Description

Bicycle Ride

Salpa Line and Spectrolite Cycling Route

Bicycle Ride · South Karelia
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Etelä-Karjalan virkistysaluesäätiö Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • Salpalinja defence line
    / Salpalinja defence line
    Photo: Markus Lehteinen, Etelä-Karjalan virkistysaluesäätiö
  • / Country view
    Photo: Joonas Talka, Etelä-Karjalan virkistysaluesäätiö
  • / Spectrolite
    Photo: Markus Lehteinen, Etelä-Karjalan virkistysaluesäätiö
  • / Old boundary stone
    Photo: Joonas Talka, Etelä-Karjalan virkistysaluesäätiö
  • / Traditional milk hut
    Photo: Joonas Talka, Etelä-Karjalan virkistysaluesäätiö
  • / Theme routes for cycling in South Karelia
    Video: Etelä-Karjalan virkistysaluesäätiö
  • / SALPA LINE AND SPECTROLITE CYCLING ROUTE
    Photo: Etelä-Karjalan virkistysaluesäätiö
  • / SALPA LINE AND SPECTROLITE CYCLING ROUTE
    Photo: Etelä-Karjalan virkistysaluesäätiö
  • / SALPA LINE AND SPECTROLITE CYCLING ROUTE
    Photo: Etelä-Karjalan virkistysaluesäätiö
  • / Bunker B132
    Photo: Etelä-Karjalan virkistysaluesäätiö
m 150 100 50 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 km Konekiväärikorsu B150 Lohkon uimaranta Askolan salpa-asema Ylämaan jalokivimuseo Kotkaniemi Lepolan uimaranta Konekiväärikorsu B182
A perfect choice for adventurous cyclists, who wish to familiarise in the historical Salpa line that was built during World War II and the Ylämaa gems and other minerals.
difficult
75.3 km
6:00 h
184 m
221 m

This two routes combining different themes is suitable for driving in either one or two days, it is worth finding the accommodation options along the route in time before the trip.

There is also Askola Salpa Line in Luumäki, near Hotel Salpa.

During the Second World War built line of defense 'Salpalinja' departs from the Gulf of Finland and continues north until Salla. In the area of Luumäki, can be seen of stone barrier and dozens of bunkers and a few mined manholes. On the route you will be able to visit several sites where information about the construction of Salpalinja is given. Ylämaa Spectrolitic - Finnish Gemstone - was found in extracting stones during constructions of Salpalinja.

Remember to have drinks and snacks when leaving to the route, as there are no services available in the first section of the journey. Ylämaan Korupirtti, Pulsa Station cafe and Kotkaniemi Museum are the only catering services on the route besides the Hotel Salpa - all of these are definitely a destination worth visiting.

Surface material on the route: asphalt, gravel road. 

Author’s recommendation

Target groups: active cyclists, adventurous cyclists

Route surfacing: the route consists of approx. 30 km of dirt road

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

Safety information

Surface material on the route: gravel road, asphalt. 

There are about 43 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, hints and links

Pack a smal lamp in biking bag, if you want to explore the bunkers and caves - there is no light inside of those.

Start

Hotel Salpa, Lappeenrannantie 265 (Itsenäisyydentie) (38 m)
Coordinates:
DD
60.790264, 28.008785
DMS
60°47'25.0"N 28°00'31.6"E
UTM
35V 554918 6739848
w3w 
///purport.tilts.duping

Destination

Return tuo starting point

Turn-by-turn directions

The starting place of the route is Hotel Salpa along Itsenäisyydentie, Kivijärvi shore. The hotel offers cyclists accommodation and restaurant services and entertainment. In the vicinity of the hotel, you will find Home Museum Kotkaniemi of president Pehr Evind Svinhufvud (1861-1944) and his wife Ellen Svinhufvud (1869-1953), where there is a cafe and interesting garden in addition to the exhibition.

Near Kotkaniemi, by the Independence Road, is the Askola Salpa Line demonstration point, which has several types of fortification equipment. These devices can be easily accessed along the paths; there are also signposts and signboards.

The route heads south towards Lake Urpalonjärvi and the village Suo-Anttila, where the route’s first Salpa line site is located. The construction of the Salpa line was started immediately after the Winter War. It extends from the Gulf of Finland to Salla, and from there as fieldwork all the way to the Arctic Ocean. The project is still considered to be one of Finland's history’s largest construction sites. Armoured vehicle barriers related to it can be seen throughout the route.

Kirppu Cave is an incomplete tunnel network, which is signposted in the terrain. The cave was built to connect two machine gun and armoured vehicle prevention colonies with each other by means of tunnels. The memorial of the Winter War, which is close by, is worth visiting. It honours the memory of the three-person crew of the Bleinheim BL-133 bomber aircraft, which the Soviet Union shot down three days before the end of the war.

At Hostikka’s Salpa station, you can also explore the cave and dugouts, as well as tour the connecting corridors. In the vicinity of Hostikka, on the southern side of Urpalanjoki, there are two signposted dugouts, which you may visit.

Next, the route heads towards Ylämää parish. Along the way, it is worth stopping at the site where armoured vehicle barrier stones were quarried. In the past, during the quarry work at Salpa line, it was surprisingly discovered that the cut surface of the stones glimmered in the colours of the rainbow - thus the first indication of spectrolite was made. At the Gem Museum in Ylämaa, you can further discover our national gem, spectrolite. This gem-levelled mineral can only be found in Ylämaa, and it is therefore called Ylämaa's spectrolite. It is appreciated as the world’s most beautiful labradorite gem. In the yard area of the Gem Museum, you will also find a jewellery shop and Cafe Korupirtti. You can also participate in the tourism services built up around the spectrolite concept. After your visit, you will realise that you are observing the beautiful rock nature from a completely new perspective.

From the Gem Museum, the route heads back north. The route follows the twisty Ylämääntie road in the peaceful countryside sceneries. Pulsan Asema is a definite stop location, where cafe services are provided in beautifully renovated old buildings. B&B accommodation is also available there. The last milestone of the route takes you back to Hotel Salpa and Kotkaniemi, which is worth visiting, if you didn’t at the beginning of the journey. At the end of your trip, you can also stop for a refreshing swim at Lake Kivijärvi!

Note


all notes on protected areas

Public transport

There are long-distance bus services right in front of Hotel Salpa.

You can check the bus (Matkahuolto) schedules here.

Getting there

The address:

Hotel Salpa, Lappeenrannantie 265

54530 Luumäki

 

 Tel. +358 103113840

Parking

There are free parking spaces in the courtyard of Hotel Salpa.

Coordinates

DD
60.790264, 28.008785
DMS
60°47'25.0"N 28°00'31.6"E
UTM
35V 554918 6739848
w3w 
///purport.tilts.duping
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike
Difficulty
difficult
Distance
75.3 km
Duration
6:00h
Ascent
184 m
Descent
221 m
Loop Scenic Refreshment stops available Cultural/historical value Geological highlights

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