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When to travel?

The four seasons of the tourist area

Koli’s rugged hill landscapes and nature come alive with different seasons. Formed more than two billion years ago, the hills delight and amaze hundreds of thousands of visitors throughout the year. Koli always offers its visitors an experience, but the different seasons add their own spice to the experience.

Finnish summer tradition blooms

In June, the days are at their longest, and the flower-filled meadows of Koli National Park are at their most vibrant.

During the summer in Koli, people enjoy the waves of Lake Pielinen, the islands, and shores, as well as rafting along the Ruunaa hiking area well into the late autumn. Locals vacation in the region’s many cottages, barbecue, sauna, hike, and ride horses. Koli National Park welcomes sheep, horses, and cattle as summer residents, grazing in the cultural landscape and delighting hikers.

Koli’s summer is also a cultural season! Events like Lieksa Brass Week, Monola Celebration Week, Teatteri-Koli, Koli Trek Week, and Pielinen Soi Festival offer joy and thoughtful entertainment even after the holiday season.

Autumn is the golden time for hikers

Koli’s landscapes are famous for their autumn colors: birches, rowans, and aspens paint the region’s forests in shades of yellow, red, and orange during the autumn, thanks to the abundant slash-and-burn agriculture. A network of over a hundred kilometers of trails and paths guides hikers to high ridges, offering hundreds of square kilometers to admire at once.

Autumn brings more events to the area. In September, there’s enjoyment in Koli Ruska Blues and Vaarojen MTB (Mountain Biking), while in October, Finland’s trail running champions are crowned at Vaarojen Maraton (Marathon of Heights).

Guaranteed snow

The southernmost Finland’s longest and largest elevation difference offer skiing slopes, the country’s most beautiful skiing events, and cross-country skiing trails. Each winter, the landscapes, covered in heavy snow, create an idyllic winter destination in Koli.

The cross-country skiing season opens earlier in Koli or nearby at Kontiolahti Biathlon Stadium’s snow-covered trails than in other regions.

During midwinter, a car trip on Europe’s longest official inland ice road is already an exhilarating experience, with 40 meters of water beneath the car and the ice surface! Koli is particularly suitable for snowshoeing: the elevation differences and deep snow make Koli a dream destination for snowshoers.

Bright green spring

Winter lasts a long time in Koli. The orientation of Koli’s slopes towards the east and north ensures that skiing can continue well into the spring.

When the snow melts, there’s a distinct gurgling and trickling from Koli’s steep slopes! Nature awakens, and the bird concerts intensify – Koli National Park has been observed to have at least 4,078 species, more than in any other Finnish national park.

In April and May, many communities come to Koli to plan for the future and hold meetings. New ideas can be brainstormed in small groups around a campfire or in larger gatherings in the Koli Nature Centre Ukko’s auditorium, which accommodates up to 200 people.