Self-drive tour in Karelia and Lakeland

Self-drive tour in Karelia and Lakeland

Salmenkyläntie 81, 75500 Nurmes

Min 2 persons

A holiday week in Karelia and  the Eastern Lakeland with a lot to see, local delicacies and the local way of life. Welcome!

Day 1
The city of Lappeenranta.
Accommodation at Hotel Rakuuna. The unique Hotel Rakuuna is located in central Lappeenranta, on the historic Rakuunamäki near all the services of the city and beautiful lake scenery.

  • Getting to know city of Lappeenranta. 
  • Tips for visiting:
    - Walking tour in the old town and the Fortress. 
    Saimaarium is a functional nature and science centre where we transform knowledge into action by the means of environmental education and research to preserve our planet livable. We bring the success stories of Saimaa into the world map to encourage people to change the world. The historical site of the Lappeenranta Fortress at Satamatie 8 offers knowledge, experiences and insight into the unique nature of Saimaa. 

    Sandcastle. For over a decade, the biggest sandcastle in Finland has been built at the end of Linnoitusniemi Cape. The popular attraction is open from early June to the end of August. The Sandcastle area features rides and other activities for the whole family. You can also rent bicycles, canoes or SUP boards there.
  • Driving to city of Imatra to see Imatra Rapids Show. Pick up a local and fresh delicacies – Rimpsu Picnic basket and see Imatra rapids Show at the Imatra Rapids park.  The Rapids Show lasts approx. 16 minutes. Eight minutes after the flood gates are opened, the foams reach their peak with an average of 400 cubic metres of water per second flowing in the stream.  10 July - 31  August the surge of the rapids will be accompanied by music of Jean Sibelius. The best places to watch the Rapids Shows are Koskisilta Bridge and Koskipuisto Park.
  • Driving back to Hotel Rakuuna.

Day 2
Driving to the city of Kitee

  • Tips: Visit to A Nightwish Story - internationally unique exhibition of the story of Nightwish. 
  • Visit/tickets to the Kitee Zoo - Welcome to Kitee Zoo, the fourth largest zoo in Finland! The path of two kilometers will give you an experience filled with beautiful scenery and interesting animals. The Kitee Zoo offers you a chance to meet 50 different species (around 200 individuals). Among them are the lynxes, yaks, deer, alpacas, reindeer, wild boars and the king of the forest, Riku-bear. Birds have a significant role in our zoo too – turkeys, emus and peacocks are waiting for you! 

Accommodation at B&B Maija's old village school. Old school is located in the beautiful country landscape of North Karelia just next to Kitee's center. 
Dinner and sauna.

Day 3
Driving to the city of Joensuu. The capital of the province North Karelia.

Tips for visiting: 

  • Taitokortti is a tourist, handicraft and cultural block operating in the center of Joensuu. Over the years, Taitokortteli has become a center for tourists. The diverse offer consists of the services of a café, shops and a skills center. The area hosts high-quality exhibitions and various events. The cozy environment and the atmosphere of the old wooden house block invite you to spend time in any environment in the middle of the urban city. 
  • Market place and Martta-café, as well as the Karelian baking workshop. 
  • Botania - The most nordic botanical butterfly garden in the world. 

Accommodation at Hotel Lietsu. Lietsu offers unique hotel accommodation with Karelian heart and hospitality, located in Joensuu city centre. 

Day 4
Driving to Koli and the Finnish national landscape. 

Koli program:

  • Guided tour of Koli hills. This scenic trail includes Koli’s most famous panoramic views. The tour starts from Koli Shop Retkitupa, located at the Nature Center Ukko, where you meet your guide. The tour takes you to the highest scenic points in the Koli National Park: Ukko-Koli, Akka-Koli and Paha-Koli. During the tour, your guide tells you interesting facts and stories about Koli, its history, nature and culture, as well as artists who have found inspiration in the Koli hills. You see spectacular views throughout the tour, and you have plenty of time to enjoy them and take photos.  
  • Tips: Visit to the Nature Centre Ukko. The Koli Nature Centre Ukko offers Finland's best known national landscape, the hills of Eastern Finland and heritage sites. The Koli Heritage Exhibition displays Koli's geological features, natural environment and culture in a variety of ways and provides advice and tips for hiking in the Koli National Park. The Nature Centre is only a few hundred metres from the Ukko-Koli lookout point – one glimpse of the national landscape and you will be captivated by Koli forever. 
  • Tips:Lunch at Kolin Kylä hotel
  • Tips: Visit to the Garden - Cultural destination for the whole family 

Driving to the city of Nurmes and the Guesthouse. Trip to Bomba House and Karelian village. 
Dinner and evening sauna at Guesthouse. Accommodation+breakfast in the Guesthouse.

Day 5
Visit/tickets to Alpaca farm in Nurmes
Driving to the city of Lieksa

  • Visit/tickets to the museum of Lieksa in centre of Lieksa.
  • Driving to Vuonisjärvi and Eva Ryynäsen's artisthome and "Paateri" church. Sculptor Eva Ryynänen's (1915-2001) artisthome Paateri is a great visiting place.  Eva Ryynänen rose up to the nations favour in 1970s- 80s and in her home, workshop and galleria cafe you can enjoy her sculptures, unique builds and furniture. Over the years she made over 500 sculptures. Biggest single art piece was made 1991 wonderfull Paateri church, where guest are amazed by the pine trunk carved stools

Accommodation in Herranniemi - Enjoy traditional rustic athmosphere in the national landscape of Koli. From opposite side of lake Pielinen you can have fantastic view to the hills over the lake. Herranniemi offers accommodation and restaurant services.
Dinner and sauna.

Day 6
Driving to the city of Ilomantsi

  • Visit/tickets to Parppeinvaara Rune Singer's Village
    At Parppeinvaara you'll find a collection of historic buildings based on the theme of local tradition. These include the Rune Singer´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
  • Visit at Winetower. Winetower is a must-see attraction in Ilomantsi. "From the top of the winetower you can see a great panoramic view of karelian hills all the way to the Russian side."

Driving back to Lappeenranta. Accommodation in Hotel Salpalinjan Hovi. Cozy and affordable accommodation surrounded by nature and history in Lappeenranta. 

Day 7
After breakfast time to say hei, hei.

Note: This tour can also start in from Joensuu.

Price from 1540€/Adults | 690€/Children age 4-12 years / 6 nights, 7 days 
- Accommodation at Hotel Rakuuna/breakfast/double room
- Visit to the Kitee Zoo
- Accommodation at B&B Maija's old village school / breakfast / double room / dinner and sauna
- Accommodation at Hotel Lietsu / breakfast / double room
- Guided tour of Koli hills
- Accommodation in Guesthouse Pihlajapuu or Laitalan Lomat (according to the accommodation situation) / breakfast / double room / dinner and sauna.
- Visit to Alpaca farm
- Visit to the museum of Lieksa
- Visit to Eva Ryynäsen's artisthome
- Accommodation in Herranniemi / breakfast / double room or cottage / dinner and sauna
- Visit to the Parppeinvaara Rune Singer's Village and lunch at Parppeinpirtti
- Accommodation in Hotel Salpalinjan Hovi / breakfast / double room  

  • We advice you to take a travel insurance.
  • We reserve all the rights to change the order of the activities or the content of the program if necessary due to the weather or other conditions.
  • The tour is not suitable for persons with reduced mobility.
  • Not included in the price: Flights or train tickets.

Airports: Lappenranta, Helsinki, Savonlinna