National Parks in Finland

Finland has 40 national parks, which offer a wide variety of trails, activities, and stunning landscapes. Among Finland’s national parks, the Nuuksio National Park stands out, located near Helsinki, with beautiful lakes and hiking trails, as well as the Oulanka National Park in the northern part of the country, in Lapland.

Finnish parks and protected areas encompass vast forests, lakes, and archipelagos, reflecting the rich natural diversity of the Nordic country. With activities for all ages outdoors, such as trekking, hiking, cross-country skiing, kayaking, and wildlife and flora observation, Finland offers a wide range of guided activities and excursions to fully enjoy nature. From birdwatching, fishing, and observing mammals like lynxes, deer, and bears, to recreational activities like hiking and a wide array of entertainment and cultural opportunities.

List of National Parks in Finland

Archipelago Sea

This park spans an impressive 500 km² and is characterized by its diversity of islands and islets, providing a vital habitat for a wide range of marine species and waterfowl. The unique combination of natural elements makes this place highly significant for conservation and the study of marine ecosystems.

Eastern Gulf of Finland

Covering just 6 km² in the southern region of Kymenlaakso, this park consists of a series of islands and islets, many of which are adorned with pines, while others feature the characteristic bare rapakivi granite rock. This area is especially valued for its rich aquatic fauna, including species such as the large merganser and the tufted duck, among others.

Bothnian Sea

Located in Lapland, this park covers 913 km², of which 98% is water. The presence of a limited number of islands and coastal areas does not prevent activities such as seal hunting and birdwatching, noted for its efforts in protecting pelagic birds along a narrow chain of islets.

Bothnia Bay

Occupying 157 km² in the north of the Gulf of Bothnia, this park has just 2.5 km² of dry land. The formation of its islets is a result of post-glacial rebound, creating a unique landscape that supports numerous fishing activities and the conservation of native species.

Ekenäs Archipelago

Located in the Uusimaa region, this park covers 52 km² and is primarily composed of rocky islets. Access is limited to boats, especially during the bird breeding season, underscoring its commitment to preserving its natural environment.


This park is notable for representing the wild forest of Tavastia, with its deep gorges and terrain marked by geological faults. The presence of the Helvetinkolu crevice adds a distinctive element to the landscape, inviting exploration and adventure in a unique natural setting.


Situated in Pirkanmaa, this 49.8 km² park is a tribute to wild nature with its deep gorges and rugged terrain. The Helvetinkolu crevice is a particular point of interest, offering spectacular views and a pure nature immersion experience.


In the Kainuu region, this 45 km² park is characterized by a landscape of dry forests and peat bogs. The fauna includes species such as bears, wolverines, and lynxes, while the Hiidenportti ravine, with its vertical cliffs, is its most notable attraction. The diversity of birds and butterflies further enhances its ecological and biological value.


The Hossa National Park, with its 90 km², is a revered destination for hiking enthusiasts in Finland, thanks to its extensive forests of pine and spruce, interspersed with crystal-clear lakes and moraine ridges. About a third of its area is covered by peat bogs, and the park is home to over 130 lakes, where perch and whitefish find an ideal habitat in its oxygen-rich waters.


This 19 km² park is located in the southern lake region, featuring a landscape of valleys and wooded hills shaped by glacial activity. It is renowned for housing species like the Arctic loon along the shores of Lake Isojärvi and for its ancient forests of pines, ferns, and mosses. The beaver, reintroduced in the 1930s, is the park’s emblematic animal.


Spanning 57 km², this park is situated in Southern Ostrobothnia and varies in elevation between 160 and 180 meters. Characterized by its peat bogs and marshes interspersed with moraine ridges covered in pines, the elevated peat bog of Kauhaneva is noted for its exceptional development. It is a Ramsar site recognized for the important birdlife that nests in the area.


Koli covers 30 km² and is famous for its stunning views and for representing the typical Finnish landscape, which has inspired numerous artists and composers.


This 23 km² park protects the habitat of the Saimaa ringed seal, located in an intricate system of channels on Lake Saimaa. Its islands and islets are covered with ancient pine forests, where various species of polypores thrive.


Occupying 29 km² in Southwest Finland, this park mainly consists of a vast swamp surrounded by primeval forests, inhabited by lynxes, brown bears, and wolves. The unique structure of the elevated bogs provides a special ecosystem for various species of flora and fauna.


Spanning 53 km², this park is distinguished by its pine forests, swamps, and streams in the Southern Ostrobothnia region. Lauhanvuori mountain, one of the highest points in Western Finland, offers fertile and nutrient-rich terrain, contrasting with the more arid surroundings.


This 29 km² park is characterized by its esker forests, swamps, and Lake Rutajärvi. It offers a diverse landscape that invites exploration and enjoyment of nature in its purest form.


Lemmenjoki National Park, with its 2850 km², is the largest in Finland and extends along the Lemmenjoki River. Surrounded by the mighty landscapes of the Maarestatunturi and Viipustunturi tunturis, this park is notable for its vast aapa mires in the south and hills exceeding 500 meters in the north. The variety of flora under the pines and the presence of wolverines are some of the highlights of its rich biodiversity.


This 22 km² park, located in Tavastia Proper, is a haven for nature lovers with its ancient spruce forests, peat bogs, eskers, and miles of lake shores. The Kyynäränharju esker and its isthmus, connecting Lakes Kyynäräjärvi and Liesjärvi, are particularly notable. The fauna includes woodpeckers and flying squirrels, symbolized in its emblem by a rye spike and a scabiosa flower.


Known for the 6.5 km Kuikan Kierros trail, this park offers a landscape of exceptional natural beauty, noted for its accessibility and the rich hiking experience it provides to visitors.


This 97 km² park, situated in Lake Haukivesi, is part of the vast Lake Saimaa. It consists of more than 130 islands and a myriad of islets, offering a diverse habitat with pine forests, deciduous trees, and meadows. The fauna includes ospreys, Arctic loons, over 300 species of Macrolepidoptera butterflies, and the extremely rare beetle Aulonothroscus laticollis.


This park spans 14 km² and consists of more than 50 uninhabited islands in Lake Päijänne. It is part of the Salpausselkä Geopark, with the island of Kelvenne noted for its beauty and biodiversity, including pines and spruces.


With 1020 km², this park offers a diversity of natural landscapes, from vast wilderness areas to towering mountain views, being a key destination for outdoor enthusiasts.


This 105 km² park, located in eastern Finland, is known for its swamps, ancient forests, and slash-and-burn agriculture practices. Lake Suomujärvi and the peat bogs of Kissansuo-Raanisuo-Tohlinsuo are noted for their biodiversity, including a thriving population of brown bears and a Ramsar site for its rich bird life.


The Petkeljärvi National Park, with its 6 km², is distinguished by its pine forests rising above sandy moraine ridges, alongside lakes and ponds. In this natural environment, it is possible to observe the park’s emblematic Arctic loon, as well as the constructions of beavers in the area.


Occupying 27 km² in the Pirkanmaa and Satakunta regions, this park encompasses a vast marshland area next to Lake Puurijärvi and the banks of the Kok

emäenjoki River. The marshy meadows by the lake and aquatic vegetation such as reeds and horsetails create an ideal habitat for local flora and fauna, including four-spotted dragonflies and carnivorous plants like sundew and Drosera anglica.


Pyhä-Häkki, extending over 13 km² in Central Finland, protects ancient forests of pines and spruces, along with bogs and a variety of deciduous trees. This park is home to birds typical of ancient forests and features the presence of moose and bears, as well as a diversity of polypores, enriching its biodiversity.


This park, located in Lapland and covering 142 km², was established in 2005 from the expansion of the country’s oldest national park, Pyhätunturi. It includes Finland’s southernmost tunturis, with a dozen peaks of ancient quartzite and pine forests on their slopes. The landscape varies between bare peaks, wooded slopes, and aapa bogs, highlighting the Isokuru gorge. The fauna includes the Siberian jay and a rich variety of wild plants, polypores, and lichens.


With 77 km², the Riisitunturi National Park is famous for its winter landscapes, with heavily snow-covered trees and aapa bogs on the hills. It is an ideal place for landscape photography, cross-country skiing, and snowshoe hiking, noted for its unique natural phenomena.


This 4.3 km² park is distinguished as a unique geological area, featuring sand dune formations, small lakes, and pine forests. Rokua is part of the UNESCO Global Geoparks network, offering a window into the glacial processes that shaped the landscape.


Covering 62 km², Salamajärvi National Park is known for its extensive peatlands and dense forests, serving as an important habitat for the brown bear. It is a favored destination for hiking and wildlife observation, especially for those interested in wild fauna.


This 45.5 km² park offers a mix of ancient coniferous forests, bogs, and lakes. Seitseminen is ideal for exploring the tranquility of Finnish forests, with hiking trails that traverse varied landscapes and nature centers that educate about local flora and fauna.


Syöte National Park, the largest on this list with 299 km², is a destination for both winter and summer, known for its landscapes of forest-covered hills, rivers, and peatlands. It offers opportunities for skiing, mountain biking, and hiking, with trails varying in difficulty and length.


Established in 2015 and spanning 33.85 km², Teijo National Park is noted for its mineral-rich eutrophic peatlands, pine forests, and rich birdlife. The area reflects a combination of pristine nature and human influence through history, such as the iron industry.


This 34 km² park is known for its beautiful sandy beaches along Lake Tiilikkajärvi, mixed forests, and peatland areas. It is a popular spot for camping, swimming, and enjoying the tranquility of the natural environment.


Torronsuo National Park, with 25.5 km², is one of Finland’s largest and most intact raised bogs, offering a unique platform for bird watching and nature photography in an environment of extraordinary beauty and silence.

Urho Kekkonen

At 2550 km², this is one of Finland’s largest national parks, stretching to the borders with Russia and Norway. It is a vast territory of wild nature that offers everything from hiking and skiing to experiencing life in the tundra and viewing the Northern Lights.


This 17 km² park is known for its extensive peatlands and marshy landscapes, accessible via wooden walkways. Valkmusa is a quiet place to enjoy nature, especially during the bird migration season, when it becomes a prime spot for observation.

Price of Entry to Finnish National Parks

Entry to the parks and camping in designated areas are free, although visitors are expected to pick up their trash and not disturb the wildlife. This is an advantage for reducing travel and accommodation costs in the country.

Protected Areas in Finland

Map of national parks in Finland and protected areas

In Finland, there are about 16,047 protected areas, covering a total of 44,914 km², which represents 13.3% of the land territory and 9,526 km² of marine areas, equivalent to 12% of the country. These areas include various types of reserves, from national parks to state nature reserves and protected habitats. Additionally, there are a variety of regional and international designations ranging from special protection areas to Ramsar sites and UNESCO biosphere reserves.


In Finland, peatlands are a fundamental component of the landscape, occupying vast areas in regions such as North and Central Ostrobothnia. They are divided into three main types: raised bogs, aapa mires, and palsa mires, each with unique characteristics. Peatlands are vital to the ecosystem, hosting a variety of mosses and vegetation adapted to these moist and special conditions.

Strict Nature Reserves

Strict nature reserves in Finland are designated to protect areas of significant ecological importance and provide opportunities for scientific research. Unlike national parks, public access to these areas is very limited to minimize human impact.

These strict nature reserves play a crucial role in the conservation of Finland’s biodiversity, ensuring that fragile ecosystems and threatened species receive the necessary protection for their survival. By limiting human access, these areas allow nature to thrive without interference, offering valuable opportunities for scientific research and environmental monitoring.

These reserves collectively cover an area of 1,530 km².


Spanning 5.6 km², this reserve is located in the regions of Pirkanmaa and Satakunta, in southwest Finland. Characterized by its ancient forest and marshland, the area is inaccessible to the public, preserving its pristine natural condition which is home to bears and beavers.


Located in the southern Uusimaa region, Karkali protects one square kilometer of deciduous forest, a type of ecosystem more common in Central Europe. This small but valuable space serves as a refuge for a variety of plant and animal species characteristic of this habitat.


This 712 km² reserve is situated in the northern region of Lapland. Its main feature is the Kevojoki river canyon, which stretches for about 40 km and reaches depths of up to 80 meters. Despite its vastness, there are only two marked trails for visitors, emphasizing its strict conservation nature.


In the North Karelia region, Koivusuo covers 20 km² of taiga, offering a natural landscape for observing wildlife such as wolverines, bears, lynxes, and wolves. Although it is somewhat more accessible to the public, visits are regulated to ensure the protection of the environment.


Malla is a 29 km² reserve at the northwest tip of Lapland, near Mount Saana. Protected since 1916 and designated as a strict reserve in 1938, its limestone terrain near Lake Kilpisjärvi promotes unique vegetation in the region. There is a trail managed by Metla, but access restrictions maintain the ecological integrity of the reserve.

These strict nature reserves play a crucial role in conserving Finland’s natural heritage, ensuring that unique ecosystems and vulnerable species are protected for future generations. The limitation of access to these areas underscores the importance of preserving nature in its purest state, while allowing scientific research to continue unimpeded.


Located in northeast Lapland, Maltio covers 148 km². This area protects a landscape characteristic of the region, with rich biodiversity and typical northern ecosystems.


Olvassuo occupies 71 km² in central Finland, spanning the regions of North Ostrobothnia and Kainuu. It is part of the Natura 2000 network and has been designated as a Ramsar site, noted for its significant wetland.


This 30 km² reserve in the Kainuu region protects an ancient spruce forest reaching heights of up to 40 meters and is home to rare orchids like Cypripedium calceolus.


With 19 km², Pelso is located in North Ostrobothnia, characterized by its swampy landscapes and a maximum elevation of 115 meters.


Pisavaara, covering 49 km² in western Lapland, hosts the southernmost Arctic biotope in Finland, with restricted access to protect its uniqueness.


This 70 km² reserve in southern Lapland is notable for its vast forests and wetlands, with no roads, maintaining its natural state intact.


Connected to Salamajärvi National Park, Salamanperä spans 13 km² in Central Finland, forming an essential ecological corridor for local wildlife.


Sompio, covering 179 km² in Lapland, focuses on studying the impacts of tourism in Urho Kekkonen National Park. Restricted to the public, this reserve is crucial for the research and conservation of northern ecosystems.


Located in the east of the country, near Oulanka National Park, Sukerijärvi covers 22 km² and, like other reserves, its access is restricted to protect its natural environment.


Located in the Pirkanmaa region, Sinivuori spans 95 hectares of deciduous forest without designated trails, although hiking is possible along the roads that cross the reserve. This area protects a type of forest that is less common in Finland, providing a habitat for various plant and animal species.


This 25 km² reserve in Kainuu is home to the Finnish forest reindeer (Rangifer tarandus fennicus), a subspecies of reindeer that lives in the wild. Ulvinsalo is representative of the region’s dense boreal forests and plays a significant role in the preservation of this unique reindeer species.


Located in southwest Finland, Vaskijärvi is essentially a 15 km² wetland that hosts a rich biodiversity, including cranes, dragonflies, moose, ospreys, common black grouse, willow ptarmigans, otters, and Siberian flying squirrels. The reserve offers several trails that border lakes and peatlands, noted for its tranquility and natural beauty.


Covering 1 km², Vesijako is located in Päijänne Tavastia, near Lake Vesijako, notable for its two distinct drainage basins. This unique feature makes Vesijako a place of interest both for visitors and for scientists studying hydrology and lake ecosystems.


Värriö spans 125 km² in northeastern Lapland, providing a vital environment for reindeer grazing, as well as for wolves and wolverines. The Värriö Subarctic Research Station, located within the reserve, is dedicated to multidisciplinary research on birds, moths, berries, forest fires, and the effects of reindeer grazing on virgin forests.

Protected Natural Areas

Protected natural areas, known as "erämaa-alueet" in Finnish, represent a special category of conservation in Finland, specifically in the Lapland region. These areas, which cover a total of 14,890 km², were established to preserve the wild nature of the region and protect the culture and traditional lifestyle of the Sámi people, the indigenous people of Lapland.


Covering 1825 km², Hammastunturi is located in the Kehäpää highlands, characterized by the Hammastunturi and Appistunturi tunturis, both about 500 m in height. This area, rich in history due to the 19th-century gold rush along the Ivalo River, is vital for reindeer breeding and features diverse flora, with spruces in the south and pines in the north.


Kaldoaivi, the largest protected area in Finland with 2924 km², is a vast highland region with little tree cover, except for some birches. Noted for its fishing, especially in the Vetsijoki and Pulmankijoki rivers, this area also features the peatlands and lakes of the south, surrounded by birch forests. Lake Pulmankijärvi, an ancient fjord, adds a unique attraction to the region.


Surrounded by Urho Kekkonen National Park and the Kemi River, Kemihaara covers 302 km². This area is known for its tunturis and extensive swamps, which are the source of the Kemi and Pihtijoki rivers. The reserve is a crucial habitat for local flora and fauna, offering a representative landscape of Finnish Lapland.


With 2206 km², Käsivarsi is the second largest nature reserve in Finland and the most visited. Characterized by its bare mountains and moors, it hosts Mount Halti, the highest point in Finland. This region is particularly important for the conservation of rare plant species and at least 340 species of butterflies, as well as about 100 species of birds.


Covering 1570 km², Muotkatunturi is known for its reindeer herding and forestry practices. The region, with its swamps in the northeast, tunturis in the north, and pine forests in the west, is a testament to the natural diversity of Lapland, without marked trails and only four cabins available.


Also extending over 1570 km², Paistunturi is characterized by a succession of tunturis and birch forests on the slopes, divided in two by the strict nature reserve of Kevo. The presence of aapa mires and palsa adds to the complexity of its ecosystems.


Pulju encompasses 570 km² of peatlands, hills, and tunturis. This area, adjacent to Lemmenjoki National Park and near the border with Norway, is essential for reindeer breeding and preserves a typical taiga and tundra landscape.


Covering 1280 km², Pöyrisjärvi is noted for its sand dunes, ridges, and extensive palsa peatlands over permafrost. The region is rich in biodiversity, including ducks, geese, swans, and a variety of predators such as the Arctic fox and lynx.


Tarvantovaara, covering 670 km², is notable for its peatlands, mainly palsa, and its diversity of birds, including the whooper swan, whose protection was championed by writer Yrjö Kokko.


Tsarmitunturi, with 150 km², is known for its elevations and the presence of bears. The area offers a varied landscape with a deep gorge separating its main elevations.


Covering 212 km², Tuntsa presents a rugged landscape with tunturis, and its vegetation has been affected by fires and moth infestations. The region is an example of natural recovery following environmental disturbances.


Part of the Trilateral Pasvik–Inari Park, Vätsäri spans 1550 km² and is a refuge for brown bears, moose, and Sámi reindeer. The reserve, off-limits to road construction and mining, is noted for its landscape of thousands of small lakes, streams, swamps, and wild pine forests.

These protected natural areas are crucial for the conservation of Lapland’s unique environment, offering refuge to numerous species and preserving landscapes of invaluable worth. Their management by Metsähallitus ensures their protection for the enjoyment and study of future generations.

UNESCO Biosphere Reserves

The UNESCO Biosphere Reserves in Finland, such as the Archipelago Sea National Park and the North Karelia Biosphere Reserve, represent areas dedicated to biodiversity conservation, research, and education about sustainable development. These reserves are key examples of how nature and human communities can coexist and benefit each other through sustainable practices.

Archipelago Sea National Park

At 500 km², the Archipelago Sea National Park is notable for being one of the largest marine protected areas in Europe. This park is characterized by its unique diversity of islands and islets, some inhabited and others completely natural, providing a vital habitat for numerous bird species and marine life. The designation as a Biosphere Reserve underscores the importance of conserving these unique ecosystems, while promoting sustainable use of marine resources.

North Karelia Biosphere Reserve

The North Karelia Biosphere Reserve encompasses a vast area of 4407.5 km², including the Koli National Park within its boundaries. This reserve is a testament to Finland’s rich ecological diversity, with an extensive forest canopy covering 70% of its territory, situated atop some of the planet’s oldest rocks. The more than 2200 lakes, including Lake Pielinen, the fourth largest lake in Finland, further enrich the landscape, offering a pristine environment for research and nature enjoyment. The North Karelia Biosphere Reserve is crucial for studying boreal ecosystems and promoting conservation and sustainable development practices in the region.

World Heritage

In Finland, the UNESCO World Heritage site comprising the High Coast and Kvarken Archipelago is an extraordinary example of post-glacial geological processes in action. Spanning a total area of 3369 km², of which 1994 km² are in Finland, this transboundary site between Finland and Sweden impressively illustrates the phenomenon of isostasy, the land uplift following the melting of glacial ice.

Outstanding Features

  • Main Islands: Kvarken is home to two large islands, Replot and Björkö, as well as many smaller uninhabited islands. Unlike the Swedish side, which features fewer islands, the Finnish side is noted for its density and variety of islands.
  • Geological Transformation: This World Heritage site is particularly notable for the rapid post-glacial land uplift. The resulting isostasy, or the adjustment of the earth’s crust to the loss of the weight of glacial ice, causes ongoing changes in the landscape. Islands expand, peninsulas lengthen, bays gradually become lakes, and over time, these lakes may transform into peat bogs.
  • Universal Value: The inclusion of the High Coast alongside the Kvarken Archipelago in the UNESCO World Heritage list underscores the universal significance of this geological phenomenon. It offers a unique window into the natural processes shaping our planet, making this site of great interest to scientists, students, and tourists interested in geology and natural history.

The designation as a World Heritage site not only recognizes the geological and natural importance of this area but also ensures its conservation for future generations. The cross-border cooperation between Finland and Sweden for the management and protection of this site highlights the importance of international collaboration in preserving sites of exceptional universal value.

Ramsar Sites

The Ramsar sites in Finland cover a total area of 7995.2 km² and are noted for their importance in conserving aquatic habitats for biodiversity.

  • Aspskär Islands.
  • Lakes of Rääkkylä and Kitee.
  • Lakes of Rantasalmi.
  • Haapavesi Wetlands.
  • Hailuoto Island Wetlands.
  • Hanko and Tammisaari Wetlands.
  • Lapväärtti Wetlands.
  • Siikajoki Wetlands.
  • Vanajavesi Area Wetlands.
  • Björkör and Lågskär Archipelago.
  • Kainuunkylä Islands.
  • Kauhaneva-Pohjankangas National Park.
  • Kirkon-Vilkkiläntura Bay.
  • Koitelainen Peat Bog.
  • Krunnit Islands.
  • Lake Kirkkojärvi and Lupinlahti Bay.
  • Lake Kirkkojärvi Area.
  • Lake Kutajärvi Area.
  • Lake Läppträsket.
  • Aittojärvi and Kongasjärvi Lakes.
  • Heinä-Suvanto and Hetejärvi Lakes.
  • Lake Sysmäjärvi.
  • Lätäseno-Hietajoki Peat Bogs.
  • Lemmenjoki National Park.
  • Levaneva Peat Bogs.
  • Liminganlahti Bay Area.
  • Martimoaapa-Lumiaapa-Penikat Peat Bogs.
  • Olvassuo Peat Bogs.
  • Oulanka National Park.
  • Patvinsuo National Park.
  • Pernajanlahti Bay.
  • Pilvineva Peat Bog.
  • Porvoonjoki-Stensböle Estuary.
  • Quark Archipelago.
  • Riisitunturi National Park.
  • River Luiro Peat Bogs.
  • Salamajärvi National Park.
  • Sammuttijänkä-Vaijoenjänkä Peat Bogs.
  • Signilskär-Märket Archipelago.
  • Siikalahti Bay Area.
  • Söderskär and Långören Archipelago.
  • Sotkavuoma Peat Bogs.
  • Suurenaukeansuo-Isosuo Peat Bogs and Lake Pohjalampi.
  • Teuravuoma-Kivijärvenvuoma Peat Bogs.
  • Torrunsuo National Park.
  • Valkmusa National Park.
  • Vanhankaupunginlahti, Laajalahti.
  • Vassorfjärden Bay.
  • Veneneva-Pelso Peat Bogs.