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Self-drive tour to Eastern Finland with wildlife watching

Self-drive tour to Eastern Finland with wildlife watching

An adventurous self-drive holiday with two nights in a wilderness forest observing wildlife.

Kuopio  is located by lake Kallavesi. It is in the heart of the lake district. The Kuopio market place is worth a visit and there is a nice 2-hour lunch cruise with 2-course meal and coffee (meat, vegetarian and fish options for main course). I suggest you would take the cruise (included), then get back to the B&B and take the rental car. Puijo sightseeing tower is worth visiting before leaving the town so you can see the larget lake areas. 

Puukarin Pysäkki  is known for their great Karelian hospitality and food. You will have a charming family cabin with log walls. On one night you will have the Karelian buffet table and on the other one a table-served dinner. You will also make a forest trip with take-awy lunch there. 

Wildlife watching  now takes place on two nights in a row. First you will focus on brown bears in Kuhmo and next night on wolverines in Lieksa. you can, however, see both brown bears and wolverines, foxes and even wolves and different kinds of birds in both locations.  On the way we recommend to stop at Petola nature centre in Kuhmo. Your observation night starts by a late lunch at 15:00 and ends in breakfast. Note! In case you are more interested in wolverines, we recommend another observation centre in Lieksa so we'll change the order of the days. . 

Lentiiran Lomakylä cabins  are simply charming. Two rooms in one floor and a terrace indoors with lake views. this is where you will relax after the wildlife night and enjoy two day with timetable of your own. The only prebooked activity is the smoke sauna. You will also have two canoes in your usage for one day. 

Ruunaankoski rapids  are simply great and river rafting there best in Finland. You can choose either 8 rapids by a wooden boat or 5 rapids by a raft. Both include lunch. For those staying on land lunch buffet is booked at the restaurant. In Ruunaa you will stay in a summer cabin with 4 individual beds. There are very nice hiking routes but a guide will first show you one so you can take more next day on your own. 

On the way to Koli a location worth stopping is the Paateri church, a creation by artist Eva Ryynänen. Also her studio can be visited. 

Koli  is considered to form the National landscape of Finland. Every finn has been sitting on the Ukko-Koli rock and taken a photograph of their family. The wide-open hilly landscape is just breath-taking. You will stay in a cottage at a farm with rich country breakfast included.

At Koli there are very well-market routes starting from the hilltop so you will not need a guided for this. There is also a very nice restaurant called Alamaja by lake Pielinen and a restaurant in the Sokos Hotel on the top of the hill  where you can have lunch or dinner if you do not mind cooking yourselves at the cabin. 

 

SELF-DRIVE TOUR EASTERN FINLAND

Accommodation:

  • 1 night B&B Cafeasema, Kuopio
  • 2 nights Puukarin Pysäkki
  • 1 night in wildife photography cabin for 4 with toilet and shower, sleeping bags
  • 2 nights in Lentiiran lomakylä, Kuhmo
  • 2 nights cabin in Ruunaa
  • 2 nights in a log cabin by a lake in Koli (includes a rowing boat)

Meals: 10xbreakfast, 5xdinner, 4xlunch/take-away lunch

Transfers: train Helsinki to Kuopio and back-> rental car rental will be needed for 9 days, not included (there is a Hertz car rental at Kuopio railway station)

Activities: lake cruise in Kuopio, forest trip 1,5h, wildlife observation night (bears), canoe, bicycle rental, rowing boat rental (not during 11-27.7.), river rafting in Ruunaa by raft or boat with lunch, self-guided hiking in Koli

Itinerary: 

Day 1

  • arrival in Helsinki 
  • 16:21-20:23 train from Helsinki airport to Kuopio /16.19-20:23 from Helsinki city centre to Kuopio
  • evening meal as you like - in train or in Kuopio (your hotel is 5min walk from the city centre) 
  • night at B&B Cafe Asema at the Kuopio railway station

Day 2

  • breakfast
  • leave luggage in storage
  • walk to the market place, enjoy the atmosphere
  • 12-14:00 lunch cruise by m/s Queen
  • get the car, drive to Puijo sightseeing tower to tke a look at the lake view (entrance 4€/person)
  • drive to Guesthouse Puukarin Pysäkki 1h51min, 151km (superb pure local food, a lot of herbs and vegetables, we can ask for fish for the 2nd night)
  • dinner Karelian buffet 
  • night in a cabin with a double bed and 2 individual beds

Day 3

  • breakfast 
  • forest trip with picnic lunch outdoors 1,5h (or takeaway lunch for a self-guided trip to the tiilikkajärvi National Park )
  • dinner (one dinner is table served, one a buffet)
  • sauna (you can agree the time with your host)
  • evening tea available
  • night in a cabin with a double bed and 2 individual beds

Day 4

  • breakfast
  • 11:00 drive to Kuhmo visitor centre Petola, Lentiirantie 342, 88900 KUHMO (free entrance, basic information about wildlife in region, worth visiting,1h 09min 79,50km)
  • you will have dinner at 15:00, so a visit at  
  • 14:00 drive to Boreal Wildlife centre in Lentiira (Viiksimo) for bear watching (also possible wolverine, wolf, fox) 46min 54km. 
  • 15:00 dinner
  • night in wildlife photo cabin for four (private for you) 

Day 5

  • 7:30 breakfast 
  • by 9:00 departure
  • visiting a grocery store to buy some snacks/lunch
  • drive to Lentiira holiday village (30min, 41,3km)
  • canoe 3h rental at arrival
  • lunch (takeaway or cafeteria)
  • you will get your cabin as soon as possible
  • dinner
  • night in a log cabin with lake view

Day 6

  • breakfast 
  • bicycles and a rowing boat in your disposal
  • smoke sauna (1h for the family)
  • dinner
  • night in a log cabin with lake view

Day 7 

  • breakfast 
  • drive to Ruunaa wilderness centre 2h20min, 174km
  • after 14:00 getting the cabin before or after hiking 
  • 15.00 guided hiking 2h 
  • self-prepared dinner (barbeque etc.)
  • night in a log cabin with 4 beds (simple but own kitchen and sauna)

Day 8 

  • breakfast 
  • river rafting with wilderness lunch outdoors 3h 
  • self-prepared dinner (barbeque etc.)
  • night in a log cabin with 4 beds (simple but own kitchen and sauna)

Day 9 

  • breakfast 
  • drive to Paateri 46min, 52,7km
  • visiting Paateri Church and the Eva Ryynänen atelier (entrance 3€/person)  https://www.lieksa.fi//in-english
  • drive to Koli 1h12min, 84km
  • arrival to Jänisvaara farm
  • drive to Alamaja restaurant for ddinner
  • night in a log cabin (also possible Spa HotelKoli)

Day 10

  • breakfast 
  • drive to the Koli Sokos hotel Break parking place and take the lift up
  • self-guided hiking on Koli (very well-marked routes, the view is breathtaking!! There are also guided walks for 15€/person at 9:30 and 16.30 https://feelkoli.fi/en/nature-tours/
  • sauna at the cabin
  • night in a log cabin (also possible Spa HotelKoli)

Day 11

  • breakfast 
  • drive back to Kuopio 2h10min. 159km
  • flight home

 

Category Tours
Location Forest
Price 5332€ for 4 adults, 10 nights, 11 days
Group size min 4
Group size max 4
Month August
September
Duration 11 days
Meals Meals according to the sample program
Service Provider Skafur-Tour
Skafuuri Oy (=Skafur-Tour) Tour operator
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