Southern Finland is divided into many regions, and one of them is Päijät-Häme. As a region, it is a collection of towns and nature spots, but I want to tell you about the places dear to my heart and the fascinating attractions of Päijät-Häme. Let’s take a journey through its gems.
If you are an outdoor traveler, you probably have heard of Päijänne Lake: the beautiful sealike spot with many attractions. Päijänne is the second largest lake in Finland, it surrounds the ridge road and the National Park. The ridge road is called Pulkkilanharju and is an 8 kilometers long ridge running through the lake of Päijänne. Pulkkilanharju is a place to slow down your car and take time to wonder about the surroundings and beautiful bridges. Just as a reminder: it is considered to be the most beautiful road in Finland.
There is a beacon-like building on one of the islands, where you can enjoy a meal with a beautiful lake view. There are some lunch options, pizzas, drinks, and blankets to warm up on a windy day. The terrace of Reimari smells like flowers and offers a beautiful view of the lake.
Päijänne National Park is spread over the collection of islands, and the best way to discover it is by boat. The park offers are boat taxis and boats for rent. The best way to discover the park for a budget traveller is to stop in Pulkkilanharju and make a small hiking trail along the ridge. This part of the ridge also belongs to the national park.
There is a village to visit on the way to Pulkkilanharju. It is small and relatively unknown for tourists, but it is a charming place worth a stop. The village is called Vääksy, and the thing to see there is Vääksy Canal. The canal connects two lakes: Vääksy and Päijänne. The difference between their water surface levels is 3 meters, and it is fascinating to watch boats stuck in a canal waiting for the water level to change.
The canal is surrounded by a sunny park and cozy cafes. Kanavan Helmi is a nice summer cafe right next to the canal. Majakkapaviljonki is another place to grab lunch or a drink, it is not as complicated as its name. Situated at the end of the canal, Majakkapaviljonki offers lake views from the terrace and a sauna on the lakeshore. That one is for sure an authentic Finnish experience.
Vääksy is situated just 14 kilometers from Lahti, which is an interesting city to visit. West from Lahti is the municipality of Hollola. Among flowery fields and farming villages, here is a hidden gem that attracts locals from every part of Finland. The gem is called Kiikunlähde. Kiikunlähde is a natural spring with bright turquoise water, which is a very unusual sight for Finland. Local waters are mostly dark, but this one sparkles in the middle of the woods and feels like a miracle.
The water temperature in the sources of the pond is always five degrees Celcius, that is why even in the snowy winter, this spring does not freeze. I can only wonder how magical it looks during the winter days.
That is the end of a journey through the gems of Päijät-Häme, a beautiful lake region full of natural treasures. For outdoor lovers, it is a must-visit place. It invites you to visit Päijänne Lake and the national park, the most beautiful road of Finland to drive and to discover peculiar things in Vääksy and Hollola.
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