North Karelia

The northern Part of Karelia, close to Russia

North Karelia is the most northern part of Karelia and the most eastern area in the continental part of the European Union. Only Cyprus is even more eastern situated.  Karelia is in these days splitted up into a Russian and a Finnish part, while in earlier days the border line was changing several times during war times. 
The province (lääni) of Eastern Finland has 3 so called "countries" (maakunta) and North Karelia is one of those. North Karelia has 16 communities and covers a total area of 21'584 km2 (of which 3'821 km2 lakes). It is also the area of Finland with the smallest number of habitants (not even 10 persons/km2).

North Karelia has a fascinating, almost untouched and unspoiled nature, created in the last ice-age, dominated by lakes, rivers, swamps, endless forests and gentle hills with uncountable possibilities for your active holiday. 

Eräkeskus: the best place for an active, unforgettable and exciting holiday

Here a few reasons, why we call Eräkeskus "the best place" and a few ideas for your individual holiday-planning in North Karelia:


The small town of Lieksa with its open air museum "Pielisen", only 30 km away


Nurmes and the famous Bomba House, only 55 km away


Kuhmo with several music festivals and the Nature Centre Peltola, only 80 km away

Koli Nationalpark

Koli Nationalpark and its highest peak Ukko Koli, 348 m.a.s., provides you with an impressive view over the whole lakeland of Finland. Only 45 km away (using the summer ferry connection Lieksa - Koli).

Patvinsuo Nationalpark

Patvinsuo Nationalpark is dominated by huge swamp- and heathland areas. 80 km of marked hiking trails, only 100 km away.


Hiidenportti is an impressive valley with rocky sidewalls, reachable on marked hiking trails. Only 50 km away.

Tiilikkajärvi Nationalpark

Tiilikkajärvi Nationalpark has the most beautiful, lonely sandy beaches of Finland, reachable only on hiking trails, not even 100 km away


City of Kuopio offers you the tower of Puijo with great view, a unique collection of orthodox church treasures, boat trips and many many shopping possibilities, 170 km away.


City of Joensuu has wide park areas for relaxing, good shopping possibilities and the Karelian National Museum "Karelicum". 130 km away.


The lively city of Rautavaara and hiking centre Mestäkartano, only 100 km away.


Juuka has an interesting info-centre/museum about minerals and soapstone and is only 80 km away, using the summer ferry connection Lieksa - Koli. 


The protected area around the 3 lakes of Änäkäinen offers many marked hiking trails, several wind shelters and fireplaces and has good fishing opportunities.

The restored trenches and tank traps from winter war bring you an important part of Finnish history face-to-face. Only 7 km away.


River Jongunjoki and the adjacent lake system - a paradise for paddlers, just outside of the lodge.


Hiking area and nature resort Ruunaa has whitewater rafting possibilities, good places for trout fishing and endless hiking trails along the impressive rapids.Only 30 km away.


Karhunpolku, the "Bears Trail", is a 130 long hiking trail, connecting Teljo and Patvinsuo, passing by only 5 km from Eräkeskus.


Restaurant Herraniemi with its typical carelian food is only 70 km away.


Famous Finnish wood sculpturer Eva Rynänen lived and worked here. Today you can visit her yard, house and studio and be impressed by her art. Only 70 km away.