The city of Kuopio in the heart of Finnish Lakeland is well known for its stunning lakes, as the city is located on a strip of land between two huge freshwater systems. The entire surrounding region is also covered in beautiful lakes that are perfect for boating, fishing, sunbathing or nature photography. These are some of the best spots in and around Kuopio for taking the best lakeside photos, or just for relaxing.
Puijo Observation Tower
Your first stop for marvellous views should definitely be the observation tower on Puijo Hill overlooking the city, which is known as one of the best panoramic views in all of Finland. From the tower, you can see the entire city, and when the sky is clear, you can see further to the lakes and countryside for miles around. For the very best views, take a pair of binoculars with you to see what you can spot.
Kuopio relies on its main harbour for trade and transport, but it is also a pleasant place to stroll or take in the lake views. You can watch the latest fishing catch come in or the cruise ships leaving to tour the rest of Lakeland. There are a number of cafés and restaurants on the harbour, and events in the summer such as the Kuopio Wine Festival.
This resort hotel just outside of Kuopio has everything from the world’s largest smoke sauna to a lumberjack show, and is also an ideal spot for relaxing next to the lake. If you stay in the hotel, you can wake up to the gorgeous lake views, or take a dip in the cool waters after a sauna.
This is a lakeside beach on the southern tip of Kuopio, which is ideal for escaping from the city for a while and taking in the summer sunshine. The lake waters are clean enough for swimming and fishing as well, making it a good place to cool off during a summer heatwave. You can get a good view of the boats on the lake, go for a stroll or enjoy an ice cream at the kiosk.
This is a nature conservation area close to the Rauhalahti resort that contains some short but impressive hiking trails that skirt the lakesides. There you can see where the centuries-old forests meet the lakes and feel completely immersed in nature.
Of all the tiny islands on the lakes near Kuopio, this is one of the best and most scenic. It also contains some short nature trails for taking in the view of the island and the lake. If you’re interested in dendrology, take a field guide with you to identify all the different plants and trees on the island, as there are over 100 different species growing here.
Neulamäki recreation area
This is a large nature reserve with three hiking trails of different difficulties, all of which offer lake views. The short hike up to the tallest hill is worth it for the view, as is the hike to the Yolida lake beach.
You can take this long road through one of Kuopio’s wealthier districts with a remarkable view of the lake; it’s also known as one of the best places in the city for a scenic drive, bike ride or long walk. There are a few rest stops along the road, some with kiosks, where you can take a closer look to see how modern Kuopio sits alongside the lake.
This berry farm and winery to the east of Kuopio is a popular stop on summer cruises for a wine tasting, as it is only a half-hour trip from the harbour by boat. While enjoying the wines, you can also take in the tranquil lake views and see the city of Kuopio from the opposite shore. It is the perfect spot for relaxing in the summertime.
This town to the southwest of Kuopio, separated by water, is a half-day’s bike ride from the main city. Along this route, you can take in all the best views of the Kallavesi lake system that surrounds Kuopio, and will find a remarkable view waiting for you at the end.