Your Adventure

a Road Trip holiday combining Finland's heritage landscapes around the ice age sculpted Lake Saimaa with its surprisingly edgy capital Helsinki. Formed by glacial melt water at the end of the Ice Age the gravel outwash formed ridges ultimately topped with pines form a dramatic landscape with ridges,islets & rocky outcrops along the lake's coastline. Testimony to the lake's ice age provenance is provided by the eponymous ring tailed seal which is unique to the Saimaa. Your adventure winds up in Helsinki; a neo classical gem and eclectic mix of east and west. sitting on a peninsula jutting out into the Gulf of Finland. here you'll find smart pavement cafés on Esplanade; gourmet restaurants at less than London prices; open air concerts and retail therapy for iconic design brands like Arabia and Iittala.

What's Special

The combination of two very different areas of Finland, magnificent Lake Saimaa landscape and hip and happening capital Helsinki and all the secial things we include along the way:lunch with a family run wine making farm, a boat trip round the bailey of medieval Ovanlinna and a day canal cruise over the border to Russian Karelia and medieval Vyborg.

Seurahuone Hotel

Possibly the only hotel in the world with a 5 pillow menu: a unique choice of a synthetic filled firm one and medium & soft ones with either down or synthetic filings. A far cry from 1914 when the hotel in its second incarnation opened to plaudits for having running hot water and telephones in all rooms. Each advance though, speaks to the hotel’s timeless pursuit of elegance, style and occupant comfort which the most recent renovation in 2006 spectacularly continued, melding Carl Ludvig Engel’s neo classical legacy with contemporary style. Superbly central for a short stay, the hotel is opposite Helsinki’s landmark granite central rail station, 300m from the airport bus terminal and perhaps more importantly just round the corner from the Karl Fazer Café. All our rooms come with (of course) private WC/shower or a bath tub (your choice), LCD TV, security safe, hair dryer, coffee/tea set, WI-FI and a telephone updated from those in 1914. Not forgetting the pillows.

Anttolanhovi Lakeside Hotel

Anttolanhovi is situated on the shores of Saimaa 25km from Mikkeli in the village of Anttola which has about 1500 inhabitants, 30% of the area is water. The village centre is about 3km from Anttolanhovi. Anttolanhovi stands one kilometre away from the old Anttolanhovi manor. Accommodation is in Lakeside hotel. All rooms are individually decorated and provide free WiFi, free wired Internet, and room service. Flat-screen TVs come with digital channels, and other amenities that guests will find include hair dryers and phones. Several restaurants, Day Spa, conference and training facilities, pampering treatments, activities: badminton, tennis, fishing trips, bicycling, gym, rowing boats, winter activities, art gallery etc.

Holiday Resort Järvisydän

Holiday Resort Järvisydän is situated 55 km from Savonlinna. Accommodation in a brand new hotel next to the main building. Other services include: medieval style restaurant Piikatyttö, wine hall and wine cellar, Finnish sauna world, conference and training facilities, activities: fishing safaris, canoeing trips, lake safaris and Saimaa ringed seal watching trips to the Linnansaari National Park, bicycling, hiking, rowing boats, winter activities (the longest Nordic skating tracks in Finland).

Lappeenrannan Kylpylä Hotel

This magnificently restored 100-year-old building has 28 new rooms with a distinctive elegance on the 2nd and 3rd floors. The rooms vary in size and shape and are decorated in a style suitable for a distinguished building going back a hundred years. As the old spa building is located on the waterfront boulevard, about half of the rooms offer stunning views of Lake Saimaa. Wanha Kylpylä also has some mini-suites and the possibility of a spare bed in some of the rooms. All rooms have room-specific air conditioning, mini fridge and wireless Internet connection, as well as a kettle, hairdryer and bathrobes. The old spa building also houses the facilities for our treatment services, such as massage, spa treatments, luxury baths and a salt room.

1st Day UK – Helsinki

Fly direct to Helsinki, pick up your hire car on arrival (260km) and drive to Mikkeli. Stay for 2 nights at the Anttolanhovi Lakeside Hotel.

2nd Day Mikkeli Surrounds

Take breakfast and then explore the Mikkeli city. Lunch in Tertti Manor where The Pylkkänen family has cherished the traditions of manor living for more than a century: the authentic milieu, the unhurried atmosphere reminiscent of the turn of the century and high-quality Finnish cuisine have charmed numerous guests from musician and composer Oskar Merikanto to the President of Finland Urho Kekkonen. When it is time to celebrate, eat well and spend the night in extraordinary surroundings, Tertti Manor offers the perfect choice. In the afternoon visit to Ollinmäki Wine Farm which is located in the scenic Southern Savonian landscape of Anttola.

3rd Day Mikkeli - Savonlinna

After breakfast drive to Savonlinna (160km) and check-in to Holiday Resort Järvisydän. Enjoy leisurely afternoon by the lake and visit Järvisydän sauna world. Optional dinner in medieval style restaurant Piikatyttö.

4th Day Savonlinna

After breakfast head to nearby Savonlinna. It’s no wonder that Savonlinna with its surroundings is one of the most popular holiday regions in Finland. Escape the everyday hustle and bustle and relax at the marketplace and terraces of the lively summer town. Scenic 1hrs 20min cruise on Lake Saimaa with nostalgic Finnish made steamship S/S Paul Wahl. Lunch on board. In the afternoon guided tour in Olavinlinna Castle which was built in 1475 and is nowadays a stage of Savonlinna Opera Festival.

5th Day Punkaharju & Lappeenranta

After breakfast start your drive toward Lappeenranta (170km). On the way stop at Punkaharju which is also the name of the ridge north of the town centre that nearly divides Lake Saimaa. The iconic ridge is one of the national landscapes of Finland. Lunch in Tynkkylän Lomaniemi from Savonian-Karelian buffet table. Optional visit to Lusto museum which is a national museum and science centre of Finnish forest culture. Overnight in Lappeenrannan Kylpylä Hotel.

6th Day Visa free cruise from Lappeenranta to Vyborg

After breakfast early start from Lappeenranta to charming frontier town Vyborg with M/S Carelia for a day. A journey through the historic Saimaa Canal with its eight locks is an unforgettable experience. Enjoy the beautiful scenery, good food and relaxing program on board. In Vyborg you have a couple of hours to enjoy the historic beautiful city. Overnight in Lappeenrannan Kylpylä Hotel.

7th Day Lappeenranta Helsinki

After breakfast time to visit Lappeenranta before heading to Helsinki (224km). Surrounded by the ramparts, the historic district represents the original town which was founded in a medieval trading centre during the Swedish regime in 1649. Most of the buildings date back to the Russian era, which lasted from 1741 to 1917. Following renovation, they now house private residences, handicraft workshops and cultural and business premises. Graced with a fascinating history, magnificent scenery and a myriad attractions, the Fortress is today a popular tourist destination. Return the car to Helsinki city centre. Overnight in Hotel Seurahuone.

8th Day Helsinki

After breakfast explore the city at your own pace by just hopping on and off one of the city’s trams or on an audio guided tour which leaves Esplanad Park 3 times a day. A must see is of course Senate Square, and amongst our others are the water bus trip out to Suomenlinna, lunch at Kappeli (try the venison meatballs) or Vanha Kauppahalli (for cod hotpot); and for that quintessential Finnish experience, a soft, scented smoke sauna at Kotiharju Saunaat. Just along the coast is Porvoo with its signature ochre clapboard wooden buildings lining the river bank to which the M/S Runeberg a traditional high funneled steamer cruises in the summer months from the President’s Quay. And just across the Gulf of Finland is Tallinn Estonia’s medieval capital, a couple of hours away by high-speed ferry. One of Europe’s best preserved medieval cities, here you’ll find a profusion of shops, bars and restaurants lining the cobbled streets of the old Town nestled beneath the imperious gaze of Toompea Castle.

9th day Good bye

Take breakfast in your hotel before transferring to the airport for your return flight to the UK.

What’s included in your ScanAdventure:

Return scheduled flight(s) from the UK to Helsinki All passenger service charges and airport departure taxes Complimentary beverages & Pay on Board food service
Hotel accommodation as per itinerary
Lodgings in twin rooms with private WC/Shower
8 Buffet breakfasts, 4 lunches (two on board ship), 1 dinner (on board ship)
Wine tasting at Olinmäki wine farm
Guided tour in Olavinlinna
Sightseeing boat trip in Savonlinna
Visa free day trip by boat to Vyborg
Car hire for 7 days (VW Polo or similar)

Departure Dates & Prices:

Wednesdays 1.6.-31.8.2015 From £1229 pp
*Guide Prices are based on our mid-level contract air fares which are real time variable unlike our ground costs. We don't do fancy lead in prices and always use the lowest air fare available at the time you confirm your booking. This may mean your holiday being slightly less or more in which case a proportionate reduction/supplement will apply. Carpe Diem = the earlier you book the better, especially for public & school holdays. 

Ollinmäki Wine Farm tasting

Ollinmäki Wine Farm is located in the scenic Southern Savonian landscape of Anttola. The Wine Farm has been practicing horticulture already since the 1920s. The current owners of the farm continue its long traditions by processing berries into Finnish country wines, liqueurs and spirits while using professional skills acquired from Central Europe. The Wine Farm combines domestic berries, Central European wine-making skills and the Finnish pioneer spirit. These ingredients have given rise to authentic Finnish berry wines, with names that have been inspired by the romantic nationalism of the Kanteletar, a collection of Finnish folk poetry. During your wine tasting you get to taste some Award-winning wines and you will learn about the secrets of wine-making.

Järvisydän Sauna World

By the lakeshore of the Hotel & Spa Resort Järvisydän you can find separate sauna & wellness premises that are called Finnish Sauna World and Lake Spa. The Sauna World consists of 3 different types of saunas. There are two Finnish wood stove saunas, smoke sauna, steam sauna and a relaxing hot tub under the blue sky. As Finnish Sauna World is situated right by the lake, you can cool off outside on a terrace, with the view over the lake or even dip into fresh waves of Lake Saimaa. Relaxing moments in Sauna World and beauty treatments in Lake Spa will give you a new kind of Finnish lake wellness experience.

Lake Saimaa Cruise on S/S Paul Wahl.

Discover the Finnish summer by shoreline cruise going through the gorgeous Saimaa Lakeland labyrinth. See the heart of Lake Saimaa district and Savonlinna´s famous medieval Olavinlinna castle. On sightseeing cruise by an original Finnish handmade steamships S/S Paul Wahl you can feel the part of Finnish inland lake history. Together fascinating Finnish national scenery and traditional steamship is unforgettable experience. Amenities on board include a fully appointed bar, restroom facilities, full service galley along with open-air decks.

Olavinlinna Castle Guided Tour

15th-century Olavinlinna was originally build to protect the strategically important Savo region from Russian attacks and to guarantee the control of the Savo region for the Swedish Crown. The northernmost medieval stone fortress still standing was one of the most modern fortresses of its time, consisting of a citadel, a bailey and five round cannon towers. The history of Olavinlinna is a mixture of medieval arms clashing, cannons roaring and every-day chores inside the security of the castle's thick walls. During the guided tour, your guides are the best at bringing the castle to life and furnish you with some interesting stories.

Lusto Museum Visit

Lusto museum is a national museum and science centre of international importance focusing on Finnish forest culture and illustrating the interaction between man and the forest from the past to the future. The forest has always formed the cornerstone of Finnish culture and the basis of livelihood for Finns. Lusto’s exhibitions provide a diverse and illustrative insight into the significance of forests in the life of Finns. Lusto is sure to appeal to visitors of all ages.

Vyborg Cruise

A Visa free cruise down to Vyborg, Russia and back on M/S Carelia along the historic Saimaa Canal with its eight locks, is an unforgettable experience.Enjoy the beautiful scenery, good food and relaxing program on board. In Vyborg you have a couple of hours visit the historic Round Tower restaurant, enjoy the lively atmosphere of the Market Hall to purchase some traditional souvenirs from Vyborg: linen, crystal, matroska dolls; or just walk along the streets of the Old Town, sit on a bench in the central park and feel the touch of the historic town. Lunch and dinner will be served onboard.

Kakslauttaneen Kelo Glass Igloos overhung with the Northern Lights

Welcome (Tervetuloa) to our Finland Holidays particularly in this, the year the country's centennial year. With a 25 year Finnish pedigreeTravel Designers who are all Scandi by birth and Experience we (modestly) think Second to None, they'll help turn your Holiday to Finland into a bit of an Adventure. Whether under the  Northern Lights or Midnight Sun; amongst snow dusted Forest Fauna or Golden Cloudberries; in a sauna or on a lakeland steamboat; whatever your personal purse & passion who better than a native Finn to design your Bespoke Holiday Arrangement?