The Lahti region enjoys a true winter deep in snow. Salpausselkä ridge offers a varied landscape where opportunities for winter sports abound.
Lahti is an internationally renowned winter sports city. Lahti Sports Centre is one of world's best winter sports centres, and has already played host to the ski world championships six times running. The annual World Cup event, known as the Lahti Ski Games, have been organised in the city since 1923. The Lahti Ski Games remain one of the winter’s biggest public festivals, attracting tens of thousands of spectators from near and far.
From the moment ice forms on Lake Vesijärvi, the lake transforms into an active winter sports arena. Weather permitting, a ski track and skating route are maintained on the ice, leading from Lahti harbour to the ski resort of Messilä. On a sunny late winter’s day you might even meet snowmobiles, hang gliders and dogsleds out on the ice. And if you need a break from all that fresh winter’s air, you can stop for a snack in one of the coffee houses which line the harbour front.
Cross Country and Downhill Skiing
The beautiful landscape and varied terrain of Salpausselkä is criss-crossed by hundreds of kilometres of ski tracks each winter. Ski tracks lead from Lahti sports centre to nearby Hollola, home to Messilä, Southern Finland’s largest winter sports centre. Messilä boasts nine slopes for downhill skiing, snowboarding, freestyle, or telemark. One of the slopes is reserved for snowboarders.
What better way to spend a summer's afternoon than enjoying a coffee and admiring the stunning lake view from one of Lahti's many harbourside coffee shops, terraces and boat restaurants. Close to the harbour is the pretty park of Pikku-Vesijärvi, with its small lake, fishing pier and musical fountain. Leading off from the park is the Lanu Sculpture Trail, which winds it way around Kariniemi hill - en route look out for Professor Olavi Lanu's 12 impressive sculptures, depicting the spirit of nature.
The Lahti region is a golf lover’s paradise. The region boasts five full-size 18-hole golf courses.
The Lahti region is an excellent base from which to explore the beautiful ridge landscape of Salpausselkä. Walkers and cyclists will be lured by its diverse nature. From Lahti Sports Centre, an extensive network of recreation trails lead all the way into the neighbouring municipality of Hollola. There is approximately 60 km of trails in this area alone. The Salpausselkä terrain is also ideal for orienteering, and there are a number of routes reserved specifically for mountain bikers and horse riders.
Lahti is the gateway to the Finnish Lake District. Lake Vesijärvi flows into the Päijänne waterway, and it is possible to travel by water to such destinations as Heinola, Jyväskylä and the waterway’s northernmost point of Viitasaari. The Vääksy and Kalkkinen canals, Päijänne National Park, with its impressive esker island of Kelvenne, and a host of idyllic rural villages each offer a wealth of attractions to sailing and boating enthusiasts. Lahti harbour is also the departure point for boat traffic to Central Finland, as well as daily pleasure cruises.
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