North Ostrobothnia and Kainuu
Northern Ostrobothnia is a region on the North of Finland, and covers about 30 municipalities of the country. The provincial areas of Northern Ostrobothnia are the valleys of Pyhäjoki, Siikajoki, Oulujoki and Iijoki. The northeastern municipalities of North Ostrobothnia are Pudasjärvi, Taivalkoski and Kuusamo, together with Posio, belong to the Lapland region. Kuusamo is one of the largest municipalities and it is a very polupar tourist destination in Finland, with it's 6000 cottages avaliable, more than in any other municipality in Finland. Ski center Ruka is located here, and it is perhaps the most famous and popular ski resort in the country, and also one of the largest. A powerful infrastructure, the highest quality slopes, restaurants and cafes, offering a view of an amazing Laplandian landscape - this is what Ruka has to offer. You can enjoy skiing, snowmobile tours and excursions with reindeer and dog sleds and many other things at the resort. The season here is quite long - from October to June. In summer time Kuusamo is a popular wilderness destination for fishing, kayaking and hiking. You can find one of the most famous and very popular hiking trail at the Oulanka National Park - the Bear's Ring (Karhunkierros), with the lengh of about 80 km. Kuusamo is also a place, where you can experience the Nothern Lights.
Oulu is one of the largest city in the region and it is a great place to visit. The Market Square is a perfect place to take a look at, along with The Northern Ostrobothnia museum, The Koitelinkoski rapids, The Arctic Gallery, The Oulu Cathedral. Take a walk to the Hupisaaret Islands - a large park area located in the estuary of the Oulu river, vitit one of the cities festivals, like Oulu Music Video Festival or Air Guitar World Championships.
There are a number of unique places in Northern Ostrobothnia, like Maakalla - a lighthouse village in Kalajoki, an old peasant house in Oulunsalo, Kempele Old Church from 1691, an old fisher hut in Pallonen, a stone marking the geographical centre of Finland in Piippola and so on.
Kainuu is a home for Oulujärvi - one of the largest lakes in Finland. Kainuu region has three major sports and ski resorts - Paljakka, Ukkohalla and Vuokatti, which are a great place to visit, especially during the winter season. The resorts offer various sport possibilities for different seasons, such as cross country skiing, downhill skiing, hiking etc.
Kajaani is the so-called capital of Kainuu. The city offers many commercial and culturally related services for tourists, and there are a lot of great places to visit, like the Kajaani Castle built in 1604 (situated on an island on the Kajaani river in the centre of the city), Kajaani Church, Town Theater, Kaukametsä Culture and Congress Center, Kainuu Museum and the Kajaani Art Museum. There are a number of festivals held at the region - Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival, Kajaani Poetry Week, Kajaani Dance, Kajaani International Dog Show etc.