Bicycle Ride recommended route

Local Food Tasting Cycling Route from Lappeenranta

Bicycle Ride · South Karelia – Lappeenranta & Imatra region
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  • Old train station Pulsa - nowadays charming cafe
    / Old train station Pulsa - nowadays charming cafe
    Photo: Joonas Talka, Etelä-Karjalan virkistysaluesäätiö
  • / Hernetsalmi in Lemi
    Photo: Joonas Talka, Etelä-Karjalan virkistysaluesäätiö
  • / Granit wall
    Photo: Joonas Talka, Etelä-Karjalan virkistysaluesäätiö
  • / Restaurant "Kippurasarvi" in Lemi
    Photo: Markus Lehteinen, Etelä-Karjalan virkistysaluesäätiö
  • / Lake Kivijärvi
    Photo: Joonas Talka, Etelä-Karjalan virkistysaluesäätiö
  • / Railway station in Lappeenranta
    Photo: Markus Lehteinen, Etelä-Karjalan virkistysaluesäätiö
  • / Country shop and cafe Niittykulma
    Photo: Etelä-Karjalan virkistysaluesäätiö
  • / Hotel Salpalinjan Hovi in old school building
    Photo: Markus Lehteinen, Etelä-Karjalan virkistysaluesäätiö
  • / Theme routes for cycling in South Karelia
    Video: Etelä-Karjalan virkistysaluesäätiö
  • / St. Mary's Church of Lappee
    Photo: Lappeenrannan kaupunki
  • / Antiaircraft defence gun in Kärmeniemi
    Photo: Etelä-Karjalan virkistysaluesäätiö
  • / Salpalinja defence line
    Photo: Markus Lehteinen, Etelä-Karjalan virkistysaluesäätiö
  • / Entrance to the Bunker 901
    Photo: Etelä-Karjalan virkistysaluesäätiö
  • / Kotkaniemi museum
    Photo: Etelä-Karjalan virkistysaluesäätiö
m 150 100 50 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 km Lemin vanha pappila Korsu 14 Lahnajärven uimaranta Korsu 901 Lepolan uimaranta Askolan salpa-asema Taikalyhty Jalkosalmi Kotkaniemi
The Food Tasting Route is for one or two-day trip for cyclists, who are interested local delicates and Salpa Line’s war historical sites while cycling among the lake views.
Distance 82.9 km
7:00 h
223 m
193 m

The route begins at the centre of Lappeenranta, where the roots of nearby Rakuunamäki date back by over one hundred years. It was built as the garrison of the Finnish dragoon in 1889. Even older than Rakuunamäki is Lappeenranta Fortress - a part of the fortress chain built by the Russians at the end of the 1700s to protect St. Petersburg. The fortress’s museums, restaurants, cafes, events and boutiques entice visitors.

Fast food from Lappeenranta, vety and atomi meat pies, is available at market squares and harbour markets, and at the latter, you can also buy delicious treats from the Martha waffle stand. The sellers will be happy to tell you about the differences between vety and atomi meat pies. 

The construction of the Salpa line at the eastern border of Finland was started after the Winter War. The project is still considered to be one of Finland's history’s largest construction sites.

Author’s recommendation

Target groups: active cyclists, adventurous cyclists


Profile picture of Etelä-Karjalan pyöräilyn teemareittihanke 2018 / Karttatyö: FCG
Etelä-Karjalan pyöräilyn teemareittihanke 2018 / Karttatyö: FCG
Update: September 08, 2021
Highest point
115 m
Lowest point
61 m
Best time of year

Safety information

Surface material on the route: asphalt, gravel road. 

There are about 14 kilometres of gravel roads along this route.

Before the excursion, it is advisable to check the weather forecast. Always wear clothes to suit the weather. It is recommended that you take first aid equipment, rainwear, a spare set of clothes, as well as enough drinks and snacks with you. 

In an emergency, dial the number 112. Report your location, what has happened and listen to the instructions.

Outdoor Safety in Finland

Road Safety for Cyclists

Tips and hints

Lemi's särä (a lamb dish) is available only by table reservation in Säräpirtti (tel. +358 5 414 6470)


Raillway station in Lappeenranta (99 m)
61.035318, 28.092336
61°02'07.1"N 28°05'32.4"E
35V 559012 6767213


Raillway station in Lappeenranta

Turn-by-turn directions

From Lappeenranta, the route continues west and when coming from the city, the first stopping place is in Rutola, where you can explore the structures of Salpa Line and spend the night at Salpa Line’s Court. From Rutola, the journey continues to Lemi, which is known for the Lemmi särä and potatoes, particularly Lemi’s red potato.

Lemi’s särä continues a lamb dish tradition that is more than one thousand years old. Its ingredients are lamb and potatoes. The only seasoning is salt. Särä is cooked in a birch trough, i.e. a särä, in a wood burning stove for several hours, in which case, the lamb reaches its unique delicious taste. Särä is offered at Lemi’s local history museum which is maintained by Lemi’s local history association, and at Restaurant Säräpirtti in Kippurasarvi. Both require pre-reservations, if you would like to dine there. Over the years, there have been särä guests in Lemi from almost one hundred different countries and the amount of them is increasing to tens of thousands.

At Lemi, you will find a parish with lake views. You can visit the beautiful wooden church, which shows the skills of the builders in the 1700s, as well as the exhibition room opened in the Old Parsonage. The parsonage also has a souvenir shop and a cafe. There are Salpa Line’s structures in Lemmi too, in the yard of Restaurant Kippurasarvi there is a dugout and in Kärmeniemi there are canon batteries after which the journey continues between Lahnajärvi and Kivijärvi to Luumäki.

After proceeding along the shores of Kivijärvi, we reach Luumäki’s Jurvala, where you can enjoy fresh pastries at Kahvi-Pakari. At the shore of Kivijärvi, accommodation is provided by Hotel Salpa, in which vicinity there is the flooding dam that was designed for the protection of Finland during the war, and Salpa station. Approximately one kilometre away, you will find Kotkaniemi, President P. E. Svinhufvud’s residence museum, which describes the life of President Svinhufvud and Mrs. Ellen Svinhufvud. In addition to museum exhibitions, you will find a cafe and museum shop at Kotkaniemi. The yard area has been renovated to its original state. At the cafe, you can buy snacks and have a picnic at the shore of Kivijärvi and go for a refreshing swim.

The route continues to Pulsa, which is located beside the railway road to St. Petersburg. In the milieu of the Pulsa’s railway station, which was built in 1869, there is Pulsan Asema that offers B&B accommodation, a cafe and an interior design shop. Pulsa is a popular stopover place that you will not forget.

For the rest of the journey, the route continues back towards Lappeenranta through rural and forest landscapes via the villages of Vilkjärvi and Myllylä. Lappeenranta is pleasantly reached along bicycle paths. Once you arrive, the diverse accommodation and restaurant services of the city await you. If you didn’t try a vety or atomi meat pie before setting off on your trip, you should end your food tasting trip at the market square!


all notes on protected areas

Public transport


The starting point of the route is Lappeenranta Travel Center, which can be reached by train and bus.

You can check train (VR) schedules here.

You can check the bus (Matkahuolto) schedules here.

Getting there

Lappeenranta Travel Center: Ratakatu 23, 53100 Lappeenranta.


There are paid parking spaces for longer parking in the Lappeenranta Travel Center area, as well as free parking spaces for temporary parking.


61.035318, 28.092336
61°02'07.1"N 28°05'32.4"E
35V 559012 6767213
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Similar routes nearby

  • Western Saimaa's Fortress Cycling Tour
  • The Lappeenranta City Cycling Tour
  • Wetland and Limestone Cycling Tour, Lappeenranta
  • Saimaa Archipelago Route
  • Saimaa Archipelago Route, Leg 1: Lappeenranta–Joutseno
  • Taipalsaari Scenic Cycling Route
  • Saimaa Canal Lock Cycling Route, Lappeenranta
 These suggestions were created automatically.
82.9 km
7:00 h
223 m
193 m
Public-transport-friendly Circular route Scenic Cultural/historical interest


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