Rastinniemi is a wonderful nature destination on the shores of Lake Saimaa
Cycling in Saimaa
Spend an atmospheric evening on Lake Saimaa in a kayak
The splendor of summer in Saimaa
Enjoy the summer on Lake Saimaa
The Saimaa Archipelago Route is a wonderful cycling route
Spring atmosphere in Saimaa
Ruuhonsaari islands are a Saimaa Unesco Global Geopark destination
Mountain biking in the lush forests
Lake Saimaa is full of stunning scenery
Sarviniemi is a charming day trip destination on the shores of Lake Saimaa
Autumn colours by Lake Saimaa
Winter day in the great outdoors
Imatra on the banks of the Vuoksi River
Saimaa is truly a summer paradise
South Karelia – Lappeenranta & Imatra region
The region of Lappeenranta and Imatra is located on the shores of Finland's largest lake, Lake Saimaa, in South Karelia. The unique nature of the lake district can be admired from the shores of Lake Saimaa – and on its waves. The most famous of the numerous natural sites are Lappeenranta Fortress and the harbor area, Kärnäkoski Fortress in Savitaipale, Kuivaketvele hill fort in Taipalsaari, Imatrankoski rapids, Ruokolahti church hill and Kummakivi erratic boulder. Enjoy Lake Saimaa in all seasons: on kayak and on a cruise in summer, on skis and snowshoes in winter!
Attractions in South Karelia
Discover the region
Rural tourism and urban culture
Photo: Saku Suutari, goSaimaa
The region of Lappeenranta and Imatra consists of two cities and seven municipalities. The distances in the area are not long: the 35-km distance between Lappeenranta and Imatra is convenient by car, train or bicycle. From the port of Lappeenranta, it is easy to head to the waters of Lake Saimaa, to nearby nature trails, or to the Lake Saimaa archipelago route, on which you can go around the whole of Lake Saimaa by bike, thanks to the useful ferry connections.
Imatra, on the other hand, is one of the original touristic destinations in Finland, where the main attraction in summer is the Imatrankoski rapids and the rapids show. The Ukonniemi sports facilities in Imatra offer a setting for an active holiday: the cross-country skiing trail Ensilumen latu is directly accessible from the door of the accommodation (normally in operation from October to April).
Those wishing for a rural idyll do not have to head far from the city centres, as the countryside is near and perfect for day trips – and why not even longer. In South Karelia, you can get from one place to another in a very short time, from half an hour to an hour. For example, you can start from Savitaipale and continue to Lappeenranta, from where you can also conveniently reach Taipalsaari in just a quarter of an hour. Similarly, Ruokolahti is only half an hour's drive from Imatra. Add another half an hour, and you can reach the beautiful scenery of Rautjärvi.
The historical atmosphere can be sensed in Kotkanniemi, Luumäki, where the former Finnish president's, P. E. Svinhufvud's, home museum is located. In addition to cultural experiences, several historical sites offer stories from the past and the present and, above all, relaxed South-Karelian hospitality. In the area there are numerous different destinations to visit and cottages, holiday homes, apartment hotels, spa hotels and camping areas to stay in.
Recommended places to visit
Moving around in nature is free – which also means responsibility
In Finland, the so-called "everyman's right" is applied, but the freedom to roam also requires responsibility. Respecting nature, not littering, following your own carbon footprint, and making your own responsible choices are good starting points. In the Lappeenranta and Imatra region, we have begun to invest in responsible tourism by training tourism companies in responsibility and communicating about it.
Let's take care of the beautiful nature of Lake Saimaa together so that even future generations can enjoy it!
For nature lovers
Things to do all year round
Exciting cycling routes
Accessible routes and destinations
goSaimaa Ltd’s DigiSaimaa project (A77603, ERDF) is funded as a part of the European Union’s response to the covid-19 pandemic (REACT-EU).