Welcome to Paddle on Lake Saimaa!


WildCanoe operates in the Eastern Finland, where Lake Saimaa is situated. It's an enormous network of lakes and rivers and often called "the Paradise of Paddlers"; because of the clean water, thousands of islands, small rivers, and rich nature.

Our recommended canoe tours are suitable for all. The shorter tours are propriate to the families with children and the persons who have never paddled. And if you are an adventurer there are lot of challengies like the Hennemann Route. The paddling technics are tested and guided before your tour. All the equipment is suitable for beginners, therefore safe and easy to use.


Some Essential Rules of Everyman's Right

Rule 1: For one night you can put your tent up where ever you want, just do not go too close to the houses. We recommend you to use marked places for tents by the canoe routes we recommend.
Rule 2: You can make fire only on marked places, but you can use a camping cooker freely.

Here is more information about the Everyman's Right. And for the national parks there are special rules which we go through before your tour.


The Canoe Season

Our season is starts from the first of May and the ends in October. The early summer, about until the middle of June, is good time for canoeing. Whole nature awakes to fresh life after the long winter and is at its fairest. In the middle of the summer it is warm and the evenings are bright. From July until mid-August water is usually nice and warm for swimming and perfect for canoeing.


WildCanoe Base Camp at the Lotjasaari Port in Anttola

The Saimaa routes start from Lotjasaari, Anttola (the address is Lotjasaari Port, FIN-52100 Mikkeli). In the center of Anttola there are some basic services available like pharmacy, bank, ATM, gas station, sport shop, two supermarkets, bakery, restaurant, cafe, and pub.

 

Our Favourite Canoeing Routes

Lake Saimaa is very big area and there are lot of different options to design your route. We sell a detailed map which help you with the route planning. The usual lenght of the day trip is about 10-15 km with a canoe. For preplanning we advice you to use Google Maps to calculate distances etc. Orienteering on lake area is relative easy, but still capability of map reading and using compass are essential. So, take a compass with you as a back-up.

We recommend the following canoeing routes: Lake Saimaa, Michael Hennemann's Route for real adventures and experienced paddlers, River Naarajoki, and Squirrel Route.

 


1. Lake Saimaa

Route: Base Camp (Lotjasaari, Anttola) - Lake Back Luonteri - Lake Back Lietvesi - Lake Back Yövesi (rock-paintings in Astuvansalmi) - small canals - Lake Back Louhivesi - Lake Back Paljavesi - Anttola Village
Lenght:
5-225 km
Profile: No canoe carrying, only lakes
Route Options: Tours along different routes and different lengths are possible. Design a route of your own! You can also canoe from Anttola to Mikkeli: the shorter route is 50 km/4 days and the longer 110 km/7 days. On the Google map we have marked:

  • - Black Route that we recommend for a week tour (about 112 km).
  • - Green Route is about 65 km (3-5 days)
  • - Blue Route 36-45 km (2-3 days).

Lotjasaari is an excellent starting place just next to the part of Saimaa that is especially rich in islands. Nature and water are clean and there are also some great cultural and natural sights in the area, like Hill Neitvuori, rock-paintings in Astuvansalmi, and two canals. You can move around in the area freely and camp in the free nature according the Everyman's Right. We sell the canoeing map of the area. All the services like the best camping places, cafes, and grocery stores are marked on it.

Saimaa seal. Here is some information of the endangered Saimaa Ringed Seal in English and in German.

 


2. Route Hennemann

This route is named after the German travel guide writer and photographer Michael Hennemann. He has specialized in exciting wilderness trips, especially in hiking and kayaking in Scandinavia (Sweden and Finland). He wrote a canoe guide: Südfinnische Seenplatte Canoe guidebook for southern Finland. There are some pictures of the route at his website (Kayaking in Southern Finland):

Route: Lotjasaari - Lake Saimaa, Bay Tikkalahti - Lake Saimaa, Bay Kokkosenlahti - Canoe carrying - Lake Korsijärvi - Lake Alajärvi - Lake Syysjärvi - Rapid Inkilänkoski - Lake Rautjärvi - Bay Karslahti - Rapid Kotukoski - Rapid Rävykoski: fishing (equipment and fishing permits are available on the spot) - Rapid Siikakoski - Lake Saimaa, Lake Back Enovesi - Lake Saimaa, Lake Back Siikavesi - Lake Saimaa, Lake Back Luonteri - Lotjasaari.
Lenght: about 70 km, 4-5 days (if 15 km/day).
Canoe carrying: about 300 m from Bay Kokkosenlahti to Lake Korsijärvi.
Profile: Several small lakes and rapids.

 


3. River Naarajoki

Marked Route: Naarajoki (near Pieksänmäki) - Haukivuori - Otava
Canoe carring: 2 times (50 m in Porsaskoski and 100 m in Läsäkoski)
Profile: drop is about 16 meters
Lenght: river part about 40 km + lake part about 70-100 km, first part mostly rivers, the rest lakes
Transportation fee of canoes/canoeists:
Anttola - Naarajoki (start point) and Otava (end point) - Anttola, 200 €
Route options: Different options: 1-8 days, 22-120 km
Examples:
- Lomatrio (Naarajoki) - Haukivuori, 60 km / 3-4 days
- Lomatrio (Naarajoki) - Otava, 120 km / 8 days

2 days/ 1 night:
- Lomatrio - Etelä-Aapeli - Porsaskoski (22 km + 9 km)
- Lomatrio - Etelä-Aapeli - Nykälä (22 km + 19 km)
- Lomatrio - Porsaskoski - Nykälä (30 km + 10 km)
- Lomatrio - Porsaskoski - Karjalainen (30 km + 20 km)

This route begins at Lomatrio camping site. Address: Kangasniementie 18, FIN-56850 Naarajärvi, not far from the town of Pieksämäki and runs through Haukivuori to Otava. The first 40 km consist mainly of rivers. This part which is completely marked takes about 1-2 days and it is suitable for families and children. Nature by the rivers is very eutrophic and beautiful. If you are lucky you may see for example a beaver. After the river part there are two large lakes, Kyyvesi and Puula that both are especially rich in islands. Lake Puula is well known because of its clear water. On the route there are several marked places for resting almost in every 10 km. Along the route you find also services like cafe and accommodation, like Koskentila tourist attraction. There are a cafe, a sauna (has to be booked before hand), old small buildings for accomodation (camping in a tent also possible) and possibilities to trout fishing.

Water situation for paddlers is usually good in Naarajoki Route. Only in dry summer there could be just enough water for Indian canoe between Porsaskoski and Nykälä.

 


4. Squirrel Route + Lake Saimaa

Route: Juva - Sulkava - Lake Saimaa
Lenght: The river part from Juva to Sulkava, 57 km, takes about 2 days. To paddle from Sulkava to Anttola takes 4-5 days.
Profile and canoe carrying: There are various small lakes, rivers and rapids along the Squirrel Route and the scenary changes from lush to rugged. The drop is about 10 meters and usually you have to carry your canoe twice (10 m and 15 m).

Squirrel Route & Aquatic nature trail is 57 km long river route which runs between Juva and Sulkava. The Squirrel Route is especially suitable for family outings. It's also the first biologically studied Finnish aquatic nature trail marked with information boards (21 pieces) which can be seen from the canoe, as well. The boards inform about the flora and fauna of the area and about the effect water and humans have on nature.

The river part ends to small town called Sulkava where you can continue your trip on Lake Saimaa, for ex. go from Sulkava via Puumala to Lotjasaari, Anttola.

More info about Squirrel Route.

 

Canoe rent

High Season: July and August (usually the best weather for canoeing)

Prices include Basic Equipment and instruction only, not transportation of canoes and canoeists. Transportation is always needed if you are not starting and ending you trip to Wild Canoe Base Camp in Anttola. Transportation fee is paid on the spot. The prices include VAT. Here is a collection of our canoe models and detailed pricelist: WildCanoe Prices (pdf).

Days 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Indian Canoe or
Kayak for two
100 € 130 € 160 € 190 € 220 € 250 € 280 €
Kayak for one 55 € 80 € 110 € 135 € 160 € 185 € 210 €

Green Season: May, June, September, and October

Days 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Indian Canoe or
Kayak for two
90 € 115 € 140 € 165 € 190 € 220 € 245 €
Kayak for one 50 € 70 € 90 € 110 € 130 € 150 € 170 €

Basic Equipment

Indian canoe or a kayak, paddles, vests for water sport, watertight packs, and a cover deck for kayak is included in the basic equipment rental price. The route map is not included, so you have to buy it separately: 20 € with the canoe rent, otherwise 40 €.

All the equipment is suitable for beginners, therefore safe and easy to use. Canoe wagons are not needed because you have to carry the canoe only rarely and very short distances. The rent includes also instructions and guiding for the route, which takes place in Anttola, Lotjasaari Port. If you have choosen River Naarajoki route, introduction could be arranged in Lomatrio camping place where the route begins.

Tour Equipment

It is possible to upgrade to Tour Equipment, which consist of the basic equipment plus a tent (for 2 persons), mattresses, a fuel cooker with spirit, a fire cooker, a shovel, a knife, and a water canister. More information about rent prices (pdf file).


Canoe Guide Services at 9am and/or 18pm

NOTE! The canoe guide will not be at the site all the time, so the guiding and renting take place at the base camp according to the reservation. You are able to start your trip at 9:00 in the morning or 18:00 in the evening.


Transport

Be prepared for the transportation fees. They are not included in the rental fees. The transport of canoes and canoeists is nessessary, unless you start and end your trip to Anttola Base Camp. The transport fee is always paid on the spot. The prices include VAT.

Estimated travel times and prices

One way: Mikkeli - Anttola 30 min, 55 €
One way: Mikkeli - Juva 60 min, 100 €
One way: Anttola - Puumala 60 min, 100 €
Round trip: Anttola - Naarajoki (Lomatrio) and Otava - Anttola 200 €

 

Checking List

When you come for a canoe tour you should have with you:

  • - sleeping bag
  • - comfortable outdoor leisure clothes including warm shirt
  • - rainwear
  • - hat that protects from the sun
  • - jogging shoes and another pair of shoes
  • - swimming suit and towel
  • - personal things and needed medications
  • - plate and mug, knife, spoon and fork
  • - pocket knife or knife
  • - water bottle
  • - suntan lotion
  • - mosquito repellent
  • - sun glasses
  • - mobile phone in a water tight bag
  • - a compass

 

How to Get to Anttola?

By Bus to Mikkeli

At the moment there is no direct bus connection from Helsinki airport to Mikkeli. All the buses leave from Helsinki bus station. See the timetables and prices of these companies

  • Onnibus: The ticket costs about 10-15 € from Helsinki to Mikkeli!
  • ExpressBus: good discounts at time to time.

By Train to Mikkeli

Check the train departures and prices. Buy the tickets online!
From Helsinki airport there is a commute train to Tikkurila. From Tikkurila take a train to Mikkeli. The travel time to Mikkeli is about 2 h 50 min.
From Helsinki. The other option is to take a train form Helsinki railwaystation.
From Tampere. If you come by plane take a bus from airport to Tampere railwaystation. Then take a train to Mikkeli.

By Bus from Mikkeli to Anttola

The local bus from Mikkeli to Anttola leaves from Mikkeli Travel Centre (combined railway and bus station): The bus goes usually once an hour and it takes about 30 minutes (6,80 €).
Check the bus timetables Mikkeli – Anttola – Mikkeli here and a Google map!

 

Make a Reservation/Inquiry by Filling the Google Form

By filling the form you can make an inquiry or a reservation. After that we'll send you extra information and the reservation invoice which is 65 €. By paying the reservation fee you'll confirm the reservation. The fee is not returned in case of cancellation. The rest of your canoe/kayak rent is paid on the spot by debit/credit card or cash.

During the high season i.e. in July and August call us or send a SMS first, so you'll get a quick answer if we have any canoes/kayaks left. The mobile phone number of the canoe guide is +358 (0) 500 840 362. Then fill in the reservation form and we'll send you more information.