Technical Dive Sites in Finland
Here's some information of some of the our favourite dive sites that we visit in Europe during the summer months. They are all cold water dives and a dry suit with dry gloves is a must as the water temperature beyond approximately 12m deep is a chilly 4-6 degrees year round. Heated undergarment are also highly recommended and are essential is you plan to conduct dives longer than one hour.
And of course if you have a different destination in mind we can organise expeditions and courses there as well, simply contact us.
Located approximately 60 km west of Helsinki in the town of Lohja you can find this lime mine that is one of the most popular sites for cave divers in Finland. The mining operations here were discontinued in the mid 1960's after which the ground water slowly filled the entire mine.
Ojamo mine can be dived year round with the water temperature a constant 4 degrees in the tunnels and the open water can warm up to around 20 degrees in the shallows during summer. The visibility in the tunnels is stunningly clear. The open water section of the mine
is also clear during the winter but drops to 1-3m during the summer.
The mining tunnels start at 30m and extend to over 200m, however the deepest recorded dive here was to 160m. The 88m level is the most extensive with tunnels that penetrate for almost 2 km. There is a lot to see throughout the mine from small tunnels to expansive chambers so large that you can only see the line running through the darkness as you cross them. There are many tools and remnants of the days when the mine was in operation.
The line work in the mining tunnels is extensive and a habitat located at 6m makes decompression more comfortable. The facilities at the water entry are also very user friendly with ramps and platforms in place for donning and removing gear. There is also a comfortable shed for gear preparation with ample parking space right next to it, toilet facilities and a BBQ area.
Near Kuopio, Finland
Located about 30 km from the town of Kuopio, is the old Oravikoski mine. Access to the mine is limited by the owner of the land and you must obtain the gate code in order to even reach the mine.
The open water at Oravikoski has been plumbed to a depth of 280 m and the shallowest tunnel starts at 40 m. Although much of the walls below around 50 m have not been fully explored there are known tunnels at the 70 and 100 m levels. There is plenty still to explore here but be prepared to go deep.
There is a nice deco station located near the know tunnels with a solid rope that continues to the first level of the mine.
Visibility in the open water is good in the shallower water and is quite spectacular below around 50 m, giving breath taking views of the walls of the mining pit.
Within the tunnels the visibility is great but can quickly deteriorate to nothing with a stray fin kick or with too many bubbles. For this reason rebreather diving is preferable for any penetration dives.
This is a somewhat remote and certainly undeveloped dive site on dry land. Located in the forest it is a great place to camp during your visit but you have to be self sufficient in all things including tank filling and gas mixing. But for all the challenges in getting here you will not regret the effort to dive here.
Located approximately 60 km from Kuopio, Paakkila mine was the largest asbestos mine in Finland and operated from 1918 to 1975. Today the mine consists of two areas of open water connected by a mining tunnel at 30m.
Visibility in both the tunnel and the open water is generally good but there is silt in the tunnel which, if disturbed, can destroy the visibility quickly. In the main lake there is also a lot to see in the open water. A line connects the various points of interest including a car and motorbike.
Orda Cave System (Ordinskaya)
The Orda Cave system is quite simply one of the most stunning caves you could hope to dive and should definitely be on the top of your 'must dive' list. Orda cave is one of the longest know gypsum caves and has water so clear that you will think your dive buddies are floating in air.
Located in the Perm region in Russia, near the small town of Orda, the opening to the cave system was discovered during the 1970's. Today the caves have been extensively mapped and extend for over 5 km. An extensive network of lines have been placed in the cave as well which makes dive planning and navigation simpler.
The average depth in the caves is only about 9 m and the maximum depth is 18 m so you will only need air in your tanks. The system consists of several large rooms connected by comfortably sized tunnels. For the more adventurous there is the option to take some of the smaller connecting tunnels which have a number of small restrictions and for which diving in a sidemount configuration is ideal.
The cave itself is reach by climbing down the network of stairs and ladders from the top of the hill where the accommodation is located, through the
collapsed sink hole and into the hill, approximately 80 m from top to the water entrance.
There is all inclusive accommodation available on the hill right above the cave, where you will stay in comfortable twin share rooms and be served delicious home cooked Russian meals. There is also a Finnish style sauna available.
There is also a spacious area for gear preparation, battery charging and equipment drying in the accommodation complex. At the water entrance there is also convenient benches for final gear assembly.