When to visit Koli

Four seasons in one destination

Nature and scenery in Koli change every season - and they captivate visitors all year round. This area, with the oldest bedrock in Europe, has been around for three billion years, and is a unique destination at any time of the year.

Living Finnish summer traditions

In June, the day is at its longest, and the flower meadows in the Koli National Park are in full bloom. Through summer until late autumn you can enjoy the cooling water of Lake Pielinen and its many islands and sandy beaches. In the Ruunaa Hiking Area you can experience thrilling whitewater rafting. People on summer holiday come to stay in the cottages in the region, barbecue, go to sauna and enjoy hiking and horseback riding. In the Koli National Park sheep, horses and kyyttö, the traditional Eastern Finncattle cows, graze in the cultural landscape and bring joy to the visitors.

Summer in Koli is also a cultural summer! Lieksa Brass Week, Monola Festival, Pielinen Soi Festival, summer theaters and outdoor activity events provide joyful experiences – something to remember long after the holiday is over.

Koli in autumn is hiker's paradise

The landscape of Koli is famous for its autumn colours: when the cold nights arrive in September the leaves of birch trees, rowans and aspens turn to many shades of yellow, red and orange. These deciduous trees are abundant in the forests of the region as a result of slash and burn agriculture. The over one hundred kilometre long route and trail network leads hikers up to the high hills from where magnificent, breathtaking views covering hundreds of square kilometres open up. Autumn also brings more events to the region. In September, you can enjoy the music of Koli Ruska Blues. In October, the best Finnish trail runners are crowned in the Marathon of Dangers trails running event.

Snow-sure winter

The ski resort with longest slopes and vertical drop in Southern Finland, the country's most beautiful cross-country skiing events and skiing trails, and majestic snow covered trees make Koli an idyllic winter destination. The cross-country ski season begins early in Koli and in the neighbouring municipality of Kontiolahti where there is a cooled ski track in the biathlon stadium. In the middle of winter, the longest official ice road in the inland waters in Europe between Koli and Vuonislahti is a great experience in itself, with 40 metres of water under the ice and your car! Koli is especially well suited for snowshoeing: steep hills and height differences and thick snow cover make Koli a snowshoer’s dream destination.

Light green spring

Winter lasts for a long time in Koli. The ski slopes in Koli face east and north which guarantees that you can do downhill skiing long into spring. When the snow melts, the steep hills of Koli are full with the sound of burbling and gurgling water! Nature wakes up and birdsong dawn chorus concerts are in full swing. At least 4 078 species have been observed in the Koli National Park, more than in any other Finnish National Park. In April and May, companies, organisations and societies come to Koli to hold meetings and make plans. Small meetings can be held, for example, in a cozy wooden hut over a campfire meal. For bigger gatherings the auditorium in the Nature Centre Ukko seats up to 200 people 

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