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Family Summer Holiday by train: Lake District of Finland and Helsinki

Family Summer Holiday by train: Lake District of Finland and Helsinki

This family tour is made for naturelovers! A lots of water activities suitable for families with children. Time schedule, which gives a chance to enjoy life by the lakeside - to swim and play outdoors. Transportation in a comfortable way by train, which all have family cabins.

Your tour stars by train from the Helsinki-Vantaa airport.

1. destination: Mäntyharju

Mäntyharju  is a very small town between the towns of  Heinola and Mikkeli surrounded by beautiful nature. There are two reasons to stop there, the Art Centre Salmela http://www.taidekeskussalmela.fi/en/ as well as the Repovesi National Park. We also have a charming bed & breakfast Pinus serving for you there and what the best you can try a real "grandma's sauna" in the evening.

Activities:

This time we did not include a tour to the Repovesi National park but we included bicycles for you so that you can make short tours in the neighborhood, get to the beach or visit the arts center for example. If your son does not yet drive a bicycle, he can sit in a carriage. There are nice routes and a small-scale free activity park for chilren.

2. destination: Varkaus

Linnansaari National Park  consists of hundreds of islands and islets on Saimaa, on home waters of Saimaa ringed seal. Here you will see the lake nature at its best: wide lakeviews, islands, cliffs, and behind them flourishing groves. On the main island Linnasaari you can climb up to hill Linnavuori, where you can admire the wide lake views. Also recommended is to visit the nature heritage center Oskari in Rantasalmi.

Järvisydän  is a guesthouse type of a unique hotel & spa resort located by a bay of lake Saimaa and very close to the Linnansaari National Park. Their holiday houses, hotel, restaurant and saunas are all built of logs. The interior of the rooms is modern but honors the guesthouse traditions this place has since 1658. In autumn 2016 a unique lake spa built inside rock will be opened.

Activities:

Safari to the labyrinthine of Linnansaari archipelago  will be taken by a motorboat. On the way you will see the osprey and its nests.  You will land on the island of Kaarnatsaari to prepare lunch by open fire.

Porokylä canoe safari  takes place by a safe giant canoe. This 3h trip has been planned for families. During the tour you can taste reindeer sausage and coffee cooked by open fire.

HakoApajan Aikhituvat  are the life's work of Esa Heiskanen. It is a cafeteria and a log building exhibition  located within walking distance on the other side of the hill. The main building called Aikhitupa has been built of 1000-4000 years old logs lifted from the bottom of the lake next to Aikhituvat. 

Safaritalo  is not only a starting place for the toursbut also an equipment rental shop: a kayak for a day (32€/solo, 49€/duo), canoe or a rowing boat for a day (32€/2people+child).

3. destination: Savonlinna and Punkaharju

Savonlinna  is a beautiful small town by lake Saimaa famous for its yearly opera festivals taking place in the medieval castle (2016: 8.7.-6.8.). You will take a steamship cruise (2h30min) to your hotel in Punkaharju over the lake Saimaa. If you arrive on Wed, Fri or Sat your cruise to Punkaharju leaves at 10am, otherwise you will take a train and you have more time to look around. On the way back you will have 2,5 hours between the trains. At least try to visit the market place, which is full of artesands and berry, vegetable, fish&mushroom kiosks.

Punkaharju ridge  has attracted nature tourists already for over 200 years.On the other side of the ridge you can see lake Puruvesi and onthe other side is glisterning lake Pihlajavesi. The ridge has a fascinating history, both from the perpective of nature and culture. You will hear more about it on a guided walking tour in the area.

Hotel Punkaharju was opened in 1845 as living quarters for the foresters and lodging for travellers.In 1898 a separate building called Czarina's Villa was added. Amazing views open up towards the lake and if you follow the path downhill, you will find  a log sauna and a pier down by the lake. 

The hotel has been reopened in late June after a renovation and definately worth visiting.This hotel restaurant has always been well-known for its excellent food, especially for its fish courses. Hope the new owner will keep the reputation.

Activities:

Arrival by a steamship is an experience. You will see the national landscape of Finland from the lake. What you can also do is to take walks in the neighborhood. If you are interested, there is the Finnish Forest Museum called Lusto with a demonstrative exhibition (interests children too) about the forest culture in Finland. You can book a ataxi and drive there for a visit (open daily from 10am to 7pm ticket 25€/family, http://www.lusto.fi/en/ ).

4. destination: Helsinki

Last but not least you will arrive in our capital Helsinki from Savolinna for 2 days. In Helsinki we suggest you would stay in an apartment hotel midtown. It will be easy to use public transportation to get from place to place. On your first evening we suggest you would go and see the amusement park Linnanmäki or take a ferry and get over to Suomenlinna for a picnic. Next day you could visit the Korkeasaari zoo and if you want stop at a tree-top adventure park next to it.  On your departure day you could then take a look at the city centre and possibly visit the modern arts museum Kiasma also interesting for children.

FAMILY SUMMER HOLIDAY BY TRAIN IN THE LAKE DISTRICT

Accommodation:

  • Pinus  Bed & Breakfast in Mäntyharju: double room with extra bed
  • Järvisydän Hotel & Spa resort: Superior Suite with extra bed in Järvisydän
  • Hotel Punkaharju: double room with extra bed
  • Hotel Hellsten Katajanokka: one-bedroom apartment

Meals: according to the program, half-pension when needed

Activities: as decribed above

Transportation:
Trains:

  • Helsinki-Vantaa airport-Mäntyharju 11.16-13.32/14.16-16.28/16.16-18.24
  • Mäntyharju-Varkaus 10.29-12.17
  • Savonlinna-Helsinki 12.30-16.42

Car: hotel pick-up from Varkaus train station and drop-off in Savonlinna, Punkaharju-Savonlinna train station
Boat: steamboat cruise from Savonlinna to Punkaharju (or vice versa)
Public transportation ticket in Helsinki for 2 days including a ferry to Suomenlinna

Program: sample for 8.8.-18.8.

Arrival date: Mon 8.8.

  • arrival at Helsinki-Vantaa airport
  • train to Mäntyharju
  • dinner
  • night in Pinus

1st day: Tue 9.8. Mäntyharju

  • breakfast
  • bicycles in usage
  • visiting Taidekeskus Salmela (open 11am to 6pm until 14.8., not included in price), possibly lunch
  • cycling to the adventure park or beach
  • sauna at Pinus
  • dinner (most probably at your bed&breakfast)
  • night in Pinus

2nd day: Wed 10.8. Train to lake Saimaa

  • breakfast
  • 10.29 train to Varkaus
  • 12.17 arrival in Varkaus, hotel picks you up
  • 13.00 arrival in Hotel Järvisydän
  • a walk inthe neighborhood, possibly a visit at Hakoapajan Aikhituvat
  • dinner
  • night in Järvisydän

3rd day: Thu 11.8. Tour to Linnansaari National Park

  • breakfast
  • 12.00-16.00 boat tour with lunch
  • dinner
  • night in Järvisydän

4th day: Fri 12.8. Family canoe tour

  • breakfast
  • 12.00-15.00 canoe tour (if another weekday than Friday: kayaking ABC 2,5h)
  • dinner
  • night in Järvisydän

5th day: Sat 13.8. Free program (you can rent a rowing boat or a canoe 32€ or book a sauna for 2h 100€))

  • breakfast
  • dinner
  • night in Järvisydän

6th day: Sun 14.8. Cruise to Punkaharju

  • breakfast
  • drop-off in Savonlinna
  • visiting the town
  • cruise to Punkaharju
  • arrival at the hotel
  • dinner

7th day: Mon 15.8. Punkaharju

  • breakfast
  • a walk in the neigborhood
  • lunch
  • swimming, beachlife (if it rains a visit to Lusto Forest  Museum)
  • dinner
  • night in hotel Punkaharju

8th day: Tue 16.8. Savonlinna and train to Helsinki

  • breakfast
  • transport to Savonlinna
  • 12.30 train to Helsinki
  • 16.32. arrival in Helsinki
  • visit to Linnanmäki amusement park or Suomenlinna (restaurant recommendation)
  • night in Hellsten Hotel Katajanokka

9th day: Wed 17.8.Helsinki Zoo

  • self-made breakfast /your apartment has a kitchenett) or breakfast in a nearby cafeteria
  • ferry from the market place to Korkeasaari zoo (on an island)
  • zoo visit
  • possibly a visit to an adventure park
  • dinner: restaurant recommendation or self-cooked
  • night in Hellsten Hotel Katajanokka

10th day: Thu 18.8.

  • self-made breakfast /your apartment has a kitchenett) or breakfast in a nearby cafeteria
  • city tour by bus or just a walk in the city centre, possibly shopping
  • by train to the airport
Category Tours
Location Lake
Price 2+1:3483€,2+2:3937,50€,2+3:5321€
Group size min 3
Group size max 5
Month August
Timing on request
Duration 10 days
Meals Meals according to the sample program
Accomodation family room (suite or apartment)
Service Provider Skafur-Tour
Skafuuri Oy (=Skafur-Tour) tour operator
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