Lake Saimaa, Linnansaari National Park and Saimaa ringed seals

Lake Saimaa is like an inland archipelago with waters clear and fresh! The water is so clean you can drink it directly from the lake! It covers a surface area of 4400km and the shoreline amounts to 13,700 km and there are about 13,710 islands in the lake.

Sofia Nature Travels
Picture: Sofia Carter

At the end of June I was lucky enough to spend 5 days in this lakeland region of Finland, where we have our newest canoe tour: Canoeing in Linnansaari National Park.

Picture: Sofia Carter
Picture: Sofia Carter

Linnansaari National Park lies in a part of the vast Saimaa Lake System. The park was established in 1956 and covers 96 square kilometres. The park includes a watery labyrinth of channels, bays and islands as well as open waters.

Linnansaari National Park is home to about 50 of the Saimaa Ringed Seals.

Picture: SEO
Picture: SEO

The Saimaa Ringed Seal is one of the most endangered species in the world, with just 310 individuals. Although their numbers have increased since a low in the 1980s, sadly they remain under imminent threat of extinction. It is therefore very important to increase the population of ringed seals. For more information, please see

Picture: SEO
Picture: SEO

In and around Linnansaari the Osprey population densities are very high, with 10-20 pairs breeding in the area annually. You can easily spot their large nests up in the pine trees.

Camping is allowed at fixed spots in several locations around the park. There is a campsite on the island is Sammakkoniemi that has simple cabins for rent, a sauna, a small cafe and an area where tents can be set up.

Picture: Sofia Carter
Picture: Sofia Carter

This is a paddlers paradise! Glide through the beautiful island landscape! Go swimming! Pick wild berries and mushrooms! Catch delicious fresh fish from the clear waters! Camp out! Watch the sunsets!

Picture: Sofia Carter
Picture: Sofia Carter

Linnansaari needs the support of visitors to area to generate income and maintain its protected status, so by travelling to this beautiful area you are helping to support its conservation and hopefully safeguard the future of the Saimaa Ringed Seal!

Sofia from the Nature Travels Team


2 thoughts on “Lake Saimaa, Linnansaari National Park and Saimaa ringed seals

  1. I am following all your posts…. Just came back from a 7 days canoe trip in this lake area (Kolovesi-Joutenvesi -Linnansaari).
    It is a beautiful area. It is a paddlers paradise and also quite a challenging island-labyrinth for navigation 🙂
    Ringed Seals are really hard to spot in the summer (Have not seen any during my trip) and maybe it is better for them. The less we see them, the longer they survive …

    1. Hi Meczek,

      I agree it is a really beautiful area!
      The best time to see the seals is in the spring time when they come up on to the shore to scratch as they are changing from their winter to their summer fur.

      But you’re right it is probably right that they are difficult to a spot as it allows us to share their area without to much disturbance to them.

      / Sofia from the Nature Travels team.

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