Western Saimaa tour introduces the beautiful lake regions as well as cultural landscapes and destinations. In Taipalsaari area the route passes through magnificent lake landscape surrounded by islands. There are valuable cultural landscapes on the way to Suomenniemi and in Suomenkylä village. The old Kärnäkoski Fortress is an interesting sight, offering great place for a break. Suomenniemi is a nice place to spend a day on the beach or to try kayaking. In Luumäki you can see the historical Salpalinja defence line with interesting sights and history. In Lemi you can taste the tratitional local dish, Lemin särä.
Duration: 4 pv
Lappeenranta – Levänen 25 km
Levänen – Suomenniemi 44 km
Suomenniemi – Taavetti 63 km
Taavetti – Lappeenranta 50 km
The beginning of the route goes through Lappeenranta market square and harbor, both of which offer nice places for a snack or coffee break. Lappeenranta fortress offers a big picture for those interested in city’s history. Route to Taipalsaari follows nice cycle tracks. Landscape varies from island to bridges and lake views. In Taipalsaari you have a change to refill your food supplies at the local grocery store. There are also several options for accommodation in Taipalsaari and Levänen area. The Röytty House Museum gives a nice viewpoint to region history with buildings originating from 1680.
The route continues to Savitaipale through beautiful fields, forests and farms. Savitaipale offers stores, handcraft shops and museums before continuing the journey. In Savitaipale you can choose to continue to Suomenniemi or straight to Luumäki. Close to Savitaipale is an interesting Traces of the Ice Age – Stone Age man hiking trail.
If you continue towards Suomenniemi, there is a beautiful Kärnäkoski area with an old fortress originating from 1790. Kärnäkoski is one of the two rivers running between Kuolimo and Saimaa. The other one, Partakoski, is about two kilometers forward. Here you find a small shop, restaurant and harbor in a beautiful surrounding. At Suomenkylä there is an impressive view to Lake Kuolimo and together with the old buildings it is a nationally significant landscape. You can spend time on the areas nature trails or by canoeing on Lake Suomijärvi. From Suomenniemi you follow the same route back to Savitaipale.
From Savitaipale to Luumäki the route passes through vast fields and forests. Taavetti, the main village of Luumäki, has nice small summer market and old Taavetti fortress from 18th century. After Taavetti the route follows the shores of Lake Kivijärvi over Jurvalanharju ridge before turning north towards Lemi. You can stop at historical Salpa-asema, if you continue 2 km over the intersection at Jurvala. Route north of Jurvala ridge follows an interesting road passing through lakes and forests. Once you arrive to Lemi you have the possibility to try the traditional Lemin Särä lamb dish, but make sure to reserve it well in advance since it takes over 8 hours to prepare. The final section of the route passes through countryside landscapes with cycle tracks leading you back to the center of Lappeenranta.
Good to know
Road surfaces are mainly pavement with some section on sand road. From Partakoski to Suomenniemi the route follows a curvy and hilly sand road. There are relatively steep ascents at times, but the route does not require excellent physical condition. The distances between accommodation and other services are long, making it important to plan the day trips well.
To start the tour
Route starts from Lappeenranta harbour. Lappeenranta can be reached by bus, train or airplane.