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Last updated : Nov 2009
Finnish Lakeland
Finnish Lakeland - TravelPuppy.com
The majority of Finland’s 180,000 lakes are located between the coastal area and the eastern frontier covering an area some 100km (60 miles) wide. The lakes are a veritable maze with their profusion of beautiful bays, headlands and islands and some out into broader stretches. The lakes are linked to each other by rivers, straits and canals forming waterways which in former times were a principal means of communication between towns and settlements.

Nowadays, they are attractive routes for the visitor. As the lakes are usually shallow and the surrounding land is not very high, the water soon becomes nice and warm in the summer. Many summer festivals of all kinds take place in the lakeland region, often in beautiful country settings.

Eastern Lakeland

The eastern region is an area of interconnected lakes and is dominated by Lake Saimaa, a vast expanse of water. Dotted over their surface are no fewer than 33,000 islands and the shoreline is over 50,000km (80,000 miles) long. A network of waterways joins the lively Savo towns, including Savonlinna with its medieval Olavinlinna Castle, the best preserved in Scandinavia. The Savonlinna Opera Festival is held annually during July. In addition to operas performed to international standards, there are a number of other concerts. Kuopio is known for its food speciality kalakukko, a rye bread pie with fish and pork filling.

Western Lakeland

Jyväskylä, Tampere, Lahti and Hämeenlinna region. This area comprises 2 major waterways, the oldest of which, the Finnish Silverline, runs between Hämeenlinna, the birthplace of Sibelius, and Tampere, through fertile agricultural lands which are fairly populated. Lahti, a winter sports centre, lies at the end of Lake Päijänne where the land is higher and steep rocky cliffs rise to as much as 200m (650ft). At the other end is Jyväskylä, famous for its very modern architecture.