Helsinki city break, winter sports & gastronomy

“A tailor made, short break to Helsinki with a wonderful mix of culture and crispy white countryside. What a place to try snowshoeing for the first time.”


Culinary and city tour of Helsinki | Countryside options of Lohja, Fiskars Village, Hameenlinna or Porvoo | Activities options of snowshoeing, kayaking or hiking | Repovesi National Park

Description of Helsinki city break, winter sports & gastronomy

This tailor made Helsinki city break is a wonderful combination for people who want to enjoy the culture and life and soul of Finland’s vibrant capital city, but also experience the nearby natural environs either during summer or winter. In the capital itself, we can arrange tours to see its Art Nouveau architecture, for which the city is famous, as well as museums and galleries. We also invite you to take a culinary tour of the city. We can also recommend cultural events such as concerts, opera or sports depending on your desired time of travel.

We offer various options for your time outside the city on this short break too, depending on your interests and also the seaso. You can opt for two nights in the city and one night outside, or vice versa. Here are our suggestions for top experiences outside the city:

Outdoor adventures in Lohja
An hour from Helsinki, this is gateway to the largest lake system in Finland which, in summer makes it perfect for kayaking or hiking around the hills and then swimming in Lohja lake or, in winter, ice skating and cross country skiing. Choose between a modern apartment or a hillside villa with a sauna and great vistas over the lake. The region also hosts the much celebrated Rantajamit Festival in July held in Aurlahti by Lake Lohja.

Artists and artisans in Fiskars Village
This is a wonderful village to visit if you are interested in the arts and artisanal traditions because this is one of the regions’s artistic hubs, with studios, workshop and outlets for you to spend time in. Fiskars is a superb revival of industrial heritage into contemporary culture, with the artistic community now thriving in the ironworks factory that was set up here in the 17th century. Just over an hour from Helsinki.

History and nature in Porvoo
Stay in the beautiful city of Porvoo, just 50km from Helsinki, this 800 year old city is packed with history and cultural heritage gems. It is also connected to the nearby coast by the Porvoo River, which flows through the city past its iconic, elegant red houses. A very pretty town, in summer or winter, it is a designated natural urban park with activities including stand up paddleboarding on the river, hiking on many different nature trails, canoeing or cross country skiing.

Creative workshops in Hameenlinna: printmaking and glassblowing
A hundred kilometres north of Helsinki brings you to Hameenlinna, a stunning medieval town which is in fact the oldest in Finland. Located on Lake Vanajavesi, highlights in include 13th century Häme Castle , the nearby Aulanko’s forest parkland and Evo hiking area but also the artistic skills that emanate from this city, which you can see at various creative workshops.

Repovesi National Park
The River Koukunjoki meanders its way through this landscape of pine and birch forests, which is also peppered with beautiful lakes and where all sorts of activities are enjoyed by Helsinki residents on escapes from the city. Go hiking, timber rafting down the river, use the traditional Fox's Ferry, cycle along tranquil trails or go kayaking. Staying in a local B&B.

This price of this short break includes: Accommodation, 3 breakfasts and dinners, 2 lunches and a guided culinary tour, with treats. Also, various activities and local transport.

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

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Departure information

This trip departs on a Friday

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

All our activities take place within the capital region so no further traveling is needed. The activities are man powered sports and even the culinary tour takes place on foot. The visitors will get to experience what a real winter feels like: how it is to walk on the ice or walk in a snowy forest. Real winters are in danger of disappearing from southern Finland due to the change of climate. Experiences like this might not be possible for the next generation. Ecology and sustainability is a key factor in all the operations of a sports resort.

The hotel in Helsinki has an ecological certificate called Ekokompassi which means a systematic way of following material efficiency, energy efficiency and communication of environmental topics both to their personnel and clients and offering environmentally sustainable services.

Fresh water is available everywhere and food ingredients in Finland generally come from close by and local vegetables and grains are used where possible and we select partners who use local ingredients as much as possible.

Walking is our preferred mode of transport but when needed public transportation can be used. The return from Helsinki to the airport takes place by public transportation now that there is a train connection between the city center and its airport which opened in summer 2015.

The Impacts of this Trip

This tour can be tailor-made to meet your interests. The basic structure is the same: Helsinki and one destination at the country-side. You can go west, north or east from Helsinki and get to know the local culture from a different point of view. Any direction you choose, you will see more or less of Finnish nature.

In each destination local guides are carrying out activities. During the activities you will hear about the local cultural history, nature and the way of living. You will meet people and are able to do something, not just look around.

Finnish culinary culture is a mixture of influences from the east and west. Our guide, who has lived in Helsinki for many years will tell you stories about Helsinki and its culinary culture. You will meet local vendors and hear their stories. You will visit a grocery store with a huge variety of produce as well as a one of the tinniest grocery stores around. You will hear about the alcohol production and you will taste local beers. You will visit cafeterias selected by Heather and taste their delicacies. In Helsinki you will also visit a restaurant specializing in local pure ingredients and local food.


2 Reviews of Helsinki city break, winter sports & gastronomy

4.5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 30 Jun 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Spending a wonderful afternoon and evening at the country home of our Finnish guide, meeting her delightful family and enjoying a superb dinner while listening to her son's girlfriend singing Finnish songs. Not to mention the sauna and being introduced to traditional Finnish outdoor games.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

The guide makes all the difference. She went out of her way to find the activities and contact people that gave us a special experience in Finland. Nothing was too much trouble for her. I cannot praise her professionalism and charm too highly.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Ritta took us to charming out-of-the-way farmhouses and cafes where we met local people and enjoyed their coffee and purchased handmade gifts. We stayed in delightful farmhouse guesthouses where the host his way of life with us. We are a walking group, and so Riitta arranged for us to walk with a truly exceptional guide, Liisa Ytllila, who imbued us with her love of nature and the environment and the legends of the region. We felt truly privileged to walk with Liisa.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

A superb experience. I am grateful to Responsible Travel for putting me in contact with such superior travel and tour professionals.

Reviewed on 07 Sep 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

We really enjoyed the bicycle tour through green spaces around the edges of Helsinki. It was definitely off the beaten tourist track. Our guide was informative and delightful. We loved the evening boat trip to a tiny island west of Turku. There was live music on the boat and on the island we were served a feast outdoors with fresh salmon, potatoes, grilled vegetables and more. We were the only foreigners. Everyone else was Finnish. Walking on the dunes and the sandy beach near Pori was very special. The canoe trip on the pristine lake outside of Tampere was wonderful as well. And, of course, being on Riitta's farm and taking an old-fashioned sauna was a highlight.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Perhaps, more explicit instructions on how to get from point A to point B could have been helpful. Our GPS on the phone didn't always give us reliable information.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

That's hard to determine. We did take buses and trains as much as possible, but we did have to use taxis more that we would have liked.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

My daughter and I had a fabulous week. Our tour operator did a great job of creating a customized tour of Southern and Western Finland for the two of us.

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