Saimaa, Suur-Saimaa, is Finland’s largest and fourth-largest lake in Europe. As a result of the land climb after the last ice age, the rocky islands of Saimaa have been formed. There are about 14000 islands, and 5000 of those are in southern Saimaa, below Puumala. North of Lappeenranta is a sheltered archipelago area called Pien-Saimaa, characterized by rocky beaches with cottages and villas. On a two-hour archipelago cruise, you can explore the Finnish landscape idyll of films from the 1950s, which could be considered Finnish cultural heritage.
Most of the archipelago cruises are held in the waters of the municipality of Taipalsaari, surrounded by islands. Half of the municipality’s area is blue Saimaa and the other half consists of 700 islands. The coastline of the municipality is 1008 kilometers. The Saimaa Canal opened in 1856 and had a strong influence on Taipalsaari. At the end of the 19th century, Taipalsaari attracted summer guests, especially from St. Petersburg, Vyborg, and Helsinki. Even today, Taipalsaari is still one of Finland’s most popular cottage centers.