Finland’s Lake Päijänne is a peaceful, ancient place. It turned up when nature had a change of heart about its earthly décor during the Ice Age when a land-lift left in a lake in its place.
It’s a scenic place with a body of water that is broken up with small tufts of green islands and edged by the eccentric curves of a heavily forested shoreline.
It is best explored by boat, but then again, for the ultimate in waterside flexibility you may as well hire a houseboat and sail wherever you like and never have to worry about getting back home.
You can rent a houseboat from the base at Jyväskylä harbour. No experience is needed to drive it and you won’t need a licence. Just turn up, pick up a map and you are free to float along the waterways at your leisure. When you get bored with one view, set sail for another.
The water is pure, and home to perch, pike and zander so you can let your inner angler loose and have a good chance of catching a fish.
Perhaps take a dip, then sunbathe on deck or hire a kayak or a jet skii. Anchor by an island or a remote beach and sunbathe in privacy. At times you can disembark with your bike to explore the local villages and towns. The shape of the houseboats means you will be able to reach places that a motorboat cannot.
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The Päijänne National Park is on the Southern part of the lake with its isolated lagoons and islet and steep rocks make it interesting to explore.
Keep some binoculars to hand to spot ducks, geese, fowls, cormorants and herons hiding in the reeds in the inlets and around the lake and the wild berries and mushrooms, orchids and even leafy hawkweeds.
For more information on Lake Päijänne and to book your houseboat, visit our sponsor www.houseboat.fi