Beautiful Finnish scenery, relaxing and relaxing nature tours on foot, by dog sled or on the back of an Irish pony and a rubber or wooden boats. Moreover some North Karelian traditional food in a natural setting, cultural sites and the end of the day relaxation spa tubs and saunas. You can experiecne all this with JuriS Travel, on our tour around Lake Pielinen, during which the last of daily worries are completely forgotten and replaced by a myriad of memories ….
What then, makes this for many yet unknown Lake Pielinen one of the finest Finnish nature tourism destinations? Perhaps the fact that nearby the Lake Pielinen there are several spot that magically change their appearance according to the season. These include, among others Koli National Park, where many well-known artist have sought inspiration and Ruunaa Nature conservation area, where you can find breathtaking Ruunaa rapids.
Some of the locations are included in the tour price and some of the locations are optional and an additional entrance fee will be charged.
Koli Natural Park has probably one of the most photographed spots in of Finnish national parks. The spot is where you stand on top of Ukko-Koli, the hill where you will have a scenic view over Lake Pielinen. The water, the high hilltop and the wonderful nature that changes 4 times a year offers plenty, even for recurring visitors.
On top of the Koli Natural park hill, is Nature Centre Ukko. There you can find changing exhibitions and photo shows, a cafe, gift shop and tourist information about the hikes and trails as well as activities available.
Iceland pony riding is suitable for everyone, even for beginners. Icelandic horses are very secure and calm and have great patience even when a beginner climbs on their back. Riding is available year round and is experienced at a comfortable pace in beautiful landscapes around Koli national park.
Ruunaa Area is perfect for the slightly adventurous nature lover. Koli hiking trails are connected through the famous Bear’s trail hike, which in total is a hike for over 500 kilometres long. However, Ruunaa is maybe best known for its possibilities for water ways and fishing. After all, this is where the most skilled Finnish “rodeo” (extreme) paddlers practice. You may even spot them here during summer time. However, for the casual paddler there are spots to take on, and even first timers can safely experience the thrills of white river rafting.
Paateri Church is the greatest work of sculptor Eva Ryynänen. It was completed in 1991. Also known for her friendship with Tove Jansson (mother of the Moomins), she has created the church out of wood and it is accompanied with a wooden landscape that consists of numerous wooden artifacts.
The second largest open-air museum in Finland, Museum of Pielinen consists of more than 70 buildings or structures from different centuries. The museum tells the history of North Karelia. From farm houses to firefighters equipment throughout 18th and 20th centuries, it can all experienced first hand in this pittoresque landscape.
As an tourist attraction itself, Bomba Break by Sokos Hotel & Spa, it’s restaurant in a traditional Karelian log house by apperance but is a part of a fully-fledged hotel and spa complex. The house is built in 1978 as an exact copy for the original Bomba, that is located across the border in Suojärvi, Russian side of Karelia. The original house was built in 1885. Fun fact: there has not been used any nails nor iron parts in building the Bomba house.
Beautiful Finnish scenery, traditional Karelian food in a natural setting, cultural sites and the end of the day relaxing smoke saunas. You can experience all this with JuriS Travel, on our tour around Lake Pielinen, during which the last of daily worries are completely forgotten and replaced by a myriad of memories.
What makes this for many yet unknown Lake Pielinen one of the finest Finnish nature tourism destinations? Perhaps the fact that there are several spots nearby that magically change their appearance according to the season. These include, among others, Koli National Park, and Ruunaa Nature Reserve.
Koli is surrounded by myths and legends. They say that at ancient times Koli was a place for justice, sacrifice and spiritual worship. According to legends, the area was inhabited by “hiisis”, spirits of hill forests. In late 1800s Koli became a source of inspiration for a cultural movement called Karelianism. This movement involved writers, painters, poets and sculptors which became increasingly curious about Karelian heritage and landscape. By the end of the 19th century, Karelianism was a major style for art and literature in Finland. It can be interpreted as a Finnish version of national romanticism.
Day 1. Wooden art by Eeva Ryynänen.
After picking you up from the hotel, we will be heading towards Ruunaa, famous for its hiking paths and breathtaking rapids. Along the trip, we will visit Paateri Church, one of the most favorite tourist destinations in North Karelia. This wooden church is a masterpiece of the local sculptor Eeva Ryynänen, whose workshop full of amazing wooden artifacts is also included in our program.
The day will finish with a welcome drink, a dinner and sauna at the Ruunaa Travel’s cottage camp, where we will have accommodation.
Day 2. Ruunaa Nature Reserve area.
Summer: Hiking and rafting at Ruunaa rapids. Here you can get a unique experience ofshooting the rapids on a traditional wooden boat. Traditional Karelian lunch.
Winter: Animals searching in the snowy forest. We will either walk by foot or use special
snowshoes. Traditional lunch around the fire. After the day tour you will be offered a handicraft show and a possibility to craft a self-made souvenir.
The day will finish with a traditional smoke sauna, which is a certainly refreshing experience.
Day 3. Local culture.
Along our trip to Nurmes we will visit the Museum of Pielinen. This unique outdoor museum is located in Pappilanniemi, in the picturesque landscape of the Lieksa River. It consists of 70 buildings and tells about the history of Pielinen and the local culture.
After the Museum we will have a delicious lunch.
We will spend the second part of the day in Nurmes, getting acquainted with the town and the Bomba House. This traditional Karelian wooden building is the most famous destination in
We will be accommodated in the beautiful countryside village, enjoying ourselves with a traditional Karelian food. The old smoke sauna and a dip in the cleanest lake water will guarantee the warm and most relaxing atmosphere.
Day 4. Kalevala.
Our day starts with a guided Kalevala tour at Glass Studio Korpinoita. It’s a deep dive into the ancient Karelian culture and the roots of humanity. The stories of the national epics will be brought to the contemporary world and presented through authentic glass art works and sculptures.
Inspired by Kalevala, we will move to the Koli National Park, the most popular nature spot in Eastern Finland and one of the most famous in Finland. We will be accommodated in a cottage.
Day 5. Koli National Park.
We will start the day by visiting Koli Nature Centre Ukko, the heart of Koli National Park.
The Permanent Exhibition of Ukko provides information about history, geology, nature and culture of Koli.
Our day will continue with the guided hiking tour. We will enjoy the magic National Landscape of Finland, which has inspired the most famous Finnish writers, artists and musicians. We will also visit Pirunkirkko, Devil’s Church, a 34 m long and 1-7 m high cave, which was used by shamans and witches for their spiritual rituals.
Possibility to visit Koli Relax Spa Center.
Dinner and accomodation at Koli.
Breakfast and transit to Joensuu.
The price includes:
• Transit from Joensuu and to Joensuu.
• Smoke saunas
• Entry tickets to: Paateri Church, Museum of Pielinen, Koli Nature Centre Ukko.
• Hiking and rafting tours, handicraft show at Ruunaalla.
• Guided Kalevala tour.
• Meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner).
• English speaking travel guide.
Price does not include:
• Travel arrangements from your location to Joensuu and back
• Koli Relax Spa Center
• Activities outside the program
• Entry tickets to the attractions not mentioned in the program
• Tips, alcohol drinks, data connection services and other personal expenses