Welcome to South Karelia
Over the centuries the border has shuffled back and forth, and the South Karelian trade town of Vyborg (Finnish: Viipuri) and the Karelian Isthmus reaching to St Petersburg are now part of Russia, accessible from the former garrison town of Lappeenranta. The area was a favourite with Russian aristocracy, particularly Lappeenranta and the famous rapids at Imatra.
Today Lappeenranta's fortress and Imatra's rapids remain the area's biggest draws. Both towns also have some great places to drink, dine or just stroll along the shores of Saimaa, Finland's largest lake.