Weekend kayaking in Ristiina, Lake Saimaa (two days, two nights)

Quick Facts:

Country/region visited: Finland, Mikkeli, Lake Saimaa. The area visited is one of the most beautiful places in Southern Finland. Due to its narrow, scenic waterways, it is a perfect place for leisurely weekend kayaking.

Type: Guided Tour

Start/end: Helsinki (City Centre, Helsinki International Airport, or any other pick up point.

Duration: 2 days/2 nights

Suitability: This trip is mainly focusing on kayaking at the beautiful Yövesi, Lake Saimaa. At least some previous kayaking experience is required, but all kayaks and the gear are provided by Adverento Travel. This trip is also highly recommended for kayaking clubs with serious paddlers. The length and duration of the kayaking trip on Saturday is subject to weather conditions, but in any case, will be longer than eight hours and 25 km.

Itinerary in short:

Day 1 (Friday): Helsinki – Mikkeli (Ristiina), Lake Saimaa, travel by private minibus

Day 2 (Saturday): All day kayaking in Ristiina, Lake Saimaa

Day 3 (Sunday): Mikkeli (Ristiina) – Helsinki, travel by private minibus

Detailed itinerary:

Day 1 (Friday): Helsinki – Mikkeli (Ristiina), Lake Saimaa, travel by private minibus

Meet your guide and driver, and join the group in Central Helsinki at 17:00. Sit back and enjoy the scenic drive from Helsinki to Lake Saimaa area. We make one stop en route and arrive in Mikkeli, the provincial capital at 20:00. Have a dinner and stay overnight in a hotel in Mikkeli. Alternatively, spend the night in a traditional Finnish summer cottage or cabin by the beach in Ristiina, about 30 km south from the town of Mikkeli.

Day 2 (Saturday): Kayaking in Ristiina, Lake Saimaa

We set off early to make the most of our day kayaking in some of the best lake kayaking locations in Finland. We launch the kayaks and paddle in a group. During the day, we see rocky islands, sandy beaches, and several old canals dating back to 1800’s. One of the highlights on this trip is a visit to Astuvansalmi, the site of ancient rock paintings. The water in the lake is exceptionally clean and the air is perfectly fresh. The lunch is a picnic lunch on beach in one of the islands, and the kayaking continues until early evening. Later in the evening it is possible to go swimming and to enjoy a traditional Finnish sauna. The Finnish sauna culture was recently added to UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, so, it’s not just an ordinary shower or bath after a hard day’s kayaking! Also, we gather for a barbeque in the evening and spend the night in a cabin by the beach. Alternatively, you can sleep in a tentsile or hammock, if you want.

Day 3 (Sunday): Kayaking in Ristiina, Lake Saimaa – Return to Helsinki, travel by private minibus

After a night in a cabin or in a tentsile, we set off for another kayaking trip this morning. Today’s kayaking tour is shorter than yesterday’s, but we still can enjoy incredibly good kayaking and beautiful views. It certainly is good sports as well! After lunch, we get back to our accommodation and return to Helsinki by minibus. We arrive in Helsinki at 17:00 in the afternoon.