Lakes & Countryside

Helsinki, Porvoo, Punkaharju, Savonlinna & more
9 days
Jun - Aug
Itinerary
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Explore Finland, with an emphasis on the lovely, smaller country towns.  This circle self drive tour takes you from Helsinki to Porvoo, Savonlinna, Joensuu, Nurmes, Kuopio, Tampere and back to Helsinki over 9 leisurely days. Extra nights can be aded at any destination along the way.

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Day 1:        Arrival in Helsinki – Porvoo (70km)
Arrive at Vantaa airport and pick-up your rental car. If time allows, explore Helsinki and get to know the city with a visit to some of its most important sights, including Senate Square, Uspenskij Cathedral, Parliament House, Finlandia Hall, Sibelius Park & Monument and Temppeliaukio Church (the Rock Church). 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 follows an old postal route. The road has been used by kings and their couriers, bishops and townsmen, artists and armies ever since the 1300s. Mansions, farms, taverns, alehouses and inns that housed and accommodated travellers arose all along the King's Road, Today the King's Road is a network of fascinating travel services but some stretches of the original road are still in use. The total length of the road is 253km.En-route, perhaps visit Haikko Manor - home of the famous painter Albert Edelfelt and the old church of Sipoo, built in the 15th Century. Arrival to Porvoo and start with a walking tour in the Old Town with its well-preserved wooden houses, visit the medieval church and Town Hall Square. Accommodation at Pariisin Ville Hotel or similar.

Day 2:        Porvoo – Punkaharju (295km)
Continue towards the Finnish Lakeland area. Pass Kouvola and Lappeenranta to Punkaharju then drive the panoramic road along the Punkaharju Ridge, with the chance 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. Accommodation at Punkaharjun Valtionhotelli (or similar). Finland's oldest tourist hotel is a beautiful and romantic building, next to a lake.

Day 3:        Punkaharju – Savonlinna – Heinävesi – Joensuu (244km)
Short drive to Savonlinna, a dynamic little town famous for its Opera Festivals and Olavinlinna Castle. Continue to Heinävesi and drive to New Valamo Monastery, the only Orthodox monastery in Finland, located in a calm and beautiful environment. Continue to Joensuu, the capital of North Karelia region. Accommodation at Original Sokos Hotel Kimmel (or similar).

Day 4:        Joensuu – Koli – Nurmes (132km)
Today continue around Lake Pielinen, one of the biggest lakes of Finland. Then continue on to Koli National Park, about 1 hours drive from Joensuu. Take a short panoramic walking tour in the park for views of one of 'the best landscapes of Finland'. We recommend a visit to Ukko Nature Center and lunch at the restaurant of Sokos Hotel Koli. You can also discover Pirun kirkko (Church of the Devil), an old 34m long cave within a short hike through a marked trail. Drive to Nurmes, a small town in the Northern shore of Lake Pielinen.Accommodation at Break Sokos Hotel Bomba (or similar)

Day 5:        Nurmes – Lieksa – Joensuu (132km)
Today drive to Lieksa, where you might like to visit the open-air museum called Pielisen museo. Then you can drive from Lieksa to Ruunaa Nature Reserve and enjoy the lake view with rapids (also a good location for fishing) and maybe enjoy some short nature walks. Continue to Vuonislahti, to visit the ateljée of famous Finnish sculptor Eva Ryynänen and the church carved from wood.Return to Joensuu for accommodation at Original at Sokos Hotel Kimmel (or similar).

Day 6:        Joensuu – Kuopio (120km)
Perhaps visit the Carelicum Museum, before driving to Kuopio, the capital of Savo region. See Puijo Tower for panoramic views, or take a lake cruise to Lake Kallavesi . Accommodation at Cumulus Hotel Kuopio (or similar).

Day 7:        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 Alvar Aalto. Both Jyväskylä and Tampere are located at the connection point of different lakes. Continue to Tampere where you might enjoy a swim and some spa treatments. Accommodation at Original Sokos Hotel Villa (or similar).

Day 8:        Tampere – Hämeenlinna – Tuusula (175km)
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 Sara Hildén Art Museum. Continue to Hämeenlinna and maybe visit Hämeenlinna Castle or the birth place of Jean Sibelius, Finland's most famous composer. At the day's end, drive to Tuusula.Arrival at Krapi Estate - located amid a nationally prestigious cultural environment and comprising a hotel, restaurants, traditional Finnish smoke-sauna and a large park, the area offers a wide variety of activities. Krapi is located right at the start of the first Finnish museum road (Tuusula Rantatie). Homes of many famous (turn of the century) artists, who were actively involved in the forming of the Finnish national identity, can be found along this road. Accommodation at Krapi Hotel, Tuusula (or similar).

Day 9:        Tuusula-Helsinki
Breakfast, before your chance to enjoy the peace and quiet of the area surrounding Estate. Or perhaps visit some of the interesting cultural sights and museums along the museum road Tuusulan Rantatie. Drive to Helsinki 's Vantaa airport and return your car.

Departures: daily June - August 

Extra nights can be aded at any destination along the way - please enquire

Includes: 8 nights’ accommodation including breakfast in 3 star centrally located hotels, manual car rental Class C VW Golf for  9 x 24 hour days (total 216 hours) inc CDW, unlimited mileage, theft protection and taxes.

Excludes: upgrade to automatic car

                                               Nordic Travel is 100% Australian owned and operated

 

Price per person FROM:
Double AUD$ 2133.00
Single AUD$ 3977.00

Includes: 8 nights’ accommodation including breakfast in 3 star centrally located hotels, manual car rental Class C VW Golf for  9 x 24 hour days (total 216 hours) inc CDW, unlimited mileage, theft protection and taxes.

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