Bicycle Ride recommended route

Western Saimaa's Fortress Cycling Tour

Bicycle Ride · South Karelia – Lappeenranta & Imatra region
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  • Kärnäkoski
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  • / Jonni Myyrä memorial
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  • / Horses in Levänen
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  • / Olkkolan Hovi in Savitaipale
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  • / Restaurant Partaranta
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  • / Theme routes for cycling in South Karelia
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  • / Kotkaniemi museum
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  • / Salpalinja defence line
    Photo: Markus Lehteinen, Etelä-Karjalan virkistysaluesäätiö
  • / Savitaipale Church
    Photo: Terhi Äijö, Markus Lehteinen, Etelä-Karjalan virkistysaluesäätiö
  • / Taipalsaari Church
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  • / South Karelian biking routes logo
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  • / Luumäki Church Hill
    Photo: Elina Lyijynen / Luumäen kunta
The Fortress Tour, which totals a distance of 155 km, allows cyclists to explore the Suvorov fortresses from Russian time and the beautiful lake views.
Distance 134.8 km
11:00 h
312 m
304 m

The cycling route focuses on the sites of the fortress chain that was built by the Russians at the end of the 1700s for the protection of St. Petersburg. The fortresses are known as the Suvorov fortresses, which are named after Russian General Alexandr Suvorov, who was responsible for their construction. They form three concentric fortress chains. This tour is particularly suitable as a 2-5-day-long trip for cyclists of all level of experience and families, since there are lots of accommodation and restaurant services along the way, as well as interesting sights and experiences for even the youngest family members.

Surface material on the route: asphalt

Author’s recommendation

Target groups: active cyclists, adventurous cyclists, families. Route classification: average.
Profile picture of Tour design by project for South Karelian cycling routes  2018 / Consultant: FCG 
Tour design by project for South Karelian cycling routes  2018 / Consultant: FCG 
Update: September 08, 2021
Highest point
117 m
Lowest point
67 m
Best time of year

Safety information

Surface material on the route: asphalt

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

Please note that acccommodations on rural areas need to be booked beforehand.  


Railway Station in Lappeenranta (103 m)
61.031074, 28.034932
61°01'51.9"N 28°02'05.8"E
35V 555918 6766690


Railway Station in Lappeenranta

Turn-by-turn directions

You can set off on the Fortress Tour conveniently form the centre of Lappeenranta, where there are several accommodation options for cyclists’ needs. It is worth first heading to the Fortress of Lappeenranta, which is one of the sites. The majority of the historic buildings at the fortress are open to the public. Museums, exhibitions, restaurants, cafes, events and boutiques entice visitors around the year.

From the Fortress of Lappeenranta, the route continues past the barrack area built in the 1800s that is known as Rakuunamäki, and from there towards Taipalsaari. During the trip, it is worth stopping at the prehistoric Kuivaketvele Hillfort, which dates back to the Viking Era and you can safely climb the steps to reach the top.

The historic Röytty House Museum, which has been a military deanery and tavern, can be found in the parish of Taipalsaari. During the summer, a cafe operates there.  There is a shop and a restaurant, known as Pölkkybaari, in the parish. The parish of Taipalsaari in located in Kirkonsaari, which can be reached from several directions along bridges and causeways. The cultural landscape together with its fields and buildings provides diversity to the forest nature, and the lake landscapes freshen the cyclists’ minds.

Next is Savitaipale, where you can find shops, as well as restaurant and accommodation services. Kärnäkoski Fortress which belongs to the fortresses of Suvorov are nine kilometres away from Savitaipale. The fortress area is a nationally significant culture-historical environment and scenic area. During the summer, sheep graze there and simultaneously maintain the lawn areas. A short distance away is Partakoski, where a small shop and restaurant operate during the summer. The same road must be used to return to Savitaipale from Kämäkoski and Partakoski.

The distance from Savitaipale to Luumäki is approximately 36 kilometres, during which cyclists cross the beautiful rapids of Huopainen. In the centre of Luumäki, in Taavetti, there is a shop as well as dining and accommodation service, and along the way you will find the third fortress of Suvorov’s fortress chain, on which embankments you can stretch your legs after bicycling. You can go on a tour of the fortress by following the signs, going around the disc golf track or perhaps by relaxing and having a picnic.

From Luumäki, the route heads back towards Lappeenranta along Itsenäisyydentie. Along the way there are several signed attractions, such as the War of Liberation Memorial, Kivijärvi dam and Salpa station which are related to the later fortress chain, i.e. the Salpa line that was built around the time of World War II, as well as Kotkaniemi - the home museum of Pehr Evind Svinhufvud (1861-1944) and his wife Ellen Svinhufvud (1869-1953, where there is a cafe and an interesting garden in addition to the actual exhibition.

On route, there are dining and accommodation services, as well as rest places. You can also familiarise in the Salpa line in the areas of Kärenkylä and Rutola. There you can see armour barriers and dugouts.


all notes on protected areas

Public transport


The starting points 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, address: 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.


61.031074, 28.034932
61°01'51.9"N 28°02'05.8"E
35V 555918 6766690
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike


Bike rental in Lappeenranta.

Similar routes nearby

  • Local Food Tasting Cycling Route from Lappeenranta
  • 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.
134.8 km
11:00 h
312 m
304 m
Public-transport-friendly Circular route Scenic Family-friendly Cultural/historical interest


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