Finnish Lakeland Self-Drive Holiday

Self-drive highlights of Western Lakeland

The Lakeland region of Finland covers the four points of the compass but nowhere offers more variety than the three regions of Western Lakeland, Lahti, Tampere and Jyvaskyla. Gentle lake cruises sit side by side with white water rafting and the calm atmosphere of art galleries and boutique shops fuses with the hair raising excitement of theme parks and soaring view points. Let this melting pot of experiences envelope you as you tour your way around the land of lakes and forests, towns and villages.




DAY 1: Helsinki - Asikkala (140 km)

Upon arrival into Helsinki collect your hire car and leave the big city behind, heading out into the wilderness, driving to Asikkala, to the Lehmonkärki Resort. At this delightful resort your accommodation will be in an cozy log cabin / villa by Lake Päijänne, the second largest lake in Finland. Once you have settled into your cabin you are free to spend the evening enjoying the silence of the surrounding nature and countryside, maybe even let those travelling aches wash away with a sauna, accompanied by a swim in the lake, very refreshing.

DAY 2: Lehmonkarki

Time to get your Lakeland adventures started with a morning of activities at the resort, where there is a whole host of activities to choose from. Self-guided activities include hiking in the glorious surrounding forests and fells, tennis, frisbee golf, swimming, beach volleyball, pedalos and cycling. The morning can be as busy and relaxing as you choose. Later in the afternoon, you will join a guided boat trip to Päijänne National Park’s biggest island, Kelvenne. Enjoy a picnic lunch around an open fire before returning in the evening sunshine. This evening you are free to make your own independent dinner at the cabin or you can take the short drive to Vääksy village (15 km), where you could eat in one of the local restaurants.

Staying at: Lehmonkärki

DAY 3: Lahti region

Time to explore some of the surrounding area and the wide variety of experiences that you can choose to visit. If you have a good head for heights, in the summer (Jun-Aug), you can enjoy the wonderful view from the observation deck at the top of the Lahti Ski Jump tower. Take the chair lift from the bottom to the top for amazing views of the surrounding area. If a slower pace of life is your cup of tea visit the Lahti City Museums, the small design boutiques in the city centre or the Lahti Marina area, known as the second living room of the locals, with Wooden Architecture Park, Sibelius Hall, handicraft shops and the bubbling atmosphere of the lake shore bars and cafes. If you are travelling as a family (or even if you are not), why not pay a visit to Kinnari Farm (about 10 km from Lahti city centre): this unique visit shows you the secrets of grinding rye flour and baking gingerbread with a new twist: Finnish rye! The owners, Terhi and Teemu, are the 14th generation working the farm. Here, you’ll grind your own flour from the farm’s own grain and bake the gingerbread to take with you, yummy! For those that like things a little more intrepid take the short drive to Flowpark Adventure Park in Vierumäki, an ecological high ropes course set high in the trees above you, guaranteed to challenge old hands and newbies alike. Entrance to the park is free,and you can walk on all the marked footpaths in the park area. Purchase a ticket if you want to try the ropes course.

DAY 4: Lehmonkarki - Laukaa (170 km)

After breakfast, drive to Varjola Guesthouse, located in Laukaa about 30 km from Jyväskylä. Your drive takes you along quiet roads lined with tall tree forests and shimmering lakes. Your accommodation for tonight is in a cozy Riihi Villa, where rooms overlook the delightful river that flows past, connecting some of the lakes in the region. After arrival, independent lunch at Bistro Sylvi. Later in the afternoon it is time to test your outdoor skills with an optional activity. This could be whitewater rafting and crossing the rapids by cable wire or an ATV (All Terrain Vehicle) trip into wilderness! (Actual activity subject to passenger numbers) This evening you are free to enjoy the surroundings, take a sauna (there are several to choose from) or stroll along the river bank under nightless sky.

DAY 5: Laukaa - Jyvaskyla (35 km)

After hearty breakfast,time to take the gentle drive to Jyväskylä, the city that follows in the footsteps of the world-famous architect Alvar Aalto, there is even a museum in his honour! Time to explore the best sights of the town! For a little shopping try the old Toivola courtyard: the most beautiful shopping centre in town including the blacksmith’s workshop, yarn shop, craftsmen’s museum, cafés and small boutiques. This afternoon you could take a lake cruise on Lake Päijänne and see this beautiful lake, and the small towns and villages that line its shore, from the water. Many of the vessels offer lunchtime cruises where you can enjoy a tasty meal as the waters pass by. Overnight in Hotel Verso in superior double room with breakfast.

DAY 6: Jyvaskyla - Tampere (180 km)

After breakfast, drive to Tampere via Mänttä-Vilppula, lovingly know as ‘Art Town’. Make a special stop to visit the Serlachius Museum Gösta, a fascinating private collection of art from across the decades, with the pearls of Finnish paintings and great works of international and national contemporary art! The museum consists of a striking modern pavilion, the original family manor house and a beautiful sculpture park. Enjoy a delicious lunch at the restaurant Gösta or buy a picnic basket from Autere Cottage and pick a spot on the lakefront from which to admire the delightful views. After the visit, continue the drive to Tampere and check-in to Sokos Hotel Villa. Free evening to wander the streets of Tampere and choose from one of the many restaurants that can be found in this wonderful city.

DAY 7: Tampere

What a day lies ahead, it is time to tour the best of Tampere. A couple of days could easily be spent in the city and its surroundings! We think everyone is going to have a good time here. Here is a chance to test that head for heights again, as you pay a visit to Näsinneula Observation Tower: the tallest building in Tampere – and in Finland. It is also the second highest observation tower in the Nordic countries, rising to the height of 168 m. The observation deck at 124m offers uninterrupted panoramic views, whilst there is a revolving restaurant on the floor above, a full rotation takes 45 minutes, where you can savour a sumptuous lunch or dinner accompanied by spellbinding views. The tower is connected to Särkänniemi Amusement Park: People have spun, screamed and had fun at Särkänniemi amusement park since 1975. The amusement park, Näsinneula observation tower and restaurant, Sara Hildén art museum, Doghill, Aquarium, Planetarium and the Angry Birds Land have welcomed visitors year after year to spend some of the summer’s greatest thrills and rides. A must visit for anyone visiting Tampere is the world’s only Moomin Museum, previously known as Moomin valley. These adorable creatures now have a permanent new home in the newly renovated Tampere Hall, taking visitors on a magical journey into the fairy-tale world of the original Moomin illustrations by Tove Jansson. The evening is free to enjoy as you please.

DAY 8: Tampere - Helsinki (179 km)

Sadly your visit to Western Lakeland must come to a close. Make the drive back to Helsinki in time for your onward flight. If you wish to extend your stay with a night or two in Helsinki our team will be able to add this for you.


From £1030 pp based on 2 persons sharing

This roughly converts to: 1,185 EUR | 1,349 USD

Remember that each trip we craft is unique, and you'll receive a personalised trip proposal based on your travel dates and preferences, and in the currency of your choice (GBP, USD, or EUR).


Additional Info

This trip has flexible daily departures

Many of trips can be tailored to your requirements and departure dates. Please get in touch with us for a tailored quotation and details of availability for your preferred travel dates. All trips and departures are subject to availability.

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7 nights

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