Lappajärvi – a town by Europe’s largest crater lake

Lappajärvi, with 3,000 residents, is located on the shore of a crater lake created when a meteorite hit the ground on the site. Its population expands significantly in the summer, when summer residents and holidaymakers return to the area’s 1,100 holiday homes. The spectacular scenery and the recreational activities offered by its lakeside location make Lappajärvi a pleasant place to visit and live.

The best that nature has to offer

In Lappajärvi, you can enjoy the great outdoors on water and dry land. The most interesting places to visit can be found around the crater lake and on its islands, where visitors can also spot impactite, a rare rock created by the impact of the meteorite. Lappajärvi is located on plains and its lakeside landscapes are characterised by fields, villages and farms and summer houses. The beautiful Karvalanraitti lakeside road offers plenty to see.

Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy the region’s numerous nature trails with their rest stops and lean-tos. The surroundings of Hotel Kivitippu in Nykälänniemi offer a wide range recreational activities, ensuring a great stay. The M/S Veannetar offers atmospheric cruises on Lappajärvi for groups and individuals. The Tervareitti canoeing route runs through five lakes and along several rivers. Whether you take the 74-kilometre route around the lake on foot or by bike or car, you will find plenty to see and do in the beautiful countryside located in the area of three municipalities. In winter, Lappajärvi hosts numerous ice-fishing events. When completed in 2020, the Välijoki canal will offer small boats and canoes access to the Välijoki river, which runs from Lappajärvi to Evijärvi.

Unique history and culture

At the Kivitippu Meteorite Centre, visitors can explore the exciting events that led to the creation of the crater lake 77 million years ago. The Taavintupa and the 200-year-old Lappajärvi museum buildings offer an introduction to the local farming history. The permanent exhibitions of the Lappajärvi house present objects related to Lappajärvi’s war veterans, the history of the Lappajärvi parish and the 100-year history of the former Finnish primary school system.

Halkosaari island in Lappajärvi houses a summer theatre that invites visitors to enjoy stage performances in a beautiful setting. Another interesting place to visit is Studio Tapio Autio, which consists of slate buildings adorned by reliefs, a concrete sculpture park and changing summer exhibitions. A wide range of specialist shops found in the area offer unique interior design, homeware and gift items made by craftspeople.

A meteorite exhibition located alongside Hotel Kivitippu offers visitors a unique experience. The exhibition has been extended to include stones and minerals, and virtual technology has been introduced for additional colour. The exhibition takes you on a virtual journey to the Asteroid Belt. Put on the VR headset and you are ready to start a journey from an international space station to the Asteroid Belt located between the orbits of Jupiter and Mars, and to see the place where the meteorite that created the Lappajärvi crater originated from. The majority of the 13.5-minute video is authentic material by NASA.

An action-packed summer destination

In summer, large numbers of holiday-makers arrive in Lappajärvi, where they can also enjoy the region’s numerous summer events. One of the main events is the Lappajärvi Fete held every July. In addition to the summer theatre, cultural events can be enjoyed at Hotel Kivitippu and Halkosaari’s dance stage holds regular dances with live music.

Exercise and activities

Järviseudun Golf Club maintains an 18-hole golf course in Pykälänniemi. Some of the course fairways run though rolling woodlands, while others are set in park-like surroundings by the lake. Special flavour to a round of golf on the course is provided by the paddle steamer that takes golfers from the front nine to the back nine. Lappajärvi also has a frisbee golf course and tennis and beach volleyball courts, as well as a wide range of other facilities for team and individual sports. In winter, the brave-at-heart can try out ice-swimming in several locations in Lappajärvi. Other activities available in the region include guided fishing trips and rowing trips in a longboat. For families and holiday-makers, Lappajärvi offers several well-maintained beaches for sunbathing and swimming.