Finland’s Saimaa lake district offers not only beautiful nature and scenic views, but also a variety of cultural attractions and experiences. There’s the Finnish tango, the world-class opera festival in the globe’s northernmost medieval castle, the famous Finnish sauna culture, and much, much more.
Imagine; you are walking among the old wooden buildings in the rural town of Mikkeli, the unique countryside and unblemished nature of Lake Saimaa always within reach. In the old vicarage garden, “Kenkävero,” the most beautiful in Finland, you’re met by the wonderful fresh scent of flowers while your eyes take in the myriad of colours; the kaleidoscope of blossoms, the green of the trees, the blue skies and shimmering lakes. All the while, the birds chirp their greeting and flit from branch to branch around you.
Now you find yourself in a medieval castle six hundred years old, massive stone walls reaching towards the sky on all sides. You’re in an audience of hundreds, waiting for the curtain to rise. The world famous opera festival of Savonlinna is about to begin…
The charms of Lake Saimaa naturally include the magnificent surrounding countryside, but also cultural attractions such as music festivals and art exhibitions, eco-farms and old rural Finnish smallholdings, as well as traditional crafts and modern design. The markets also have a range of delicious local foods that you’ll want to try, completely unique to the area.
There’s the guided tour of the endangered Saimaa ringed seals’ home waters in Linnansaari National Park. Or you might take the trip to the unique and personable exhibitions of Art Centre Väinölä in the heart of the historical industrial town of Varkaus. A trip on a luxury eco boat watching the sun going down to the sound of traditional accordion playing in the background is an experience you will not forget in a hurry!
Among the most popular destinations of Lake Saimaa are the “Charms of Saimaa,” conveniently close to the towns of Savonlinna and Mikkeli. In addition to accommodation, these Finnish villas range from the beautifully rustic to the luxuriously modern, and offer delicious food from the local region as well as interesting cultural attractions, events and exhibitions in relaxed countryside settings. With so much going on, what are you waiting for?