This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you are better prepared for what to expect, what not to expect and can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Lieksa. To help you make friends with Lieksa before you visit, we've included a few helpful and fun things you should know about the area. Enjoy!
Lieksa, a Finnish town with a population of only about twelve thousand inhabitants, has experienced a small tourism boom in the last few years, thanks for the movie "Lieksa!" from 2007, which was directed by Markku Pölönen. Lieksa has a lot to offer to not only the fans of the movie, but also to those interested in enjoying Finnish nature at its best -- the town overlooks the shores of the Lake Pielinen and is located some sixty kilometers away from the stunning Koli National Park, which is easily accessible by road or car ferry from Lieksa.
Lieksa can be reached from Finnish major cities by bus or train, though a change in Joensuu is almost always required. Intending to serve hikers and other outdoor enthusiasts not relying on an own car, the "Kimppataksi" pre-arrangeable shared cab service runs regularly between Lieksa and the Koli National Park.
Finding decent accommodation in Lieksa can be tricky, especially for backpackers on a tight budget. Fortunately, there are a couple of Lieksa hostels and lots of cottages for rent. The hostels in Lieksa are likely to provide Wi-Fi, but as in most Finnish hostels, kitchen facilities may be totally lacking. At least one of the Lieksa hostels has a bookable sauna.
Lieksa is located next to the Russian border and often described to be home for the most hospitable people in the region of North Karelia. The local cuisine has a strong Russian influence -- make sure you try the "karjalanpaisti" hot pot, "karjalanpiirakka" rice pies and "sultsina" rye flatbread!
Written by local enthusiast for Lieksa hostelsLotta Kauppi