Finland's Most Stunning National Parks

| © Iurii Buriak / Alamy
Jessica Wood

If there’s one thing Finland should be considered best for, it’s stunning natural landscapes, which range from snow-covered tundra to sunbathed islands. A short visit or overnight stay to any one of Finland’s 40 national parks is worth it for the unforgettable scenery, but these are some of the top parks across the country which will really leave you breathless.

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1. Hossa

Park

Moor landscape with conifers, sunset red, pink clouds in the sky, Hossa National Park, Ruhtinansa, Suomussalmi, Kainuu, Finland
© Gerhard Zwerger-Schoner / imageBROKER / Alamy

Hossa is the newest national park in Finland. It was designated with national park status on June 16th, 2017, to coincide with Finland’s 100 years of independence. It’s actually highly surprising that this move didn’t come about sooner, as Hossa has ideal conditions for hikers, climbers and kayakers. It’s also home to amazing wildlife, including some of the best fishing opportunities in Finland.

2. Koli

Park

Idyllic landscape with path and primeval forest at summer morning in Koli, Finland
© Jani Riekkinen / Alamy

This North Karelian national park is well-known for unique and beautiful clifftop views overlooking pristine forests and lakes; they’ve been inspiring artists, writers and composers since pre-history. During the summer, it’s a popular location for renting summer cabins for fishing and boating; in the winter, it becomes a ski resort. By taking a walk on the trails you can discover ancient Finn-Pagan sites such as The Devil’s Church.

3. Oulanka

Park

Bridge in wilderness of Oulanka national park Finland - 2CGNNHM
© sahan.ssw / Alamy
Oulanka frequently appears on best national parks in Europe lists; it earns this reputation with a range of rivers, cliffs, forests and waterfalls. See the hanging bridges, go canoeing through the rapids or showshoe in the winter. Oulanka is ideal for adventure-lovers and provides some of the best nature photography in Finland – if not in all of Europe.

4. Riisitunturi

Park

Winter in Riisitunturi National Park, Lapland, Finland
© Peter Adams Photography / Alamy

Another Lapland park, Riisitunturi has the finest raised bogs in Europe and miles of spruce-covered land and cliffs. In the winter, these trees become fully coated with snow, providing an eerie yet fascinating photo opportunity. You can tackle this national park either by foot, on cross country skis, or even by snowmobile.

5. Pallas-Yllästunturi

Park

Lake Yllasjarvi from KeskisenlakiFell, taiga forest:Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris), Norway Spruce (Picea abies) and mountain birch (Betula pubescens ssp. czerepanovii), on the ground: Mountain Crowberry (Empetrum nigrum subsp. hermaphroditum), Cowberry (V
© AGF Srl / Alamy
Among the northernmost, largest and oldest parks in Finland, Pallas-Yllästunturi has the freshest air in Europe. This is why the area is frequently used by researchers to learn how to improve global air quality. There are also fells, mountain peaks and Lappish villages, which all make for particularly good skiing. In addition, the park provides some rare chances to see Arctic animal species.

6. Archipelago

Park

Aerial view of rural summer landscape in archipelago sea in southern Finland.
© Jarmo Piironen / Alamy

A national park stretches across much of the southwestern archipelago, making it the largest in the world. By renting your own boat, you can explore the labyrinth of islands. If you prefer sticking to the trails, you can also see miles of clear Baltic scenery on the ferries and hike or cycle between the quaint islands.

7. Teijo

Park

Summer lake scene at hiking trail in Teijo national park, Salo, Finland. Trees and the Matildajarvi lake.
© Jarmo V / Alamy

Located in southwest Finland (close to both Helsinki and Turku), Teijo is notable not only for the serene and peaceful scenery, but the local heritage of ironworks, much of which you can still see today in the former ironworker villages. There are also local traditional crafts for sale, as well as marshes, birdwatching, and fresh herbs to pick.

8. Torronsuo

Park

Scenic view from swamp with wooden path at autumn morning in Torronsuo National park, Finland
© EyeEm / Alamy

Somewhat more unusual for Finland, Torronsuo stands upon Finland’s largest and deepest swampland which creates unique visuals. The swamps can be crossed safely on trails of duckboards, and during the spring and autumn you can see the migrating cranes and geese from the observation platforms. The scenery still becomes blanketed by snow during the winter and covered in beautiful flowers during the spring.

9. Eastern Gulf of Finland

Natural Feature, Park

Haapasaari/Finland: Natural reserve and easternmost border of Europe
© Philipp Zechner / Alamy

This coastal park close to Helsinki offers sea views, marvellous plant life and scores of migrating birds. In the surrounding villages, you can hear local war stories and tales of old-time smugglers. If you’re lucky, you might even spot the Baltic seals. This national park is an ideal place for boating, or just getting out of Helsinki for a day.

10. Repovesi

Park

Beautiful landscape with icy lake in the national park Repovesi, Finland
© Elena Noeva / Alamy

Arguably the most stunningly beautiful national park in Finland, Repovesi offers a combination of forests, lakes and cliffs, all populated with local wildlife and cabins for rent. You can take in all of this scenery at once from the Mustalamminvuori Hill observation tower. The impressive hanging bridge is particularly worth seeing, while the hand-operated ferry is quite an experience.

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