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www.koli.fi/In-English

THE CALL OF KOLI


”In Koli! One of the greatest experiences of my life. Planning ´La Montagne´ !” — Jean Sibelius (1865–1957)

”In Koli, the beauty of Karelian nature reaches its peak.” — Juhani Aho (1861–1921)

Sibelius and Aho are but two of the Finnish national artists who have found inspiration in Koli. Still today the scenery of Koli inspires creativity in many of those who visit the area. It is a place suffused with primitive mysticism and a magical quality that is difficult to put into words. It must be seen and experienced first hand.

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With more than a century of rich history, tourism in Koli is now on the threshold of a new era. New investments, local and regional support and a positive spirit are taking tourism in Koli forward in great strides. The aim is a controlled increase in domestic and international tourist arrivals that does not compromise comprehensive sustainability. The 2012 renewal of the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas agreement for Koli National Park, managed by the EUROPARC Federation, is certificate to the emphasis placed on sustainable development in Koli. Koli is part of the North Karelia Biosphere Reserve, which belongs to the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves.


TOP 5 REASONS TO TRAVEL TO KOLI – Business view

1

YEAR-ROUND TOURISM. Koli is one of the few tourism destinations in Finland, in which the tourism is as vivid in the summer as it is in the winter. In summer, Koli has one of the longest camping and hiking trail networks in Finland, and also a lot of other activities from paddling trips to ATV safaris. In winter, Koli is a full-blooded winter tourism destination due of the variety of slopes and crosscountry skiing tracks and weekly activity programmes. The area offers great opportunities for conference’s. The implemented spa investments create additional revenue sources all year-round.

2

ACCESSIBILITY. Koli is close enough to the major growth centres of southern Finland to be ideal for weekend trips. Its proximity to the eastern border is reflected in substantial tourism interest from Russia. Public transportation also functions well as Koli shuttle taxi serves tourists and local inhabitants heading from Joensuu airport and railway station to Koli.

3

ROOM FOR NEW BUSINESS. There is still plenty of space in the tourism business field. In Koli there is clear need for new accommodation, restaurants, programme and supporting tourism services. For example the fourth biggest lake of Finland, lake Pielinen, offers really great possibilities for diversified development of programme services.

4

EXTENSIVE SUPPORT FOR DEVELOPMENT.

North Karelia’s Regional Development Programme highlights Koli as the region’s top destination and tourism beacon. Koli and its vicinity provide broad-based support for businesses in the development of tourism. The sub-region provides comprehensive support for businesses in the development of tourism competence and the financing of investments. Business subsidies in North Karelia are the highest in Finland. The general atmosphere is highly conductive to the development of Koli. Regional development in Koli is further supported by the ERDF-funded Project of Nature-based Tourism Development at Koli, which will continue until the end of December 2014.

5

ONGOING GROWTH. The number of visitors in the National Park of Koli has increased more than 10 % and when the Russia visa-free regime will enter into force it is expected that it will accelerate growth even further. One of the most important on-going investment is the completion of the construction of the family spa Koli Spa Lotus of Zander Port Ltd. in the area of Purnuniemi. The Building of a hotel is in the plans after completion of the spa construction. The new pampering and landscape spa Koli Relax Spa of Break Sokos Hotel Koli was opened in March 2013. Part of the hotel renovation was completed in 2012, i.e. reception, restaurant, cafeteria and conference premises and the development work still goes on. In the area there is also a new light traffic lane from Koli village to Purnuniemi area.


The Koli area currently welcomes approximately 200,000 tourists a year. Koli National Park alone has some 130,000 annual visitors. ACCOMMODATION: Local businesses offer visitors approximately 2,300 beds. Hotel 1 hotel (73 rooms) Apartment hotel 1 hotel (30 apartments) Other holiday cottages/apartments approx. 350 Caravan/camping sites 4 locations Restaurants/cafés 13 shops The area is home to a great many conference facilities, of varying sizes, with the largest being the 200-seat auditorium at visitor centre Ukko. Downhill skiing Together, Ukko-Koli and Loma-Koli boast 12 slopes, with roughly 130 skiing days per year – for numerous skiing opportunities. The various routes are shown on a separate map. Winter activities: • Cross-country skiing • Downhill skiing and snowboarding • Snowshoeing • Snowmobiling • Dogsled safaris • Riding • Fishing • Bathing in a traditional smoke sauna CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING: Koli boasts Finland’s longest continuous illuminated skiing track (25 km) and roughly 60 km of tracks in total. Check out our map of cross-country skiing tracks. SNOWMOBILING: North Karelia offers some 1,800 km of snowmobile routes. The Koli area’s snowmobile routes cover both land and ice. SUMMER ACTIVITIES: • Hiking and nature trekking • Canoeing • Bicycling • ATV safaris • Fishing • Riding • Lake cruises • Disc golf Koli National Park provides a full 80 kilometres of wellequipped hiking trails, of various lengths and levels of difficulty. Various events are organised in Koli all year round. Some of the best-known events include the Marathon of Dangers trail running event, the Outdoor Activity Week, Midsummer in Koli, Koli Ruska Blues, the Wolverine Skiing event, the Koli Scenic Ski event and the Tour de Koli mountain biking event.


www.koli.fi/In-English

Nina Mikkonen programme director Project of Nature-based Tourism Development at Koli Tel. +358 50 300 0012 nina.mikkonen@pikes.fi

Contact us if interested in travelling to Koli, starting a business here, or investing in the area.

Mikko Muikku liaison manager Project of Nature-based Tourism Development at Koli Tel. +358 40 104 4174 mikko.muikku@lieksa.fi

We are dedicated to providing answers to all questions.

Esko Lehto mayor City of Lieksa Tel. +358 40 104 4001 esko.lehto@lieksa.fi Veli Lyytikäinen executive director Koli Travel Association Tel. +358 40 771 6652 veli.lyytikainen@koli.fi Aki Nevalainen corporate services account manager Pielinen Karelia Development Center Ltd PIKES Tel. +358 400 905 829 aki.nevalainen@pikes.fi

This brochure has been produced by the Project of Nature-based Tourism Development at Koli, which is administered and coordinated by the Pielinen Karelia Development Center (PIKES). The project is co-produced by the City of Lieksa. The project’s period of operation is from 1 October 2011 to 31 December 2014, and its primary source of funding is the Regional Council of North Karelia from the European Regional Development Fund.

Distance to Koli The center of Lieksa.............................95 km The distance from Lieksa to Loma-Koli is 35 km across the ice road.

Nurmes ...................................................76 km Valtimo ...................................................91 km Joensuu ..................................................70 km Kuopio ..................................................151 km Jyväskylä .............................................301 km

Lahti ......................................................388 km Oulu ......................................................343 km Helsinki ................................................490 km

The flight to Joensuu takes approximately one hour.

Sortavala ............................................204 km Petrozavodsk ....................................440 km St. Petersburg ...................................480 km

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