Located amidst the scenic Finnish Lakeland, the Jyväskylä Region is known for its natural assets, culture and rich sauna traditions. Its central location is ideal for holiday-making as it offers excellent transport services from the Finnish capital city, Helsinki. The journey by train or road takes about three hours and less than an hour by air.
Jyväskylä makes you feel the hustle and bustle of city life. It is a compact urban centre full of activities, all available within walking distance. Upmarket restaurants, museums and other attractions are easily accessible. While visiting, why not get to know the surrounding areas? Experience the charming little municipalities and towns and the breathtakingly beautiful nature and enjoy a wide range of cultural events.
1. Marvel at UNESCO World Heritage sites
One of the main attractions in the region is the Old Church in Petäjävesi. Hailed as a masterpiece of Nordic wooden architecture, it was identified as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1993. The church represents Nordic Lutheran church architecture and the long tradition in log construction. Another captivating point of interest is the Oravivuori Nature Trail and Triangulation Tower, one of the many in the Struve Geodetic Arc, another UNESCO World Heritage site.
2. Enter the world of Alvar Aalto’s architecture
Jyväskylä features more significant buildings designed by Alvar Aalto, the world-famous architect, than any other single location in the world. The high points among the 29 sites include the Alvar Aalto Museum, Muurame Church and Säynätsalo Town Hall, which is considered one of Aalto’s finest works.
Alvar Aalto went to school, started a family and launched his stellar career in Jyväskylä. In fact, the works in the city span his entire career from the very beginning through to his last creations. Follow the master’s footsteps on a journey from Classicism to Functionalism, from red brick architecture to monumentalism!
3. Enjoy the sauna and forget your worries
Sauna bathing is a long-established tradition in the region. At times described as the Sauna Region of the World, the region is the heart of the Finnish sauna industry and offers a unique range of bathing experiences from the world’s largest smoke sauna to sauna rafts and lakefront saunas. The Jämsä Sauna Village offers a tour of the history of the Finnish sauna. At the same time, it is host to the world’s biggest collection of smoke saunas. In summer, the Sauna Region Week offers an excellent opportunity to learn more about the age-old tradition of enjoying sauna!
4. Be enthralled by five national parks and numerous nature sites
In the Jyväskylä Region, there are five national parks, each with their own intrinsic features. The Etelä-Konnevesi National Park allows you to pass through wide expanses of open water by boat or hike in varied terrain featuring groves and high rock faces. Salamajärvi National Park is pure wilderness while at Isojärvi National Park you may spot a beaver if you are lucky! Roaming in nature is an excellent antidote to the hustle and bustle of daily life. The Jyväskylä Region offers unique opportunities for people of all ages to enjoy nature according to individual physical capacity. Hiking along numerous nature trails and paths, cycling, canoeing, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are typical activities, either alone or with a guide.
5. Admire picture-perfect lakes and engage in incredible water activities
In the Jyväskylä Region, there are close to 3,700 lakes of which Lake Päijänne is the longest and deepest in Finland. What would be a better way of spending a summer day than cruising on a clean-water lake? The harbour in the city centre of Jyväskylä is the second living room for local people offering an opportunity to enjoy a day onboard a restaurant ship, in the harbour café, along the waterfront promenade or on board a sauna raft. In winters, you can spend an enjoyable day on the frozen lake or take a dip in a hole made in the ice cover!
(Photos: 1. Tero Takalo-Eskola, 2. Tero Takalo-Eskola, 3. Julia Kivelä, 4. Julia Kivelä, 5. Julia Kivelä. Main photo: Julia Kivelä.)