In addition to Jyväskylä, the Jyväskylä Region includes the municipalities of Hankasalmi, Laukaa, Muurame, Petäjävesi, Toivakka and Uurainen. The region is home to two UNESCO World Heritage sites: Petäjävesi Old Church and the Oravivuori triangulation tower. Other impressive attractions include the Saraakallio rock paintings and the world’s only planetarium located deep in the rock. In addition, the region has more sites designed by Alvar Aalto than any other area its size in the world.
One of the most attractive areas in Finland, Jyväskylä is the modern and youthful home of almost 140,000 residents. Its conveniently compact city centre and vibrant countryside create a fascinating whole. Famous for its students and architecture, Jyväskylä offers a wide range of Finnish and international events as well as activities around the year. Its events, sights, restaurants and accommodation and shopping opportunities attract a large number of Finnish and international visitors. www.jyvaskyla.fi/international
The steadily growing municipality of Laukaa has a population of nearly 19,000. Laukaa has distinctive town-like areas and vibrant villages. Its most popular attractions include the Spa Hotel Peurunka, Varjola guesthouse, Peurunka Golf and the Nokkakivi amusement park in Lievestuore. Laukaa has a beautiful, well-equipped harbour for boats, and cruises take visitors to see the Stone Age Saraakallio rock painting, among other attractions. Rafting and fishing in the Kuusaankoski rapids are also worth experiencing. www.laukaa.fi/english
Muurame is the southernmost municipality of the Jyväskylä Region. It has a population of more than 9,500. Muurame Hall at the Cultural Centre offers theatre performances, concerts and other events throughout the year. Other attractions include Muurame Church, designed by Alvar Aalto during his classical period, and the Riihivuori ski centre. www.muurame.fi (in Finnish)
Located north of Jyväskylä, Uurainen is a municipality of natural growth, with a population of 3,600. Its attractions include Uurainen Church, which was completed in 1905. Designed by Yrjö Blomstedt, it is also known as the Church of Open Hearts, because of its more than 1,000 beautiful heart decorations. www.uurainen.fi (in Finnish)
Marked by natural beauty, Hankasalmi is a lively rural municipality with a population of 5,500. In addition to nature and natural waters, its attractions include a diverse range of cultural events, such as Kihveli Soikoon, an international skiffle music festival, as well as the Pienmäki Homestead Museum and the golf course at the Revontuli holiday resort. Enjoyable winter experiences include activities at the Häkärinteet skiing centre. www.hankasalmi.fi (in Finnish)
Petäjävesi is a municipality of natural beauty with a population of more than 4,000. It is located about 30 kilometres west of Jyväskylä. For travellers, Petäjävesi and its surroundings offer heritage sites and culturally significant landscapes. Petäjävesi Old Church is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The area is also known for its felt products and traditional blacksmithing. www.petajavesi.fi
The centre of Toivakka, a popular summer resort, is located a 30-minute drive south from Jyväskylä, along the E4 highway. Its most popular attractions include murals by Pellervo Lukumies on the ceiling of Toivakka Church as well as natural sites by Lake Päijänne. Many of its villages – such as Huikko, Ruuhimäki, Kankainen, Heiska and Haukanmaa – are home to tourism businesses. www.toivakka.fi