Culture & Countryside of Southern Finland, Self-Drive

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Availability : Daily, May-September

Culture & Countryside of Southern Finland, Self-Drive

Highlights Include:

  • The stunning Finnish Lakeland
  • Driving the King’s Road through quaint villages
  • Medieval castles and churches
  • Glassworks and handicrafts of local Finns
  • Finland’s capital city Helsinki

Photo: Raiija Lehtonen/

Tour Details

From: $3,397 per person | Single supplement from $998

Price includes transatlantic airfare from New York (please inquire for pricing from your US departure city)

11 days

2024 Departures:  daily, May – September

Experience the natural beauty Finns have known for centuries on this self-drive itinerary. Traveling through Turku, Jyväskylä, and Lappeenranta and passing gorgeous lakes and forests all along the way, you will develop an affection for the Finnish people and their land. With the freedom of a rental car and all your accommodations booked in advance, stop and enjoy yourself at your leisure, perhaps hiking in a national park or really savoring a traditional meal.

This is a sample self-drive itinerary. Our Destination Specialists will work with you to create an itinerary to meet your preferences.

Day 1Departure from US

Day 2Arrive Helsinki, Finland

Helsinki is uniquely situated on the Baltic Sea, where it has for centuries protected Finland from invaders coming from Russia in the east and Sweden in the west. Built upon this foundation, the city offers both historic sites like the sea fortress Suomenlinna, as well as modern art like the Sibelius Monument and the Kiasma Museum. The series of trams that cover the whole city make navigating simple for visitors. Overnight in Helsinki

Day 3The King’s Road | Meals: B

You will pick up your rental car this morning before heading west. The route you will be traveling is the Finnish portion of what is known as the King’s Road. You will pass some manor houses and even castle ruins that line this old postal route that began in Bergen, Norway and ended in St. Petersburg, Russia. A stop in Fiskars, a historic village and also the home of the Fiskars Corporation, is recommended. You will end your day in Turku, the oldest city in Finland. Overnight in Turku

Day 4Turku at Leisure | Meals: B

As the historic capital of Finland, Turku boasts some amazing medieval architecture. A visit to the Turku Castle is a must-see for visitors, as well as the Luostrainmäki Open Air Museum. While the history of Turku is a large part of the city, as the home to a thriving university, there are also plenty of modern cultural places to visit, like the Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova contemporary art museum and many cafes and restaurants featuring the New Nordic culinary trend. Overnight in Turku

Day 5Finnish Glass Art | Meals: B

Depart Turku this morning as you head north east to the town of Tampere. A stop in Nuutajärvi is highly recommended. This village was settled in the late 18th century as the as production site for Nuutajärvi Glass Works. While Nuutajärvi merged with iittala in the 1980s, the village still offers glass blowing demonstrations, shops, and a museum about the town. Arrive in Tampere at your leisure and perhaps enjoy one of the fine museums dedicated to the industrial revolution in Finland. Overnight in Tampere

Day 6Art and Architecture | Meals: B

Enjoy fabulous local art and architecture along your drive to Jyväskylä today. Visit the amazing private art collection of Gösta Serlachius in Mänttä at the Serlachius Museum for a glimpse of Finland’s Golden Age of art. As you reach Jyväskylä this afternoon you may come across some works by world-famous architect Alvar Aalto that are not to be missed. Overnight in Jyväskylä

Day 7Finnish Handicrafts | Meals: B L

Today you are headed into the heart of the Lakelands to Mikkeli. Along the way perhaps detour through Leivonmäki National Park for an easy hike on paved paths. The Kenkävero handicrafts center in Mikkeli – earlier the largest wooden vicarage in Finland – is worth a visit. Enjoy lunch and accommodation in the charming atmosphere of Tertti Manor, a family-run farm and manor hotel with a beautiful main building that has been preserved as it was in 1894. The fascinating gardens around the house invite for a leisurely stroll. Overnight in Mikkeli

Day 8Medieval Castle and a Wooden Church | Meals: B

Say goodbye to Mikkeli this morning and head east, stopping at the 15th century castle in Savonlinna, an important castle due to its proximity to the Russian border. If time allows, also include a stop at Kerimäki Church, the largest wooden church in the world. Continue on to where you will be spending the night, Punkaharju, just 20 miles from the Russian border. Overnight in Punkarjarju

Day 9On the Border | Meals: B

Spend your day today slowly making your way south to Lappeenranta. Perhaps visit the Wolkoff House Museum for a peek at the life of a Russian working class family, and the Lappeenranta Fortress for information on the military history of the area, as well as an art museum located in the old barracks. Overnight in Lappeenranta

Day 10History Comes Alive | Meals: B

Make your way back to Helsinki today along one of a variety of routes. It is possible to follow the coastline and travel through Kotka to further explore naval and maritime history in Finland. Another option is to go through Kouvola for a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage listed Verla Mill Village and Museum. Most ways of getting back to the capital will take you through Porvoo, the second oldest town in Finland and a quaint stop for travelers. Return your rental car and enjoy your final evening in Finland. Overnight in Helsinki

Day 11Departure from Helsinki | Meals: B

Independently transfer to the airport for your return flight to the US – or extend your stay in Scandinavia!

  • Transatlantic airfare from New York including air taxes & fuel surcharges
    (please inquire for pricing from your US departure city)
  • Nine nights’ accommodation
  • Nine-day economy car rental, including standard insurances, unlimited mileage & local taxes
  • Meals as indicated (B-Breakfast, L-Lunch, D-Dinner)
Not Included
  • Ancillary airline fees, such as meals, seat reservations, luggage costs
  • Travel insurance, recommended
  • Fees for passports
  • Transfers, sightseeing, activities, meals, and beverages not specified
  • Luggage handling 
  • Gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature such as laundry, spa services, internet, phone, etc.
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