East Finland is the hidden gem of the country, offering remote tranquillity, stunning scenery and a great hive of activity for outdoor pursuits. With an abundance of forests and lakes, you can spend the days of your holiday hiking along numerous trails or taking a snowmobile for a spin across the glistening snow. There is a range of accommodation on offer from hotels to self-catering chalets, the latter offering excellent views of the surrounding lakes or the sea. A getaway to East Finland is easy to arrange and a lot of essential travel information can be found on the internet.
East Finland is home to many stunning lakes and forests, as well as some deep gullies that are ripe for exploring. Many visitors like to enjoy outdoor pursuits in the healthy, fresh air that East Finland has to offer. Dog-sledging is a unique and enjoyable experience which will leave you with many lasting memories. Hiking through the deep gullies and gorges in the region is popular with tourists and locals alike. You can go sailing or fishing on the lakes and of course, no trip to East Finland would be complete without a spot of skiing, snowboarding or cross-country skiing.
As well as outdoor pursuits, there is a myriad of art galleries, museums and historical buildings to be enjoyed in the region.
One popular activity throughout Finland is the sauna. You will likely find that your holiday chalet comes complete with its very own sauna. If you are brave enough, you can do as the Finnish do and cut a hole in a nearby lake, taking to the icy water after the warmth of the sauna!
One of the most beautiful and interesting towns in East Finland is Mikkeli. The town used to be the home of the headquarters of the Finnish Army during the Second World War. Visitors will find there are several museums with artefacts and memorabilia relating to the four modern wars that Finland has faced including the Infantry Museum and the Headquarters Museum. Mikkeli is also known for its vibrant nightlife and has several popular nightclubs and discos.
The town of Savonlinna offers some wonderful chances to glimpse Finnish history in the form of the Olavinlinna, a three towered castle built in the 15th century. Savonlinna is also home to the famous Savonlinna Opera Festival that is held every year. As a quirky feature, the town also holds the annual Mobile Phone Throwing World Championships every year!
When you think of the whole country of Finland, you conjure up an all year round beautiful mountain scene, topped with snow and the sun glistening through the trees. Well, this is all very true, particularly in East Finland where temperatures can reach -4°c during the winter season. But visitors can enjoy pleasant summers in East Finland. The hot weather is intense during the few months of summer, often reaching temperatures of 30°C, which allows pursuits such as hiking and horse riding through the beautiful countryside to be experienced in a completely different way.
Travelling to East Finland does not mean having to fly into Helsinki in the far south and then arranging transport to the region. North Karelia which is part of East Finland is home to the Joensuu Airport (JOE) which has domestic flights available from London Heathrow (LHR) and Manchester (MAN). You can also fly from airports in Scotland such as Aberdeen (ABZ) into another regional airport Varkaus (VRK). Flights can be found from companies such as British Airways, East Midland Airways and Finland’s own Finnair.