Ähtäri – home to pandas and fun activities

Visit Ähtäri is your tour guide to the most interesting places to visit in the area. The website also has an online shop where you can buy almost everything you need for your holiday in Ähtäri. In addition to the online shop, the website offers help to visitors and local residents in finding fun activities and places to visit. It contains information on accommodation, activities, events, visitor attractions and the region’s hidden pearls. If you cannot find a suitable service from the selection, Visit Ähtäri offers assistance in tailoring a solution to your needs, particularly related to group and meeting trips.

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Welcome to Ähtäri in South Ostrobothnia. Ähtäri’s beautiful countryside, with its ridges and lakes, makes an ideal setting for hiking trips. The area’s pristine forests and waterways can’t help but enchant visitors.

Here, you can also enjoy the small luxuries of life. In Ähtäri, you can stay in high-quality villas and rooms, apartments and cottages packed with old-world charm. The experience is completed by friendly service.

Read more: https://visitahtari.fi/en/accommodations/

Ähtäri also offers charming cafés, restaurants and lunch places, in addition to handy fast food restaurants. In summer, many of the places have outdoor seating that affords stunning views over the lake scenery.

Read more: https://visitahtari.fi/en/restaurants/

Welcome to Ähtäri in South Ostrobothnia. Ähtäri’s beautiful countryside, with its ridges and lakes, makes an ideal setting for hiking trips. The area’s pristine forests and waterways can’t help but enchant visitors. Ähtäri offers a wide range of activities all year round.

Read more: https://visitahtari.fi/en/experiences/

You can book a guide for your group or family. The guide can join you on your bus or in your car and offer you a guided tour (1–3 people, minimum duration of 1 h), packed with interesting information on Ähtäri, its history and present day, and notable residents. The fee is €50 for the first hour, then €25 per hour (1 guide). Note: The price does not include the cost of the bus or fuel. For an additional charge, you can combine the tour with visits to visitor attractions or a stop at a café or restaurant. Available all year round. Languages: Finnish, Swedish and English.

Read more: https://visitahtari.fi/en/sightseeing/

Ähtäri Zoo Camping is located right next to the zoo, known for its pandas and bears. The campsite offers accommodation in 15 cottages that are available all year round and 25 cabin (two with a sauna), and it also has 150 caravan pitches, 71 of which have an electricity hook-up. The area also has a small shop, beach, lakeside sauna and a mini golf course. The zoo is open all year round. Snowpanda House is home to the pandas, and it also houses Deli&Cafe, where you can enjoy a wide range of refreshments.

Read more: https://visitahtari.fi/en/

Ähtäri Zoo

Established in 1973, Ähtäri Zoo is Finland’s oldest zoo built in a natural environment. It houses almost 60 animal species, most of which are indigenous to the boreal forests. In 2018, the zoo received two rare inhabitants when pandas Pyry and Lumi arrived from China. Ähtäri’s pandas are part of the international giant panda protection programme. The zoo welcomes about 150,000 visitors each year. Accommodation is available on the zoo’s campsite and at Hotel Mesikämmen.

Cultural events for every taste

Ähtäri offers a wide range of cultural and art events. Pirkanpohja Art Centre presents works by the artist Professor Eero Hiironen, in addition to organising changing exhibitions. At Ähtäri’s local history museum, visitors can explore local life throughout history. The village school and forest school museums offer an introduction to the Finnish school system, starting from the early 1900s, through objects, posters and pictures. In 1898, a cardboard mill was established at the Vääräkoski rapids on the Hyvölänjoki in Ähtäri, and it remained in operation for almost a century. The old factory is now a listed building that is open to the public. Children and the young-at-heart will enjoy the Toy Nostalgia exhibition, comprising items from Rita Halttunen’s collection.

Built in the 1930s, Ähtäri Church is a modern long church, one of very few to be found in Ostrobothnia. It is a dominant feature of the old village. The log-built Honkiniemi Church was completed in 1999 and in the summer its doors are open to all visitors and travellers. Built in 1772, Ähtäri’s old chapel is likely to be the oldest residential building in the region. It was originally the house of Eerik Perander, chaplain of the local parish, and later it served as a place for quiet contemplation for visitors to the area.

Home to interesting events

Dances, performances by visiting artists, concerts, exhibitions and other events mean there is plenty to see and do in ÄhtäriHotel Mesikämmen, near Ähtäri Zoo, is a busy venue for events all year round. In addition, an active and enthusiastic amateur theatre group operates in Ähtäri.

Activities in beautiful surroundings

Ähtäri’s lakes and ridge formations offer an ideal setting for outdoor activities. The area’s hiking trails meander through varied terrain and both experienced and novice hikers can find something to suit their fitness levels. Waterways in Lehtimäki, Soini and Ähtäri are ideal for fishing. Fish stocks are abundant after long-term work to improve them.

Municipality of Ähtäri

Ähtäri is located amid spectacular lakes in the area of the Suomenselkä drainage divide, which gives it its unique landscapes that you cannot find elsewhere in South Ostrobothnia. The terrain is varied, with the highest point reaching 233 metres above sea level. Ähtäri has a population of about 6,000 and almost 1,400 holiday homes, the second highest number anywhere in South Ostrobothnia. Even though Ähtäri is best known for its zoo, it offers a lot more to see and do.