Sometimes you just need a weekend away in a fresh environment, to see new sights, or to simply unwind. Scandi Travel offers a fantastic weekend (or midweek) getaway to the Finnish region of South Karelia, in the charming southern town of Imatra and its cosmopolitan neighbour, Lappeenranta.
Imatra is a town in southeast Finland, close by the Russian border. It is dominated by the Vuoksi River and Lake Saimaa, and has been a popular attraction for tourists for over three hundred years. Luminaries such as Russian Empress Catherine II and author Alexandre Dumas have holidayed there.
Imatra has a wide range of attractions to delight tourists. Among these is the oldest nature reserve in Finland. Kruununpuisto Park was designated by Tsar Nicholas in 1842, when he preserved the area adjacent to and surrounding the famous Imantrankoski Rapids. The gloriously beautiful park is wonderful to explore, following the Historic Trail by Imperial Pavilions, rock carvings, potholes, and spectacular vistas. There are monuments to see and the trail is signposted along the way.
Lappeenranta is southeast Finland’s cultural and economic hub. A melting pot of east meets west, it is a university town famous for its seventeenth century fortress, and the oldest orthodox church in Finland. Summer sees it welcome its annual Sandcastle; artists construct Scandinavia’s biggest sandcastle at the north of the harbour. It even hosts entertainment for children. Tourists can cruise Lake Saimaa, or even take a cruise into Vyborg, Russia via the Saimaa Canal.
No trip to this region is complete without visiting (or, even better, staying in) the Rantasipi Valtionhotelli. This stunningly beautiful Castle hotel evokes the luxury of Imperial times, and is located in the centre of Imatra by the river rapids and crown parklands. More than just a comfortable place to stay, the Rantasipi Valtionhotelli is an active step back in time. Built in 1903, it was a getaway from Imperial St Petersburg for the wealthy. It is even said to have a resident ghost!
The South Karelia region of Finland is rich in history, natural attractions, and varied activities. Why not contact Scandi Travel next time you’re looking for a short break – and let the best tourist company in the Nordic help you plan the best short vacation you can imagine?