44 days in Helsinki, Finnish Archipelago & Lapland Itinerary

44 days in Helsinki, Finnish Archipelago & Lapland Itinerary

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Route & dates

44 days in Helsinki, Finnish Archipelago & Lapland Itinerary

Start: Vancouver
Fly:  15​h 30​min
1
Helsinki
— 6 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
2
Kotka
— 5 nights
Drive:  3​h
3
Turku
— 5 nights
Fly:  1​h 45​min
4
Mariehamn, Aland Island
— 2 nights
Fly + bus:  4​h
5
Pori
— 4 nights
6
Vaasa
— 4 nights
Fly:  6​h
7
Inari
— 3 nights
Fly:  2​h 45​min
8
Levi
— 4 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
9
Rovaniemi
— 5 nights
train:  2​h 30​min
10
Oulu
— 4 nights
Fly:  18​h 45​min
End: Vancouver

6
nights
Helsinki

Helsinki ©
Finland's largest and most populated metropolis, the maritime town of Helsinki boasts varied architecture, a lively cafe culture, and plethora of picturesque natural delights.
Take a break from Helsinki with a short trip to Nuuksio National Park in Espoo, about 48 minutes away. There's lots more to do: step into the grandiose world of Sea Fortress Suomenlinna, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Uspenskin Cathedral (Uspenskin Katedraali), appreciate the extensive heritage of The Esplanadi Park, and take an in-depth tour of The National Museum of Finland.

To see reviews, maps, photos, and tourist information, read our Helsinki trip itinerary maker .

Vancouver, Canada to Helsinki is an approximately 15.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of shuttle and flight; or do a combination of flight and ferry. The time zone changes from Pacific Standard Time (PST) to Eastern European Time (EET), which is usually a 10 hour difference. Traveling from Vancouver in November, things will get a bit cooler in Helsinki: highs are around 5°C and lows about 0°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 6th (Fri) so you can go by car to Kotka.

Things to do in Helsinki

Parks Historic Sites Museums

Side Trips

Nuuksio National Park, King's Road
Find places to stay Nov 30 — Dec 6:
Highlights from your plan
Sea Fortress Suomenlinna ©
Sea Fortress Suomenlinna
Temppeliaukio Church ©
Temppeliaukio Church
Helsinki Cathedral ©
Helsinki Cathedral

5
nights
Kotka

Kotka ©
Kotka is a city and municipality of Finland.Kotka is located on the coast of the Gulf of Finland at the mouth of Kymi River and it is part of the Kymenlaakso region in southern Finland. Get out of town with these interesting Kotka side-trips: Marian Kirkko (in Hamina), Ankkapurha Culture Park (in Anjala) and Kouvola (Niivermaki Nature Conservation Area & Mielakka Ski Center). Next up on the itinerary: take in the architecture and atmosphere at Pyhtaa Church of Saint Henry, trek along Santalahti Nature Trail, admire the landmark architecture of Saint Peter and Saint Paul Cathedral, and take an in-depth tour of Langinkoski Imperial Fishing Lodge Museum.

To see photos, more things to do, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read Kotka online trip itinerary planner .

Drive from Helsinki to Kotka in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Traveling from Helsinki in December, things will get a bit cooler in Kotka: highs are around -1°C and lows about -6°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Wed) early enough to drive to Turku.

Things to do in Kotka

Parks Historic Sites Outdoors

Side Trips

Hamina, Kouvola, Ankkapurha Culture Park, Pyhtaa Church of Saint Henry
Find places to stay Dec 6 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Sapokka Water Garden ©
Sapokka Water Garden
Pyhtaa Church of Saint Henry ©
Pyhtaa Church of Saint Henry
Ankkapurha Culture Park ©
Ankkapurha Culture Park

5
nights
Turku

Turku ©
Sitting at the mouth of the Aura River, Turku is one of Finland's quaintest and most historically rich towns.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Turku: Bonk Museum (in Uusikaupunki) and Forssa Museum (in Forssa). Next up on the itinerary: explore the historical opulence of Turku Castle, browse the collection at Turku City Library, trek along The Archipelago Trail, and take in the spiritual surroundings of Turku Cathedral.

To see ratings, more things to do, and other tourist information, read Turku day trip planner .

Drive from Kotka to Turku in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and train; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 1°C in December, and nighttime lows around -4°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Mon) early enough to travel to Mariehamn.

Things to do in Turku

Museums Historic Sites Parks

Side Trips

Naantali, Forssa Museum, Bonk Museum
Find places to stay Dec 11 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Turku Castle ©
Turku Castle
Turku Cathedral ©
Turku Cathedral
Bonk Museum ©
Bonk Museum

2
nights
Mariehamn, Aland Island

Mariehamn ©
Mariehamn is the capital of Åland, an autonomous territory under Finnish sovereignty. Start off your visit on the 17th (Tue): step into the grandiose world of Jan Karlsgården Outdoor museum Jan Karlsgården, examine the collection at Museumship Pommern, then brush up on your military savvy at Aland Maritime Museum, and finally test your team's savvy at popular escape rooms. On the next day, step off the mainland to explore Kobba Klintar, then look for all kinds of wild species at Getabergen, and then examine the collection at Aland Hunting & Fishing Museum.

For reviews, traveler tips, photos, and tourist information, use the Mariehamn online sightseeing planner .

You can fly from Turku to Mariehamn in 2 hours. Another option is to ride a ferry. In December, daily temperatures in Mariehamn can reach 3°C, while at night they dip to -1°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel to Pori.

Things to do in Mariehamn

Museums Parks Historic Sites

Side Trips

Jan Karlsgården Outdoor museum Jan Karlsgården, Aland Hunting & Fishing Museum, Getabergen
Find places to stay Dec 16 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Aland Maritime Museum ©
Aland Maritime Museum
Room Escape Games
Getabergen ©
Getabergen

4
nights
Pori

Pori ©
Pori is a city and municipality on the west coast of Finland. Get out of town with these interesting Pori side-trips: Tampere (Amuri Museum of Workers' Housing, Pyynikki's Swim Hall, & more), Isokari Lighthouse (in Uusikaupunki) and Rauma (Ruokapuoti Lumo, Kirsti - Sailor's Home Museum, & more).

To find photos, ratings, traveler tips, and more tourist information, use the Pori route builder website .

Traveling by combination of flight and bus from Mariehamn to Pori takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and car; or do a combination of ferry and bus. Traveling from Mariehamn in December, expect little chillier with lows of -5°C in Pori. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Vaasa.

Things to do in Pori

Historic Sites Fun & Games Museums

Side Trips

Tampere, Rauma, Isokari Lighthouse
Find places to stay Dec 18 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Amuri Museum of Workers' Housing ©
Amuri Museum of Workers' Housing
Pyynikki's Swim Hall ©
Pyynikki's Swim Hall
Pyynikki Park and Observation Tower ©

4
nights
Vaasa

Vaasa ©
Vaasa is a city on the west coast of Finland. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Vaasa: Seinajoki Library (in Seinajoki), Arctic Museum Nanoq (in Pietarsaari) and Saltkaret (in Mustasaari). There's still lots to do: step off the mainland to explore Kvarken Archipelago World Heritage Site, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Mustasaaren kirkko, have some family-friendly fun at Makeitout, and see the interesting displays at Carlsro Museum.

For ratings, more things to do, and tourist information, you can read our Vaasa day trip planning tool .

You can drive from Pori to Vaasa in 2.5 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or take a train. Expect a daytime high around 1°C in December, and nighttime lows around -3°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Thu) so you can travel to Inari.

Things to do in Vaasa

Museums Parks Nature

Side Trips

Mustasaari, Kristiinankaupunki, Seinajoki Library, Arctic Museum Nanoq
Find places to stay Dec 22 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Arctic Museum Nanoq ©
Arctic Museum Nanoq
Ojberget ©
Ojberget

3
nights
Inari

Inari ©
Inari is Finland's largest, most sparsely populated municipality, with four official languages, more than any other in the country. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Inari: Saariselka (Hippupuoti Gift Shop & Saariselka Ski & Sport Resort). There's lots more to do: get great views at Otsamo Fell, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Pielpajarvi Wilderness Church, examine the collection at Siida - Sami Museum and Nature Center, and wander the wide-open spaces of Angeli Reindeer Farm.

For other places to visit, traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, go to the Inari holiday builder site .

You can fly from Vaasa to Inari in 6 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train and bus. While traveling from Vaasa, expect a bit cooler days and much colder nights in Inari, ranging from highs of -7°C to lows of -17°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel to Levi.

Things to do in Inari

Outdoors Winter Sports Parks

Side Trip

Saariselka
Find places to stay Dec 26 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Saariselka Ski & Sport Resort ©
Saariselka Ski & Sport Resort
Otsamo Fell ©
Otsamo Fell
Siida - Sami Museum and Nature Center ©

4
nights
Levi

Levi ©
Finland's largest and most popular ski resort, the fell of Levi provides excellent slopes and lively nightlife in an enchanting setting.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Levi: Muonio (Keimioniemi Fishing Cabins & Pallas-Yllastunturi National Park) and Safaris (in Akaslompolo). Next up on the itinerary: grab your bike and head to Levi Ski Resort, relax in the rural setting at Ounaskievari Reindeer Farm, make a trip to Giewont Husky Adventures, and look for gifts at Elan Ski Shop & Rental.

For photos, maps, and other tourist information, you can read our Levi trip itinerary builder website .

You can fly from Inari to Levi in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around -6°C in December, and nighttime lows around -15°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Thu) so you can go by car to Rovaniemi.

Things to do in Levi

Outdoors Parks Winter Sports

Side Trips

Muonio, Giewont Husky Adventures, Ounaskievari Reindeer Farm, Safaris, Yllas Ski Resort
Find places to stay Dec 29 — Jan 2:
Highlights from your plan
Levi Ski Resort ©
Levi Ski Resort
Pallas-Yllastunturi National Park ©
Pallas-Yllastunturi National Park
Yllas Ski Resort ©
Yllas Ski Resort

5
nights
Rovaniemi

Rovaniemi ©
An urban center set amongst the great Arctic wilderness, Rovaniemi serves as the capital of Lapland province.
Explore Rovaniemi's surroundings by going to Pyhatunturi (in Pelkosenniemi) and Pyha-Luosto National Park (in Pyhatunturi). There's still lots to do: make a trip to Santa Claus Village, identify plant and animal life at Poro Farmi, see exotic creatures in open habitats at a safari tour, and stroll through Ounasvaaran Hiihtokeskus Oy.

To find maps, other places to visit, and other tourist information, use the Rovaniemi day trip planner .

Traveling by car from Levi to Rovaniemi takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Traveling from Levi in January, Rovaniemi is somewhat warmer at night with lows of -17°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Tue) to allow enough time to take a train to Oulu.

Things to do in Rovaniemi

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Pyhatunturi, Pyha-Luosto National Park
Find places to stay Jan 2 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Pyhatunturi ©
Pyhatunturi
Santa Claus Village ©
Santa Claus Village
Arktikum ©
Arktikum

4
nights
Oulu

Oulu ©
Oulu is a city and municipality of inhabitants in the region of Northern Ostrobothnia, Finland. Explore Oulu's surroundings by going to Raahe Museum (in Raahe) and Kotielainpuisto Arkadia (in Simo). Next up on the itinerary: pause for some serene contemplation at Holy Trinity Orthodox Cathedral, examine the collection at Turkansaaren Ulkomuseo, grab your bike and head to Outdoors Oulu Oy, and admire the striking features of Oulu Cathedral.

For more things to do, photos, ratings, and tourist information, go to the Oulu trip maker site .

Traveling by train from Rovaniemi to Oulu takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or drive. In January, daytime highs in Oulu are -7°C, while nighttime lows are -14°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 11th (Sat) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in Oulu

Parks Wildlife Museums

Side Trips

Kotielainpuisto Arkadia, Koitelinkoski, Raahe Museum
Find places to stay Jan 7 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Hupisaaret Park ©
Hupisaaret Park
Pohjois-Pohjanmaan museo ©
Pohjois-Pohjanmaan museo
Oulu Climbing Centre ©
Oulu Climbing Centre

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