Kärkinen Bridge, or Kärkisten Silta in Finnish, is located in central Finland about 35 kilometres south from the city of Jyväskylä. It connects the east side and the west side of Lake Päijänne, which is the second largest lake in Finland. Kärkinen Bridge is 787 meters long, which makes it the third longest bridge in Finland. The H-shaped pylons are 69 and 95 meters long. Before the bridge was built, about 800 cars crossed the strait by ferry. In the summer, the traffic doubled. Kärkinen Bridge was opened to the traffic at the end of August in 1997.
When you are driving towards north from the city of Lahti, Finland, you have a few route choices. The fastest route would be along the highway number 4 on the east side of Lake Päijänne. Another route, road number 24 goes on the west side of the lake. The third choice, the Päijänne Scenery Route, as we like to call it, is absolutely the best of these three when the weather is fine and you are in no hurry. Lake Päijänne is the second Largest Lake in Finland, and the Päijänne Scenery Road offers some of the best scenery to the lake and also some great curvy road sections.
This narrow and curvy road can be found from Kirkkonummi, which is quite close to Finland’s capital, Helsinki. Porkkala is a peninsula in the Gulf of Finland and the Porkkala Road, or Porkkalantie in finnish, takes you almost to the southern point of this peninsula. The Porkkala Road is narrow and curvy, and therefore it is popular cruising road among the driving enthusiasts living nearby. Especially during weekend, if the weather is good, the road is filled with cars and motorcycles driving the Porkkala Road back and forth. This is because there is actually no other way back. The narrow road is paved and is in fairly good condition, so it is quite popular with cyclists as well.
This beautiful bridge is the the Replot Bridge or Raippaluodon silta in finnish. It is not just great looking, but it is also the longest bridge in Finland. It connects the island of Replot to the mainland near city of Vaasa. The Replot Bridge is 1,045 metres (3,428 ft) long. Two supporting pylons are 82 metres high. The middle span is 250 metres wide and gives a vertical clearance of 26 metres. The bridge itself looks quite massive when you approach it by car or by boat. It also provides a nice view from the highest point, if you park your car and take a walk along the bridge on a nice weather. The Replot Bridge was opened in August 1997 when it replaced the old ferry traffic.
Porrassalmi Road (Porrassalmentie in Finnish) is a historic road located near city of Mikkeli, in Finland. It is part of the old route that connected cities Mikkeli and Lappeenranta. This historic route has been used since 15th century and the current Porrassalmi Road follows the lines of the old route. Porrassalmi Road is just 5 kilometres long, but it is nicely curvy and offers some nice scenery as well. The road is paved and mostly in good condition. The road might not be worth for a long road trip, but when you are close by, you should make an extra turn and take a drive along this historic road. Along Porrassalmi Road there is a momument of the battle of Porrassalmi, which took place in 1789 between Sweden and Russia. This is a nice place for a short stop as, in addition to the momument, there is also a nice view to the lake.
One nice, small driving road in Southern Finland is the Karstu Road (Karstuntie in Finnish). The Karstu road (road number 1070) starts from the centre of town of Lohja and as the name suggests, it goes by the small place of Karstu. The road ends near Sammatti, from where you can continue north towards Helsinki-Turku highway or take another small road towards south. The Kartsu road is a small road with lots of nice, tight curves. Considering that you are driving in the Southern Finland, Karstu Road also has some small, but surprisingly steep hills.
My favorite driving road in Southern Finland is the historic Tallimäki-Virojoki Road between Hamina and Virolahti. It is 35 kilometres long and is the longest road in Finland that has the museum status. But don’t worry, this museum road is paved and mostly in good condition. Tallimäki-Virojoki Road follows the route of the historic coastal road. It is a part of the Great Coastal Highway that connected the medieval cities Turku and Vyborg. The road went from house to house and followed near the coastline of the Gulf of Finland. The road started to take form sometime after the Vyborg Castle was established in 1293. The coastal road is known to be used in the 15th century and the postal service between Turku and Vyborg began in the 1630’s. Nowdays this museum road is a popular tourist route and in the summer there can be quite a lot traffic.
The Fagervik Road (Fagervikintie in finnish) in Southern Finland is a part of the medieval Great Coastal Highway which connected coastal towns Turku and Vyborg. The route was cleared into a road in the 14th century and the first evidence of the the bridges across the rivers are from the 15th century. The Great Coastal Highway followed the coast of the Gulf of Finland from parish to parish, linking the country’s main areas of settlement and administration. In these days, there are a bigger and faster roads to choose when traveling in Southern Finland, but when you’re not in a hurry, it’s nice to drive these smaller roads which also have a bit of history. A one kilometer part of the Fagervik Road has been preserved as a museum road.