Travel to Finland
Day 5 Savonlinna - Punkaharju - Imatra - Lappeenranta (160 Km.)
Savonlinna: Olavinlinna Castle is the best preserved medieval castle in the Nordic countries. In summer, the castle serves as the main stage at the Savonlinna Opera Festival. It was built in 1475 with the aim of protecting the eastern border of the Swedish-Finnish empire. It is named Olaf, a Norwegian Catholic saint of the tenth century. The Russians occupied the castle in the early eighteenth century and remained there nearly two hundred years, adding a red towers and a yellow building within its walls. Two small museums present the history of the site along with several treasures of the Orthodox Church.
Savonlinna - Olavinlinna
One day in Savonlinna, in addition to visiting the castle, you can start walking through the outdoor market, enjoying the atmosphere and shopping. It should taste the local delicacies, such as tasty muikkus (a type of local anchovies) or the tasty "lörtsyt" (meat pies). The Olivankatu is the main street which crosses the city. Emphasizes the Lutheran Cathedral, built in brick in 1875.
Savonlinna - Lutheran Cathedral
(in 35 Km.) Punkaharju: Over the years the hills of the region Punkaharju have inspired many painters and poets. This natural place is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Finland. It is a chain of hills, 7 km long, formed during the glacial period, which separates two lakes - Puruvesi and Pihlajavesi. The narrow hill offers a breathtaking lake view, Finland"s national landscape in full swing. In the area of the hill there are marked nature trails.
The Retretti Art Center in Punkaharju is the largest art center in the Nordic countries. It is worth visiting even without their subterranean caverns of art. The center consists of 2,000 square meters of conventional galleries and 3,000 square feet with underground exhibition halls. The caves also contain an auditorium with space for a thousand people.
Runebergin kumpu is a hill between two lakes where there is a monolith dedicated to the Finnish poet Runeberg. With great views and places where you can enjoy a picnic or a swim. Situated within walking distance of this point is the Punkaharjun Valtionhotelli, the first tourist hotel in Finland, which was built in 1845 as the keeper´s house with the support of Emperor Nicholas I. Today the hotel offers, apart from accommodation services, catering to the style of the period of the Tsar.
The Lusto Forestry Museum is a national museum that specializes in forest science. It contains a varied exhibition and information center. Describe the importance of forests and the relationships between man and forests in the past, present and future. South of Punkaharju is the small town of Putikko, notable for its wooden houses.
(in 90 Km.) Imatra: It has a population of 35,300 inhabitants. It is near of some of the nation´s largest sawmills and pulp manufacturing, chemicals, copper and iron. The Saimaa lake discharges into the river Vuoksi through a gorge formed by the rapid Imatrankoski that give birth to the river that connects to the lake Ladoga. The dramatic fall of 20 meters of vertical drop is one of the oldest tourist attractions in Finland. In summer the huge jet of water is released daily at 19:00 and runs parallel to the border with Svetogorsk, Russia. The show is accompanied by music from Karelia famous Finnish composer Jean Sibelius. The hotel Valtionhotelli along the rapids, is a magnificent art nouveau palace from 1903.
Imatra - Imatrankoski
(in 35 Km.) Lappeenranta: The fortress of Lappeenranta, a crossroads between East and West with a rich cultural heritage full of small museums, cafes, craft shops and pottery. It is located on the port of Lappeenranta on Lake Saimaa from cruise ships that sail to the islands or travel down through the Saimaa Canal to Vyborg and the Gulf of Finland.