photo © Discovering Finland
Tourism Kuopio & Kuopio Guide
Founded in 1775, Kuopio is a thriving, modern city, where science and technology blends into the verdant natural beauty of the local environment. Surrounded by lake Kallavesi, much of Kuopio has been developed on islands. Indeed, one third of Kuopio is water and a half forest; the surrounding area is possesses great natural beauty, rich in flora and fauna, making it an ideal travel destination for nature lovers and those seeking quiet relaxation without being too far from a thriving urban centre.
Kuopio is also a hugely popular holiday destination for sports enthusiasts, with three highly recommended ski centres in Tahko, Kasurila and Puijo for winter sports, as well as providing plenty of water based alternatives in the summer, such as sailing, wind-surfing, jet-skiing, and water-skiing.
Visit the town centre where a vibrant open market place is surrounded by the best in modern shopping outlets and malls, and features the delightful Kuopion Kauppahalli, or Market Hall, which has been providing the finest quality fresh produce since 1902, with 20 local stallholders displaying homemade breads, cheeses, and condiments, as well as fresh meat, fish, and vegetables, and teas, coffees, candies, and much more. And when in Kuopio, be sure to try the local delicacy, Kalakukko, a Finnish fish pie, or any of the numerous vendace dishes which are a specialty of the region.
Winter in Kuopio is ideal for exploring the immaculate countryside, whether by taking a snowmobile ride along well maintained routes, cross-country skiing through the woods or over the frozen lakes, or visiting the highly recommended ski centres of Tahko, Kasurila or Puijo. For the more sedate, there is always the opportunity to go ice-fishing!
Puijo is especially well-known as a venue for winter sports events, including cross-country skiing, ski jumping and downhill skiing. Top international ski jumpers train and compete at Puijo, and top-class cross-country ski events also take place here each year. Puijo is a well-known venue for Nordic Skiing World Cup events, as well as for competitions between national and regional top skiers. Even for those with no interest in skiing, a visit to the Puijo Tower is highly recommended; you can enjoy a meal in the revolving restaurant, serving local specialties, whilst taking in the breath-taking panoramas. Puijo ridge is one of the favourite recreation areas in Kuopio, with its numerous paths and extensive track network. Two nature trails offer a chance to experience the area’s diversity.
The region also has plenty to offer families with children. Just a stroll from the town centre you’ll discover delightful, sandy, lakeside beaches where you can swim in the warm waters, use the diving platforms, or just laze in the sun. The Kuopio animal park has around 40 different species and over 200 animals for children to interact with, there’s Pajaharju Farm in nearby Leppävirta which is open by appointment in the summer, and from June to August families will enjoy the Hoksopoly Family Play Park which is a unique life-sized board game, which families play together. On the way to the goal, players have to solve and complete tasks that require different kinds of skills. Should the weather turn wet, bringing the kids to the indoor activity centre, HopLop, will keep them amused and active.