Nature attractions

The Koli landscape

Our most beloved national landscape

  • The national landscape seen from atop the hills of Koli is the most beloved one in Finland. Generation after generation make the climb to have their picture taken on the peak of Koli.
  • The Koli landscape, which became a symbol of Finnish citizenship more than a hundred years ago, has enchanted artists and ordinary people from one decade to the next. 
  • The distance from Koli Freetime to Ukko-Koli is 13 km. 

The Koli national park

The oldest bedrock in Europe

  • The diverse Koli national park features stunning views, the oldest bedrock in Europe, remains of slash-and-burn agriculture, and amazing sandy beaches on the islands of Lake Pielinen. 
  • The ancient rocks tell an exceptionally vivid story about the history of the earth, the shifting continental plates, the formation of mountain ranges, and erosion occurring over millions of years.
  • The current peaks of Koli – the tallest in Southern Finland – are a remnant of the Karelides mountain range, which is thought to have reached altitudes of over four kilometres.

The Koli nature centre Ukko

Your guide in the Koli national park

  • At the heart of the Koli national park, you are served by the Koli nature centre Ukko.
  • The centre shows you the best-known and most beloved national landscape in Finland, as well as the hilly nature and traditional environments of Eastern Finland.  
  • The centre features the camping supply and souvenir shop Koli Shop Retkitupa and the Vakka café.

Crown snow landscapes

The best place in Southern Finland

  • The slopes rising steeply up from the lake Pielinen are covered in heavy snow and considered the most popular mid-winter attractions at Koli.
  • The Koli hills are the southernmost places in Finland where heavy crown snow can be seen every winter.
  • You can see these sights yourself by doing an image search with the terms "Koli crown snow".

The Räsävaara observation tower

The unknown great of Koli

  • The Räsävaara tower offers you some of the most impressive sights in the region, with views opening up over the Koli national park and fell range.
  • The wide landscape features for example Paalasmaa, which is the tallest island in Finland and the largest island in lake Pielinen.
  • You will find signs pointing to the Räsävaara tower before the Koli village. There is a shelter and fire pit next to the parking area


The giant Koli stone fall

  • From the Ryläys overlook, you can catch a western view of the national park hills and the lake Pielinen glimmering beyond them.
  • An impressive stone field resembling a stone fall can be discovered on the slope of the fell.
  • There is a hut with a fire pit and an observation tower near the overlook. Ryläys is about 2.4 km by foot from the nearest parking area in Jero.

The longest ice road in Europe from Koli to Vuonislahti

Only when clear ice is over 40 cm thick

  • The Koli-Vuonislahti ice road The ice road crossing lake Pielinen to the village of Vuonislahti is the longest official inland water ice road in Europe (7 km).
  • The road usually opens in mid-January and closes at the end of March.
  • The 20 metres wide ploughed ice road is worth experiencing, even for Finns.
  • See a video about the ice road.

Koli hilltops from Lake Pielinen

See the Koli hilltops from a new direction

  • The hydrofoil ship SuviExpress cruises on Lake Pielinen and travels regularly between Koli, Vuonislahti, and Lieksa.
  • You can see the Koli hilltops from a canoe or kayak on the lake too – this perspective gives them an entirely new look. You can rent boats and canoes on Lake Pielinen at for example the Koli harbour.

Other sighs

Culture and sites to visit at Koli and close by

  • You can find a more comprehensive listing of nature sites on the web page.
  • Other locations to visit in Koli, Lieksa, Juuka, and North Karelia are listed on the web page.   

The region’s cultural offerings can be found in the culture section of the web page