Highlights of
Saimaa winter tour

Get active
with a winter holiday

The waterscape of Saimaa’s Lakeland is gone in the winter. Now it’s been replaced by snow-laden trees and icicled buildings, the enormous lakes frozen into a sprawling snow-covered expanse. If you’re looking for an active winter holiday in Finland, Lake Saimaa is where you’ll find it.

Smoke or ice sauna in Sahanlahti resort & local gourmet dinner 

The Finnish sauna is propably up to 10 000 years old. The prehistoric sauna has com a long way to the modern electric saunas with their high-tec sauna stoves, but the traditional wood-heated sauna or smoke sauna are still the most popular options at cottages.

The health benefits of going to sauna have been known for centuries. In sauna, the skin temperature and pulse rise, metabolism speeds up and aching muscles relax. Sauna soothes and makes you feel calm and also improves your sleep. Sauna is pure health!

Sahanlahti is a small, family run resort with hotel and cottage accommodation and two restaurants serving the best of local food made from seasonal ingredients. Both restaurants offer the most amazing lakeside views and the small guest harbour hosts visitors from near and far in the summertime. Built around an old sawmill, Sahanlahti is steeped in history and has a story or two to tell you as you wander around the resort.

Food based on high-quality, fresh and local products and the dedication to ethical and responsible farming are the cornerstones of Sahanlahti dining. All of this and the skill of people growing and preparing your food can be clearly tasted on your plate when dining at the atmospheric Koskivahti restaurant at Sahanlahti.

Your sauna would not be complete without the traditional sauna snack of sausages cooked on the sauna stove. These can be enjoyed on the sauna terrace with refreshments whilst cooling off from the sauna.

Cross country skiing & winter hiking in Punkaharju

Close by the rental cottages you can reach well-maintained nordic skiing tracks, which are over 30 km long. Skiing tracks of Harjun Portti resort go along the fabulous Punkaharju ridge-area. Classic style skiing sets can be rented from rental point. You can see the realtime info of skiing routes from following page (in finnish): http://www.harjureitit.net/

Snowshoe walks give you an opportunity to experience winter nature in a way that is almost impossible to find otherwise. In Harjun Portti you can find eight magnificent and clearly marked snowshoe trails around the ridges of the Punkaharju Nature Reserve and other exciting terrain.

The trails include alternatives for all ages and fitness levels, and no previous experience in snowshoe walking is required on the easier trails. Although Punkaharju Snowshoe Park does provide experienced hikers and nature walkers with plenty of challenges. You can go for a snowshoe walk on your own, with friends or you can ask to go one of Harjun Portti guided walks. See the routes and more info from here.

While visiting Punkaharju, don’t forger to visit Finnish forest museum Lusto.
Lusto is the national museum responsible for forest culture and it illustrates the interaction between man and the forest from the past to the future. Lusto’s exhibitions, events, work demonstrations and theme days provide a diverse and illustrative insight into the significance of forests in the life of Finns. Lusto is sure to appeal to visitors of all ages.

Tour skating in the most beautiful village of Oravi

The idyllic village Oravi is located in between the National Parks Linnansaari and Kolovesi. Oravi is offering variety of guided nature activities, the largest canoeing center in Saimaa, 17 lakeside villas, hotel and restaurant services in the village. Village of Oravi have been awarded with “Best village of Finland” – prize.

Try out the most beautiful ice trail in Finland, from Oravi through Linnansaari National Park to Rantasalmi, or vice versa. The total length of the prepared route is 20-40 km depending on the weather conditions. The route is open for walkers, mountain bikes, kick sparks, skiers and skaters when the weather is permitting. There are fire places along the route and a cafeteria on Linnansaari (open during winter peak season).

Wonders of Mechanical Music Museum in Varkaus

Lake Saimaa waterways that extend to the city centre, a lush natural environment and many destinations offer holidaymakers a many opportunities in the Varkaus region. Specialties include the city’s own caviar and sturgeon delicacies as well as the home of amazing instruments, the Museum of Mechanical Music.

The number one attraction of Varkaus is the unique Mechanical Music Museum. It is one of the best of its kind in Europe and is mentioned in tourist guidebooks abroad as one of the top ten destinations in Finland. Visitors to the Mechanical Music Museum can take a trip to yesteryear in a funny stand-up tour. The collection of instruments is unbelievable; music boxes, automatic pianos and orchestras, violins and accordions and hurdy gurdys from small table models to an enormous Amadeus. The grandest of all is the world’s largest orchestra, a 75-man Popper Goliath. Every year, the museum personnel restore new devices for the exhibit.

Art Centre Väinölä is an idyllic wooden house in the shadow of birch trees in the centre of Varkaus. In three gallery rooms – White hall – Blue moment – Twilight – there are changing art exhibits throughout the year.  Furthermore there is an extensive basic collection of graphics, watercolours and sculptures in the building. Väinölä has professional framing, and a shop that sells artist supplies and posters.

Overnight in Scenery suite with a night sky view

Järvisydän is a vibrant resort with plenty of activities or peace and quiet, whatever you wish to do. Nestled in a bay of Lake Saimaa, the resort offers luxury accommodation, an amazing spa and lots of nature activities. The resort has been run by Heiskanen family since 1658 and is steeped in tradition. You may even spot a curious Saimaa ringed seal here – the rarest seal in the world with a population of only 400.

Järvisydän’s Lake Spa will give you a new kind of Finnish lake wellness experience. The spa is built in the middle of the natural rocks and the large windows overlook Lake Saimaa. In the middle of the spa you can find the heart of the lake – a natural pond with the shape of the heart.

The Scenery Suites of Järvisydän are located close to the lake shore of the resort, so you can enjoy the beautiful lake views and the scenery of Linnansaari National Park. In summer you can feel the nightless night through the skylight windows; in Autumn the coming darkness and quietness with autumn colors; in winter the beautiful dark, starry sky and maybe even the Nordic Lights; and in Spring the awakening nature.