Book flights to lovely Lappeenranta in the south-east of Finland, right near the Russian border, and enjoy not just a great city break, but also the incredible natural beauty of Lake Saimaa. The lake is huge, and offers gorgeous scenery, cruising, fishing, sailing and swimming in Summer – the whole region is just brilliant for outdoorsy types, with plenty of hiking, biking and horseriding. Lappeenranta is also home to Europe’s largest sandcastle, built every summer in a different theme, and an incredible sight to behold! Book flights to Lappeenranta with Ryanair.
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Lappeenranta fortress

Surrounded by the ramparts, this historic district represents the original town which was founded in a medieval trading centre during the Swedish regime in 1649. Most of the buildings date back to the Russian era, which lasted from 1741 to 1917. Following renovation, they now house private residences, handicraft workshops and cultural and business premises. Graced with a fascinating history, magnificent scenery and a myriad attractions, the Fortress is today a popular tourist destination. The History The city of Lappeenranta was officially founded in 1649 by Queen Christina of Sweden, but the tale of the town had begun much earlier: in the Middle Ages, the Fortress became a bustling market place. Following the Battle of Lappeenranta in 1741, Sweden had to surrender the Fortress of Lappeenranta to Russia. A monument was erected in front of the ramparts of the Fortress in memory of the thousands of soldiers who perished in the battle. The fortification work which the Swedes had begun was subsequently continued by the Russians. The oldest surviving building in the Fortress date from the Russian period in the 1770s. Among those directing the fortification works was Count Aleksander Suvorov who had been assigned to the task and sent to south-east Finland by the Empress of Russia, Catherine the Great. The Fortress thus became an important link in the three-stage-fortification system designed to protect St. Petersburg. The Lappeenranta fortress today Today the Fortress area is an interesting attraction for tourists as well as local people: you can have a delicious meal in Linnoituksen Krouvi restaurant (open during summer time), enjoy your dessert at the lovely old fashioned café Majurska, visit the handicraft shops and buy some local souvenirs to take home! There are also three museums located in the Fortress: South Karelia Art museum, South Karelia museum and the Cavalry museum – and don´t forget to take a picture of the oldest Orthodox church in Finland.

​Website: http://www.gosaimaa.com/en/Activities/Sights/Attractions
Imatrankoski Rapids

The rapids were formed about 5000 years ago, when the water masses of Saimaa broke through the Salpausselkä ridge, next to Vuoksenniska. A dam was built to control the rapids in 1929. Nowdays you can admire the freely thundering rapids in summer during rapids displays. Rapids displays from 23th of June to 28th of August 6pm, daily. Water is released for 20 minutes through the dam gates to the River Vuoksi crossing the centre of Imatra, to the accompaniment of music by Sibelius, Darude or Nightwish. Shows with spectacular lights are also organised on Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve.

​Address: Imatrankoskentie 3, 55100 IMATRA​Website: http://www.gosaimaa.com/en/Activities/Sights/Attractions/
Golf

Take a golf holiday in the Saimaa area, the greens await you! All of the three full-length courses can be conveniently accessed with a Golf Pass! Etelä-Saimaa Golf, Lappeenranta The spectacular scenery and the well-maintained narrow and challenging fairways invite you for a round on the 18-hole course of Etelä-Saimaa Golf. Located on an island in the middle of the blue waters of Lake Saimaa, this course is only eight kilometres from the centre of Lappeenranta. Fairways running next to beaches and shoreline rocks and the differences in altitude will stay in the minds of all players. Holiday Club Golf Saimaa Rauha, Lappeenranta Holiday Club Golf Saimaa new course and driving range, completed for summer 2013, provide challenges and experiences of success for players of all skill levels. The undulating heather-clad heath, combined with the dramatic landscape filled with kettle holes during the Ice Age, creates an impressive setting for the game. After a day of golfing, you can relax in Holiday Club Saimaa’s luxurious Cirque de Saimaa spa world and the numerous saunas. Imatra Golf, Imatra The 18-hole Imatra Golf course is located close to the Finnish-Russian border, on the shores of the beautiful lake Immalanjärvi. This park-type course is a challenge for top players, and it enables club players to safely make bogeys. The course has been beautifully designed, taking the environment and the adjacent lake into consideration. Try also... A par-9 course Viipurin Golf has two courses in Lappeenranta: Etelä-Saimaa Golf and Kahilanniemi. The par-9 Kahilanniemi course is an interesting experience with its differences in altitude and lakeside views. There is room for drives, but the small greens, which are often elevated, have to be approached with care.

​Website: http://www.gosaimaa.com/en/Activities/Golf
Lake cruises from four harbours

Cruises on Lake Saimaa and river Vuoksi lasting anywhere from a few hours to several days, depart from four harbours. Below are some examples. Lappeenranta Harbour In Lappeenranta Harbour, you can board Finland’s largest boat operating in inland waters, the 350-capacity m/s Camilla. The waters of Lake Saimaa are connected to the Gulf of Finland by the 43 km-long Saimaa Canal, via Lappeenranta and Vyborg. Additional suspense to scheduled canal cruises is brought by passing through a lock that adjusts for the difference in the levels of Lake Saimaa and the Gulf of Finland by 13 metres. For a longer break from your everyday routine, choose m/s Brahe, spend the night on board and enjoy the sea and great food. M/S Brahe sails from Lappeenranta to the capital city of Helsinki, to Savonlinna, known for its castle and opera festival, and to Hamina, a historic garrison town. Charter cruises from Lappeenranta are made by m/s Suvi-Ellen, for example. It will take you to the archipelago, where you can land on an island, enjoy the sauna and spend an unforgettable day with your family or friends. Rauha Harbour M/S Kavaljeeri, which has a sauna on board, departs from the harbour of Rauha next to Holiday Club Saimaa in Lappeenranta. It offers both scheduled and charter cruises. Vuoksi Fishing Park in Imatra Vuoksetar, which departs from the Vuoksi Fishing Park in Imatra, is ideal for small groups and is also suitable for those with physical disabilities. Harbour at Imatran Kylpylä Spa Scenic cruises on m/s Christina depart from the harbour next to Imatra Spa. Spend a memorable summer evening on board, dining and taking in the scenery.

​Website: http://www.gosaimaa.com/en/Activities/Cruises
Spa

The four spas in the Lappeenranta and Imatra region offer a traditional spa experience, spiced up with new, magical features. Magical Cirque de Saimaa At Holiday Club Saimaa, you can indulge in one luxurious experience after another. The spa has a circus and funfair theme, which comes to life with the hundreds of coloured lights of the central piazza, dozens of fountains and the pool area reminiscent of a river bed. There are four different types of saunas to choose from: a salt, cottage and steam sauna as well as a smoke sauna on the roof. Water slides and other activities for families with children have been placed so as to ensure quiet space for those who require relaxation and massage. Kids have their own igloo sauna, where they can even watch children's programmes! The renowned Lappeenranta Spa At Saimaa's oldest spa, the restorative power of water has been enjoyed for almost 200 years, since the 1820s. The skillfully renovated Lappeenrannan Kylpylä Spa enables visitors to seamlessly combine various pampering treatments with bathing in a sauna and floating in Jacuzzis and relaxation pools. New comfortable rooms have recently been added to the spa. Lappeenrannan Kylpylä Spa is located right next to the harbour, in the vicinity of the town centre and its shops. Enter a magic forest at Imatra Spa At Imatran Kylpylä Spa, you can imagine walking into a Finnish forest­­­ and enjoying a summer's day with birdsong and refreshing showers – even in the middle of winter! The pool area is filled with voices, colours and mist. The magic forest offers relaxing massaging showers and the thundering waters of rocky rapids. In the Yorokobi Jacuzzi, the water is a pleasant +38 degrees Celsius. A variety of pampering treatments are provided by Beauty Spa Wellamo and Day Spa Venla. For those looking for an active holiday, Imatran Kylpylä Spa is a perfect choice: a long lane for fitness swimming, a gym, a bowling alley and badminton and floor ball courts challenge you to get involved in a game. Near the spa there is also an indoor ice rink and a multi-purpose sports hall. Rantasipi Imatran Valtionhotelli & Day Spa Located on the banks of the Imat­rankoski rapids, the romantic castle setting of Imatran Valtionhotelli hides a modern spa with pampering pools and Jacuzzis. In addition to bathing, you can relax on a warm stone bed. Small children can frolic in their own pool. The sauna section includes a steam and a lavender sauna, plus an Oriental sauna for women. For men, there is the Castle sauna with a comfortable lounge area. The communal infrared sauna will provide extra warmth. The castle hotel also offers beauty and massage services in the wellness section, Julia Wellbeing, the facilities of the Spa Gym and opportunities for making purchases at the Spa Shop.

​Website: http://www.gosaimaa.com/en/Activities/Spas
Enjoying Lake Saimaa in summer

The Saimaa area is known for its sunny summer. A lakeside sauna and views are an integral part of the Finnish summer idyll. Hop on a standard or an electric bike and take to the roads of summery Lake Saimaa. There are also lots of options for experiencing the waters. On a cruise, you can feel the special atmosphere of Lake Saimaa. Motor and sailing boats, canoes and kayaks enable more individual navigation in the beautiful lake scenery. Saimaa region for kids The Lappeenranta and Imatra region offers loads of fun things to do for families with children. The Myllysaari Family Park in Lappeenranta features activities such as a playground, football fields, a parkour course, a fitness and climbing area, the Flowpark, a sledge slide, swimming facilities, diving towers and a beach café. Hop on the street train in Myllysaari and travel to the Fortress (old town), city centre, Traffic Park, Sandcastle and harbour. The environmentally-friendly street train, powered by natural gas, passes through the green, lush town and the old Fortress, giving you the chance to enjoy views of Lake Saimaa. The street train departs from the Sandcastle every hour, on Mondays 12 pm– 5 pm and on other days 10 am–5 pm. Little fishermen can head for the Vuoksi Fishing Park, located on the island of Varpasaari near the Imatrankoski rapids in Imatra. Fishing equipment is rented out, and there is also a restaurant to cater for hungry visitors. Cruises on the River Vuoksi also start here. Animal enthusiasts will enjoy a visit to Activity Centre Päivölä in Taipalsaari, whatever the season. It is home to Icelandic horses that you can ride safely, accompanied by an instructor. Summer activities: • Fishing • Cruises • Sailing • Parasailing • Golf • Indoor skating at Holiday Club Saimaa Arena or UK Areena • Canoeing • Disc golf • Standard and electric bikes • ATV safaris • Horseback riding • Water-skiing and water scooters • Banana boat rides • Diving • Floating in a dry suit in the River Vuoksi or on Lake Saimaa

​Website: http://www.gosaimaa.com/en/Activities/Summer-activities
Fun in the snow

Fresh white snow and crispy winter weather. No excuses to stay indoors. There are countless ways to enjoy the winter in the Saimaa area. Winter activities: - Cross-country skiing - Downhill skiing, snowboarding - Reindeer sleigh rides - Husky safaris - Snowmobiles - Snowshoe trips - Parasailing - Quad bike safaris - Ice fishing - Nordic tour skating and traditional skating - Hovercraft rides - Horse riding, also Icelandic horses - Dry-suit floating in the River Vuoksi or Lake Saimaa - Kick sledding

​Website: http://www.gosaimaa.com/en/Activities/Winter-activities
Kruununpuisto - The Crown Park

In 1842, at the behest of Tsar Nicholas 1, Finland's first national park, the Imatra Crown Park, was founded in the area surrounding the Imatrankoski rapids. The park contained imperial landscape pavilions, m rock carvings, giant's kettles (natural phenomenon), etc. Guided walking tours 4 July - 3 August daily at 5 pm, departing in front of Bar & Cafe Kuohu. Participation: adults € 5, children 4-16 years € 2,50. There is a separate map and brochure of the park, available from tourist information offices.

​Website: http://www.gosaimaa.com/en/Activities/Sights/Attractions/
Local food in Lake Saimaa area Let yourself be charmed by local specialities served at the region's restaurants and cafés. Vety, Atomi, Karjalanpaisti and the famous Särä are some of the traditional fare on offer in Lake Saimaa area.
Holiday Club saimaa

In Holiday Club Saimaa, you can find restaurants with different atmospheres. Choose your favourite or test them all! Le Biff - á la carte A Jospers charcoal grill ensures juicy steaks and charcoal aromas; the delicious flavours are complemented by food from local suppliers and a comprehensive wine list. Warm à la carte restaurant with different knives to suit the steaks. The kitchen is closed an hour before the restaurant closes. We recommend that you'll reserve a table beforehand. Easy Kitchen Stop by for a quick lunch or enjoy a peaceful dinner - choose from our wide selection of treats. Delicious lunch and dinner buffet, including salads, main course and coffee. Also the hotel buffet breakfast is served at Easy Kitchen. O'Learys - Sports bar This Boston-style sports bar is a real event bar. 47 television screens allow you to watch Grand Prix racing, football or ice hockey or even the Eurovision song contest. You can also have your own song contest in the separate karaoke corner. Or spend your evening playing pool and other games. The menu has burgers, ribs and other Boston delicacies.

​Address: Rauhanrinne 1, Rauha, Lappeenranta​Website: http://www.gosaimaa.com/en/Services/Restaurants
Restaurant Rauhanranta

A new restaurant has opened its doors at the shore of Lake Saimaa in the Saimaa Gardens area in Lappeenranta. The restaurant is located near Holiday Club Saimaa. Great pizza, pasta and other delicacies. Welcome!

​Address: Alminraitti 13, 55320 Rauha​Website: http://www.gosaimaa.com/en/Services/Restaurants/
Tassos

Known for its Greek-style food, pepper steaks and friendly service, Tassos has been serving local foodies since 1979. Come and enjoy À la Carte dishes or weekday lunch at our cosy restaurant in the centre of Lappeenranta. Our plated lunch is served between 11am and 2pm. The facilities on the 2nd floor are available for private functions and meetings and can hold up to 90 guests. Come on over – we're happy to be at your service!

​Address: Valtakatu 33, 53100 LAPPEENRANTA​Website: http://www.gosaimaa.com/en/Services/Restaurants/
Wanha Makasiini

Versatile a la carte menu and great service. Restaurant is located in Lappeenranta

​Address: Satamatie 4, 53900 LAPPEENRANTA​Website: http://www.gosaimaa.com/en/Services/Restaurants/
Säräpirtti Kippurasarvi

Restaurant Säräpirtti Kippurasarvi in Lemi, some 20 kilometres from Lappeenranta, has been serving a single dish, ‘särä’, for as long as 35 years. More than 30,000 kilos of this popular dish is made every year. Restaurant Säräpirtti Kippurasarvi is the only restaurant in Finland specialising in a single dish. Säräpirtti has standard serving times for which advance booking is required, since the dish takes up to nine hours to prepare. For groups of more than ten, a specific time can also be booked. Contact information is available on page 37. You can enjoy ‘särä’ at the brand new Särä Shop or a café in Lappeenranta Market Hall, or take away some of this local delicacy and heat it up later. The shop and café are open from Monday to Saturday.

​Address: Rantatie 1, 54710 LEMI​Website: http://www.gosaimaa.com/en/Services/Restaurants/
Nordic Kitchen Kastanja

À la carte restaurant at Imatran Kylpylä Spa. The menu and the wine list are guaranteed to fulfil the expectations of even the most demanding gourmet. Enjoy the jovial atmosphere in a good company without rush. You can find something suitable on the menu for adults as well as children, to satisfy every appetite.

​Address: Purjekuja 2, 55420 IMATRA​Website: www.gosaimaa.com/en/Services/Restaurants
LinnaSali

Linnasali Restaurant, in the famous castle hotel Rantasipi Imatran Valtionhotelli, has 250 customer seats. This Art Nouveau style restaurant has a beautiful view towards the Imatrankoski rapids. Even the most demanding gourmet finds satisfaction here. Breakfast for the hotel customers is also served in these premises. The table reservations are easily made at the restaurant or at the hotel reservation office.

​Address: Torkkelinkatu 2, 55100 IMATRA​Website: http://www.gosaimaa.com/en/Services/Restaurants
Rosso

Rosso is a cosy, child-friendly restaurant with a central location and a menu inspired by the flavours of Italian cuisine. Fresh ingredients and a friendly staff make dining at Rosso a pleasure for the entire family. Rosso Lappeenranta can be found in the centre of town, next to shopping centre Armada. Give us a visit and experience the wonderful Italian-inspired atmosphere first hand!

​Address: Koskenparras 1, 55100 IMATRA​Website: http://www.gosaimaa.com/en/Services/Restaurants
Wanha Virveli

Café Wanha Virveli is located by the River Vuoksi. There are fishing licenses and equipment available as well as possibility to prepare and smoke fish. In addition there are boats, salmon/sea sturgeon pool, barbecue hut, café-restaurant, tent and caravan slots, cottage accommodation, toilet and shower facilities.

​Address: Kotipolku 4, Vuoksen kalastuspuisto, 55120 IMATRA​Website: http://www.gosaimaa.com/en/Services/Restaurants
A cool beer rounds off a hot summer’s day and kicks off a night of winter fun. The pubs and bars are packed with cheerful people and friendly atmosphere during the holiday season. If you enjoy hitting the dance floor, the fun can go on into the small hours of the night. While the rest of Saimaa sleeps, the dance venues and discos will stay up with you all through the night. The alternatives include both nightclubs with an international flair and traditional dance venues. In addition to live music and the enjoyable terraces, you can spend your night playing sports or board games in the Saimaa area.
House of Bars

The House of Bars spacious facilities can accommodate groups large or small for an evening of socialising and light snacks. The kitchen is open from morning to late evening, turning out delicious food for all the outlets. Located in the best spot in Lappeenranta, Upside is a place for dining, socialising and partying – with a DJ, live acts and themed nights to get things going. You can also book Upside for private use for you and your friends, or have private functions organised according to your wishes. With its friendly and easy-going staff, Green Apple is a great place for meeting up with friends over coffee or cold beer. Located right where the action is, it's a meeting point to suit many tastes. Cosy and warm, The Old Park is an Irish bar that appeals to people young and old. Come on over, you'll love it here! The bar boasts a wide selection of beers and ciders from all over the world. At the downstairs bar Ace Bar & Play, you'll get to enjoy a great atmosphere while hanging out with friends or playing bar games. You can play pool, air hockey or darts, or gather up a bunch of people for a board game. Or why not join us to watch some of the best games on TV on our large screens?

​Address: Valtakatu 36, 53100 Lappeenranta​Website: http://www.gosaimaa.com/en/Services/Cafés
The BIG J's Bar

A new bar in the city centre of Lappeenranta. Great drinks and especially cocktails - come and try them out! We are open from Tuesday to Sunday from 4 pm to 2 am.

​Address: Kauppakatu 28, 53100 Lappeenranta​Website: http://www.gosaimaa.com/en/Services/Bars-and-nightclubs/
Monrepos

Particularly appealing to a more mature clientele, Monrepos is an evening restaurant with a dance floor. It is located right in the centre of Lappeenranta. On weekdays, you can take to the spacious floor and dance to popular tunes, while on weekends top live acts will take the stage to liven things up. Monrepos is open for service Wed–Thu 7pm–1am, Fri–Sat 9pm–4am. Welcome!

​Address: Oksasenkatu 2, 53100 LAPPEENRANTA​Website: http://www.gosaimaa.com/en/Services/Bars-and-nightclubs/
Tähtitaivas

Club Tähtitaivas (Starry Sky) invites you to dance with the stars! Take a spin around the large, well maintained dance floor. From time to time, Finnish pop and rock stars will also take the stage. The bar’s drink list is extensive, so choose either what’s fresh and trendy or go for a familiar classic. We also serve alcohol-free cocktails.

​Address: Purjekuja 2, 55420 IMATRA​Website: http://www.gosaimaa.com/en/Services/Bars-and-nightclubs/
The best streets for shopping in Lappeenranta are Valtakatu and Kauppakatu. Along them are smaller speciality shops and several shopping centres. Imatra is also a great shopping destination. Larger speciality shops and department stores, such as Prisma, can be found in the retail areas outside the city centres. The Koskenparras pedestrian area in the city centre of Imatra offers a large variety of shops and speciality stores. A new major shopping centre will be constructed in Imatra in the coming years. In between shopping, you can relax in enticing restaurants and cafés, enjoying a drink or a cup of tea, before continuing your tour of the boutiques.
Shopping Centre Capri

Shopping Centre Capri is located in the middle of growing Holiday Club Saimaa holiday resort. Shops and services - Angry Birds Activity Park (floors 1 and 2) - Bad Bird Bar - Finnish Properties - Biport LKV (Real estate business) - Boutique Kaarina K. Outlet (Fashion outlet store) - Capri Corner (Café) - Crocs Store Saimaa (Store selling Crocs products) - Frendi Shop (Clothing for kids and teenagers) - Gioello (Jewels and dietary supplement) - Heinon Tukku Saimaa (Wholesale supermarket, also for customers without a business ID) - Kankurin Tupa (Finnish souvenirs and gifts) - Lucky Kids (Clothing for kids) - Paris HK Oy – Premium Belgian Chocolate - Rauhan apteekki (Pharmacy) - Riipisen riista- ja matkamuistomyymälä (Wild game products and souvenirs) - Saimaa Gardens, Sales Office of holiday apartments and cottages

​Address: Vipelentie 3–5, 55320 Rauha​Website: http://www.gosaimaa.com/en/Services/Shopping
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