Getting there & away
Joensuu is a transport hub for North Karelia so there are regular buses to all points, departing from the bus terminal east of the river. Services include Kuopio (€23.20, 2½ hours), Savonlinna (€22.90, three hours), Jyväskylä (€36.90, four hours), Helsinki (€58.50, eight hours) via Mikkeli, Ilomantsi (€11.50, one to two hours) and Nurmes (€20.50, 2½ hours). For Kuhmo, change at Nurmes or Sotkamo.
In summer the MS Vinkeri II operates twice weekly from Joensuu to Koli (one way/return €30/45, 6½ hours), from where you can connect with another ferry to Lieksa, across Lake Pielinen. The ferry departs at 9am on Saturday, returning from Koli at 12.10pm Sunday. You can also return the same evening from Koli to Joensuu on a bus. Book with Saimaa Ferries (481 244; www.saimaaferries.fi).
There are several flights a day between Helsinki and Joensuu. The airport is 11km west of town; bus service one way is €5 and departs from the Sokos Hotel Kimmel 50 minutes before every departure. A taxi is €15.