For a passionate ice skater, there’s nothing like the wide-open landscape of an ice-covered lake. And at Lake Kallavesi in Eastern Finland, there will be endless ice in late February. This is when Finland’s oldest ice skating event on natural ice will see hundreds of participants lace up their skates for races of 25km, 50km, 100km and 200km.
The city of Kuopi has hosted this traditional skating competition since 1984, though previously it was held in the cities of Lahti and Oulu. The lake-harbour of Kuopio will serve as race centre for the 8-kilometre race lap (weather permitting).
As well as the ice skating, there’s a 50km kicksled race, and – new in 2020 – ice biking races (24km, 48km and 100km) will be part of the freezing fun too taking place from Friday morning. Whether you’re looking to join in or wrap up warm and enjoy some icy action, this is the coollest weekend of the year in Kuopio.
For competitors, the Skater’s Night awards ceremony is included in the registration fee. Kuopio is reached by a 4-hour train ride or a 1-hour flight north of Helsinki.