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South Savonia (Etelä-Savo) is a province in the Finnish Lakeland.


  • 1 Mikkeli — the largest city in the region
  • 2 Pieksämäki — major rail junction
  • 3 Savonlinna — Finland's largest castle, a famous opera festival and scenic views of Lake Saimaa


Map of South Savonia

Other destinations[edit]

  • 1 Kerimäki A village with what is believed to the largest wooden church in the world, built in the mid-19th century to hold 3000 seats.

National parks[edit]

  • 1Kolovesi National Park Kolovesi National Park on Wikipedia: labyrinth of lake channels, with ancient rock paintings and the Saimaa seal, paradise for canoeists.
  • 2Linnansaari National Park Linnansaari National Park on Wikipedia: lake cruises among forested islands and rocky islets, home of ospreys and Saimaa seals; slash-and-burn farm; hiking trails in summer, skating trail in winter.
  • 3 Repovesi National Park Repovesi National Park on Wikipedia: rugged backwoods with lakes, log floating history; popular hiking destination.


South Savonia is known for its beautiful natural landscapes, including the Saimaa lake district, which is the largest lake system in Finland and one of the largest in Europe. The province also has three national parks, of which Linnansaari National Park and Kolovesi National Park are in Saimaa.

The economy of South Savonia is largely based on agriculture and forestry, with the region producing a variety of crops including oats, barley, and potatoes. The province is also home to several manufacturing industries, including wood processing, metalworking, and food processing.

In terms of culture, South Savonia is known for its traditional music and dance, particularly the polska dance. The region also has a strong literary tradition, with several notable Finnish authors hailing from the area.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

The only airport in the region is at Savonlinna, which has service to Helsinki.

If you fly in from abroad, fly to Helsinki (HEL IATA) and continue by bus or train. Lappeenranta ((LPP IATA) has some international flights, most of them operated by Ryanair.

By train[edit]

South Savonia's major cities are all well-served by rail, although you may need to change trains in Kouvola. It's 3 hours from Helsinki to Savonlinna or Mikkeli, or about 4 hours to Pieksämäki. There's also a cross line from Turku, Tampere and Jyväskylä to Pieksämäki.

By bus[edit]

South Savonia has good bus connections from neighbouring provinces and even from farther away. See Matkahuolto.

There are connections from the directions of Helsinki (to Mikkeli, sometimes onward), Jyväskylä (to Mikkeli, Pieksämäki and Heinävesi), Kuopio (to Savonlinna), Varkaus and Joensuu (to Savonlinna, Heinävesi and Pieksämäki), Imatra (to Puumala and Mikkeli).

Soisalon Liikenne operates a few routes such as:

  • S5: Helsinki–Lahti–Mikkeli–Varkaus
  • Kuopio–Varkaus–Savonlinna
  • Varkaus–Savonlinna
  • Joensuu–Heinävesi–Varkaus–Pieksämäki–Laukaa–Jyväskylä

Linja-autoliike S Kosonen operates a few routes such as:

  • K13: Jyväskylä–Kangasniemi–Mikkeli
  • K14: Helsinki–Lahti–Mikkeli–Savonlinna

Savonlinja operates a few routes such as:

  • Joensuu–Kitee–Savonlinna

Saimaan Turistiliikenne operates a few routes, such as

  • Imatra–Puumala–Mikkeli

The following routes serve the province. They don't take bikes or pets and there are restrictions on children. See Finland § By bus

  • M5: Helsinki—Mikkeli—Kuopio
  • M14: Helsinki—Lahti—Mikkeli—Savonlinna

Get around[edit]

Trains of VR are usable. There is a dense bus network covering most of the region, see Matkahuolto and schedules of Waltti traffic.

Google Maps includes timetables of trains, long distance buses and local transport of many cities and towns. Other useful route planners are for trains and local buses and Matkahuolto Reittiopas for regional buses.

By taxi[edit]

  • Etelä-Savon Taksi. Operates in Kangasniemi, Mikkeli, Mäntyharju, Pieksämäki, Puumala, Ristiina and Savonlinna.
  • Let's GO TAKSI. Operates in Juva, Kangasniemi, Mikkeli, Mäntyharju, Pieksämäki, Puumala, Ristiina and Savonlinna.
  • Smartphone apps: Valopilkku, 02 Taksi, Menevä


Punkaharju esker between lakes of Hynninlahti and Valkialampi
  • The ridge landscape at Punkaharju, which is a "national landscape of Finland".
  • The Kerimäki Church, one of the largest wooden churches.
  • The Olavinlinna medieval castle in Savonlinna.
  • New Valamo, Heinävesi. The orthodox monastery of New Valamo is open for visitors all year round. It is also possible to sleep overnight in the monastery area. Visitors are expected to wear clothes that cover their knees and shoulders.
  • Lintula Holy Trinity Convent, Heinävesi. Close to New Valamo monastery, Lintula convent is the only orthodox convent in Finland. It welcomes visitors every day to services. During the summer it also serves accommodation in the convent area.


Astunansalmi rock paintings


  • 4 Astuvansalmi rock paintings. Astuvansalmi is one of the biggest rock painting sites in the Nordic countries. The paintings on a cliff next to a lake are thought to be 4500-5000 years old and they depict elk, human, hands, animal tracks, boats etc. The site can be reached by a 3 km walking path. You can arrive to the trail head from Ristiina by car. In Ristiina turn to "Suurlahdentie", road 4323. Drive 19 km and find a small parking place with the Astuvansalmi sign. In winter the paintings can be viewed from the ice on the frozen lake. In summer boats trips are possible.



  • Kosmos Festival: . An electronic underground music and art festival in July. (date needs fixing)



Stay safe[edit]

South Savonia region is a safe place.

Go next[edit]

This region travel guide to South Savonia is an outline and may need more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. If there are Cities and Other destinations listed, they may not all be at usable status or there may not be a valid regional structure and a "Get in" section describing all of the typical ways to get here. Please plunge forward and help it grow!