SEE THE LAKES FROM ALL DIRECTIONS BY KAYAKING
Land of a thousand lakes, Lakeland. That is what we are called. Yet, many are surprised to hear that Finland has over 188,000 lakes and approximately 180,000 islands on those lakes. The lakes are an escape for Finns. Finns spend many summer days camping by, boating on and swimming in the lakes. These leisure activities are some of the many things to do when you visit Finland and venture out, for example, on a day trip from Helsinki.
The lakes provide activities for the winter days as well. Frozen lake surfaces provide opportunities for ice fishing, ice swimming, ice skating, skiing, hiking and other outdoor activities.
From the shore, lakes look quite different to the view experienced from the middle of the lake. That is why it is worthwhile exploring the numerous lakes while travelling, for example, by kayak: Tammela lake-highlands are a great destination to do this when you visit Finland. The region is also home to two national parks, Liesjärvi and Torronsuo.
Lake Liesjärvi is a distinctive three-branched and funnily fragmented lake that is perfect to leisurely stroll around for a couple of hours or to take an overnight hike around its perimeter.
Loppi’s Melkutin-region is made up of several very clear deep lakes and ponds and is a rare wilderness area. Kayaks, rowing boats and stand-up-paddle boards are the only private vehicles allowed in the peace and nature of Melkutin’s waterways.
Or alternatively you can rent the Jalolautta sauna boat and be the captain of a vessel floating on a clear, deep, small wilderness lake – just you and your friends, no one else. On the Jalo sauna boat you can bathe in the boat’s sauna, hold meetings, or party with a small group of friends or family.
TUNE IN TO THE ATMOSPHERE ON AN INLAND WATERWAY CRUISE
Larger water bodies are worth experiencing on cruises. Lake Vanajavesi is the central lake of the Vanajavesi route and is located between Hattula and Hämeenlinna. The main part of the Vanjavesi route is 20 kilometres long and 15 kilometres wide. Water from the numerous lakes of the Kalvola and Loppi regions flows into Lake Vanajavesi.
During the summertime, several cruise boats operate along the Vanajavesi route, offering return trips, cruises and a host of other travel experiences. You can take a trip on these historic and atmospheric inland waterway vessels operated by the Hopealinja tour company from, for example, Hämeenlinna to Tampere or Visavuori.
Lady Moon cruises introduce the Hämeenlinna region viewed from the perspective of inland waterways. The cruise route can follow, for example, an old timber-rafting channel, now surrounded by industry and harbours: mansions and Häme’s beautiful landscapes line the route.
If you want to experience something more special, you might want to rent a sauna boat with your friends, family or work mates. Enjoy a beautiful summer’s day in the sauna and relax in the hot tub on the boat departing from the heart of the city of Hämeenlinna, quickly emerging onto the open expanse of lake Vanajavesi.
TAKE A DIP IN AN ICE HOLE
One of the most exotic things to do in the winter in Häme is ice swimming. Dipping into the freezing water in a hole cut in a frozen lake is certainly one of the rarer life experiences for many; at least if you have not done it before.
Hot sauna warms up the body after an icy dip, until it is time to return to the icy water and take another dip. Many people say that a hot sauna combined with dipping in icy water is addictive and once done you do not want to stop.
Ice swimming is not only a special experience, but it has been proven to increase well-being. According to various studies, swimming in the cold can reduce stress when the body’s endorphins make you feel good and relieve fatigue.
Our numerous lakes have a lot of underwater life. Fishing is one of the most popular outdoor activities. However, fishing requires a permit, but permits can easily be obtained locally. Angling (fishing with a rod and a fixed length of line) and ice fishing are usually free of charge and do not require a permit.
The easiest way to fish is to get a fishing rod and appropriate bait. Dig up worms or buy bait from a fishing shop; some of the larger supermarkets even stock refrigerated worms!
Ice fishing is fishing in the winter through a hole made in the ice of a frozen lake. A hole is made by drilling into the ice of the lake, then lowering a weighted fishing line into the icy water below. Ice fishing is a fun activity for the entire family but requires appropriate warm clothing and fishing equipment.
To the lake and the shore
Aulanko Outdoors rent various equipment for enjoying the waters in Aulanko, Hämeenlinna.
Erärenki rents equipment for enjoying the waters in Tammela.
Jalolautta rents a sauna boat on a private lake and also SUP boards in Loppi.
Hopealinja cruise takes you from Hämeenlinna all the way to Tampere.
Lady Moon cruises take you to the waves of Vanajavesi.
M/S Vanaja sauna board takes you out into the waters from the Port of Hämeenlinna
Hämeen luontokeskus serves in the Ruostejärvi recreation area in Tammela.
Ahvenisto area has an ice swimming hole in winter, and an open air pool in summer, as well as the city’s most popular beach.
Häme nature sights are mainly on the shores of lakes.
Rent a cottage by the lake, and enjoy the peace of nature and fresh waters.