Welcome to North Karelia
Criss-crossed by dusty gravel roads, Finland’s sparsely populated frontier has some of Finland’s most abundant wildlife. Its strong Russian influence is evident in striking Orthodox churches: North Karelia was fought over for centuries by Sweden and Russia, with fierce fighting during the Winter and Continuation Wars. You’ll often stumble across trenches, old battlegrounds and memorials to the fallen inside the quiet forests.
Just beyond North Karelia, Kuhmo, in central Finland, also has a Karelian heritage, though it’s not strictly part of this province.