Welcome to Lake Saimaa!
You will have to make a little effort to get here, but don’t worry, you will find us. Once arrived, leave your hurry behind. In our area, there are also plenty of other things to do beyond paddling, and you won’t spend your precious time travelling from one place to another. Come here, have a look, take it in, feel well, relax and calm down. Apply our local recipe to happiness.
When you come to us by car on by bike you need to travel by ferry. The ferry is free and runs all year round and around the clock. More information: Hätinvirta Ferry
Mikkeli 80 km
Savonlinna 88 km
It´s possible to get here by public transport. You can fly to Helsinki and take a train or a bus to Mikkeli and then a bus from Mikkeli to Puumala. From Puumala you need to take a taxi or we will pick you up. We locate about 10 km from Puumala village.
Taxi Number: + 358 601 10031
Coordinates: 61°27’18.8″N 28°08’53.0″E
On Lake Saimaa, you are paddling in freshwater, but it is not just an insignificant little pond. Lake Saimaa is the biggest of the many lakes in Finland, and it is the fourth biggest lake in Europe with a surface area of 4 377 km2. If you were to cover the entire lake shoreline, it would measure at least 14 850 km. If you like island-spotting, there are 13 710 islands to discover. Lake Saimaa is a labyrinth, the haven that invites you to great adventures.
Lake Saimaa is not an empty wilderness. Lakeside inhabitants even live on islands without road access from the mainland. There are permanent residents like ourselves, living by the lakeside, but also many, who enjoy staying in their own or rented cottages. As the lake is so vast, you can paddle in your own realm without seeing another soul. If you appreciate being in nature with less encounters with others, we recommend a canoeing trip in the spring, early summer or in the autumn. Instead, if you like the lively buzz, your best paddling time is in July.
Lake Saimaa is a safe place
Finland, and Lake Saimaa in particular, is one of the safest places on earth for travelling.
Here you can be outdoors and camp safely either using designated campsites or respecting the legal concept of Everyman’s Right (see Everyman´s right.) A good mobile network exists practically everywhere in the Saimaa area, so access is possible, when needed.
Our fauna is very diverse. You get to observe many bird species, perhaps the very rare, endemic Saimaa ringed seal or an elk. If you are lucky, you may also spot a bear, a wolf or a lynx. All wild animals in Finland usually shy away from human beings, and normally, they pose no threat to humans. It is rare to see them, but we can recommend to you specific places for observation.
A few snake species live in Finland, and one of them, the common European viper (also called adder), is venomous. If you have no special health problems, a snake bite is usually not dangerous. Snake bites are very rare, but if you think you were bitten, we recommend to see a doctor.
There are no venomous insects that pose a threat to a healthy person in Finland, either.
Our most dangerous wild animal is the tick, as ticks can carry tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) and borreliosis (Lyme’s disease). Use adequate clothing to protect yourself and do a daily tick inspection.
You can read our canoeing safety instructions here: Saimaa Canoeing Safety Instructions
The conditions on Lake Saimaa differ depending on the season, therefore safety precautions vary, too.
Look at a brief presentation of seasons here Lake Saimaa and its seasons
When you arrive and wish to canoe on Lake Saimaa, we will take good care of you. We similarly take care of our unique living environment. Our biggest wish for you is the following:
Please, do not leave any marks in the nature of Lake Saimaa, but let it leave its imprint in you.
This link gives you 10 excellent tips on how you can be a responsible traveller in the Lake Saimaa area: Vastuullisen matkailijan opas (Guidebook for Sustainable Travel)
Puumala is our tiny little village, and we would proudly like to introduce you to everything it has to offer. Even if you do not want to go canoeing, it is still worth coming to Puumala.
Get to know Puumala and its life: www.visitpuumala.fi
”Sisämaan luonto on yksitoikkoinen, se täytyy myöntää, yksitoikkoinen matkailijalle, joka tahtoo pikajunan vauhdilla kiiruhtaa nähtävästä paikasta toiseen. Näköalat eivät vaikuta valtaavasti, ei ole suurenmoisia, voimakkaita kuvia, joista hurmaannuttaisiin, taulu on toisensa kaltainen; varjostukset ja vivahdukset saattavat vaihdella, mutta pääluonne on sama. Nopealla höyrylaivamatkalla näitä järviä pitkin ei myöskään opi tuntemaan näitä seutuja, siihen täytyy panna runsaammin aikaa. Silloin vasta taulut tulevat eläviksi, tunkeutuvat katsojan koko olemukseen ja yhtyvät kokonaisiksi; silloin yksitoikkoisuus haihtuu, kuvan yhtäläisyys jää huomaamatta, sillä eipä silloin enää etsitä silmin katseltavia tauluja, vaan ympäristöä tai kehystä niille niille tunteille ja ajatuksille, joita häiriötön, puhdas, tyyni luonto herättää. ”
(toht. August Ramsay. Kesämatkoilla kanootissa 1891)