Lake Saimaa is a lake in southeastern Finland. At approximately 4,400 km2 (~1,700 mi2), it is the largest lake in Finland, and the fourth largest natural lake in Europe. Lake Saimaa is the principle lake in a system of waterways that feature 14,000 islands in total. There are several major towns by the side of the lake, including Joensuu, Lappeenranta, Savonlinna, Varkaus, Mikkeli and Imatra.
The Saimaa Ringed Seal is one of only two species of freshwater seal. With a remaining population estimated only at just over 200, they are known to live only in Saimaa. The Saimaa Salmon is another endangered species living in its waters.
Attractions for visitors in the winter include skiing, snowmobile safaris, ice skating, ice fishing and snowshoeing. In the summer, as well as resting on its sandy shores, it is also possible to fish, sail, canoe, kayak and swim in the lake or take a cruise across it. In all seasons, many guided tours are available.
There are many kilometers of cycling routes in Saimaa along the shoreline and leading to popular and less well known beauty spots for cyclists. The Linnansaari and Kolovesi National Parks are both within the Saimaa area.