Attractions

Top Choice Museum in Lake Pielinen

Paateri

Between Vuonislahti and Vuonisjärvi, Paateri was the home and workshop of Eva Ryynänen (1915–2001), Finland’s most respected wood sculptor – as well as her greatest work, Paateri Wilderness Church (1991). Carved flo…
Top Choice Museum in Joensuu

Carelicum

Themed displays – on the region’s prehistory, its war-torn past, the Karelian evacuation, the importance of the sauna etc – cover both sides of Karelia's present-day border at this excellent museum. Highlights inclu…
Village in Ilomantsi

Parppeinvaara

Karelian traditions are celebrated at this little village 2km south of Ilomantsi. It's named for bard and kantele player Jaakko Parppei (1792–1885), whose songs inspired the Kalevala epic. Listen to the harpsichord-…
Historic Building in Hattuvaara

Taistelijan Talo

The striking wooden Taistelijan Talo was designed by Joensuu architect Erkki Helasvuo in 1988 to symbolise the meeting of East and West. On the ground floor, the restaurant (buffet €19) offers an excellent all-day K…
Island in Lake Pielinen

Paalasmaa

Lake Pielinen's largest island, Paalasmaa, is the highest in Finland at 225m above sea level. The best view is from the 18m-high wooden observation tower, 3km along a marked trail from the Paalasmaan Lomamajat campg…
Museum in Joensuu

Joensuu Bunker Museum

Situated 8.5km northwest of the city centre, off Rd 9, this outdoor museum is part of the Suomen Salpa ('Finland's Bolt'). Built between the Winter War and the Continuation War, the 1200km-long defence line was cons…
Village in Nurmes

Bomba Village

The centrepiece of this recreated Karelian 'village' encompassing the Sokos Hotel Bomba is the imposing Bomba Talo, with its high roof and ornate wooden trim. It's a replica of a typical 19th-century Karelian family…
Museum in Lieksa

Pielisen Museo

More than 70 Karelian buildings and open-air exhibits at this outdoor museum are organised by century or trade (such as farming, milling and fire-fighting). A fascinating insight into the forestry industry includes …
Winery in Ilomantsi

Hermanni Winery

Finland's oldest winery was established in 1989. You can chat about the fascinating wine-making process and buy bottles, although due to Finnish alcohol laws, you’ll need to visit an Alko liquor shop if you want buy…
Gardens in Joensuu

Perhos-Botania

Founded in 1957, Joensuu's botanic gardens contain over 600 plant species in four separate areas: desert, tropical, sub-tropical and temperate. Highlights include a 570-sq-metre glass-paned greenhouse (with a butter…