This experience is from lakes and hills to the Arctic Circle and Archipelago. It acquaints you with Finland’s many faces and contrasts. Travel through Lakeland and along the Russian border to Rovaniemi, on the Arctic Circle, and return to the capital along the west coast. Enjoy the peace of unspoilt wilderness, admire the beauty of varied landscapes, see charming towns, and explore the modern capital town…
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Arrive at Helsinki get transferred to the hotel. You will be briefed by our guide about the tour in the evening.
Helsinki and the South Coast
Finland’s modern capital Helsinki has earned a reputation as a pocket-sized metropolis with a relaxed atmosphere and many interesting visitor attractions. Helsinki’s identity has been formed by cultural influences from both the East and West and it is highly characterized by the presence of water due to its situation on the Baltic Sea. Start your Finland tour with the guide and explore the attractions like Senate Square, the Parliament building and the historical centre. In the afternoon a drive to the coastal city of Kotka through Porvoo.
The Thousand Lakes
From Kotka head inland towards Punkaharju, famous for its beautiful ridge area that is known as a national landscape of Finland. Get to know the ridge area and its cultural and natural history on a guided bus tour. Visit The Finnish Forestry Museum “Lusto” or enjoy some free time in Punkaharju and then drive to Savonlinna, famous for its annual opera festival held in the medieval Olavinlinna castle.
Explore Savonlinna furthermore in the morning. Visit the lively market or step on board for a short scenic cruise on Lake Saimaa! Drive down to Kerimäki known for the Kerimäki church – the largest wooden church in the world. Take the guided walking tour in Koli National Park and climb up to the highest peak of Koli Hills called Ukko-Koli (347 m).
Northern Karelia & Grounds of Kalevala
Travel through the beautiful hill-country to Nurmes , visit the Bomba House and the surrounding Karelian village with summer market, souvenir shops and Orthodox Church. Don’t forget to try some Karelian food specialities here! Drive further to Kuhmo grounds where the Finnish national epic Kalevala was born. In case you are still feeling very charged up , rent canoes, rowing boats or bicycles to explore the city further.
Along the Russian Border
Head further north along the Russian border. Visit Hossa Reindeer Park and know more about the reindeer husbandry. Visit a nature photography center at Kuusamo displaying photographs of Hannu Hautala, Finland’s most famous nature photographer.
Into the Wilderness
Set off for a hiking excursion in Oulanka National Park, which is considered the most beautiful and popular park in Finland. The landscape is made up of pine forests, river valleys with sandy banks and rapids. The park is rich in flora and fauna, and some of them are the endangered species. Pass through Kiutaköngäs Rapid which is one of the most famous sights in the park. Drive further towards Rovaniemi the capital of Lapland and famously known for the Santa Claus’ Village. Rovaniemi is like an urban oasis amidst the Artic wilderness where culture, adventure and fairy tales come together. You can also have a private meeting with Santa.
Back to the Sea
Morning is at leisure, though we recommend few sights like the Arktikum, a science centre and museum providing a unique insight into the way of life, culture and history of the North. Head to the city of Oulu located on the Gulf of Bothnia. Explore the city on foot and walk through the pedestrian street Rotuaari, and relax in one of the cosy cafés.
The Sunny West Coast
Drive towards south along the coast line until Vaasa, which is also known as the sunniest city in Finland. Explore the Bodvattnet nature trail. This trail goes on the flat coastal area acquainting us with the Kvarken Archipelago that was listed on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2006. In the Kvarken area, a rare geological process known as land uplift shapes the landscape year after year.
Return to Helsinki
This will be the longest drive of the tour and will take you back to Helsinki. The road winds through rolling hills, wide cultivated areas and mixed forests through Tampere and Hämeenlinna. Second half of the day at leisure in Helsinki.
Get transferred to the Airport for your flight back home.