The water is flowing underneath your vessel. You float almost in complete silence – only the ripple of water can be heard, when your paddle passes through the surface of the lake. A sudden noise made by some water birds awakens your senses for a while, and a family of Mallards passes your kayak. Slowly but steady you paddle on, enjoying every new stroke.
It’s already a late evening, but there is still some light left – even though the summer is slowly starting to turn into autumn. You can feel it in the air, which feels a bit different compared to midsummer. It’s more crisp and clean – easy to breath. You can almost smell the autumn starting to cast its spells.
No matter how much I love the nightless nights of the Finnish summer, I still think the August and September evenings have something fascinating to offer too. One of the best ways to enjoy an end-of-summer evening – or a day for that matter – is to go kayaking. Let your nose show the way and arms do the paddling work. Let your mind wonder wild and free, as your eyes get to admire the huge mirror in front of you: water reflecting the evening sky so beautifully, it takes your breath away and makes you wanna cry. Or write poems, compose songs or something else somewhat romantic. Nevertheless, there just can’t be a person, who wouldn’t enjoy this view.
Popular places to go kayaking in Finland
You can go paddling basically anywhere where there’s a lake, pond or a stream, but there are a couple of spots that are especially loved among the kayaking people.
Kolovesi National Park
Kolovesi National Park is not that famous for it’s hiking possibilities as it is for its kayaking possibilities. The clear waters of Saimaa, the biggest lake of Finland, offer great vistas of rugged cliffs and ancient rock paintings. Pack a tent and go camping to one of the many islands of the area.
Hossa National Park
Hossa National Park is the newest addition to Finnish national parks. It was opened this summer and has already stolen the hearts of many nature lovers. Hossa has great tramping trails, but there is also a chance to experience the beauty of this area by canoeing, as it offers 60 km of fairly easy water routes. You can rent the needed equipment from the visitor centre.
Staying only in the Helsinki-area and still want to go kayaking? No problem! You don’t need a lake for paddling. The Helsinki archipelago is great for sea kayaking, and there are many places from where you can easily rent all the things you need. For example Natura Viva in eastern Helsinki offers great service and well maintained equipment.
Here you can also find a great listing of Finnish national parks which are suitable for paddling.
As the Finnish weather can get a bit funny at times, it is better to think ahead and dress properly. We Finns like to think less is more, but when it comes to clothing – especially outdoors – it’s more like more is more. It is always easier to take extra clothes off, rather than find new ones while you’re out on the lake or sea paddling away.
Also, make sure you have a map (and are able to read it) and a waterproof bag for your phone, camera and so on. Most places that rent out kayaks also have these bags. If you are not yet that familiar with paddling, you should take a course or attend a group tour first. Paddling is neither difficult nor scary at all, as long as you know what you are doing (and the weather isn’t stormy). And remember – paddling is a great experience not just for adults but for kids too!
So off you go! Paddle away to experience the land of thousands of lakes and fall even more for its beauty and nature. Satisfaction guaranteed!
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