46 days in Helsinki Region, South Karelia & North Karelia Itinerary

46 days in Helsinki Region, South Karelia & North Karelia Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Finland travel planner

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Route & dates

Start: Los Angeles
Fly:  16 h 30 min
1
Helsinki
— 14 nights
Train:  2 h 30 min
2
Imatra
— 10 nights
Drive:  2 h 45 min
3
Joensuu
— 10 nights
Drive:  1 h 15 min
4
Koli
— 9 nights
Drive + Fly:  28 h
End: Los Angeles

14
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.
Do some cultural sightseeing at Sea Fortress Suomenlinna and Natural History Museum (Luonnontieteellinen Museo). Take a break from the city and head to Nuuksio National Park and Arboretum Mustila. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Helsinki: Niivermaki Nature Conservation Area (in Kouvola), Teijo National Park (in Pernio) and Hanko (Bellevue Beach & Tulliniemi Nature Path). Spend the 15th (Sun) exploring nature at Ekenas Archipelago National Park. Spend the 16th (Mon) exploring nature at Valkmusa National Park. And it doesn't end there: get engrossed in the history at Seurasaari Island and Open-Air Museum, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Helsinki Cathedral, take a stroll through Katajanokka, and stroll through Aurinkolahti Beach.

To find photos, more things to do, reviews, and more tourist information, go to the Helsinki trip planning website.

Los Angeles, USA to Helsinki is an approximately 15- hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight; or do a combination of bus and flight. The time zone changes from Pacific Standard Time to Eastern European Standard Time, which is usually a 10 hour difference. Expect cooler temperatures when traveling from Los Angeles in September; daily highs in Helsinki reach 61°F and lows reach 45°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Tue) so you can take a train to Imatra.

Things to do in Helsinki

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trips

Kotka, Porvoo, Raseborg, Hanko, Fagervik Museum
Find places to stay Sep 10 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Helsinki Cathedral ©
Helsinki Cathedral
Seurasaari Island and Open-Air Museum ©
Seurasaari Island and Open-Air Museum
Sea Fortress Suomenlinna ©
Sea Fortress Suomenlinna

10
nights
Imatra

Imatra ©
Although predominately an industrial town, Imatra boasts a long and impressive history of tourism, largely owing to its fierce rapids, considered to have been Finland's first ever tourist attraction.
Museum-lovers will get to explore Lappeenranta Fortress and Art Centre Salmela. Visit Olavinlinna Castle and The Astuvansalmi rock paintings for their historical value. Change things up with these side-trips from Imatra: The Parikkala Sculpture Park (in Parikkala), Pikkukirkko (in Savonlinna) and Punkaharju Ridge (in Punkaharju). Spend the 30th (Mon) exploring nature at Repovesi National Park. There's much more to do: admire the sheer force of Imatra Waterfall, head outdoors with Atreenalin Seikkailupuistot, explore the activities along Saimaa Canal, and take in the architecture and atmosphere at De tre korsens kyrka.

For where to stay, other places to visit, maps, and tourist information, read our Imatra holiday builder tool.

You can take a train from Helsinki to Imatra in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 58°F in September, and nighttime lows around 46°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Fri) to allow time to travel to Joensuu.

Things to do in Imatra

Parks Nature Museums

Side Trips

Lappeenranta, Hamina, Ruokolahti, Savonlinna, Mikkeli
Find places to stay Sep 24 — Oct 4:
Highlights from your plan
Olavinlinna Castle ©
Olavinlinna Castle
Repovesi National Park ©
Repovesi National Park
Lappeenranta Fortress ©
Lappeenranta Fortress

10
nights
Joensuu

Joensuu ©
Joensuu is a city and municipality in North Karelia in the province of Eastern Finland. Museum-lovers will get to explore Mohko Ironworks Museum and Pohjois-Karjalan museo Hilma. Take a break from the city and head to Linnansaari National Park and Snellman Park. Get out of town with these interesting Joensuu side-trips: Heinavesi (Heinaveden kirkko & New Valamo Monastery), Kerimaki (Salpa Line & Kerimaki Church) and Orinoro Gorge (in Leppavirta). There's much more to do: take in the architecture and atmosphere at Tohmajarven kirkko, browse the eclectic array of goods at Joensuun Tori (Joensuu Market), kick your exploration up a notch at Treetop Adventure Park, and don't miss a visit to Joensuu Church.

For reviews, ratings, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the Joensuu trip itinerary maker tool.

Traveling by car from Imatra to Joensuu takes 2.5 hours. October in Joensuu sees daily highs of 42°F and lows of 33°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel to Koli.

Things to do in Joensuu

Parks Historic Sites Nature

Side Trips

Kuopio, Heinavesi, Kerimaki, Linnansaari National Park, Tohmajarven kirkko
Find places to stay Oct 4 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Orinoro Gorge ©
Orinoro Gorge
Mohko Ironworks Museum ©
Mohko Ironworks Museum
Tohmajarven kirkko ©
Tohmajarven kirkko

9
nights
Koli

Koli ©
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Venajanhiekka and Kolinuuron kierros Nature Trail. Step out of the city life by going to Patvinsuon Kansallispuisto and Eräeero T:mi Eero Kortelainen. Explore Koli's surroundings by going to Nurmes Church (in Nurmes), Hiidenportti National Park (in Sotkamo) and Kuopio (RIISA - Orthodox Church Museum of Finland, Puijo Tower, &more).

To see maps, other places to visit, photos, and more tourist information, you can read our Koli visit planning app.

Traveling by car from Joensuu to Koli takes an hour. In October in Koli, expect temperatures between 42°F during the day and 33°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Wed) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Koli

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Koli National Park, Kuopio, Venajanhiekka, Nurmes Church, Hiidenportti National Park
Find places to stay Oct 14 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Patvinsuon Kansallispuisto ©
Patvinsuon Kansallispuisto
Kolinuuron kierros Nature Trail ©
Kolinuuron kierros Nature Trail
Hiidenportti National Park ©
Hiidenportti National Park

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