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Tour de Relax

8.7-17.7.

FOLLOW THIS SUMMER’S SLOWEST ADVENTURE!

Tour de Relax is a 10-day multiple-stage event that pushes participants’ relaxing skills to the limit. The first international summer tour will take place in the unspoiled wilderness of Finland.

Follow the tour at this site and on social media: #TourDeRelax and #VisitFinland

The application period is now closed, but you can still take a stress test to find out just how badly you need a break from the rat race.

TOUR DE RELAX TEAMS

Clo & Clem

Clo & Clem

We are a young french couple and travel bloggers. We've started a world-trip 3 years ago with our backpacks, our camera and a large amount of craziness. With our travel videos, photos and articles, we want to show that most people in the world are extremely welcoming and that you can make wonderful experiences when you travel with a big smile on your face! We are thrilled to come for the first time in Finland. We can't wait to hike in a pristine nature and to discover the amazing landscape and people from Finland. It will be a great experience to share with our community.

Region: Helsinki West

Federica & Matteo

Federica & Matteo

We are italian but not in the "mamma-pizza" way. Federica is a fashion/travel blogger and Matteo is a media content creator. We are a couple in life and we often work together. In free time Federica spends her time on Instagram or shopping, Matteo loves binge watching series and studies a way to be an astronaut. We've always loved Finland and we'd like to discover how real relax is: so here we are Tour de Relax.

Region: West coast

Laura & Lance

Laura & Lance

Laura is a photographer and stylist born in Sicily and based in Milan. Lance is a writer and photographer from Detroit. He calls Tokyo his home. We (Laura and Lance) met in Milan, Italy during Expo 2015. Visually, our styles are far apart; Laura's work is bright and vibrant, focusing on a well-curated lifestyle; Lance's photos are darker, capturing the unembellished moment. We find this polarity lends a creative balance in our projects. Having travelled together to Helsinki earlier this year, we hope Tour de Relax will be an opportunity to gain an even deeper understanding of Finnish culture and its natural beauty.

Region: Turku archipelago

Laura

Lance

Miles and Love

Miles and Love

We come from Rouen, in France, a lovely historic city in the heart of Normandy! We’ve been married for 5 years now. Our favourite hobby is to discovering the world and we can spend hours taking pictures. Finland was a project we had in our mind for years now... And Tour de Relax is the perfect opportunity for us to live in immersion, like Finnish. We can’t wait to discover the beautiful landscapes. We’d like to be part of the finnish way of life, see their cities, try some finnish salmon or even taste the local beers :) Not to forget to experiment the mythic midnight sun.

Region: Bothnian Bay

My Trinh Ngo & Georg

My Trinh Ngo & Georg

We're a couple from a little town near Frankfurt City. I (Mici) work in finance and as a portrait & travelphotographer, while Schosch is self-employed. We share two hobbies - or you might rather call it passion. We love photography and we love travel. In Tour de Relax I want to take pictures that blow other peoples minds, to save the memories and impressions I can get and let other people see Finland through my lens. I want to try finnish food, eat a lot of fish.

Region: Helsinki East

Andrea and Lisa

Andrea and Lisa

We are Andrea and Lisa, mother and daughter from the heart of the Ruhrarea. We are physicians both - Andrea fighting for her patients in hospital for centuries, Lisa just graduated from university. To leave the stress of the exam and hospital routine behind, we definitely need some time to relax. And this is what we expect from Finland: pure relaxation. And, on top of all: Finland is actually the holiday country of Andreas childhood- and the only land she has been to, but her globetrotting daughter not. We are so excited to share this experience!

Region: Åland islands

Anna and Søren

Anna and Søren

We are Anna and Søren, a journalist and a photographer from Germany and Denmark. Together, we run the travel website 12hrs (12hrs.net). Discovering new places, getting to know the locals and venturing off the beaten path is our daily bread and our passion; and we feel that Finland is the perfect place to do just that.

Region: Northern Karelia

Anna

Søren

Anna and Søren

Anne and Samantha

Anne and Samantha

Hi there, we're Anne & Samantha. Samantha is a freelance photographer living in Lyon and I'm a proud Lille based freelance graphic designer. What we love the most is going on once in a lifetime adventures to experience freedom and get goose bumps when facing a never-before-seen landscape. Our distinctive signs? Samantha never goes out without her hat and her instant, analog and digital photographer kit. On my side, I'm always chasing the little details that make a difference and capture it with my camera. We're thrilled to experience Finland in such a unique way: relaxing and exploring the incredible Finnish landscapes is a dream come true.

Region: Lake Saimaa

Anne

Samantha

Salim and Linda

Salim and Linda

We won the French version of Amazing Race (Pékin Express) a few years ago and we continue to travel a lot. Our nickname in the TV show was “les amoureux voyageurs” = the lovers travelers ! We love to meet people and new landscapes. We love challenges and do special things that not everyone does... but we also want to prove to anyone that they could do like us. We hope to meet people in this expectation, to discover Finland and show this at our fans!

Region: Kuusamo region

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9 TEAMS
9 LOCATIONS

The tour will take place across nine different areas of Finland, mainly in the breathtaking surroundings of the country’s beautiful archipelago. As the tour is all about the art of taking it easy rather than sweaty, ruthless racing, the teams aren’t expected to run around the country. Instead, each will have its own area packed with a variety of stages.

Helsinki East

Porvoo, Kotka, Hamina

Helsinki, the capital of Finland is a compact city easily explored on foot. Design, architecture and shopping are all great exploration angles and large park areas, forests and the coastline with numerous islands sprinkled off it make certain there’s no shortage of natural presence.

Founded nearly 800 years ago, Porvoo is the second oldest city in Finland and evidence of its long history can still be seen and felt as you walk its charming streets.

Kotka city centre is situated on an island. City has long traditions in seafaring. It’s neigbour Hamina is Finland's oldest garrison town. The city’s 360-year history can be appreciated by exploring the city centre’s circular town plan and fortifications.

Helsinki Porvoo Kotka / Hamina

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Helsinki East

Helsinki and Eastern Archipelago – Gulf of Finland

The Gulf of Finland is the easternmost arm of the Baltic Sea. It extends between Finland (to the north) and Estonia (to the south) all the way to Saint Petersburg in Russia, where the river Neva drains into the sea. Other major cities around the Gulf include Helsinki and Tallinn.

Day 1: 8.7. Arrival and get-together with the rest of the teams

Day 2: 9.7. Hel Yes! – Chilling out in Helsinki

In order to acclimatize you for your Finnish summer holiday, we set you free to wander around our beautiful capital, The Daughter of the Baltic Sea. Saturday is the perfect day to kick off with a lengthy, delicious summer brunch and walk around the city centre – boulevards, market places, sea shore cafés, or even a design sauna. You choose.

Day 3: 10.7. Helsinki Archipelago Cruise and Old Porvoo

Your visit to the Eastern Baltic Archipelago will begin with a cruise to the Söderskär lighthouse island. The lighthouse once played an important role guarding the sea and guiding seafarers – now it is a popular destination for a day visit. After a morning on the sea, you will get back onshore for a city tour of Porvoo, where the mosaic-like town plan with its maze of streets and irregularly shaped plots dates back to the Middle Ages. After spending the day popping in and out of Old Porvoo’s numerous charming cafés and boutiques, you will have dinner by the river at summer restaurant Johans. You will stay overnight at the luxurious Hotel Haikko Manor.

Day 4: 11.7. Porvoo Pampering Day

After a sumptuous breakfast at the Haikko Manor, you’ll have a chance to deepen your knowledge of Finnish cultural history and visit our national poet Johan Ludvig Runeberg’s home museum. The rest of the day will be a relaxed mix of biking, canoeing, park yoga and spa treatments. Lunch is awaiting for you in the excellent Zum Beispiel, a new restaurant serving organic, slow food made from local produce. Dinner is served at the Haikko Manor Spa Restaurant.

Day 5: 12.7. Wilderness and wellbeing in Loviisa

The sea dominates life in Loviisa throughout the four seasons of the year. This is why this beautiful town with its restaurants and events attracts visitors from both near and far. The red salt warehouses, which have been turned into restaurants, exhibition spaces and shops, give Laivasilta its historical atmosphere. In Loviisa, you will spend an exciting day in the Råmossa Lodge, an outdoor resort in the small village of Ilola.

Day 6: 13.7. Welcome to the coast of good winds

Southeast135° is a region situated on the south-eastern coast of Finland, on the shores of the Baltic Sea. It consists of the cities of Kotka and Hamina and the towns of Pyhtää, Miehikkälä and Virolahti. Your visit to the southeast begins in Kotka at its awarded parks, and will continue to Harju Hovi – a charming manor resort full of history from our shared past with neighbouring Russia. The afternoon’s activities include horseback riding and abseiling – weather and your nerve permitting. You will have dinner and stay overnight on the Vimpa Islands, an ecological sea nature resort in the Archipelago.

Day 7: 14.7. Day and night in Hamina

Hamina is an idyllic seaside town located beside the Eastern Gulf of Finland, and it has a long and colourful history. A busy trading centre was originally created in the Middle Ages, beside the sea at a crossroad of shipping routes and the Great Coastal Road. This place was referred to in documents as Vehkalahti as early as 1336. The town of Hamina was established at a node of communications and international trade in 1653. After savouring breakfast at Rakinkotka, you will arrive at Guesthouse Torppa, and go on to experience white water rafting, sauna and cooking your own salmon dinner by the fire.

Day 8: 15.7. Cycling day in Kymijoki

After breakfast at Guesthouse Torppa, your tour will take you cycling to the historical holiday and fishing venue Langinkoski. The Langinkoski Imperial Fishing Lodge is located beside the beautiful and effervescent Langinkoski rapids, on the estuary of River Kymijoki. Alexander III, the Emperor-to-be of Russia, became infatuated with the place more than 100 years ago, and later he spent many summer days there with his family. Dinner is served at the island restaurant Vaakku in Varissaari – you will have a chance to walk round the island before or after a delicious dinner prepared with local ingredients. After dinner, you can sit down with the locals for a cup of coffee and buns. You will stay the night at Santalahti Camping, a holiday resort 5 kilometres from the Kotka city centre.

Day 9: 16.7. From Archipelago Back to Helsinki

Time to end the adventure and head back to Helsinki. Once again, we get together with the teams and share our wild stories.

Day 10: 17.7. Farewell and time to go home

After breakfast, it’s time for individual departures and a flight back home. Thank you for staying with us and see you again soon!

Åland islands

Åland is located in the Baltic Sea, between mainland Finland and Sweden. It consists of more than 6 500 islands. The capital Mariehamn is a cute village-like town with a strong maritime and shipping heritage. In Åland it’s easy to get from one island to another thanks to the many bridges and ferries.

Åland islands

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Turku and Åland Islands

Turku, Finland's oldest city, is located by the River Aurajoki in Southwest Finland. Turku is a city of art, history and culture believed to have been established in 1229. The city is made unique by the River Aurajoki flowing through the city centre, culture-historical surroundings and the beautiful and extensive Turku Archipelago. The city's year as the European Capital of Culture made culture a permanent part of Turku's cityscape.

The autonomous Finnish province of Åland is located in the Baltic Sea, at the southern end of the Gulf of Bothnia between mainland Finland and Sweden. The Åland archipelago consists of around 6 500 islands, but only more than 60 are inhabited. Åland has its own taxation system, its own postage stamps, its own flag and Swedish as its only official language. For travellers, the Åland islands offer activities from adventurous island-hopping to boating, fishing, golfing and lots more. It’s easy to get from one island to another thanks to the many bridges and ferries, and Åland’s roads are terrific for cycling holidays.

Day 1: Arrive in Turku and visit the city

Along the Aura River – the Plough River – you can walk through medieval cobblestone streets. The river is the heart of the city. During the summer, the riverbanks come to life when people gather here to eat, drink and listen to music. There are old sailing ships moored in the river, and you can take cruises out into the archipelago or to nearby Naantali. Officially, Turku has been on the map by the Aurajoki river since 1229, and the buzz hasn’t stopped since. In the summer the city overflows with events and festivals: tango, middle age, music, theatre, art, design and much more.

Days 2-5: Take a boat from Turku to Åland (Ahvenanmaa) with M/S Viking Amorella

Hopping from island to island is the way to do sightseeing in Åland. Thanks to ferries and bridges, it can be done on boat, kayak, car or bicycle. On one hand, Åland is small and pretty. On the other, vast and seemingly endless. Its roads pass through a natural landscape that’s still virtually untouched on some islands. There are a total of 6 500 islands in Åland, yet only 65 of them are inhabited – plenty to choose from, in other words. Take time to explore the Bomarsunds ruins, stay overnight on a private island, enjoy a hearty a lunch at the Stallhagen brewery or take part of a pottery workshop.

Days 6-8: Visit Marienhamn during the day and take a boat to Helsinki in the evening

Mariehamn was founded in 1861 by Czar Alexander II, who gave the town its name, meaning ‘Marie’s Harbour’, after his wife. There are only 11 000 residents in Mariehamn, yet the city receives up to 1.5 million visitors per year. In the summertime, Mariehamn’s pleasant cafés and restaurants are lively places. Capital Mariehamn is the largest – and only – city in Åland. Explore the surroundings by bike, try out adventure golf or visit the Maritime Museum for a great day out in Marienhamn.

Day 9: Arrive in Helsinki and discover the capital city

Helsinki is a compact city easily explored on foot. Design, architecture, culture and shopping are all great exploration angles and large park areas, forests, lakes, and the coastline with numerous islands sprinkled off it make certain there’s no shortage of natural presence. Needless to say, there’s something going on in Helsinki every day of the year. The new attractions include for example ‘Löyly’ - a public sauna with a big terrace right by the sea and newly re-opened Konepaja Bruno from where you can find art exhibitions, food & drinks, a flea market and live music. Or make a big museum tour by visiting Kiasma, Taidehalli and Ateneum.

Turku Archipelago

Finland’s original capital Turku is the oldest in the country. It is also an important cultural venue with rich history. Neighbour town Naantali is known as an idyllic summer destination, and even the President has a villa there, not far from the Moominworld theme park. There are over 20,000 islands in the Turku archipelago. Fine bridges, spacious ferries and splendid vessels link the islands together.

Turku Archipelago

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Turku Archipelago

Day 1: 8.7. Arrival and get-together

Day 2: 9.7. Welcome to the Archipelago

After breakfast you´ll get the car and start your adventure. Once you reach the beautiful city of Naantali, you’ll check in at the Naantali Spa. In the afternoon you’ll have a chance to visit the famous Ruisrock Festival in Turku.

Day 3: 10.7. Getting to know Naantali

Naantali is a small wooden town, the home of the Moomins and summer home of the President of Finland. Get around and enjoy yourself! In the afternoon you will start your Archipelago trip by driving on the Archipelago Trail to Kustavi.

Day 4: 11.7. The Archipelago Trail from Kustavi to Iniö

The Archipelago is a charming destination, where you can walk along nature trails, meet the locals in villages and enjoy the beautiful scenery during ferry trips. You will stay overnight at the small island of Iniö.

Day 5: 12.7. Let´s go to Houtskär & Korpo

You will continue island-hopping from Iniö to Houtskär by ferry. Live like locals, visit the villages and cafés and enjoy the sea air. The next ferry will bring you to Korpo. You can visit the beautiful church, see a museum or take a cruise to a nearby island.

Day 6: 13.7. From Korpo to Nagu

Nagu is the biggest of the Archipelago villages. The marina in the middle of the village is very famous and popular, and full of restaurants, shops, B&B’s, etc. The guest harbour is full of action. Enjoy the Archipelago atmosphere.

Day 7: 14.7. Day in Nagu

You can explore the island of Nagu, take a trip to a nearby island, go cycling or canoeing, or just chill and relax.

Day 8: 15.7. Pargas

Pargas is the centre of the Archipelago. You have time to visit the Art Bank exhibition, go swimming or cycling and enjoy yourself.

Day 9: 16.7. Back to Helsinki

Time to end the adventure and head back to Helsinki. Once again, we get together with the teams and share our experiences.

Day 10: 17.7. Time to go home

After breakfast, it’s time for individual departures and a flight back home! Thank you and see you again!

Helsinki West

Hanko, Raseborg, Fiskars, Mathildedal, Espoo

Hanko is Finland’s southernmost town and a traditional summer destination. The idyllic summer town is defined by the sea, its beaches and maritime culture. Raseborg is famous for its charming iron works milieus of Fiskars and Billnäs whereas Salo is an idyllic small city and a gateway to the archipelago area.

There will be interesting island visits during the tour. Bengtskär is the tallest lighthouse in the Nordic countries. Örö island has a lot of forest, sand and pebble beaches, spectacular peninsulas, fine natural grass fields and heaths.

Hanko Raseborg Fiskars Espoo

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Helsinki West

Hanko, Raasepori, Fiskars, Mathildedal

Hanko is Finland’s southernmost town and a traditional summer destination. The idyllic summer town is defined by the sea, its beaches and maritime culture. About 25 kilometres south-west of Hanko, there is Bengtskär, the tallest lighthouse within the Nordic countries, 52 metres above sea level. If you want to experience the magnificent view, you have to climb up 252 steps, but the view is well worth the trouble! Bengtskär hosts a lighthouse museum, a home museum, an exhibition on the Battle of Bengtskär, a lighthouse post office and café, as well as premises for accommodation and conferences.

The tour includes interesting island visits. Örö Island has a lot of forests, sand and pebble beaches, spectacular peninsulas, fine natural grass fields and heaths.

Day 1: 8.7. Arrival and get-together

Day 2: 9.7. Nature experience in Espoo

After breakfast, you´ll get the car and start your adventure. Espoo, next to Helsinki, has 58 kilometres of seashore, 95 lakes and 165 islands. The archipelago offers plenty of sea related activities and experiences. There are several islands reachable by public boat transportation. Wild woods and lakes on Helsinki's doorstep! The Nuuksio National Park is an unspoilt piece of wilderness in the middle of the Helsinki metropolitan area: beautiful valleys, steep ravines, rocks, groves, swamps and over 80 lakes and ponds. There are tagged trekking trails along with cooking shelters and camping sites. The nearby Finnish Nature Centre Haltia spotlights the best of Finland's natural treasures from across the country.

Day 3: 10.7. Raseborg – Nature and villages

Ekenäs Old Town’s wooden houses spread out to the seashore. The street names tell the story of the townspeople and how they got along hundreds of years ago. The Ekenäs Archipelago National Park stretches from the inner archipelago to the open sea. During summer, the Ekenäs Archipelago is popular among sailors and motor boaters, as well as canoeists. The most significant attraction of the national park is its diverse nature. Other interesting attractions in Raseborg are the charming iron works milieus of Fiskars and Billnäs.

Day 4: 11.7. The charming nature of Hanko

The sea sparkles from three directions of the compass, and nearly all the roads lead to the sea. Come find your own favourite spot by the sea! The busy harbour is the most popular meeting point in the evening. There is always something going on in summertime Hanko! Go and meet the locals!

Day 5: 12.7. Daytrip to Bengtskär Lighthouse

Today’s cruise will take you to Bengtskär. 25 kilometres southwest of Hanko, at the entrance of the Gulf of Finland, stands the tallest lighthouse in Scandinavia. Towering 52 metres above the sea, the lighthouse of Bengtskär is the archipelago’s most imposing and magnificent monument. Visit the lighthouse, go swimming and just relax! You will be back in Hanko for the evening.

Day 6: 13.7. Salo – Live like a local

The city of Salo is situated on the coast of Southwest Finland. The highlights for travellers are the Teijo National Park and the surrounding Teijo Ironwork Villages. Salo is an idyllic small city and a gateway to the archipelago. You will visit the local evening market, which brings people together, locals as well as tourists.

Day 7: 14.7. Teijo National Park

Teijo offers many aspects of Finland within a small area, with lovely lakes, green forests, marshes, streams, and a sea bay – all conveniently located near two historic ironworks villages offering comfortable lodgings. Activities for energetic visitors of all ages include fishing, rowing, canoeing, wild swimming, hiking and cycling.

Day 8: 15.7. Out to the sea

Experience the Archipelago. A cruise ship leaves from the Kasnäs peninsula for a day of experiences. You will land at the Rosala Viking Centre, where you get a guided tour in the reconstructed environment of a historical Viking village. You are invited to what we claim is Finland’s greatest smoke sauna, the Storfinnhova granite sauna. You get to experience and enjoy the Finnish sauna together with other eager bathers.

Day 9: 16.7. Back to Helsinki

Time to end the adventure and head back to Helsinki. Once again, we get together with the teams and share our experiences.

Day 10: 17.7. Time to go home

After breakfast, it’s time for individual departures and a flight back home! Thank you and see you again!

West coast

Vaasa, Pori, Rauma

Statistically, Vaasa is the sunniest city in Finland. Rich cultural and maritime history make for interesting stories, and the Kvarken Arhipelago Unesco World Heritage Site and Old Vaasa are inspiring eye candy.

Pori and the region around it are great for urban and rural sightseeing. Old wooden villages, converted iron works and small harbor towns lie within short driving distances. The Yyteri sandy beach is one of the best-known in Finland. Finland’s most famous wooden town is Old Rauma, a Unesco World Heritage Site.

Vaasa Pori Rauma

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West coast

Vaasa, Pori, Rauma

Day 1: 8.7. Arrival and get-together

Day 2: 9.7. Arrival in Vaasa

After breakfast, you have a flight to Vaasa. Get your rental car at the airport and start the adventure. Statistically, Vaasa is the sunniest city in Finland, and its rich cultural and maritime history add to its allure. Walk along the sea shore, visit the Market Square and get familiar with Old Vaasa.

Day 3: 10.7. Kvarken Archipelago

The Kvarken Archipelago is the only Unesco World Nature Heritage Site in Finland. The impressive tar coloured tower, Saltkaret, located in the fishing harbour of Svedjehamn, offers a beautiful view over the De Geer-moraines. It stands over 20 metres tall in the World Heritage landscape of the Kvarken Archipelago.

Day 4: 11.7. Towards Kristinestad City

Today you are driving south from Vaasa. Visit Närpes, which is famous for its greenhouses and unique church stables: rows and rows of small, red, windowless houses, nearly 150 in total. After you pass the small city of Kaskö, you will arrive in Kristinestad, a cosy small city with narrow streets and wooden houses. Walk around and enjoy!

Day 5: 12.7. Merikarvia

Visit the small fishing villages of Skaftung and Siipyy on your way to Merikarvia, where you get to go fishing. The Merikarvianjoki River and the sea offer diverse fishing experiences. Overnight in a cosy cottage – fitted with a sauna, of course.

Day 6: 13.7. To the sandy beaches in Pori

Pori and the surrounding regions are great for urban and rural sightseeing. Yyteri beach, near the city of Pori, is a 5 km soft sand beach, backed by dunes and pine forests. In the summer, the shallow waters of the Gulf are surprisingly warm. The Yyteri Nature Trail along the seashore takes you past dunes, meadows and sandflats, which are populous with birdlife, reed beds and coastal flora.

Day 7: 14.7. Pori Jazz Festival

Pori is home to the highly popular international Pori Jazz Festival that saw its 50th year in 2015. The city is full of action, music and happy people. The unique Kirjurinluoto Area hosts many unforgettable concerts and events. It is located within walking distance of the city centre, by the Kokemäenjoki River. See the area and experience the atmosphere for yourself!

Day 8: 15.7. Unesco City Rauma

Finland’s most famous wooden town is Old Rauma, a Unesco World Heritage Site. Interestingly enough, it is not the only local UWH Site, as the Bronze Age burial cairns of Sammallahdenmäki date back 3 000 years. Taking a water taxi to the Kylmäpihlaja lighthouse island is a great way to see the Archipelago, and the lighthouse restaurant is the icing on the cake.

Day 9: 16.7. Back to Helsinki

Time to end the adventure and head back to Helsinki. Once again, we get together with the teams and share our experiences.

Day 10: 17.7. Time to go home

After breakfast, it’s time for individual departures and a flight back home! Thank you and see you again!

Bothnian Bay

Oulu, Kalajoki, Kokkola

Formerly a centre for tar trade, and now a technology hub, Oulu is the biggest city and is considered the unofficial capital of Northern Finland.

Kalajoki is best known for its 10-kilometre-long sandy beach with rolling dunes. Kalajoki’s places of interest are a mixture of wonders along the coast and the outer archipelago, some shaped by nature, some made by human hands.

Kokkola is, by tradition, a shipping and trading town. The wooden old town of Neristan and the Tankar lighthouse island are definitely worth a visit.

Oulu Kalajoki Kokkola

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Bothnian Bay

Oulu, Kalajoki, Kokkola

Day 1: 8.7. Arrival and get-together

Day 2: 9.7. Arrival in Oulu

After breakfast, you have a flight to Oulu. Get your rental car at the airport and start the adventure. Formerly a centre for tar trade, and now a technology hub, Oulu is the biggest city in the north and is considered the unofficial capital of Northern Finland. Spend your day getting familiar with the city, including the beach and camping area of Nallikari.

Day 3: 10.7. Getting around in Oulu

Take a cycling trip to the attractions in Oulu. The Market Square area along with the Rotuaari Promenade and other streets in downtown Oulu form an urban living room. An idyllic wooden town and industrial area, Pikisaari, awaits visitors across the river from the Market Square. Pikisaari's residents include an active community of artists and craftsmen.

Day 4: 11.7. Hailuoto Island

There is a ferry connection from the mainland to Hailuoto. The island is known for its unique nature and emblematic landscapes – the place is an attraction in itself. You can walk on trails, see the sights and admire the beaches. The western point, Marjaniemi, houses an old lighthouse (built in 1871) as well as gorgeous beaches. The adjacent viewing towers, beaches and forests are great for birdwatching.

Day 5: 12.7. Raahe by the sea

Old Raahe is one of the best-preserved wooden towns in Finland and it is situated by the sea. The Raahe Archipelago was elected Finland’s Best Outdoor Destination for 2016, especially well suited for canoeing and camping on the nearby islands. So naturally, your day includes canoeing and exploring the nature and islands. Your accommodation will be an adventure as well!

Day 6-7 13.-14.7. Kalajoki

The day’s destination is Kalajoki, best known for its 10-kilometre-long sandy beach with rolling dunes. Places of interest include a mixture of wonders along the coast and the outer archipelago, some shaped by nature, some made by human hands. Those seeking a nature experience of a lifetime might like a trip to the Ukkohalla lighthouse island, a historic base for herring fishermen and seal hunters. But you can also just relax in Kalajoki.

Day 8: 15.7. Kokkola

Kokkola is a charming seaside city and a cultural destination that offers numerous cultural experiences and a broad spectrum of annual events. The old part of town, Neristan, attracts visitors as well as the sea and multiple annual events. The island of Tankar is situated in the outer archipelago approximately 15 kilometres north-west of Kokkola and is only 900 metres long and 500 metres wide. The island’s colourful history and activities have left plenty of interesting sights for modern visitors to admire.

Day 9: 16.7. Back to Helsinki

Time to end the adventure and head back to Helsinki. Once again, we get together with the teams and share our experiences.

Day 10: 17.7. Time to go home

After breakfast, it’s time for individual departures and a flight back home! Thank you and see you again!

Lake Saimaa

Mikkeli, Savonlinna

Saimaa is a lake in southeastern Finland. It is the largest lake in Finland, and the fourth largest natural freshwater lake in Europe.

Mikkeli city has beautiful manors, numerous destinations of nature, and is also the holiday capital of Finland - there are over 10 400 cottages in Mikkeli region.

Savonlinna is a historical borderland where the cultures and traditions of East meet West. The 374 year-old town is famous for its world class opera festival and a summertime packed with cultural events.

Mikkeli / Savonlinna

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Lake Saimaa

Mikkeli, Savonlinna

Welcome to Lake Saimaa – a unique labyrinth of lakes with pristine nature and Eastern culture

Lake Saimaa is the largest lake in Finland and it connects several of the larger towns. Its sparkling waters are dotted with lush islands and peninsulas, a winding labyrinth of beauty, only done justice by boat. Saimaa is also home to the critically endangered Saimaa Ringed Seal, of which there are only a few hundred.

Day 1: 8.7. Arrival and get-together with the rest of the teams

Day 2: 9.7. Off to Mikkeli, the market town and gate to Saimaa Lake District

Your Saimaa Lake District tour begins in Mikkeli, an old market town and the capital of the Southern Savo province. You will get to Mikkeli via Hirvensalmi, a charming nearby village, where you can combine lunch with local culture at the Village Festival. When ready, you will drive to Mikkeli and visit the city’s marketplace, a living room for the locals and famous for its abundant local market delicacies. You will spend the night at the Anttolanhovi Resort, where dinner will be prepared for you at your private design villa – before or after sauna, the choice is yours.

Day 3: 10.7. Forest bath, strawberries and tango with the locals

After breakfast, which is delivered to your villa in a basket, you’ll have a brisk forest walk and learn to breathe in the purest air in Europe. As it’s the height of strawberry season, you’ll have a chance to visit local strawberry fields and pick you own dessert. After lunch, it’s time to go back to school! You’ll be introduced to a Finnish summer passion – dancing. And of course, after the lesson you’ll be taken to one of the most legendary summer dance pavilions, Metsälinna in Ristiina. Your dinner and bed are awaiting for you at Anttolanhovi.

Day 4: 11.7. From Mikkeli to Rantasalmi via Puumala’s scenery lake route

After breakfast, you’ll take the scenery lake route to Puumala. Lunch break will be at the Sahanlahti Resort, with breath-taking views to Lake Lietvesi. The summer marketplace in Puumala is worth a stop before heading off towards Järvisydän, a stunningly original Saimaa Resort and Spa next to the Linnansaari National Park. Järvisydän has welcomed visitors as a guesthouse since the 16th century – they have some ancient, delicious recipes on the menu.

Day 5: 12.7. Slow adventure day in Linnansaari National Park

After breakfast, you will be taken on a boat cruise to explore the Linnansaari National Park. After the forest tour, you have a chance to try canoeing, Nordic walking, cycling – just to name a few activities available at the Järvisydän Resort. Just chilling out is naturally a good option as well. After a day of activities, you will have a chance to familiarize yourself with Saimaa’s sauna culture and the Sauna World at your resort, followed by a delicious dinner served at the restaurant.

Day 6: 13.7. Savonlinna day and night at the Opera

After breakfast, you head towards Savonlinna, the Venice of Finland. The city is built around a medieval castle that has hosted world famous Opera Festivals for over a century. You will stay overnight at Hotel Seurahuone, next to the city marketplace and near the medieval Olavinlinna Castle. You have free time to wander around the city, see its museums, take a steamboat cruise – as you please – until dinner time at the Olavinlinna Castle, followed by the Falstaff Opera premiere at Olavinlinna Castle.

Day 7: 14.7. From Punkaharju Ridge to Imatra Rapids and Spa

The Punkaharju ridge area is a famous national landscape, protected in 1803 by Alexander I of Russia. It has been a popular destination for centuries, and it’s also home to Finland’s oldest hotel, the fully renovated Hotel Punkaharju, where you will enjoy a guided tour. Afterwards you will drive onwards towards Imatra, and stop for a late lunch at the Vuoksi Fishing Centre. Lunch will be prepared with your own catch! You will have a chance to tour around Imatra with or without a guide, and afterwards you stay overnight in an old mental hospital – now a modern spa resort.

Day 8: 15.7. Lappenranta fortress town, castle and spa

Your tour of Saimaa is now almost complete. Lappeenranta is located near the Russian border, only a couple of hours from the Finnish capital Helsinki. Lappeenranta is an old charming fortress town buzzing with events, nature activities and night life for party-goers. You can choose your day programme, anything from canoeing to a treetop adventure. Lunch will be served on the Princess Armaada ship and dinner at Säräpirtti Kippurasarvi, the only restaurant in Finland that specializes in only one dish. In Lemi, the Särä dish is made every single day of the year. A relaxing night awaits you at the Lappeenranta Spa in the city harbour.

Day 9: 16.7. Back to Helsinki

Time to end the adventure and head back to Helsinki. Once again, we get together with the teams and share our wild stories.

Day 10: 17.7. Farewell and time to go home

After breakfast, it’s time for individual departures and a flight back home. Thank you for coming over and staying with us, see you again soon!

Northern Karelia

Joensuu, Ilomantsi, Nurmes

North Karelia with its truly unspoiled surroundings, pure, crystal clear water and clean air is a remote retreat beyond compare. For some it is a special meeting point of the eastern and western cultures and religions. For others, it is a place where the traditions still captured in the national epic ‘Kalevala’ have their roots.

Koli in northern Karelia is Finland’s most well-known national landscape. Over 100 years ago, Finnish artists and nature enthusiasts wandered to the spot to feel elevated and inspired by the surrounding nature. Nature lovers still do the same.

Northern Karelia

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Northern Karelia

Joensuu, Ilomantsi, Nurmes

Welcome to Northern Karelia – Retreat of Silence, Nature and Culture

Northern Karelia is the place where Finland’s National Epic, The Kalevala, was created. The nature and culture continue to be a source of inspiration for many: it is a unique meeting point of Eastern and Western cultures and religions.

Day 1: 8.7. Arrival and get-together with the rest of the teams

Day 2: 9.7. Hel Yes! – Chilling out in Helsinki

In order to acclimatize you for your Finnish summer holiday, we set you free to wander around our beautiful capital, The Daughter of the Baltic Sea. Saturday is the perfect day to kick off with a lengthy, delicious summer brunch and walk around the city centre – boulevards, market places, sea shore cafés, or even a design sauna. You choose.

Day 3: 10.7. Silent Sunday – relaxing day and night in Rääkkylä

Your first day and night in Northern Karelia is just for hanging out in the Nature. Literally. You will stay overnight in your private nature reserve, sleeping in a hammock (or a small cabin, should there be bears nearby!) and enjoying your dinner by the campfire. We Finns value nature as a haven of silence. Listening to the sounds of Nature is like meditation, it helps us unfold what really matters in life. A number of scientific studies prove that the more you stay outdoors in the clean air, the healthier you will be.

Day 4: 11.7. From private camp to Orthodox Retreat at Valamo Monastery

Talking about meditation, we’ll escort you to a true once-in-a-lifetime experience – overnight at an Orthodox monastery. Finland is situated literally between two worlds – East and West. Slavic Orthodox culture is very much part of the Karelian culture, and you will have a first-hand experience of life at a monastery in Valamo, Heinävesi. Your private dinner companion is Father Simeon, who will tell you all about their spiritual and secular life.

Day 5: 12.7. Cross Procession from Valamo to Lintula on a boat

By the morning you will know the ins and outs of Orthodox religious traditions. This day is one of the highlights at the monastery: a unique Cross Procession from Valamo to the Lintula monastery. You can either join in the walking procession or take a boat instead. You will have lunch with the rest of the group in Lintula, where your guide will pick you up and take you to your cottage & sauna by the Neitikoski rapid in the Ruunaa Hiking Area. Dinner is served at a nearby restaurant.

Day 6: 13.7. Float in Ruunaa Rapids and Meet our local Wild Fauna

You start the day with a morning float in the Ruunaa Rapids. Waterproof immersion suits are on the house! You’ll have lunch by the campfire and your guide will take you to see how the locals – wild animals – live. To give you a chance to really spot bears and wolverines, we have reserved the observation lodge for you for the whole night. Just remember to lock the door!

Day 7: 14.7. Welcome to our National Landscape: Koli

After leaving your wilderness lodge, you will arrive in Lieksa, where you will cross Lake Pielinen on a car ferry in order to reach the Koli National Park. After lunch at Hotel Koli, you have a chance to visit Nature Centre Ukko at the Koli National Park. After your guided tour and forest yoga session, you get to chill at Koli Relax Spa’s saunas and pools. Dinner is served at the Hotel restaurant.

Day 8: 15.7. From guesthouse to guesthouse and a Smoke Sauna treat

Your next stop is Nurmes, and your lunch break will take place in an exotic, authentic Karelian guest house, Bomba. After savouring the Karelian delicacies, you will end your trip at Guesthouse Pihlajapuu. Biking, a smoke sauna and local fish are on your evening menu.

Day 9: 16.7. Back to Helsinki

Time to end the adventure and head back to Helsinki. Once again, we get together with the teams and share our wild stories.

Day 10: 17.7. Farewell and time to go home

After breakfast, it’s time for individual departures and a flight back home. Thank you for staying with us and see you again soon!

Kuusamo region

Oulanka and Hossa national parks

Oulanka national park covers 270 square kilometres in northern Finland. The first inhabitants in the area were Sami people from Lapland. Today the most notable activity in Oulanka is nature tourism.

Hossa village is known for the oldest rock paintings in Northern Finland. The name "Hossa" originates from the old Sami word Huossa meaning "a place far away". There are about 90 kilometres of marked trails in the area. In addition to hiking, the area supports fishing, hunting, camping and canoeing.

Ruka Hossa Oulanka

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Kuusamo region

Oulanka and Hossa national parks

Welcome to Kuusamo and Kainuu – Experience Wellbeing in Pure Wilderness

The Kuusamo and Kainuu regions near the Russian border offer visitors pure and pristine landscapes, covered with ancient forests, wild rapids, rivers and lakes. Europe’s last wilderness is an escape to nature, topped up with a huge variety of outdoor activities, local culture, wild food and pampering sauna treatments.

Day 1: 8.7. Arrival and get-together with the rest of the teams

Day 2: 9.7. Hel Yes! – Chilling out in Helsinki

In order to acclimatize you for your Finnish summer holiday, we set you free to wander around our beautiful capital, The Daughter of the Baltic Sea. Saturday is the perfect day to kick off with a lengthy, delicious summer brunch and walk around the city centre – boulevards, market places, sea shore cafés, or even a design sauna. You choose.

Day 3: 10.7. Welcome to wilderness wellbeing in Kuusamo

Every visit to Ruka and Kuusamo is the beginning of a new adventure, where unique experiences come to life to the rhythm of the changing seasons. Many who have experienced the magic of an Arctic Circle holiday are already planning their next escape into Kuusamo’s thrilling wilderness.

Day 4: 11.7. Oulanka National Park – your hiking and canoeing trip starts right here

After breakfast at Ruka, you will drive to the Oulanka National Park, where you will hike around until you stop for lunch by the campfire. A nap after lunch might be wise, as you will later start your 25-kilometre canoeing adventure along River Oulankajoki. Dinner is served by the fire, and you will sleep tight under the stars – either in a tent or shelter.

Day 5: 12.7. After river rafting – a relaxing sauna treat

After breakfast by the fire, you will pick up your canoe and make your way to Kiutaköngäs. River rafting is next on the agenda, and after your ride, our Sauna Tour hostess takes care of you and guides you through relaxing sauna traditions and treats. As one sauna is surely not enough to ease your aching muscles after an active day, you will have a smoke sauna just before dinner at a family guest house, Isokenkäisten Klubi.

Day 6: 13.7. From Kuusamo to Kainuu – wild animal watching day

The Kainuu area is one of the few areas in Europe where it is possible to photograph wild, rare carnivores in their natural environment, accompanied by wilderness guides. After arrival at the lodge, you’ll have an early dinner followed by information about your upcoming programme. You will transfer to a specially built photography hide in the late afternoon with an international group. You can hear the silence and observe brown bears, and cutest of all, watch tiny cubs born last winter in the wilds. Overnight at the specially designed watching hide.

Day 7: 14.7. Countryside culture – take part in creating a piece of art – Silent People

You can spend the morning exploring local culture, enjoy a hike at the Martinselkonen Reserve or visit the Kiannon Kuohut Spa. In the late afternoon, you will arrive at The Silent People art installation, where you can dress up your own hay figure (bring some summer clothes with you) and enjoy a delicious dinner at the Meadow Café. Weather permitting, you will stay overnight in a hay barn next to The Silent People, the way Finnish farmers did some hundred years ago.

Day 8: 15.7. At the footsteps of our ancestors in Hossa National Park

After breakfast next to The Silent People, your next stop is in Hossa, the commemorative national park for Finland's 100th year of independence in 2017. Your guide will show you the national park and take you on a boat ride to see Stone Age rock paintings. Lunch and dinner will be served in the wilderness and you will stay overnight at the Hossa Travel lodge.

Day 9: 16.7. From Kajaani Back to Helsinki

Time to end the adventure and head back to Helsinki. Once again, we get together with the teams and share our wild stories.

Day 10: 17.7. Farewell and time to go home

After breakfast, it’s time for individual departures and a flight back home. Thank you for staying with us, see you again soon!

TOURING THE
LAID-BACK WAY

The Tour de Relax is made up of six easy-going stages that showcase Finnish summer life at its best. Each team follows the same set stages regardless of location.

Get lost

Take a map or just get lost exploring your new neighbourhood. At first, get familiar with our country.

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Live like a local

Get to know how the locals live, eat, socialize and party. We’ll introduce you to the local delicacies, traditions, festivities, ways to relax. A feel good –guarantee.

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Explore waterways

Welcome to the world’s largest archipelago and the country of thousands of lakes. You’ll get to explore and enjoy the local water while paddling, swimming, sailing – you name it.

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Enjoy sauna experience

In Finland you will become a true sauna connoisseur. A sauna master / mistress will guide you through a traditional Finnish sauna experience, seasoned with light sauna treatments.

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Eat wild

We’ll go, if not hunting, at least fishing & berry and mushroom hunting and will teach you prepare a dish with some local delicacy recipes.

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Take a hike

In Finland, in order to stay sane, a daily hike in the forest, lake or seashores is a must. We’ll take you to explore local pathways and teach the secrets of Nature’s healing powers.

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Learn to calm your mind

The Moodmetric ring measures the autonomous nervous system signals that can be used to understand stress reactions and improve quality of life.

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Enjoy the weather

Way up North people endure a most peculiar climate with rain, shine and cold. That is what makes Finland the supreme country of rubber boots since 1898.

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