Myself and Glenn Murray were invited by Päivi Nurmikoski, to visit SF-Camping-Kalajärvi in nearby Peräseinäjoki. She introduced us to the caravan park itself and all the facilities, activities and entertainment for her family, that make them return here almost EVERY weekend, all year long. They love it here, maybe you would too.
Show Notes & Links
Caravanning in Finland
As you drive through the open plains and forests of South Ostrobothnia, it can be difficult to notice holiday resorts. You will occasionally see signs for campsites and caravan parks, but they are often located away from the main roads. So, as you head along the highway you do not get a ‘preview’ of the Finnish-style holiday resort.
Located on the banks of Lake Kalajärvi and just a skimmed-stone’s throw from the village of Peräseinäjoki, is the resort of Kalajärvi (literally, Fish Lake). Over the years, this compact family resort has grown organically around Ravintola Kalajärvi, a small restaurant, bar and entertainment venue. You will find various accommodation options from camping to cabins and, as feature in this episode of the podcast, a caravan park.
SF-Caravan-Kalajärvi in Peräseinäjoki
I have family connections to Peräseinäjoki, so Ravintola Kalajärvi with it’s curved beach and lake is very familiar. It was actually the first Finnish lake I swam in and no summer was complete without at least one dip in its cool, clean water. Despite this, I had no real appreciation for SF-Caravan-Kalajärvi — I mean, we were staying nearby, so I had no need for a caravan park!
In this episode of the Explore Finland Radio Show, myself and Glenn Murray, @thenordictourist, were introduced to SF-Caravan-Kalajärvi (or SFC-Kalajärvi) by Päivi Nurmikoski, one of the more active members of this local chapter of the Finnish caravan club, SF Caravan. Päivi explained all the key facts about the caravan park at Kalajarvi.
There are about 190 places at SF-Caravan-Kalajärvi, 90 of them are reserved all year with another 100 available for guests or tourists. To park your caravan or motor home at SFC-Kalajärvi costs 35€ per night for non-members and 23€ for members. Membership is a two-level arrangement, one must be a member of the national association (48€ in 2022) and then join a local club (membership at Kalajärvi is about 30€).
Gallery: SF-Caravan Kalajärvi in Winter
Family Holiday Activities at Kalajärvi
When we arrived at Kalajärvi in March 2022, still buried under a long winter, I was amazed to see people still staying in their caravans in sub-zero temperatures. Päivi told me that people stay here all year round. On this bright Saturday in March, there were about 50 people staying there!
Paivi explained that there are a variety of activities in and around the campsite, during summer and winter, for both adults and children. For example:
- Winter activities: ice skating round a track through the woods (yes, really!), sledging, snow-shoe walking or skiing on the surface of the frozen lake, ice fishing
- Summer activities: swimming in Lake Kalajärvi, relaxing on the beach, walking the nature trails in the surrounding woods, cycling around the lake, playing frisbee golf on the newly installed course, enjoying the evening entertainment in the bar and restaurant on the shore of the lake.
- Children’s activities: summertime ‘holiday club’ entertainers, the Aku-juna – a train pulled round the caravan park behind a tractor
Gallery: Family Holiday Activities at Kalajärvi
There is also a selection of events and special occasions that take place at Ravintola Kalajärvi, such as the Sauna Festaarit (a three-day ‘mobile sauna’ event) and Midsummer celebrations. Päivi warned us that, for the weekend festivities that start on Friday, you need to arrive at the caravan park by the previous Monday or you risk not getting a spot for your ‘van!
Gallery: SF-Caravan Kalajärvi in Summer
Attractions & Days-out Near to SF-Caravan-Kalajärvi
It’s also worth mentioning that SF-Caravan-Kalajärvi makes an ideal holiday base to explore South Ostrobothnia. Within an hour’s drive you can visit Ideapark Shopping Centre in Seinäjoki (approx. 30 mins drive), Ähtäri Zoo (45 mins), Kyläkauppa Keskinen at Tuuri (possibly the world’s biggest village shop – 25 mins), Power Park theme park (60 mins).
Watch & Listen To This Episode
Watch the Nordic Tourist video
- SF-Caravan-Kalajärvi www.caravan-kalajarvi.fi/
- SF-Caravan-Kalajärvi Facebook page www.facebook.com/caravankalajarvi
- SF- Caravan association www.karavaanarit.fi/caravanning-in-finland/camping-in-finland/
- Ravintola Kalajärvi www.kalajarvi.fi/kalajarvi-resort/