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Lakeland Culinary and Culture Tour

September 29 to October 2, 2023

Finnish Lakeland is the treasure trove of gastronomy and culture. East and west meet here in many different ways. Explore the fresh and pure tastes, dive into the rich culture and feel the local lifestyle

Preliminary Program 

Friday 29.9.2023

Departures from home destinations
Arrivals at Helsinki Airport

16:55 Flight AY345 from Helsinki to Joensuu operated by Finnair
Meet your host Nadine Godau tel. +49 172 4053536 from Nordic Marketing at the gate
18:00 Arrival at Joensuu airport

Welcome to sustainable North Karelia!
Explore the best features of North Karelia from a sustainability point of view. Pristine nature, tranquility and beloved landscapes combined with Karelian flavors, culture and traditions are the recipe for a successful holiday. This tour presents sustainable North Karelia at its best: all of the selected accommodations, service providers, and restaurants are certified with either Visit Finland's Sustainable Travel Finland certificate or other sustainability certificates. Eastern Finnish people welcome you with their firm, warm heart!
Check-in at Lietsu Boutique Aparthotel
20:00 Dinner at Restaurant Kielo
Restaurant Kielo designs and prepares each of their menus with care and passion using the best seasonal ingredients from nature and the garden. Handcrafted food from start to finish cherishes traditional manufacturing methods and brings them into modern times with playfulness. At Kielo the food is based on strong and memorable flavors. 

Saturday 30.9.2023

Breakfast at the hotel
09:00 Walking tour in Joensuu by Joensuun Matkailuoppaat
Did you know that Joensuu was a bustling and vibrant merchant town already in the 19th century and its influence can still be seen today? Merchant's Joensuu guided walking tour takes you to the wooden town's past and present and enhances your knowledge and experience of Joensuu. Duration of the tour is approximately 1 hour.
10:00 Transfer to Koli
11.00 Coffee break at Kahvila Eväsretket
11:30 Koli Landscape Tour in Koli National Park
Koli National Park is one of Finland's most popular nature destinations in which you will see one of the country's most beloved national landscapes. The views over Lake Pielinen have attracted many Finnish artists, photographers and nature-lovers over the centuries. The landscape tour will take you to the highest viewpoints of the National Park: Ukko-, Akka- and Paha-Koli. Local guide tells you stories about the history, nature and culture of the area and leads you to enjoy the surrounding nature.
Equipment: Hiker's own weather-appropriate outdoor clothing and footwear, water bottle
13:30 Lunch at Grill it!
Grill it! is a Scandinavian restaurant which is located at Break Sokos Hotel Koli in the Koli National Park. The restaurant offers first-class hand-picked raw ingredients and a unique atmosphere. Enjoy the delicacies of the restaurant's kitchen while watching the stunning scenery of Lake Pielinen and the nearby ridges.
14:45pm Check-in to Sokos Hotel Kolin Kylä
Sokos Hotel Kolin kylä is located at the center of Koli village. This hotel is a cozy haven for active holidaymakers and curious adventures. Carefully selected natural materials and earthy colors echo the surrounding nature. Experience the four seasons of Koli, changing with each floor, from the misty spruce forests on spring morning to the snowy peaks of Koli.
16:30 Transfer to Koli Freetime
Welcome to the cozy holiday village of Koli Freetime! Located in a peaceful surroundings and quiet nature, Koli Freetime offers accommodation, camping and activities for travelers and locals alike. Here you will have an opportunity to enjoy the warmth of a local sauna and swim in the freshwater lake. Coffee and snacks are also available for the guests.
19:15 Transfer to the restaurant
19:30 Dinner at Kolin Ryynänen

Sunday 1.10.2023

Breakfast at the hotel
09:00 Transfer to Nurmes
10.00 Visit to Bomba House
Meet Sanna Tenhunen, Hotel General Manager at the Bomba House
Welcome! Tulgua terveh! The traditional Bomba House is located in Nurmes in the middle of a whole Karelian village. The house represents traditional Karelian building style and is an attraction itself. Here you will have a chance to make traditional Karelian pasties called Karelian pies which are originating from the region of Karelia. Karelian pies or karjalanpiirakka are to Finnish people what pizzas are to Italians.
12.00 Lunch at Restaurant Bomba
Restaurant Bomba is located in the Bomba House and serves Karelian delicacies made in a traditional way but with a modern twist.
13:00 Check-in to Break Sokos Hotel Bomba
Newly renovated Bomba spa hotel is an invigorating experience for all senses.The hotel is located on the shore of Lake Pielinen and a stone's throw away from the beautiful Bomba House. Besides the breathtaking scenery of Lake Pielinen, enjoy the silence of the surrounding nature and the unique spa.
14:00 Visit to Hyvärilä Holiday Centre
Hyvärilä Youth and Holiday Centre is like a small village in the middle of nature. Alongside accommodation, Hyvärilä offers possibilities for active holidays with versatile sports facilities and rental equipment. In Hyvärilä you will hear about their sustainability actions.
Transfer to Laitalan lomat
Laitalan Lomat offers countryside holidays, accommodation, food and various programme services in North Karelia. Here you will participate in a traditional Finnish pancake party or "lettukestit" while hearing about the awarded Äksyt Ämmät travel agency. Äksyt Ämmät offers responsible and eco-friendly travel packages and nature holidays and they will tell the story of responsibility path which they have created. 
17:30 Spa & Sauna at Break Sokos Hotel Bomba
The luxurious Spa Bomba is an oasis of calm, relaxation and enjoying nature on the shores
of Pielinen. The spa breathes Karelian mysticism in its many details, sauna world and in experience showers. In the heated outdoor jacuzzi, North Karelian nature opens up right into your arms.

19:30 Dinner at Bomba House, Valamo menu
Karelian culture is strongly linked to Orthodoxy since the beginning of the 12th century when Valamo monastery was founded in Laatokka. After the wars, the monastery found its new home in Heinävesi. At Bomba House you will enjoy the special Valamo menu and taste the flavors of Valamo without forgetting the berry wines of the monastery which serve as flavor pairings for the tasty food. 

Monday 2.10.2023

Take away breakfast
Transfer to Joensuu train station
09:00 Train from Joensuu to Tikkurila, Vantaa
13:25 Train arrival Tikkurila
Train from Tikkurila to Helsinki Airport
Flights to home destinations

Thank you for visiting Finland!


Flights to Helsinki
Finnair flight AY345 from Helsinki to Joensuu


Lietsu Boutique Aparthotel

Break Sokos Hotel Koli Kylä

Break Sokos Hotel Bomba 

Follow the weather


Bring along

  • Comfortable outdoor clothing (including walking shoes)
  • Swimming suit for sauna
  • Happy mood

Sustainable Travel Finland

Sustainable Travel Finland label will make it easier for travel trade and travellers to recognize a tourism company and destination that takes sustainability seriously. The label is only awarded for those companies and destinations that have undergone the entire Sustainable Travel Finland programme and fulfilled the criteria. The programme includes regular auditing and renewal of the label. Find sustainable travel options and STF labelled companies on

Useful links

Experience Sustainable Finland 
Sustainability - Visit Finland
Sustainable Travel Tips

Contact us

Visit Finland DACH

Jyrki Oksanen

Visit Finland Helsinki

Hanna Muoniovaara

Geschäftsführer/Managing Director NordicMarketing GmbH

Jan Badur

Mobil: +49 (0)178 348 10 48 Tel.: +49 (0)234 54 66 05 51