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Neitijärvi ("Lady Lake") in the Ruunaa hiking area

Lieksa is a town in North Karelia, at the eastern shore of Lake Pielinen. The municipality reaches from the lake to the Russian border.


One of the main draws of Lieksa is its proximity to the vast Wild Taiga region, which stretches along the Russian border and is home to some of Europe's last remaining primeval forests. This unspoiled landscape provides ample opportunities for outdoor activities like hiking, berry picking, mushroom hunting, and wildlife watching.

Get in[edit]

By car[edit]

Lieksa is 90 km from the nearest major city Joensuu, and you can drive from there in a little over an hour.

By public transit[edit]

Lieksa is connected to Joensuu and Nurmes by local train and bus.

By ferry[edit]

The ferry across Pielinen was suspended in 2020.

Get around[edit]

The centre of Lieksa is compact, but many of the attractions listed here are off the beaten track and only accessible by car. The coaches are usable for some sights.

By dial-a-ride[edit]

Kimppakyyti service is a demand-responsive, accessible, door-to-door service open to all. You can order a ride directly from the driver, whose contact details can be found in each area. The order is made in the day before the service, between 16:00 and 18:00. The driver will provide you with the exact time of departure.

By taxi[edit]

See also: North Karelia#By taxi
  • Menevä Lieksa, +358 50-471-0470 (head of office), toll-free: 0800-02120 (booking). Also bookable by app or web. Fixed price based on calculated route and time if destination address given when booking by app or web. 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 (March 2021).
  • Smartphone apps: Valopilkku, 02 Taksi


Entrance to Paateri church
A trench of the Änäkäinen fortification in Lieksa
  • 1 Pielisen Museo, Pappilantie 2, +358 40-104-4151, . 10:00–18:00. An open air museum and exhibition halls with log houses, old tools and vehicles and such, where visitors can learn about the daily life in Lieksa in the days of yore. adults €5, children under 12 years €1.50. Pielinen Museum (Q11887930) on Wikidata
  • 2 The Rukajärvi front, Asema-aukio 2, +358 13 521-929. M–F 09:00–15:00. Sites from Second World War battles in the forests north-east of Lieksa. Office and exhibitions at the railway station.
  • 3 Paateri church (in Paateri, 25 km south of Lieksa). A wooden church designed like no other. Paateri Church (Q11886248) on Wikidata


  • 1 Patvinsuo National Park (40 km south-eastward from Lieksa centre), +358 20-639-5654, . National park centred around a large mire. Free. Patvinsuo National Park (Q591025) on Wikidata Patvinsuo National Park on Wikipedia
  • 2 Pikkukili, Salonkyläntie 90, Kelvä, +358 40-586-2863, . A zoo with farm animals almost in the middle of nowhere, halfway to Joensuu along highway 73. Views over Lake Pielinen from the observation tower, and looking east you can see Russia. They also have cottages where you can stay overnight. adults €12, children €10. Pikkukili (Q11888104) on Wikidata
  • 3 Reposuo-Kalliolahdensuo Nature Reserve (10 km east from Lieksa centre, by the village Pankakoski; the Lieksa–Ruunaa biking route passes the reserve). Mires by the lake Pankajärvi. Bird area. The village Pankakoski is adjacent. Don't disturb the birds inside the circle trail 15 April–10 July. Right to access mostly applies, but collecting invertebrates, fishing etc. is restricted. Dogs must be on a leash. Have long sleeves etc. in the mosquito season, and suitable footwear especially in spring flood times. Bring binoculars. Most birds arrive in April and many stay to October, most action at migration times. The easy 12-km trail is best walked contraclockwise; reserve 3–7 hr for walking the trail. There is a shop in Pankakoski. Don't rely on the water in the area, at least not without boiling it for a minute. You can camp by the campfire sites.
  • Ruunaa, +358 20-639-5654, . Public hiking area maintained by Metsähallitus. The visitor centre for Koli handles also Ruunaa.
    • 4 Ruunaa Hiking Centre (Ruunaan retkeilykeskus), Neitikoskentie 73, +358 13 533-170, . A kind of wilderness activity centre in the middle of the forest about 20 km east of Lieksa. Aside from being a hotel it is also a place for white water rafting, fishing, hiking and cross-country skiing in the winter.
  • 5 Erästely Canoe & Outdoors, Timitrantie 3, +358 400 271 581, . Guided tours. Canoeing, hiking, cycling and winter walks.




  • 1 Lieksan Leipomo, Pielisentie 31 (in the centre), +358 13 521-777, . M–F 08:00–17:00, Sa 09:00–14:00; lunch M–F 10:30–14:00. Bakery with café. Bruch on Saturdays in July. Lunch usually a soup, with salad, bread, Karelian pie and coffee. Lunch €8.30.



Go next[edit]

This city travel guide to Lieksa is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.