Skate your way around Finland’s lakes and seas

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Much better than travelling around in circles on a man made ice rink, tour skating not only gets you out into remote, tranquil snow-drenched natural scenery, but also gives you a hefty dose of exercise in crisp, clean and fresh air

Tour skating in Finland is breathtaking – in both senses of the word.

Much better than travelling around in circles on a man made ice rink, tour skating not only gets you out into remote, tranquil snow-drenched natural scenery, but also gives you a hefty dose of exercise in crisp, clean and fresh air.

Åland ferry
The ferry coming in. Photo by freddie boy

With its almost 200,000 lakes and thousand kilometres of coastline, Finland is the ideal place to try the sport. The tour skating season runs between January and April. During that time there’s no shortage of skatable ice, particularly in the Lakeland and Baltic Sea regions.

Slemmern in Mariehamn
Between January and March the sea bays, such as Slemmern in Mariehamn, freeze over. Photo by Ichjejag

Åland area

Åland is a cluster of Finnish islands in the Baltic Sea. All skating here takes place on sea ice – so while beautiful, it’s can be an unpredictable spot. The best part of tour skating here is the absence of snow. In other locations tracks have to be dug into the snow, but in Åland skaters are completely free in where they want to go. We can’t think of another place where you can strap a pair of skates on and cruise between the islands of an archipelago.

Skiing on Lake Kallavesi. Photo by jlz
Skiing on Lake Kallavesi. Photo by jlz
Finland Ice Marathon
The Finland Ice Marathon. Photo by Aken kuvia

Kuopio area

The city of Kuopio lies by Lake Kallavesi. Every winter residents set up a track on the lake, which is home to the country’s premier tour skating event – the Finland Ice Marathon (info in English here). The event mixes competitive long distance races with recreational routes. A number of other activities like moonlight skating are run in conjunction.

Olavinlinna Castle, Savonlinna
Savonlinna’s beautiful Olavinlinna Castle, which dates from 1475. Photo by palooja
Linnansaari National Park
Linnansaari National Park. Photo by ouluarct

Savonlinna area

The town of Savonlinna sits on the shore of Finland’s biggest lake, the Saimaa. Located just half an hour away is Linnansaari National Park, home of Finland’s longest tour skating route.

Written by insider city guide series Hg2 | A Hedonist’s guide to…

Skate your way around Finland’s lakes and seas was last modified: June 26th, 2019 by Brett Ackroyd
Author: Brett Ackroyd (631 posts)

Brett hopes to one day reach the shores of far-flung Tristan da Cunha, the most remote of all the inhabited archipelagos on Earth…as to what he’ll do when he gets there, he hasn’t a clue. Over the last 10 years, London, New York, Cape Town and Pondicherry have all proudly been referred to as home. Now it’s Copenhagen’s turn, where he lends his travel expertise to momondo.com.