Kimmo and Mikko Niemi are Instagram influencers whose mental world is rooted in the lake and forest landscapes of the Jyväskylä Region. Among their favourite destinations in the area, they name the Pyhä-Häkki National Park as well as Paljaspää hill on Muuratsalo island.
Kimmo and Mikko Niemi are a Jyväskylä Instagram influencer couple, who run the @mikkoandkimmo account together, chronicling their positive lifestyle experiences. The Niemi home is located in naturally beautiful surroundings in Jyväskylä. In 2021, it came in third in the popular Finland’s Home of the Year reality competition show.
Both Kimmo and Mikko are born in Säynätsalo, Jyväskylä, and have lived in the region all their lives. As a result, the Jyväskylä Region’s unblemished forest and lake landscapes and the opportunities for outdoor activities are important to both.
“For me, the woods are a place of calm and relaxation where I can recharge my energy. That’s why we try to go out whenever we have the time and we can,” says Mikko.
“We particularly like being outdoors in the autumn, with all its colours and the fresh air,” says Kimmo.
The Jyväskylä region is home to four national parks in all: The Leivonmäki, Southern Konnevesi, Pyhä-Häkki and Salamajärvi National Parks. Particularly familiar to the Niemis are the Pyhä-Häkki and Leivonmäki parks, both among their favourite destinations in the Jyväskylä Region.
“The Pyhä-Häkki National Park is such a nice place, and we are going to get out there again soon,” says Kimmo.
Both of the Niemis praise Pyhä-Häkki for its beautiful landscapes as well as its ease of access.
“Pyhä-Häkki is suitable for everybody, there is an accessible path as well. There are routes of varying lengths, so a family hiking there with children can pick a shorter route. For those looking for more of a challenge, it’s possible to go the long way round as well,” says Mikko.
The Niemis also say the Leivonmäki National Park is an impressive destination, there in particular the marshy environs of the Kirveslampi route.
“The Salamajärvi National Park also waits on our to do list.”
Paljaspää, the scenic viewpoint of a lifetime
The nature of the Jyväskylä Region is characterised not only by lakes and forests, but the hilly, rolling terrain as well. There are a wealth of viewing points in the region offering breathtaking views of the surrounding nature. Among the Niemis’ favourites are Kanavuori hill located in Vaajakoski and Mäyrävuori hill just south of the Vaajakoski town centre.
However, their very favourite is Paljaspää hill, located on Muuratsalo island.
“Paljaspää is the sweetest viewing point we know. It’s fairly easy to get there by car and then just a short distance to hike up,” says Kimmo, saying he suspects not all Jyväskylä inhabitants are aware of the spot.
Mikko, too, recommends getting to know the Säynätsalo islands, of which Muuratsalo is one. Apart from the fabulous natural environments, the island is home to two important destinations designed by the architect Alvar Aalto: the Säynätsalo Town Hall and the Muuratsalo Experimental House.
Even the centre of Jyväskylä has opportunities for viewing the nature surrounding the city on all sides.
“When we have friends from elsewhere visiting, we usually take them to the Harju area, looking down from the top of the stairs. As well as the Harju water tower viewing spot when that is open,” says Mikko.
Something else to check out – a selection of Kimmo and Mikko’s other favourite spots in Jyväskylä and the region
- Jyväskylä, Lutakko Marina: “In the summer weekends you can really tell it’s people’s favourite place to spend their time.”
- Vaajakoski canal: “It’s nice to take friends to see this. A special place for us as well, since our wedding was at Wanha Woimala, the old hydropower station on the canal.”
- Regional sightseeing by car: “We can, for example, drive to Suolahti to see the canal there. Keuruu is also a nice place to visit every once in a while.”
- Varjola Farm: “We like the Varjola Farm a lot, we have gone back several times. The Kuusaankoski rapids are also really impressive.
- Jyväskylä museums: “We frequently visit museums in Jyväskylä. The Art Museum in particular is something everyone should visit. We’re really looking forward to the new Aalto2 Museum.”
The article was originally published on 23 September 2022. The Aalto2 Museum opened in May 2023.