A unique Karelian culinary and orthodox culture in Eastern Finland

A unique Karelian culinary and orthodox culture in Eastern Finland

Min 16 persons
Max 50 persons

Karelians are a Baltic-Finnic ethnic group who are native to the Northern European historical region of Karelia, which is today split between Finland and Russia. In Finland, Karelians traditionally live in the regions of Savonia and Northern and Southern Karelia. The ideology of Karelianism inspired Finnish artists and researchers. The majority of Finnish Karelians are Lutherans but the Orthodoxylives strongly in the area. During this tour you will learn a lot about history, religion and the way of living in Finnish Karelia.

Group size: min. 16 persons (ask for an offer for smaller groups)
Available: 1.4. - 31.10.2020.

Price: 1200€/person in double rooms, full board, guiding at the sights, transfer by bus.
Ask for the price of tour guide services during the whole trip.

Day 1.  
Arrival at Kuopio airport or railway station
Transfer to Lapland Hotels in Kuopio. Accommodation and dinner.

Day 2. 
Breakfast. Guided tour in the centre of Kuopio including Riisa which is one of the most notable Orthodox church museums in Europe. The intention of RIISA is to preserve, study and display the unique cultural heritage of the Orthodox Church of Finland and to use this heritage for educational purposes.

Lunch at Puijon Torni restaurant or Puijon Maja restaurant depending on the opening hours of Puijo Tower.

Puijo Tower is a distinctive landmark that you can see from a far when arriving to Kuopio. It is located in the middle of the city, only a few kilometres from the famous marketplace. Standing on the top of the hill, the Tower offers a wide and beautiful view over the lake scenery and the city.

Transfer from Kuopio to the town of Nurmes, about 1,5 hours. Accommodation at Break Sokos Hotel Bomba
Accommodation and dinner at the restaurant of Bomba or Puukarin Pysäkki - Karelian Restaurant. (Depending on group size)

Day 3. 
Breakfast. Guided tour at Bomba area and a visit to the orthodox chapel of Bomba. Transfer to the town of Kuhmo, about 1 hour. The city of Kuhmo has been designated as a city of literature of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network. Visit to Juminkeko centre to hear more about Kalevala, the Finnish National epos. Juminkeko centre is dedicated to the preservation of Kalevala traditions and culture. Lunch at Kalevala Hotel. 

Transfer to Ilomantsi. About 3 hours. A short coffee break at the town of Lieksa. Accommodation and dinner at Möhkön Rajakartano - Apartment Hotel. Evening program: Karelian and Kalevala folk music with kantele and singing, eg. folk song choir.

Day 4. 
Breakfast. Visit to the Bardic village of Parppeinvaara. Guided tour in the museum. At Parppeinvaara you'll find a collection of historic buildings based on the theme of local tradition. These include the Bard´s House with traditional music and exhibitions; the Border General´s Cabin, a war-time operational headquarters; Restaurant Parppeinpirtti with a Karelian menu; and a small Orthodox chapel. The exhibition of the Mesikkä Animal Museum revolves around the relationship between people and nature.

Lunch at Parppeinpirtti Restaurant. Transfer from Ilomantsi to Koli national park, about 1,5 hours. 
Accommodation and dinner at Break Sokos Hotel Koli Guided walking tour (about 1 hour) on the top of the Koli hill

Day 5
Breakfast. Transfer from Koli to the town of Joensuu. Guided tour in the centre of Joensuu including Botania.
Botania is a botanical garden and northmost tropical butterfly house based in Joensuu. Botania one large greenhouse that consists of different plants all over the world. In the near future there will be butterflies flying around in our greenhouse.  -We have other animals too like Juuso our parrot.Premises consist of over 1000 m2 inner garden with over 700 unique plants, outer garden of 8.15 acres with over 800 unique plants.

Lunch at Local Bistro

Visiting Taitokortteli, Guided tour.
Taitokortteli is a handcraft and culture quarter in the center of Joensuu. Along the years the quarter has become the center of travellers, city dwellers, handcraft professionals and amateurs. The diverse services include a café, multiple boutiques and shops and a craft centre as well as high-quality exhibitions and other events that are arranged at the premises. The enjoyable environment and the atmosphere of the old wood house quarter invite you to spend time in this unique milieu in the centre of the city all year round.

The Karelian Pasty Workshop at Marttakahvila 
• The delicious Karelian pasties are famous throughout Finland. These unique pies are an important part of the region’s food culture. This workshop you get the chance to prepare them together local Martta.

Dinner at Joensuu Teatteriravintola
• Restaurant Teatteriravintola is an unique place where flexible premises, excellent food and highclass service unite. Teatteriravintola uses ingredients from the region of North Karelia. Teatteriravintola is situated in the center of Joensuu, at the city hall. The building is drawn by Eliel Saarinen and it was completed in 1914. 
Accommodation at  Lietsu Hotel.

Day 6
Breakfast. Transfer to Joensuu airport (or Railway Station), about 1 hour. Time to say Hei, hei. 

Contact request

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