Kuhmo is a small town and large municipality (twice the area of Luxembourg) in the Kainuu region, Finland.
In a part of Finland struggling with decreasing population, Kuhmo has turned it to their advantage with sound self-irony, such as marketing themselves as the municipality with the hairiest population (clue: think claws). The Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival is the biggest in Finland, with many visitors even from abroad.
Kuhmo lies amidst the forests and lakes of eastern Finland, some 600 kilometres north of Helsinki. The nearest railway station and airport are in Kajaani, with connections to Kuhmo by bus and taxi.
Driving from southern Finland you could use road 9 (E63) from Turku or road 4 (E75) from Helsinki to Jyväskylä, continue along E63 to Kuopio and turn to road 75 to Kuhmo. From the eastern lakeland, use road 5 via Mikkeli and Varkaus (joining E63 before Kuopio) or road 6 via Joensuu (crossroads with road 75 near Nurmes).
From Kostomuksha in Russian Karelia you can come via the Vartius/Люття border crossing (open daytime only[dead link]).
Kuhmo has a dial-a-ride service.
See Kainuu and Eastern Oulu region#By taxi
- Menevä Kuhmo, ☏ +358 50-471-0470 (head of office), toll-free: 0800-02120 (booking), email@example.com. Flag fall M–Sa 06:00–18:00: €4, other times and holidays: €7; 1–4 persons €0.90/km + €0.90/min, 5–8 persons minimum €20, €1.60/km + €0.90/min (December 2021).
- Smartphone apps: Valopilkku, 02 Taksi
- Kuhmo Arts Centre (Kuhmo-talo), Koulukatu 1, ☏ +358 8 615 55451. The Kuhmo Arts Centre offers a great variety of high quality congress spaces right in the city centre of Kuhmo. The Lentua hall and Pajakka hall also offer facilities for groups from 99 – 668 people. The woodwork of the uniquely beautiful Lentua hall was crafted by local carpenters. Restaurant Juttua offers tasty meals during the intervals. As Kuhmo is famous for chamber music as well as traditional folk music, it is also possible to be entertained by musicians and artists from local students up to international celebrities between your meetings.
- Kuhmo Visitor Centre Petola, Lentiirantie 342, ☏ +358 20-639-6380, +358 40-825-6060, firstname.lastname@example.org. In winter by appointment, 2 May–15 June M–F 09:00–16:00, 16 June–12 August daily 09:00–17:00, 13 August–31 October M–F 09:00–16:00. National park visitor centre. The Predators on the Prowl exhibition and short nature films. 0.5 km accessible nature trail. Information on national parks and similar destinations in the area; maps, souvenirs, fishing permits. Snowshoes for hire. Free.
- 1 Winter War Museum, Väinämöinen 11, ☏ +358 44 725 5398. In the Winter War Museum you will find out how Kuhmo survived through the war time.
- 2 Tuupala Museum, Tervatie 1, ☏ +358 44 725 5398. Tuupala is a residential museum in Kuhmo.
- Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival (Kuhmon Kamarimusiikki), Torikatu 39, ☏ +358 8 652-0936. 2023: 9–22 July. Leading chamber musicians transfix the town of Kuhmo in Eastern Finland every July with a skilfully designed festival programme, inimitable concerts, beautiful surroundings and sunlit nights that open the senses to new and sublime delight. The festival is the biggest chamber music festival in Finland (where most cities have their own), with some 70 concerts and 35,000 tickets sold. Concerts are held in the acoustically superb Lentua Hall of the Kuhmo Arts Centre, in the assembly hall of Kontio School, and in the town’s fine old wooden church. Although these venues are all within easy walking distance of one another, cycling remains the preferred mode of transport for both artists and audiences alike. €0–37 per concert.
- Jolly July (Hilpeä heinäkuu), Torikatu 39. Jolly July is an important part of the Kuhmo summer: a time when there’s plenty for all the family to do together – culture, nature and exercise. Grasp the activity summer with both hands! Don’t be put off by the heat or the rain. July is just for you and your children, just for you and your parents and grandparents. Fun, dreams, music, silence, feeling good, being together and surprises.
- Kuhmo Culture Celebrates Winter (Kuhmon Talvi), c/o Kuhmo Chamber Music, Torikatu 39, ☏ +358 8 652 0936. Kuhmo Culture Celebrates Winter is held every year in the beginning of January. It is a joint arena for the organisers and artists of various events, some of them internationally-acclaimed, it is a showcase for some of the best Kuhmo culture: music of many kinds, dance, exhibitions, film, nature photo and literary evenings. The aim of Kuhmo Culture Celebrates Winter is to present a wide selection of culture both to local residents and to people from further away. It is organised by Juminkeko, the Sommelo Music Festival, the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival, the City of Kuhmo, the Kuhmo Arts Centre and the Petola Nature Centre.
Hiking and canoeing destinations
- Elimyssalo (55 km to the east, by the border). 24 hours daily. The best of forest nature that Kainuu has to offer, according to Metsähallitus. Mires, old spruce forests, beard lichens, lush stream banks and small lakes and ponds. Also two old farms (Levävaara and Latvavaara; entrance to main buildings requires advance agreement, except at happenings). Elimyssalo form the Finnish-Russian Friendship Nature Reserve together with a few other Finnish reserves and the Kostomuksha Nature Reserve across the border. Lean-tos and campfire sites along the trails. From the Saari-Kiekki parking in the south, Levävaara and the central parts of the reserve can be reached on a 13-km hike on a marked trail around the Elimysjärvi lake. The trail crossing the area is part of the UKK trail. Free, including using the shelters and access to the farmyards.
- Iso-Palonen–Maariansärkät (35 km along road 912 towards Suomussalmi, turn right on a forest road towards Iso-Palonen (not maintained in winter), signage after 8 km). A 40-km² nature reserve with ridges, sandbanks, lakes, some mires, and barren pine forest (forestry until being protected in 1990). Important migration route and pasture for the wild Finnish forest reindeer. The trail through the area is part of the UKK trail. 30 km of trails. The 21 m/40-km Kalliojoki whitewater route (rapids of classes I–III) starts in Iso-Palonen, one of the larger lakes.
- Lentua (10 km north from the centre, reachable by canoe or small boat, or by the road towards Suomussalmi (road 912)). A 67-km² nature reserve consisting of most of the lake Lentua and some of its islands and shores. Primarily a boating or canoeing destination. Wilderness-like nature; the lake Lentua appears in Axeli Gallen-Kallelas illustrations of Kalevala and in novels by Veikko Huovinen. Part of the Finnish-Russian Friendship Nature Reserve. Open wilderness hut, lean-ẗos and other infrastructure. Parking, boat ramp, nature trail and lean-ẗos by the rapids Lentuankoski, the outflow of Lentua towards Kuhmo. The trail to the rapids is accessible by pram and wheelchair. The rapids are a famous sight. For whitewater sports, the upper rapids requires expertise (class IV; portage passage), while the lower rapids are easier. The 21 m/40-km Kalliojoki whitewater route (rapids of classes I–III) starts in Iso-Palonen in the Iso-Palonen–Maariansärkät Nature Reserve and ends in Lentua. The 150-km Tervareitti starts in Änättijärvi near Vartius and continues downstream from Kuhmo.
- Articmedia, Kivikiekintie 938, ☏ +358 50-579-0947, email@example.com. Wildlife watching tours in the Kuhmo area (hides and hiking), planned for seeing brown bear, wolf, wolverine or golden eagle. Also snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, smoke sauna, ice swimming, fishing, canoeing, walks in the silence of the Finnish forest etc.
- Boreal Wildlife Centre, Viiksimontie 2991, ☏ +358 400-187-286, firstname.lastname@example.org. Wildlife watching (bear, wolves, wolverine and birds). Elimyssalo nature reserve and Iso-Palonen hiking area are near by. Room accommodation in middle of wilderness in beautiful place next to beautiful lake. rooms €60, breakfast €10, lunch €15.
- Hotelli Kainuu, Kainuuntie 84, ☏ +358 8 6551711, email@example.com. The one and only place to go drinking in Kuhmo.
- Hotel Kalevala (Hotelli Kalevala), Väinämöinen 9 (by the Lake Lammasjärvi, 3 km from Kuhmo centre), ☏ +358 8 655-4100, firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Caters to holiday, special occasion and business visitors. Almost all rooms (44 double rooms and 3 suites) have a great lakeview. Well-being department with saunas, massage treatments etc. Cuisine designed for international taste whilst using local produce, meats and techniques. 126,00.
- Tulijärven Tuvat, Mäntyrannantie 41 (by road 75, 10 km south from town), ☏ +358 44-594-2757. A holiday village for the whole family. Cottages year round. Beautiful, peaceful and fresh wildlife around lake Tulijärvi (swimming possible). Versatile terrain for hiking, berry-picking, hunting and many other activities. In winter a wide ski track network. €70–160 for two, additional people à €20–30, linen à €20; one week €420–960.
- Hotel Kainuu (Hotelli Kainuu), Kainuuntie 84, ☏ +358 8 655-4100, email@example.com. Check-in: 15:00–18:00, check-out: 12:00. €77–89.
- Hiidenportti National Park: old-growth forest, the Hiidenpotti gorge, and silence. Connected to the Peurajärvi Recreational area with child-friendly beaches, and to the Teerisuo-Lososuo mire reserve.