided tours are also available – to learn and discover even more. The small islands should definitely be used for a break or even an overnight stay, there are so many that you can easily find a desert one.
Photo: Krista Keltanen, Visit Finland
Exploring the waters by boat
Getting around in Finland is not only possible with a canoe or kayak. Also, a trip with a rowing boat, excursion boat tour or a SUP board is a great experience. You can sail on the Baltic Sea as well as on the inland lakes.
Learning the sport is especially good on the protected waters while enjoying the surrounding islands. Rowing boats, offering a peaceful way to enjoy Finnish waters, could be described as a standard equipment for Finnish summer cabins. Excursion boats are ready to take you to experience these unique waters and beautiful natural sights on rivers, lakes and archipelago.
Photo: Visit Lahti
Endless fishing opportunities
Fishing is one of the most popular hobbies in Finland for a reason. Here you can fish in the middle of the wilderness or just enjoy good fishing on the nearest lake or river – good fishing waters are present everywhere. Rivers in Lapland are known for salmon and trout fishing, while other areas offer great opportunities to catch pike, perch and zander.
Guided fishing trips are the best option to guarantee a great fishing experience.
Water sports in winter
It would not be Finland if there were not suitable water sports activities for the winter. In the cold season, Finns go fishing on frozen lakes and fish through a hole in the ice.
But you can also swim in freezing temperatures. Ice swimming is a great experience if you are ready to take up the challenge. For the so-called "floating" you put on a special suit that keeps you dry and warm. Wearing it, you float between blocks of ice in a frozen sea, lake or river.