A person in a pullover and a beanie is paddling in calm waters. She is shown from behind and has a small red cabin on an islet in front ot her.

Northern nature from archipelago and seacoasts to humming boreal forests and lush riverbeds – Oulu offers you a higher grade of closeness with nature. Whether you are a talent wishing to relax after a hard day at work or on holiday looking to take it easy, Oulu has a pleasant surprise in store for you.

In Oulu, the nature is close to you even in the city centre. You must have already seen the fishermen right at the heart of town, the wonderful parks just a stone’s throw from Rotuaari, and the lovely islands in the estuary that offers enjoyable experiences and places for the busy city people to calm down. No? Well, get cracking!

Whether you are looking for more extreme activities or a flat landscape, you will have easy access to a suitable destination. Recreation, hiking in the wild, sports, and other activities are easy to arrange in the Oulu region. Sea, rivers, rapids, lakes – check! What about spending time in the woods, sitting by campfires, wandering in the marshes, and climbing edgy rocks – we can provide! You do not have to go far even for downhill skiing, for the southernmost fell in Finland is right around the corner.

And hey – you must be familiar with everyman’s rights? They are the foundation for spending time in the Finnish nature. Refresh your memory about everyman’s rights at (opens in a new tab).

Accessible activities

A woman wearing a beanie is walking in a forest with a woven basket. The sun is setting behind her back and colouring the forest golden.

The City of Oulu has listed the nature trails and natural reserves for hiking and enjoyment around the year. See more about the nature trails in (opens in a new tab).

According to public rumours, the best campfire sites in the region can be found in the Sanginjoki and Pilpasuo areas, while birdwatchers will certainly find one that they like among the 24 towers and platforms made for the purpose.

For a list of ski tracks and fitness trails visit the City of Oulu pages (opens in a new tab). In the winter, 350 kilometres of maintained ski track will delight cross-country skiers of various levels, and more than 200 kilometres of year-round fitness trails and routes enhance the selection. Naturally, in Oulu biking on the trails is also a must. Read more about cycling.

By the water

A person with an SUP board in a wintry landscape, photographed from above. The water is partly frozen and the trees are frosty.

If you favour the surging sea, you might have your mind set on shores where even the wind is salty. For such a craving, we recommend you head out to Virpiniemi recreation area, known for its cross-country skiing terrain and golf courses. Check out this pdf document for more information about Virpiniemi (pdf). For sandy beaches and hiking in the woods, discover Hietasaari Island and Nallikari Beach – the seaside living room for all of Oulu. Read more about Hietasaari (pdf).

You can hear the roar of the rapids a long way away – well, that is Koiteli, a unique destination for relaxed hiking, swimming, and fishing. See more about the Koiteli rapids on (opens in a new tab). For swimming, you can go almost anywhere in Oulu – even in the wintertime! Find the spots for swimming on the City of Oulu pages (opens in a new tab).

Park fun around the corner

A cool oasis in the summer heat, a lovely place to hang around throughout the year – it is a park! Oulu is a city of parks, and we are particularly proud of our well-maintained greenspaces that will cheer anyone up! A few notes for quiz enthusiasts: Oulu has 160 playgrounds for children, 13 campfire sites, 18 dog enclosures, and about 2 400 garbage bins in the parks! These are rather good facilities for spending time with the whole family (including the smallest and furriest members).

The Hupisaaret City Park – more commonly known as Ainola Park – will charm everyone: the lovely islands from Kiikkusaari to Paratiisisaari are partly in their natural state. Tuiranpuisto has an accessible park full of rhododendrons, and Karjasillanpuisto has the Kaupunginoja brook running through it. The park in Hollihaka offers a variety of activities from skateboarding to an outdoor gym, and the historic Kuusisaari Island is a great recreation ground for everyone! Find all the parks in Oulu on the City of Oulu pages (opens in a new tab).