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

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

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Route & dates

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

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
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.
Your itinerary includes some good beach time at Bellevue Beach and Aurinkolahti Beach. For shopping fun, head to Hakaniemi Market or Roobertin Herkku. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Helsinki: Niivermaki Nature Conservation Area (in Kouvola), Teijo national park (in Pernio) and Arboretum Mustila (in Elimaki). Spend the 14th (Sat) exploring nature at Nuuksio National Park. Spend the 15th (Sun) exploring nature at Ekenas Archipelago National Park. There's much more to do: take an in-depth tour of Seurasaari Island and Open-Air Museum, brush up on your military savvy at Sea Fortress Suomenlinna, explore the striking landscape of Valkmusa National Park, and explore the world behind art at Kansallisgalleria.

For other places to visit, photos, maps, and other tourist information, use the Helsinki route builder site .

Los Angeles, USA to Helsinki is an approximately 16.5-hour flight. You can also fly; or do a combination of train and flight. You'll lose 10 hours traveling from Los Angeles to Helsinki due to the time zone difference. Expect cooler temperatures when traveling from Los Angeles in September; daily highs in Helsinki reach 61°F and lows reach 45°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Tue) to allow time to take a train to Imatra.

Things to do in Helsinki

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trips

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

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.
Get outdoors at Imatra Waterfall and Saimaa Canal. Salpa Line Museum and Wolkoff House Museum will appeal to museum buffs. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Imatra: The Parikkala Sculpture Park (in Parikkala), Savonlinna (Olavinlinna Castle & Pikkukirkko) and Punkaharju Ridge (in Punkaharju). Spend the 30th (Mon) exploring nature at Repovesi National Park. There's lots more to do: trek along Lammassaari Island, head outdoors with Atreenalin Seikkailupuistot, see the interesting displays at Bunker Museum, and contemplate in the serene atmosphere at St. John's Church.

For reviews, other places to visit, ratings, and more tourist information, use the Imatra online road trip planner .

Take a train from Helsinki to Imatra in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of flight and train. September in Imatra sees daily highs of 58°F and lows of 46°F at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 4th (Fri) early enough 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
Salpa Line Museum ©
Salpa Line Museum
St. John's Church ©
St. John's Church

10
nights
Joensuu

Joensuu ©
Joensuu is a city and municipality in North Karelia in the province of Eastern Finland. You'll explore and learn at Old Mine Mining Museum and Pohjois-Karjalan museo Hilma. Explore hidden gems such as Kolovesi National Park and Linnansaari National Park. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Joensuu: Kerimaki (Salpa Line & Kerimaki Church), Heinavesi (Heinaveden kirkko & New Valamo Monastery) and Orinoro Gorge (in Leppavirta). There's lots more to do: pause for some serene contemplation at Tohmajarven kirkko, stop by Taitokortteli, get in on the family fun at Treetop Adventure Park, and contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Pyhan Nikolaoksen kirkko.

Quickly create a custom-made itinerary for Joensuu using our trip planner.

Traveling by car from Imatra to Joensuu takes 2.5 hours. In October, daily temperatures in Joensuu can reach 42°F, while at night they dip to 33°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Mon) early enough to travel to Koli.

Things to do in Joensuu

Parks Nature Historic Sites

Side Trips

Kuopio, Kerimaki, Heinavesi, Orinoro Gorge, Mohko Ironworks
Find places to stay Oct 4 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Orinoro Gorge ©
Orinoro Gorge
Old Mine Mining Museum ©
Old Mine Mining Museum
Kerimaki Church ©
Kerimaki Church

9
nights
Koli

Koli ©
Visiting Venajanhiekka and Hiidenportti National Park will get you outdoors. Discover out-of-the-way places like Patvinsuon Kansallispuisto and Akka-Koli Hill. Explore Koli's surroundings by going to Lieksa (Neitikoski Rapids, Pielisen Museum, & more), Nurmes Church (in Nurmes) and Kuopio (RIISA - Orthodox Church Museum of Finland, Puijo Tower, & more).

To find maps, traveler tips, reviews, and more tourist information, read Koli trip planner .

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

Things to do in Koli

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

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

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