Helsinki – 1 night
Savonlinna – 2 nights
Puumala – 2 nights
Porvoo – 1 night

Finnish Lakeland - 2024

A breath of fresh air in the pristine setting of Finland’s idyllic lakes, this short break takes you to the spellbinding shores and island-spangled waters of Lake Saimaa, the historic wooden houses of riverside Porvoo, and Europe’s northernmost medieval fortress

Making the most of long hours of daylight, taking a steamboat cruise on one of the loveliest lakes in the world, travelling through timeless topography to age-old settlements, and learning to bake traditional Karelian pies, this is a fabulous tour of Finland’s landscapes, history, and culture. Largely based amid the forests, lakes, and islets of the Great Saimaa system, the tour calls in at easy-tempo Mikkeli enroute to impossibly beautiful Savonlinna, spread across three islands linked by bridges, in the clear blue waters of Lake Sainaa. We visit Olavinlinna Castle, the sturdy stone fortress rising from the rocks of an islet to guard the Kyrösalmi strait. It’s said that if the walls could talk, they would tell a thousand stories; some are recalled in the castle’s museum. From here the route runs to little Kerimäki village, home to the largest wooden church in the world; to the Veijö Rönkkönen Sculpture Park, with hundreds of strange folkloric statues; and on a stunning journey across the lake-sprinkled landscape, leading to Rakokivi’s extraordinary, ice age formations. The stark bunkers of the Salpa Line mark Finland’s modern history; while 15thcentury, photogenic Porvoo is its second-oldest city, renowned for the red riverside houses.

Key Features

Culture & Countryside Tour
Jules Verne Sightseeing
Central Hotels
Local Expert Guide

Special Event

Karelian Pie Baking

Like the Hairy Bikers before you, discover the old art of making tasty Karelian pies at Paula’s country farmhouse. Traditional pies usually had a rye crust and usual fi llings were barley and talkkuna. Today they have s a thin rye crust with a fi lling of rice. Butter, mixed with chopped-up boiled egg, is spread over the pies before eating.

Special Departure

Savonlinna Opera Festival - 8 July 2024

This departure coincides with the annual international festival. Add an optional evening opera performance in the covered courtyard of Olavinlinna Castle (£160 – Category B). Performance schedule will be released at a later date.

Day 1 Fly from London Heathrow to Helsinki. Transfer to 4-star Hotel Klaus K for overnight.

Day 2 On a walking tour of the city centre and South Harbour area, view Senate Square, the Esplanade, City Hall, the Presidential Palace, and the railway station, where urban legend has it that the clock on its tower is set a minute fast, so that travellers are on time for trains; and visit the Oodi, the city’s ‘new era’ library, designed as a vibrant meeting place with dedicated spaces for events, concerts, quiet learning and lively activities. Travel by train (4hrs approx.) to Savonlinna for two nights at the 4-star Original Sokos Hotel Seurahuone. (B, L)

Day 3 Tour the triple-towered Olavinlinna Castle, 550years old and still a forbidding edifice; it is now an iconic landmark, hosting festivals and housing an exhibition of its history. Enjoy a steamboat cruise around the breathtakingly beautiful Lake Saimaa, a natural wildlife sanctuary, hemmed with rocky cliffs and sleepy shores, and liberally sprinkled with forested islands. In the afternoon take a catamaran on the home waters of osprey and the endangered Saimaa ringed seal. Enter deep into the national park to get to know about their life. (B)

Day 4 Visit the tiny village of Kerimäki to see its enormous church, nicknamed ‘the yellow giant’, and holding a 3,000+ congregation, seated on a full mile of timber pews. Travel to Parikalla’s Sculpture Park, where 450 weird and wonderful statues, created by Veijö Rönkkönen, inhabit the park-like garden of the (late) sculptor’s home. Continue to the Puumala area for two nights at the charming Sahanlahti Resort, set by the shore of Lake Saimaa. (B, D)

Day 5 A superbly scenic journey, traversing multiple bridges and including a ferry crossing, brings you to Niinisaari. Enjoy a lesson in baking savoury Karelian Pasties at a local farmhouse, followed by a home-cooked buffet lunch. Visit Rakokivi, an intriguing, ice age, geological landscape, and continue to the lakeside town of Puumala for an eye-opening visit to one of the steel and concrete bunkers of the Salpa Line, a WWll defence line of 700 such constructions on the old Finland / Soviet Union border. Optional evening sauna at Sahanlahti (bookable locally). (B, L)

Day 6 Travel to Porvoo via the border town of Imatra, hemming the waters of Lake Saimaa and the Vuoksi River; and lakeside Lappeenranta, famous for its summer sandcastle creations. In Porvoo, enjoy a walking tour of the idyllic Old Town, picturesque and packed with history, from its quaint, cobblestone streets, to its medieval granite cathedral, and the well-preserved wooden houses, lining the eponymous river with their vivid red façades. Overnight at the 4-star Runo Hotel. (B)

Day 7 Transfer to Helsinki airport for the return flight to London Heathrow. (B)

  • Key
  • B - Breakfast
  • L - Lunch
  • D - Dinner

This is a full itinerary with most visits on foot and sites with steps/inclines and uneven surfaces.
This tour involves carrying luggage on and off a train.


per person in a twin/double room
Finnair from Heathrow

Date Price
May 20 £2365
June 10 £2385

Supplements per person

Single Supplement

Single supplement £525

Flight Options

Finnair Business Class - On request

Optional Excursions

Visit to the Savonlinna Opera Festival £160 (Jul only)

Extension Options

Extra nights – Helsinki
Klaus K (per night) £105
Single supplement £85

Tour Only

Save £200 
Arrival transfer Helsinki £70
Departure transfer Porvoo to Helsinki Airport £110


Price Includes
Air travel and taxes, transfers, 6 nights’ accommodation, breakfast daily, 2 lunches and 1 dinner, itinerary as described, services of guides and local representatives. If our specially negotiated airfares are unavailable at the time of booking, a supplement may apply.

Not Included
Travel insurance, optional excursions, tipping, any government taxes or compulsory charges introduced after publication.

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Finnish Lakeland - 2024

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