Kuopio is a city that lies amidst the many lakes of central Finland in the region of Northern Savonia. Finnish Lakeland is the single largest lake district in all of Europe, with a sparse population and a jaw-dropping number of lakes to create some beautiful scenery. In Kuopio, visitors can explore some of these lakes by foot or even by steamboat, or they can climb the Puijo observation tower for a view overlooking the lakes. In the city of Kuopio, visitors will find a city rife with markets, restaurants, shopping, and a rich culture that even has its own distinct dialect.
Whitewater rafting on the rapids of a rushing river, hiking through fells and forests full of untouched old growth trees, and skiing down the side of a mountain with a sweeping view of the landscape before you are just some of the adventures that await in Kuusamo. Ruka Ski Resort is internationally renowned, and it is one of the largest ski areas in all of Finland. There, visitors can enjoy ski jumping as well as cross-country and Nordic skiing on award-winning trails that have been featured in world skiing competitions. Each winter, Kuusamo is home to the Iisakki Winter Village, a beautiful town of igloos and structures made entirely of snow. There are snow shops, snow restaurants, a snow theater, and even a snow chapel for weddings.
Lappeenranta is a city located on the southern shores of Lake Saimaa, less than 20 miles from Finland's eastern border with Russia. The Lappeenranta Fortress was once a line of defense for the city, but today is full of new life as the old town of the city, where visitors can stroll the historical streets as they browse the artisan's shops and check out the museums that now call this district home. Lappeenranta also has an extensive collection of historic churches, buildings, museums, and beautiful parks for travelers to enjoy during their visit.
The historic town of Naantali was once a large convent, but today this municipality, mostly located on an archipelago in southwest Finland, is a popular tourist hub. It's one of the oldest towns in Finland, founded in the 15th century for a convent whose church is still an iconic part of the town today, and is spread out over several lovely, scenic islands. Visitors can tour the Naantali Church, located at the top of a hill in town as a very visible high point.