Ideal for families, this fly-drive offers the chance to explore the charming and remote Karelia region under your own steam. Staying in cosy guesthouses, delve into marvellous national parks and embark on exciting excursions. Experience canoeing, fishing and swimming in pristine waters and learn more about Karelian culture by taking part to a Karelian pie-making workshop!
Family price for 2 adults and 1 child (up to 14 years old) starts from £4,885
Fly to Helsinki, transfer to your hotel and check in for 2 nights. Spend the evening at leisure, perhaps enjoying dinner in one of the many renowned restaurants in town.
Spend the day exploring Helsinki at your own pace. The Finnish capital is simply bursting with culture and activities sure to keep you busy. By day, why not admire Helsinki’s mix of history and forward-thinking, with grand classical architecture reflecting the city’s past and innovative, modern buildings showing that it always has one eye to the future. By night, we recommend a visit to the opera or a drink at one of Helsinki’s numerous bars and bustling night cafés. (B)
Transfer on your own to Helsinki Central Station for your train to North Karelia region and reach the lively city of Joensuu. Upon arrival collect your hire car, drive to your guesthouse in Valtimo and check in for 2 nights. In the evening, enjoy a delicious Karelian dinner. (B,D) (150Km Joensuu - Valtimo)
After a hearty breakfast, visit Murtovaara House Museum, located 22Km away from Valtimo village. The museum consists of 16 log houses built in different centuries, presenting a picture of peasant houses development from the 18th century to modern days. Enjoy lunch at your guesthouse and, in the afternoon, explore Valtimo village under your own steam. (B,L,D) (45Km)
Leave Valtimo and drive to Karhunpaa village. After checking in for 1 night at your new charming guesthouse set off on a canoeing excursion on Bear river and soon afterwards, why not enjoy relaxing in a hot sauna or, for the most adventurous ones, take a swim in the nearby river. At the end of the day, enjoy an 'experiential hut dinner' served in a 'Kota'. (B,L,D) (9Km)
Head south to the town of Nurmes and join a boat trip to a local summer cottage. Try your hand at fishing, experience wild swimming and relax by an open fire while enjoying your lunch. In the afternoon, reach your accommodation in Nurmes and check in for 1 night. (B,L,D) (22Km)
Today learn more about Karelian culture by taking part in a Karelian pie-making workshop. These unique pies are an important part of the region’s food culture, and at this workshop you get the chance to prepare them together with the hostess of a Karelian guesthouse. After lunch, explore Nurmes old town at you own pace and visit the gorgeous Bomba House and Karelian village, which radiate Karelian architecture and culture down to every log and barn. In the evening, experience smoke sauna and soon after taste glow-fried salmon by campfire. Overnight in Nurmes area for 2 nights. (B,L,D) (20Km)
Reach Koli National park and set off on a guided tour, discovering its spectacular scenery and nature. Visit Koli Nature Centre Ukko and Koli Sculpture Park, a unique art attraction featuring sculptures made by Lasse Martikainen. After lunch on your own, drive back to your accommodation in Nurmes area and, en route, visit Nunnanlahti and Juuka village. (B,D) (135Km)
Today drive back to Joensuu to return your hire car, then transfer by train to Helsinki for your flight back to the UK. (B) (115Km Nurmes - Joensuu)