Description

Bicycle Ride

Four Island Cycling Route from Imatra

Bicycle Ride · South Karelia
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  • Signpost in Äitsaari island
    / Signpost in Äitsaari island
    Photo: Arto Apila, Etelä-Karjalan virkistysaluesäätiö
  • / Mietinsaari ferry (Karhusalmi)
    Photo: Arto Apila, Etelä-Karjalan virkistysaluesäätiö
  • / Mietinsaari ferry
    Photo: Arto Apila, Etelä-Karjalan virkistysaluesäätiö
  • / Saimaa in the night
    Photo: Arto Apila, Etelä-Karjalan virkistysaluesäätiö
  • / Restaurant Riihi
    Photo: Arto Apila, Etelä-Karjalan virkistysaluesäätiö
  • / Ukonsalmi in Ruokolahti
    Photo: Arto Apila, Etelä-Karjalan virkistysaluesäätiö
  • / Ukonsalmi bridge in Ruokolahti
    Photo: Arto Apila, Etelä-Karjalan virkistysaluesäätiö
  • / Boats nearby Ukonsalmi bridge
    Photo: Arto Apila, Etelä-Karjalan virkistysaluesäätiö
  • / Farm accommodation Hertta
    Photo: Arto Apila, Etelä-Karjalan virkistysaluesäätiö
  • / Lake Saimaa - Ruokolahti
    Photo: Arto Apila, Etelä-Karjalan virkistysaluesäätiö
  • / Old church tower in Ruokolahti
    Photo: Arto Apila, Etelä-Karjalan virkistysaluesäätiö
  • / Theme routes for cycling in South Karelia
    Video: Etelä-Karjalan virkistysaluesäätiö
m 400 300 200 100 50 40 30 20 10 km Ruokolahden kirkko Satamosaaren laiturin sauna Hiljan piha Vaittilan uimaranta Satamosaari Lietteen lintutorni Veteraanipuisto Kolmiköytisien kalliomaalaus Rasilan uimaranta Hiljan piha Mietinsaaren lossi Kahvila, Café Kaiku Lammassaaren kota

This cycling route takes you to the beautiful sceneries of Suur-Saimaa’s water areas in Imatra and Ruokolahti. The route is a perfect choice for a one or two-day-long bicycle trip. 

 

moderate
51.8 km
4:30 h
218 m
220 m

In addition to archipelago views, the route lets you further discover the city of Imatra and the beautiful church hill of Ruokolahti. 

If Imatrankoski (Saimaa Geopark site) is not otherwise a destination in your travel plans, it is worth combining with this route, and at the same time, you can admire the landscapes of Vuoksi - first from the western coast and then from the eastern side when cycling back - this increases the distance of the trip by seven kilometres. The amazing Vuoksi is a key element in the cityscape of Imatra and the outlet of Vuoksi’s water area to Laatokka. Vuoksi was created with enormous force approx. 5,700 years ago, leaving behind a multitude of rapids on its way to Laatokka. 

There are severa Saimaa Geopark sites on the route. Saimaa is the biggest lake in Finland and the forth biggest in Europe. On the route you cross over waters on bridges, by ferry and boat, which you must remember to book a day before at latest.

 

NOTE! It is recommended to bike the route clockwise, even if the route description has been prepared the other way around.

Author’s recommendation

Note! Remember to book boat transfer from Mietinsaari island to Imatra boat harbor the day before, tel.no is +358 400 655 848

Profile picture of Reittisuunnittelu Etelä-Karjalan pyöräilyn teemareitit 2018 / Karttatyö FCG 
Author
Reittisuunnittelu Etelä-Karjalan pyöräilyn teemareitit 2018 / Karttatyö FCG 
Updated: October 08, 2020
Difficulty
moderate
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
125 m
Lowest point
67 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Rest Stop

Kahvila, Café Kaiku

Safety information

 Surface material on the route: asphalt, gravel road.

There are about 12 kilometres of gravel roads along this route.

Before setting off, 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 with you. In an emergency, dial 112. Inform the operator of your location and what has happened and listen to their instructions.

Outdoor Safety in Finland

Road Safety for Cyclists

Tips, hints and links

-

Start

Imatra Traffic Center (73 m)
Coordinates:
DD
61.196791, 28.778488
DMS
61°11'48.4"N 28°46'42.6"E
UTM
35V 595587 6786007
w3w 
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Destination

Imatra Traffic Center

Turn-by-turn directions

You can set off on the route from Imatra’s travel centre, or from the tourism areas of Rauha and Ukonniemi, where there are several accommodation sites. You can also find accommodation in the centre of Imatra at Imatrankoski. 

From Vuoksi, the route continues along a pedestrian and bicycle path towards the district of Vuoksenniska, which exudes the industrial history of Imatra. The district was created at a traffic hub, and along with forest industry, developed in to a lively central business district.

The bicycle path continues past Kaukopää’s factory to the municipality of Ruokolahti and the beautiful church hill of Ruokolahti (Saimaa Geopark site), which Albert Edefelt portrayed in his famous painting Women Outside the Church at Ruokolahti. At the church hill, you will find a local history museum and Ruokolahti House, which has a summer cafe.

The route continues towards Suikkalansalmi, where the popular Suikkala dance pavilion operates during the summer. After crossing the bridge, we reach Äitsaari, you will come across agricultural tourism services along the route. It is worth visiting Äitsaari to see the prehistoric Kolmiköytinen rock painting, which dates back approximately five thousand years (Saimaa Geopark site). The painting can be found 700 metres from the road, of which half is travelled along a path.

A cable ferry will take you from Äitsaari to the next island. The peaceful dirt road in Mietinsaari leads to the southern tip of the island, where there is a lot of history. You can visit a prehistoric residential area that dates back thousands of years, and the defence line’s, Salpalinja’s, trenches that were built for the security of Finland’s eastern border after the Winter War in 1940-41 and 1944. The route’s final waterway crossing begins in Mietinsaari towards Lammassaari. The trip to Imatra’s Lammassaari is completed by boat, which must be booked in advance (bookings tel. +358 400 655 848).

When arriving to Lammassaari, cyclists may enjoy the landscapes of the naturally beautiful esker island, and marvel at the numerous kettle holes. Lammassaari is also a Saimaa Geopark site. There are several cafes and restaurants in the vicinity, some of which are only open during the summer, as well as the popular Ukonniemi beach. To end the tour, you can enjoy relaxing spa, hotel and restaurant services in the tourism area of Rauha-Ukonniemi.

Note


all notes on protected areas

Public transport

The starting points of the route is Imatra 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

The route can be departed from Imatra Traffic Center (Koskikatu 1, 55120 Imatra) or from the Rauha and Ukonniemi tourist areas.

Parking

There are parking space at Imatra Traffic Center and in the Rauha and Ukonniemi tourist areas.

Coordinates

DD
61.196791, 28.778488
DMS
61°11'48.4"N 28°46'42.6"E
UTM
35V 595587 6786007
w3w 
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Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Similar routes nearby

  • Cycling Route around River Vuoksi in Imatra
  • Imatra Architecture and Attratction Cycling Tour
  • Stage 1: Iron curtain trail, Imatra - Simpele (Rautjärvi)
  • Iron Curtain Trail from Imatra to Parikkala
  • Saimaa Archipelago Route, Leg 3: Imatra–Ruokolahti
  • Imatra-Svetogorsk – exoticness of the twin city
  • Saimaa Archipelago Route, Leg 4: Ruokolahti–Utula
 These suggestions were created automatically.
Difficulty
moderate
Distance
51.8 km
Duration
4:30h
Ascent
218 m
Descent
220 m
Loop Scenic Family friendly Cultural/historical value

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