Finland self drive holiday, National Parks
Description of Finland self drive holiday, National Parks
Incredibly, there are almost 200,000 lakes in Finland – 40 to every 100 square kilometres. On this tailormade, self-drive tour which can range from four to nine days depending on your preferences, you’ll explore several of them through a series of magnificent national parks and protected areas. A recommended nine-day itinerary follows.
After a couple of days in Helsinki, during which you can visit the UNESCO-listed Suomenlinna Fortress and take either a culinary or music-themed tour of the capital. From Helsinki you’ll drive to glorious Repovesi National Park, staying in a wilderness (no electricity!) cabin by a lake. Here you can take a guided kayaking tour in search of otters and beavers, or hike among trees where pine martens, flying squirrels, elks and lynxes scurry.
Continuing on to Linnansaari National Park, where you’ll be accommodated in an eco lodge built from logs salvaged from the lake, you can take a cruise in a classic wooden motor boat to explore its dozens of islands, indulge with a traditional smoke sauna, or just relax with a swim.
In Koli National Park, often known as the landscape of Finland, you will stay in a car-free hotel, reached by an uphill lift, with a spa that you’ll be invited to soak in. After a night here you will head on to one of Finland’s most beloved protected areas: Punkaharju, where you can hike ridges lined with pine trees through which the lake can be seen glittering in the distance.
Finish your tour with a day in the opera town of Savonlinna and a cruise on Lake Saimaa, and return home – it’s our bet you’ll be back before long. This switch-off tour is a sublime way to leave the stresses of work behind.
PlanetNational Parks are fragile environments and we co-operate with Metsähallitus, a state-owned organisation providing forest and parks services, by following their rules and best practices regarding sustainable tourism. These include ensuring that visitors leave no trace, they have been given a briefing before entering the parks and if guide are used, they are locally hired.
The route has been planned so that although you do need a car for moving from one place to another, every second day at least is quiet. We want our guests to calm down and have time to experience the sea and lake, the hills and forests ecologically and slowly by paddling and hiking. In order to make the nature accessible for all, we have included an alternative for active sports.
Our guests will learn to forage and prepare food by an open fire (in summer it is useful to be informed of the so called everyman's law, which allows anybody, also you to move around and pick up berries and mushrooms in the forests) and enjoy lunch in the nature. They will try life without electricity and will receive instructions regarding using firewood sparingly and waste management in the National Parks and elsewhere upon their arrival.
PeopleA chain of pre-booked local services are booked for your trip:
1. Different types of accommodation have been chosen in each destination to give you the most authentic local experience. In Repovesi National Park you will stay in a cottage by a wilderness lake, next to Linnansaari National Park you will get to a holiday resort built out of very very old logs found from the lake bottom and in Koli in a traditional, renovated hotel up on the hill, where cars are not allowed.
2. All the activities are taken care by the best local service providers, which we all know in person. A whole chain of services is taking care of you in a professional and smooth way. At every destination a locally guided tour is offered in order to get most out of your visit.
3. Local communities will get the kind of visitors they most like: nature-loving, silence-loving people, who value lakes and space.
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