|20 Jul - 27 Jul|
Discover the world of Finnish cuisine and traditional culture on this group tour, taking a gastronomic journey through both Finland and its regional dishes while cycling and hiking through the countryside. The Finnish people have developed a unique menu combining country recipes with contemporary continental - style cooking; learn to bake your own sweet treats and savoury delicacies before retiring to a Finnish sauna each evening.
The proud winner of the coveted Hungry for Finland award in 2015, this tour has been recognised for its strong local and environmentally friendly qualities. All food is sourced locally, is of a high standard and organic. The Karelia a la Carte logo is a guarantee that the food is good local, Karelian and Finnish food.
Fly to Kupio via Helsinki and on arrival transfer to Puukarin Pysäkki. In the evening enjoy a great Finnish tradition – the sauna. (D)
Meet Anni, your cuisine workshop host, to start the week by baking a dark rye bread. Rye is a staple of the Finnish diet, though other breads are also made with a combination of barley, oat or wheat. (B,L,D)
Set off on a biking tour with a local guide to reach the next guesthouse (22km), stopping en route at small souvenir boutique. Bake sweet cardamom-flavored buns called pulla with Henna - the hostess of the guesthouse. These buns are traditionally eaten with coffee or as a desert, before trying soft korvapuustit – cinnamon rolls with sugar. Relax in the evening, enjoying a sauna by the river. (B,L,D)
Rejoin Henna for today’s task; baking a cake. In the afternoon take on a different Finnish speciality – an immersive peat sauna traditionally believed to relax and rejuvenate your whole body. (B,L,D)
Embark on a biking tour to Männikkölä after breakfast, or opt to make the 25km journey by taxi. Visit the small town of Nurmes and Bomba House to learn about traditional eastern Finland’s Karelian communities and culture and enjoy the opportunity to go shopping. Spend the afternoon baking Karelian pies with Ritva, learning to make a karjalanpiirakka, a traditional Finnish Karelian dish similar to a pasty. You’ll make a thin rye pastry from scratch to form a crust and add a rice-based filling. Historically, these are eaten with a spread of butter and boiled egg. (B,L,D)
After breakfast, more Karelian pies are on the menu. Once you’ve added a different type of Karelian dish to your culinary repertoire, take a minibus up into Koli National Park for a hike. At the end of an 8km hiking route, reach the peak of the hill nestled in the centre of the park to enjoy sweeping panoramic views across eastern Finland’s stunning forested natural landscape. (B,L,D)
Set off on bike to Nurmes and the Pihlajapuu guesthouse with your local guide (15km). Once you’ve arrived, spend an afternoon picking wild mushrooms for dinner and berries with which to cook jam. In the evening enjoy a smoke sauna before tucking into glow-fried salmon, a Finnish delicacy, by the campfire. (B,L,D)
Transfer back to the airport for your flight back to the UK. (B)
20 Jul 2019
27 Jul 2019