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Saint Petersburg and Finnish Lapland in winter

Saint Petersburg and Finnish Lapland in winter

A holiday week with two very different kinds of destinations. First the busy town of Saint Petersburg full of history and culture, then wilderness with silence, nature, snow activities and if you are lucky, northern lights dancing on sky. 

Saint Petersburg is the most European city of Russia, also called the "Northern Venice". In winter time it s better to concentrate in culture.

Sights & day tours: 

Hermitage  is a huge museum of arts located in six buildings along Palace Embankment including the Winter Palace. It has been open to public since 1852. The museum collections include the largest collection of paintings in the world. It is practically impossible to see the whole museum during one visit. We need to discuss with the local guide, which parts to see. After lunch you could still walk to see the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, which includes the part of street, where tsar Alexander II was assassinated. It is famous for its mosaics.

Faberge Museum is located in a beautiful restored Shuvalov Palace. The museum was founded by the Link of Times cultural and historical foundation in 2013. The foundation has collected Russian works of decorative and fine art and has amassed more than 4000 items today. Most valuable pieces of art are the nine Imperial Easter Eggs created by Fabergé for the last two Russian emperors. Each of them is a masterpiece of jewellery art.

Peterhof  with its stunning palaces and park is the former residence of the Russian monarchs by the Gulf of Finland. This unique complex was created by outstanding architects, decorators and sculptors to compete with Versailles. The museum complex is huge stretching across five hundred hectares of territory and more than 20 museums. In summer the Lower Park and Upper Gardens with the fountains are a must but in winter Catherine's palace with its amber room would be a perfect destination. 

After 3 nights in Saint Petersburg, it is time to take the train back to Helsinki. The time between the train arrival and your Lapland flight is just right for a visit in Porvoo, a picturesque old town half-an-hour away from the airport. 

Ivalo is the northernmost airport in Finland. Our driver will take you to one of the most beautiful small hotels in Lapland located by lake Inari. 
Lake Inari is the 3rd biggest lake in Finland, also called the "sea of Lapland".  The hotel has a super cosy lounge, where you can sit by a fireplace and read or enjoy a glass of wine. Food is served at the table. There are 4 new aurora cabins as well as 8 panorama log cabins in addition to their very cosy and big standard and superior rooms in order to be able to offer a full northern lights experience for their guests. In the sample package, we have included 3 nights in a standard room and one night in an aurora cabin. Our clients have called this hotel magical! Please note that the hotel is for adults only. 

Northern Lights we cannot guarantee as it is a natural phenomenon. This hotel however, is located in aurora region, where northern lights dance on the sky on 3/5 nights but you will in addition need a bright and clear night. You only need to get out, there is no need to take any aurora tours necessarily.

Activties: 

1) Snowshoeing in silence of nature (or cross-country skiing) could be a nice start after the noisy Saint Petersburg. Your guide will show you a safe route using the ice if it is safe or through the forest area. there will not be a lot of snow yet at this time so snowshoeing is rather easy, almost like hiking. If there is not enough of snow in the forest, you can also take a Nordic walking tour- 

2) Husky safari  is the most enjoyable way to get to the wilderness areas. As it is still early season so you can not use rivers but huskies do not need a lot of snow to be able to run. You will share a team of huskies and change the one mushing after the break. 

3) Day tour to Inari  takes you first to meet a local reindeer herding family at their home in Angeli. You will be the only guests there, so this is no tourist version. You will first see some of their reindeer kept at the farm and then get invited to the charming new log house by river and hear about their life and culture of the Scolt Sámi family, who has been herding reindeer in many generations. After the visit we'll take you to the Sámi museum Siida, where you will see a mutlimedia on the 8 seasons of Lapland and learn about the northern lights. All this takes place self-guided, so when you are ready, you can walk across the bridge to Inari village and pop into the Sámi parliament building before getting lunch at the famous Aanaar restaurant. Our driver will pick you up from the restaurant then and take you back to the hotel. 

SAINT PETERSBURG AND FINNISH LAPLAND IN WINTER

Accommodation:

  • 2 nights in standard rooms of Hotel Rivoli Jardin in Helsinki
  • 3 nights in superior room at Hotel Helvetia
  • 3 nights standard boutique hotel room in Wilderness Hotel Nangu
  • 1 night aurora cabin at Wilderness Hotel Nangu

Meals: 

  • Pietari: 3xbreakfast, 1xlunch, 1xdinner (1xlunch and 2xdinner to be paid on site)
  • Helsinki: 2xbreakfast, table reservations for dinner 
  • Nangu: 4xbreakfast, 3xdinner, 1xlunch, 2xlunch during activities

Saiint Petersburg

Activities: as describerd above

Transfers: train two ways to Saint Petersburg, transfers to the sights there (part of the sights in walking distance from the hotel), Porvoo visit at return from Saint Petersburg, airport transfers in Ivalo, Inari day transfers

Flights: not included

Itinerary: 

Day 1

  • arrival in Helsinkifrom Brussels at 15.15
  • airport transfer
  • walk to the Christmas market (open until 20:00 at the weekend)
  • dinner table booking ( would be necessary on Saturday night, could be Chapter, Olo Garden or Savoy) 
  • night in hotel Rivoli Jardin

Day 2

  • breakfast
  • whole day for researching Helsinki (tips will be given closer to the traveling time, there might also be Christmas concerts available)
  • dinner table booking (could be restaurat Juuri as there are very few great ones open on Sundays)
  • night in hotel Rivoli Jardin

Day 3

  • breakfast 
  • 11-14.27 train from Helsinki to Saint Petersburg (you would see more!)
  • there is a restaurat wagon in the train, where you can have lunch (not included in cost) 
  • transfer to the hotel
  • dinner in a restaurant within walking distance
  • night in Hotel Helvetia 

Day 4

  • breakfast
  • 10:00 guide picking you up
  • 10:30-13.30 visit to Hermitage (selected part only, with a break9
  • lunch at restaurant Terrassa (guide stays with you, included)
  • visit at the Church of the Savior on Blood (900m, guide wals there with you)
  • 16:00 taxi back to the hotel with the guide
  • dinner á la carte in a nearby restaurant (recommndations will be given)
  • night in Hotel Helvetia 

Day 5

  • breafkast
  • walk to the Fabergé museum 
  • 10-12:00 guided visit at the Fabergé museum (public English guidance first)
  • lunch at a cafeteria in town (not included)
  • 14-18:00 guided afternoon tour to Catherine's palace in Peterhof 
  • dinner at the hotel restaurant (included)
  • night in Hotel Helvetia 

Day 6

  • breakfast 
  • 10:00 transfer to the railway station in Saint Petersburg
  • 11:30-14.43 train from Saint Petersburg to Tikkurila
  • Riitta meeting you at Tikkurila railway station and taking you to the small, picturesque town of Porvoo (the oldest town in Finland, weather reservation)
  • 14:50-15:23 drive to Porvoo
  • 15:30-17:50 walk and late lunch in Porvoo
  • 18:30 arrival to the airport 
  • 20:20-22:00 flight to Ivalo 
  • transfer to Nangu Wilderness hotel 
  • night in a standard room of boutique hotel Nangu

Day 7

  • breafkast
  • change your luggage to another room
  • snowshoeing 2h (this keeps you both warm) 
  • lunch at the hotel 
  • afternoon free  
  • 18-20:00 dinner
  • night in a standard room of boutique hotel Nangu

Day 8

  • breafkast
  • transfer to the husky farm in Ivalo 
  • 11-15:00  husky safari with lunch 4h (mushing time 2,5h)
  • transfer back to the hotel
  • 18-20.00 dinner
  • night in a standard room of boutique hotel Nangu

Day 9

  • breakfast
  • 9:00 pick-up
  • drive to a reindeer farm along a beautiful road
  • 10.00-11.30 visiting a local young reindeer herder at her own beautiful log home
  • transfer to Inari
  • 11:30-13.00 visiting the Sámi museum Siida
  • walk via the Sámi parliament (=a public building, you can well pop in) to hotel Kultahovi
  • 14:00 2-course lunch at the Aanaar restaurant or full 3-course Inari menu
  • 15.00 transfer back to the hotel 
  • 19:00 dinner or campfire snacks only in the evening
  • night in a panorama log cabin or aurora cabin of boutique hotel Nangu

Day 11

  • breakfast 
  • 7:30  airport transfer
  • 9:20-10:50 flight from Ivalo to Helsinki
  • 15:30-17:10 flght from Helsinki to Brussels 
Category Tours
Location Lapland
Price 6114€ for 9 nights, 10 days
Group size min 2
Group size max 2
Month January
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Duration 9 days
Meals Meals according to the sample program
Service Provider Skafur-Tour
Skafuuri Oy (=Skafur-Tour) tour operator
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