Lakes & Countryside

Charming smaller towns of Porvoo, Savonlinna, Nurmes, Kuopio & Tampere
6 days
All year
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Explore Finland, with an emphasis on the lovely, smaller country towns.  This circle self drive tour takes you from to Porvoo, Savonlinna,  Nurmes, Kuopio, and Tampere. Add nights in Helsinki, or extra nights at any overnight destination along the way.

Day 1 Helsinki Airport – Porvoo 70km
Arrive at Helsinki's Vantaa airport and pick-up your rental car. Drive to Porvoo, which is the second oldest town of Finland. The driving route follows the King’s Road, the most significant travel route in the Nordic countries, and an old postal route. The road has been used by kings and their couriers, bishops and townsmen, artists and armies ever since the 1300s and mansions, farms, taverns, alehouses and inns that housed and accommodated travellers arose all along the way. Perhaps visit Haikko Manor, home of the famous Finnish painter Albert Edelfelt, and the old church of Sipoo, built in the 15th Century. On arrival in Porvoo we suggest you take a walk through the Old Town, with its well-preserved wooden houses, and visit the medieval church and Town Hall Square. Overnight in Porvoo.

Day 2 Porvoo – Savonlinna 334km
Continue towards the Finnish Lakeland area. Pass Kouvola and Lappeenranta to Punkaharju, then drive the panoramic road along the Punkaharju Ridge, with the chance along the way to visit the Retretti Art Centre, one of the country's most important art centres. In Punkaharju area, there are important nature reserves, holiday resorts and the interesting Lusto Forest Museum. Continue on to Savonlinna, a dynamic little town famous for its Opera Festivals and Olavinlinna Castle. Overnight in Savonlinna.

Day 3  Savonlinna – Nurmes 267km 
Leave Savonlinna and continue via Heinävesi to New Valamo Monastery, the only Orthodox monastery in Finland, located in a calm and beautiful environment. Continue to Joensuu, the capital of the North Karelia region, then on around Lake Pielinen, one of the biggest lakes of Finland. On to Koli National Park, about 1 hours drive from Joensuu - here you can take a short walk in the park for panoramic views, visit the Ukko Nature Center and walk to Pirun kirkko (Church of the Devil), an old 34m long cave. Drive to Nurmes, a small town on the Northern shore of Lake Pielinen, for overnight. 

Day 4 Nurmes – Kuopio 129km 
Today drive to Lieksa, where you can visit the open-air museum Pielisen Museo, and Ruunaa Nature Reserve to enjoy the view of the rapids. Continue to Vuonislahti, to visit the ateljée of famous Finnish sculptor Eva Ryynänen and the carved wooden church. Then on to Kuopio, the capital of the Savo region, where you can see Puijo Tower for panoramic views, or take a leisurely cruise on Lake Kallavesi. Overnight in Kuopio.

Day 5 Kuopio – Tampere (295km)
The route this morning continues through central Finland towards Tampere. En-route stop at Jyväskylä, a town famous for its architecture by Finnish master Alvar Aalto. Continue to Tampere, for overnight. 

Day 6 Tampere – Helsinki Airport 171km
Spend the morning in Tampere and enjoy this lively town. Visit Näsinneula tower for some panoramic views and one of the most popular amusement parks in Finland, Särkänniemi. For art lovers, a must is the Sara Hildén Art Museum. Continue to Hämeenlinna and maybe visit Hämeenlinna Castle or the birth place of Jean Sibelius, Finland's most famous composer. Then on to the Helsinki airport to return your rental car, and end of arrangements.

Departures: daily all year  

Add nights in Helsinki or extra nights at any overnight destination along the way.

Includes: 5 nights’ accommodation including breakfast in 3 star centrally located hotels, automatic car rental Class I Skoda Rapid or similar for  6 x 24 hour days (144 hours) inc CDW, unlimited mileage, theft protection and taxes.

                                               Nordic Travel is 100% Australian owned and operated

 

Price per person FROM:
Double AUD$ 1786.00
Single AUD$ 3460.00

Includes: 5 nights’ accommodation including breakfast in 3 star centrally located hotels, automatic car rental Class I Skoda Rapid or similar for  6 x 24 hour days (144 hours) inc CDW, unlimited mileage, theft protection and taxes.

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