Wild Taiga self-drive

This self-drive tour takes you through the sparsely populated taiga forests of north-eastern Finland. There are three national parks and two national hiking areas with their hiking and canoeing possibilities easily accessible from the route.

Programme Information
Season: 01.05. - 30.09.
Duration: 8 days / 7 nights
Persons: Min. 2
Price: 720 €
Price includes: Accommodation, half board, maps and route notes
Price excludes: Car hire, lunches, entrance fees
Additional charge: Wolverine observation, bear watching

Programme


Further information and reservations:

Upitrek
Kiviniementie 59
FI-87850  PALTANIEMI
+358 40 7339 262

sales@upitrek.com
www.upitrek.com



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Wild Taiga self-drive

This self-drive itinerary takes you through the sparsely populated taiga forests of north-eastern Finland. There are three national parks and two national hiking areas with their hiking, canoeing and fishing possibilities easily accessible from the route. Close to the Russian border you can participate in bear or wolverine observation tours which give you a unique chance to watch and photograph these animals safely. In an information centre you’ll get to know Finland’s large carnivores – bear, wolf, lynx and wolverine.

Accommodation varies from hotel rooms to apartments and cosy cabins. Each night you will get to enjoy local delicacies and the genuine Finnish sauna is also available most nights.  

Itinerary:
1st day     Arrival at Kuopio           
Kuopio – Metsäkartano     approx. 130 km

Arrival at Kuopio airport where you will collect your hire car. If you arrive on an early flight you can visit the city of Kuopio which is full of life especially in summer.The city, in the centre of the Savo region, is famous for its marketplace, harbour and cheerful people. At the market you can taste the local speciality, “kalakukko”,
a Finnish fish pie. About 20 cruises depart daily from the harbour of Kuopio to lake Kallavesi. The symbol of the city is Puijo tower from where you can admire beautiful views over lake Kallavesi. For the first night you will drive to
Metsäkartano mansion situated in a tranquil spot in the heart of nature. Dinner and possibility of a sauna. 

2nd day     Explore a National Park    
           
Today you can choose between two national parks that are both within easy reach of Metsäkartano. Tiilikkajärvi National Park offers quite easy routes, beautiful lakeside scenery and beaches.  By contrast, the scenery at Hiidenportti National Park is quite rugged; trails include more hills and are a bit more demanding. The heart of Hiidenportti National Park is the majestic Hiidenportti Gorge with its vertical rock walls. Both national parks have some good hiking trails for a few hours’ day tour. Remember to carry the picnic lunch with you because there are no opportunities to purchase food in the parks. Dinner and accommodation at Metsäkartano Mansion.

3rd day    Wildlife watching and Karelian culture           
Metsäkartano – Kuhmo     approx. 105 km

It’s time to say goodbye to Metsäkartano and head via Nurmes in Karelia to Kuhmo. In Nurmes you can visit the Karelian Bomba House and the Karelian village around it. Bomba House might be a good place to enjoy lunch as well. Midway, in the middle of the wild taiga, is a company organizing wildlife watching tours. During these tours you can observe some interesting native Finnish animals, such as beavers. You can participate in a safari, at an extra cost, but this must be booked before departure.

By the end of the day you’ll arrive at Kuhmo which is a small village where you can see the Finnish national epic Kalevala reflected in the architecture, events, research, museums and the food. You can learn more about Kalevala and Karelian culture at the Kalevala Information Centre Juminkeko. If you visit Kuhmo during the last two weeks of July – you won’t be alone! At that time of year Kuhmo is full of guests enjoying the annual Chamber Music Festival which is famous and appreciated throughout the world.

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