Kerimäki is everything a traveller could wish for from around the Saimaa area; a small countryside town, which has a lot to offer. Kerimäki is best known for Kerimäki church, which is the world’s biggest wooden church, and for the clean and clear waters of Lake Puruvesi.
In addition to the biggest wooden church in the world, the crystal clear waters of Lake Puruvesi and delicious vendace, Kerimäki has a lot to offer to suit every taste. One of the most challenging golf courses in Finland, Kerigolf, is well-worth visiting! For nature lovers there are marked walking and ski trails in the forests, not to forget the magnificent Hytermä islands, a nature reserve 7 km to the east of the village. You may also play disc golf in Kerimäki.
Biggest wooden church in the world
Architect A.F.Grandsted designed the church at Kerimäki, which was finished in 1847. There is seating for more than 3000 people and if one were to count standing spaces as well you could fit around 4000-5000 in the church.
Kerimäki church is open to the public during the summer, while in the wintertime it can be opened upon request. An exception to this is the Christmas service, which is held in the main church, as otherwise during the winter the smaller “winter church” is used. During the summer, masses and concerts are held in the church, which is a popular sightseeing location. Check here for church opening times.
Lake Puruvesi – crystal clear waters, home to vendace
Lake Puruvesi by Kerimäki is an exceptional lake in the Saimaa area as its water is very clear and clean. Puruvesi is mostly sand- and gravel beached, almost entirely separated from Lake Saimaa, and its water comes from natural springs through its sandy base. Puruvesi vendace is known throughout the world, and it has been given Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) from the EU. Right by the centre of town is Kirkkoranta, a sandy beach perfect for a day out with the family with breath-taking lake scenery and a guest pier for boats.
Sightseeing and things to do at Kerimäki
A wonderful place to visit at Kerimäki is Hytermä’s nature reserve and museum islands which are situated approximately 10km from the centre of town towards Hälvä. Hytermä was declared a nature protection area in 1931, and the fact that it has survived almost perfectly intact is mostly thanks to an ex-police chief of Savonlinna (1916-1940), Heikki Häyrynen (Romu-Heikki) and his wife. Häyrynen moved different traditional out-buildings and mill stones to the island, from which he built an almost 8 metres-tall monument to manual labour. Hytermä has many nature trails that make exploring the island easy.
Kerimaa Holiday Centre and Kerigolf’s beautiful 18-hole golf course are situated approx.10 kilometres from Kerimäki towards Savonlinna. At Kerimäki town centre you can spend a comfortable night at a local guesthouse and enjoy Kerimäki’s small town feel. The town centre has a couple of lovely cafés where you can enjoy a tasty lunch and freshly made baked goods.