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Finland / Suomi tour provided by: Andreas Lienhardt


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Tour

The Finnish part of our travel through Scandinavia


We arrived by ferry at the nice island ÅLAND (fin. AHVENANMAA) at ECKERÖ. We didn’t want to take the ferry from Stockholm direct to Finland. After crossing the border-control a big road takes you inside the island. We wanted to take the next ferry from MARIEHAMN (fin. MAARIANHAMINA) but it was not possible. We had to wait till the next day, because there is no direct connection. But no problem, we took the next camping a bit outside of Mariehamn. Finnish bikers told us about the bests sights in the area.

In the north of the main island is a mountain with a nice view over the island. The next day we took the "Viking"-ferry to TURKU (ÅBO). The trip least 6 hours and was fantastic. At very nice weather we crossed through hundreds of little islands.

It's also possible to reach TURKU by hopping over the little islands. You have to take some "little" ferries and you have to spend another night at one of the islands. It is possible to take a "north-route" and a "south-route". For more information ask at the tourist-info. The people told us that it is necessary to make a reservation in summertime, because a lot of people are doing this trip (by bicycle) and there is less space on the ferries (even for bikes).

TURKU has also a border-control, because ferries also reach direct from STOCKHOLM and ÅLAND is a tax-free-area!!

After crossing the beautiful old center of TURKU we went to the road nr. 10 direction HÄMEENLINNA. When you out of TURKU the nature takes you again soon. After 90 km we took the camping in TAMMELA near FORSSA.

Next day we passed HÄMEENLINNA and took road nr. 12 to LAHTI. There we took a look into the famous "Ski-jump-arena". Then we took the boring E 75-4 till HEINOLA. We left at HEINOLAN-MLK to road 46. In this area the famous "lake-area" of Finland takes place. Here you will find thousands of lakes. The lake-area takes place between LAHTI, TAMPERE, JYVÄSKYLÄ, KUOPIO, JOENSUU, SAVONLINNA and LAPPEENRANTA. The biggest lake-area is called SAIMAA.

On small sandy roads we reached MÄNTYHARJU and RISTIINA. Then we took the road direction MIKKELI and after some kilometers we went right to road nr. 4321, another sand road. Trough ANTTOLA we reached PUUMALA, our next camping. (The lady at the reception told us that the place is very full, but for us it looked really empty, we had a lot of space).

From PUUMALA we went north on rd. 434 and 436 to reach SAVONLINNA, the city of the great music and opera festival in summer.

Behind SAVONLINNA we take the rd. 471 and 468, nice small roads between the lakes, to reach HEINÄVESI. (last 30 km on sand roads). Here we visited a friend of mine and spend some days in his summer cottage near a little lake.

We went on to KUOPIO on rd 4784, 23, 542 (PALOKKI), 539 (VEHMERSALMI) and 17 (you also can stay on rd 539 and reach KUOPIO by ferry), a very nice trip through the forest and lakes. Also a lot of sand roads.

We spent 5 days in KUOPIO at the only 5* camping in Finland, because I was there in wintertime for 4 months and I had to visit a lot of friends. We made some tours:

1. E63 direction VARKAUS, after ca 18 km right to KARTULLA and TERVO. Near TERVO you can find a fishing place for tourists. For small money you can catch easily some fish or eat some "smoked fish". We took rd 554 to PIELAVESI and then 5571 to come back. (looks like a small tour, but distances in Finland are always huge!)

2. E 63 north till SIILINJÄRVI then right on rd 75. In SIILINJÄRVI you can find a very nice place for swimming. After 28 km go left to NILSIÄ and on to TAHKVUORI, a great ski center in winter time. (Car parking "on" the lake!). Back on rd 582, 5822, 5824 and E 63.

Kuopio itself has a nice marketplace, a good nightlife and a very nice "view-point" the "PUJO-TOWER" (restaurant inside).

We left KUOPIO on the boring E 63 to IISALMI and KAJAANI and the rain catched us. We decided to follow the Russian border so we went right to rd 6 to KUHMO and on rd 912 to SUOMUSSALMI. We felt very lonely sometimes, traffic was nearly zero. We saw the first reindeers and visit the Russian border at a "museum road" near SUOMUSSALMI. Near the road they showed what happened during the winter war with Russia. We enjoyed the Sauna at the camping because it started to be colder and rainy.

We left on another very lonely road, rd nr. 843, to HOSSA to reach KUUSAMO after 150 km. Now the "arctic circle" was close. To avoid the "main roads" we decided to take rd 81 to ROVANIEMI, and I learned to use gas stations very carefully, because on this road my tank was nearly empty after I didn’t take one chance to refill in POSIO and the next gas station came close to Rovaniemi. More and more reindeers have been near the street. Finish reindeers are very stupid. They have been the only ones who walked on the street then you come. All others run away, not the Finnish ones, so be careful.!!

In ROVANIEMI we visited "Santa Claus" at NAPAPIIRI (fin. for arctic circle). You can find a lot of souvenir-shops there. If you walk a bit down you reach "Santa park". (very nice for children; inside a mountain).

Next step we took the 82 and the E 75-4 direction SODANKYLÄ. Behind LEHTOVAARA we went right to LUOSTO. Luosto also is a famous winter-sport-place. We also spent some days there, because of the cabins. You can rent 50 - 100 qm cabins with fireplace, sauna, washing machine etc. for small money. (200 - 250 FIM). We made some tours around the area.

1. the road down to KULTAKERO and the mountain PYHÄTUNTURI. Left on rd 9621 and left again on rd E 63-5. At AAPAJÄRVI right on sand roads through buggy landscape. Orientation was a bit difficult sometimes (no good signs) but we reached rd. 967 and came back to SODANKYLÄ.

2. up to SODANKYLÄ and on rd 80 to KITTILÄ. On rd. 939 and 9403 through the hills. We took the same way back but we visited the mountain KUMPUTUNTURI between KIISTALA and TEPSA. (very long distance from LUOSTO)

At last we went to the very far north of Finland. We followed the E 75-4 160 km to IVALO and another 40 km to INARI at the great lake INARI. On to KAAMANEN and then left on rd 92 direction NORWAY. After 72 km you reach the border at KARIGASNIEMI.



Camping

Finish camping's always have been very nice, with a lot of space. Shower was always included. Sometimes Sauna also (or 50 Fim for 1 hour). We paid between 35,- Fim (Aland) and 75,- Fim (5* camping Kuopio). In Kuopio and some other camping's you stay 5 nights and pay four. Cabins have been between 130,- and 200,- Fim. (see also the complete tour)



Sights in the area

  • SAUNA:
    some say a fin without a sauna is like a fish without a bicycle. You should try it. It's absolutely fun. But Sauna is not Sauna. It's a big difference between "Smoke sauna" (Savu-Sauna), wood heated Sauna and electrical heated Sauna. It's also a big difference if you go under a shower, jump into a lake or jump into the snow.
  • FISH:
    You will find many many places there you can go fishing. A license you can get nearly everywhere, also in post offices. In some tourist places like TERVO you can go fishing without a license by paying a little money.
  • Ski jump areas:
    in LAHTI, KUOPIO; ROVANIEMI.
  • SANTA CLAUS:
    you can find St. Claus during the hole year in NAPAPIIRI near ROVANIEMI. Lot's of tourists are visiting this place in the far north. Around the house of Santa you find a lot of souvenir shops. If you walk a bit down to Rovaniemi you reach SANTA PARK. This is a fun park for children (and older ones) inside a rock.
  • LAKES:
    the land of the 100 000 lakes. Biggest lake area is the SAIMAA area between LAPPENRANTA, SAVONLINNA and MIKKELI. Some roads are going very nice between the lakes, also you can go by ferry or have a nice boat tour.
  • OFF ROAD:
    the smaller the street on your map, the bigger the chance to have a real nice and long "sand road" (sometimes between 50 and 100 km or longer). The finish sand or gravel roads are really good. Sometimes very straight, but with nice jumps. If the forest is very near you always have to be careful with animals.


WWW Links

Pictures

Pictures of Finland / Soumi

Picture-Count: 12
build: Mittwoch, 6. November 2002


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