Nov 20, 2012 08:01 GMT Pack a thermos with cocoa in your backpack and prepare for an amazing day out.
Skate Your Way Through Finland’s Lakes and SeasNov 20, 2012 08:01 GMT
Tour skating is a great way to spend sunny winter days outdoors. Finland’s Lakeland and the Baltic Sea around Åland are ideal for speeding through breath-taking national landscapes on a pair of skates.
Tour skating is pure fun in fresh air and accessible to people of all ages and skill levels. Nearly 200 000 lakes and a thousand kilometers of coastline make sure there’s no shortage of skatable ice in wintertime Finland.
The tour skating season in Finland spans from January to April, give or take a few weeks. See our tips on where to go and get your glide on!
Savonlinna area location on map
Savonlinna is a gem of a town on the shore of Finland’s biggest lake, the Saimaa. Skating on Lake Saimaa is at its best in the Linnansaari National Park half an hour from town. Feeling strong? Try Finland’s longest tour skating route.
In Punkaharju, a village by the Saimaa, Harjun Portti maintains a 15-kilometre-long skating track, and rents out equipment as well as cottages.
Kuopio Area location on map
The city of Kuopio lies by Lake Kallavesi, on the ice of which a skating track takes shape every winter. Open to all skating enthusiasts, the highlight of the tour skating year is Finland Ice Marathon.
During the Ice Marathon – its 30th edition this year – a number of side events like moonlight skating and children’s skating also take place. The café at Kuopio harbour will keep skaters refreshed through the day.
See Visit Lakeland for more on travel in the Kuopio area.
Åland location on map
Åland, an autonomous cluster of Finnish islands in the Baltic Sea, is a superb but rather unpredictable tour skating destination. As there are no inland waters in Åland, all skating takes place on sea ice and is dependent on the weather gods.
But when it’s good, it’s great! There’s hardly ever any snow on the ice, which means no tracks and being able to skate anywhere you want. The spectacular experience of cruising the beautiful archipelago on a pair of skates is something that just has to be felt – no description does it justice.
Themed routes are a unique feature in Åland. Try the cultural tour from Kastelholm Castle to the fortress ruins in Bomarsund, for instance.
NOTE: Tour skating is a fun and perfectly safe activity. However, unless you’re an experienced skater and familiar with the route you’ll be taking, never head out alone.