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.
This small group tour operates in conjunction with our local partners and is not exclusive to Regent Holiday clients. Departures operate with a minimum of 4 and maximum of 10 persons.
Fly to Kuopio where you will be met upon arrival and transferred to Puukarin Pysäkki guesthouse for your two-night stay. In the evening enjoy a great Finnish tradition – the sauna. (D)
Today, Anni, the hostess of Puukari will take you under her wing and introduce you to Finnish cooking during your first cuisine workshop. Start the week off by baking one of the staples of the Finnish diet - a dark rye bread called ruisleipä. While rye bread is the most common in Finland, other breads, made by mixing grains like barley, oat, rye and wheat, are also popular choices. (B,L,D)
Set off on a biking tour with a local guide to reach the next guesthouse, Laitalan Lomat (22 km), stopping en route at small souvenir boutique. At Laitalan, the guesthouse hostess, Henna, will teach you how to bake sweet cardamom-favoured buns called pulla. These buns are traditionally eaten with coffee or as a desert, before trying soft korvapuustit – delicous cinnamon rolls. 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 indulge in a different kind of Finnish speciality – an immersive peat sauna traditionally believed to relax and rejuvenate the whole body. (B,L,D)
Embark on a biking tour to Männikkölä after breakfast, or opt to make the 35 km journey by taxi. Visit the small town of Nurmes where there will be some shopping opportunities. 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 8 km 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 a guided cycling tour to Pihlajapuu Guesthouse (15 km). When you arrive there will be time to relax or explore the area. In the evening enjoy a smoke sauna before tucking into glow-fried salmon, a Finnish delicacy, by the campfire. (B,L,D)
Sadly, your active foodie holiday has come to an end. After breakfast, you will be transfer back to the airport for your flight back to the UK. (B)