Enjoy The Fresh Finnish Winter
The magic of winter in the Lake Saimaa area
Do you want to relax in one of the world’s most pure countries? Come and enjoy a stress-free holiday surrounded by the beautiful nature that Finland has to offer. Expect to breathe fresh air, enjoy silence, and experience the well-studied sauna healing effects. During your stay, you will have the chance to enjoy the local food, unwind by the campfire, relax by the lake, and visit local attractions around Lappeenranta and the Lake Saimaa area.
Recommended for couples, families and small groups.
Availability: 01/12 to 20/12 & 01/01 to 31/03
Guidance language: Mainly
English (Finnish or partly German if desired)
You will stay for the first three nights in the Manor Hotel Salpalinjan Hovi and the remaining four nights in the cottages of Villa Lummelahti by the lake.If you like being more active, you can also book various extra activities.
At Salpalinjan Hovi Hotel, you can decide how active you want to be. Relax, and enjoy nature in your own style and at your own pace. The hotel, a former village school built from logs, is now fully renovated and offers six modern apartment suites which have been furnished according to different school subjects. Each room has its own kitchen corner, bathroom and TV. Make yourselves at home and relax. The hotel is situated in the middle of South Karelia’s beautiful nature and next to UNESCO Saimaa GeoPark and Salpa line war history sites.
At Villa Lummelahti there are Large villa, Log cabin and Rock cabin, and there are two different saunas (one traditional sauna stove in the Log cabin with firewood and an electric sauna in the Big villa).
Arrival at hotel Salpalinjan Hovi after 14.00 o’clock.
• Settling into the rooms and coffee with sandwiches.
• Winter time cycling is a unique way to discover the pure Finnish winter nature. With e-fat bikes this trek with a guide is pleasant, and you can enjoy the silence of the winter time. We will then have a small snack in the outdoor fireplace and grill some traditional Finnish sausages.
• Experience a traditional Finnish sauna. The sauna is the oldest and most traditional healing and relaxing wellness element in Finland. The winter is a great season for the sauna. It is recommended to cool off from the sauna by sitting outside briefly, or even going for a ‘snow wash’ before returning back to the sauna. Some even say that going for the snow wash is a must!
• Dinner in traditional Karelian style. Includes meat stew, pies, casserole, potatoes, salad, etc.
Breakfast buffet ‘Karelian style’.
Optional Group Activity 1 (before noon): Hiking into the forest, with snowshoes if needed. With a local guide, you will explore UNESCO Saimaa Geopark sites, enjoy the Arctic nature, and experience peace and tranquillity with all your senses. We will walk slowly, breathe fresh air and enjoy the beauty of pure, white winter nature. We also visit the big bunker cave next door to the hotel and there we meet hibernating bats.
Optional Group Activity 2 (afternoon): During the winter days are short and the sun sets early. This provides a unique setting to experience nature in the darkness. Your guide will lead you to nature after the sun sets. There, you will be accompanied with traditional oil lamps for lighting. The silent winter forest is a safe and unique experience under the stars. After a short trek, we will start a fire and grill some sausage to enjoy the atmosphere created by the open fire. The silence in the middle of the forest after the sun set
is a very relaxing and unique experience.
Breakfast buffet ‘Karelian style’.
Optional Group Activity 1: A guided tour around the sights of Lappeenranta which includes a fortress the 17th century, the County Museum, traditional military areas like Rakuunamäki, and more. Indulge in a fantastic lunch with historical stories at the Lappeenranta Officers´ Club. Since 1890, officers and gentlemen have enjoyed good food at the Officer’s Club.
Optional Group Activity 2: Take a trip to neighboring town Imatra where you can experience the unique River Vuoksi floating. River Vuoksi is the outlet of Lake Saimaa and during the winter time, despite sub-zero temperatures, the river never freezes. With a thermal floating suit, you can float on the river during the winter time without getting cold. Expect to float and gently travel around 1 km downstream. A perfect opportunity to relax in the -4 C water (Not often you can say that!).
• Breakfast buffet ‘Karelian style’.
• Depart from Salpalinjan Hovi.
• Free time in Lappeenranta.
• Voyage to Villa Lummelahti by car, town Savitaipale. Travelling will take approximately 45 minutes.
• After 2 o’clock the host of the Villa Lummelahti cottages Heikki, will meet you and tell you about the Finnish traditional way of living by the lake. You will hear stories about the beautiful enchanting nature, and the wild winter animals. You can expect to hear more stories of Finnish history, under Swedish and Russian rule, and the
nearby fortresses of General Suvorov. Other attractions in the area will also become familiar.
• In the evening, there is time to get acquainted with the innermost part of Finnish culture, yes you guessed it, the sauna! Relax, unwind, and feel the meditative effects. In the sauna, do not feel the pressure to talk, but cleanse yourself both physically and mentally. Ice cold water swimming is refreshing and recommended. Make sure to get back in the sauna afterwards though. (Did you know that for hundreds of years, the most important decisions in Finland have been made in the sauna? Before modern hospitals, Finnish women also gave birth in saunas because of the heat and cleanliness. There are actually more saunas than cars in Finland!)
• Fishing trip to Lake Saimaa. A local fisherman will introduce you to the secrets of winter fishing. Many people meditate by sitting next to the ice hole while fishing. Enjoy the silence and your thoughts flow. Remember, the most important thing in ice fishing is not the catch but the break from everyday life!
• An excursion into the winter forests. With a local guide, we will look for animal tracks and hear about their lives in the winter. We will also observe the highly social tit birds and squirrels. With good luck, we may meet deer or find traces of a rare lynx.
• You can enjoy your stay in a warm cottage, or you can go on a small day trip to the nearby Suvorov-era fortress area, or you can explore Partakoski and Kärnäkoski which offer beautiful winter landscapes with ice, snow, and flowing water which creates a unique winter atmospheric environment – It’s extremely relaxing. If you’re lucky, you will see the birds gleefully dancing in the foggy rapids.
• Departure before noon. Until next time, Lake Saimaa.
Duration: 7 nights.
2 + PAX accommodation for 4 nights in one hotel family room and 3 nights in one small cottage:
Extra persons (max. 2) in the same family room and cottage 490 euros/person.
5 + PAX accommodation for 4 nights in two hotel rooms and 3 nights in a big villa with an electric sauna:
Extra persons (max. 3) in the same family rooms and cottage 490 euros/person.
The trip requires traveling with your own car or rental car.Transportation can be arranged at an additional cost. The price depends on the number of people transported. Minibus max. 8 people, costs about 700 € / week.
In Hotel Salpalinjan Hovi:
• 3 nights accommodation in a double room or in a family room for a maximum of five people. All rooms are accompanied with linen bed sheets, towels, kitchen facilities, a TV, and free WiFi.
• Free tea, coffee, fruit and snacks in the hotel room.
• First night dinner, consisting of local delicacies.
• One guided program or activity daily. Mentioned in the programme. Villa Lummellahti Cottages:
• 4 nights accommodation in Villa Lummelahti Cottages
• A welcome event by cottage owner Heikki and a presentation of Finnish cottage life and sauna culture.
• Two guided programs mentioned in the programme. During your vacation
• Experience the unique River Vuoksi floating. With a rescue floating suit, you can float on this river for roughly 1 km, without being frozen in -4C water.
• During winter time you can also try a unique bicycle ride experience with our e-fat bikes. They are electric and have
large wheels to suit the terrain. A lovely way to enjoy the nature or local sites in Lappeenranta during the journey.
• Enjoy ice fishing and meditation the Finnish way. Let nature heal you.
• Walk through the winter forest and observe animals and animal tracks. You could opt for snowshoes or skis for your journey.
• With good luck, you can also skate on the open ice of the lake.
• Enjoy the exotic darkness and candlelight. Forget the hurry and let the fireplace fire soothe you. Feel how your mind and body heals.
Reservations and inquiries
+358 50 336 09 86