Let Finland inspire you! The natural landscapes of Finland are a spectacle in themselves. From the numerous fjords, the vast Finnish lake district, mountain ranges to wide plains, everything can be found. Relax in one of the numerous saunas or go for a stroll through Helsinki, the capital of this beautiful country. Admire numerous attractions such as Helsinki Cathedral, the city’s landmark; the small island of Seurasaari, which is also an open-air museum, and the Ruka Kuusamo ski area. Experience Finland on an unforgettable tour!
Uspenski Cathedral is an Orthodox church in Helsinki and one of the main landmarks of the Finnish capital. The cathedral is also one of the most important Orthodox churches in Western Europe. The widely visible and world-famous attraction should not be missing on any trip to Helsinki.
Striking facade and magnificent interior
The huge cathedral in Russian-Byzantine style with the extremely striking facade made of red bricks, which is located on a rock in the center of the city in the Katajanokka district, has a total of 13 domes with gilded spikes and numerous small and large turrets. From the cathedral you can also enjoy a breathtaking view of the entire city. The huge and splendid interior of the church, which was inaugurated in 1868, is mainly characterized by some massive granite columns and numerous valuable icons. In addition, the handwriting of the Russian architect Aleksey Gornostayev is still clearly visible.
Unique church services as an attraction
The Uspensky Cathedral is visited annually by several hundred thousand locals and tourists from all over the world. Many tourists from home and abroad also take the chance to attend the unique church services in Church Slavonic. Thanks to its central location and good transport links, the Uspenski Cathedral is very easy to reach. Admission to the building, which is extremely worth seeing, is free.
Icebreaker trip with the Sampo
A winter adventure on the Gulf of Bothnia
From the end of December to the beginning of April it is possible to take one of the few passenger icebreakers from Kemi through arctic drift ice.
The journey with the Sampo starts from Kemi, just a few kilometers south of the Arctic Circle, and leads to the largest continuous ice sheet in Northern Europe. Outside in the pack ice, passengers have the opportunity to leave the ship. Well packed in thermal suits, you can take a bath between the ice floes, which are up to one meter thick. Swimming in the Arctic Ocean should be a surreal experience for everyone.
There is also the possibility of going on excursions by motor or dog sledding and visiting, for example, a Sami settlement or a reindeer camp.
The loneliness of the pack ice, the wintry twilight and, with a lot of luck, a northern lights experience will be unforgettable experiences for all passengers.
Since 1996 a fantastic ice castle has been built in Kemi near the harbor every year. In addition to an exhibition of ice sculptures, a café, a chapel and a stage, “Snowcastle” also houses a hotel where guests can stay overnight. The Honey Moon Suite is of course particularly artfully furnished for those who dare to venture into this icy atmosphere. The chapel also offers space for larger wedding parties.
Savonlinna Opera Festival
The opera festival in Savonlinna, Finland is one of the most famous in the world. It takes place in an old castle in the middle of the Finnish lake district. The castle was built in the 15th century. built and for a long time served the Swedes, who then ruled Finland, as a fortification against the Russians.
When Russia annexed Finland, the first opera festival was staged in 1912 in Olavinlinna, as the castle is called in Finnish. This was a complete success and was maintained in the following years.
Finland gained independence in 1918; the last opera for the time being was performed in 1920.
But in 1967 the festival was re-established and has taken place every year in Savonlinna in July since then.
Reasons to visit
As mentioned, Savonlinna is located in the middle of the enchanting Finnish lake district. The city and its surroundings are one of the most popular holiday regions in Finland and are also worth a visit because of the natural beauty.
The festival itself knows how to convince with big names and elaborate productions: In 1967 the festival was opened with Beethoven’s Fidelio. In the 2016 season, performances by Janacek, Verdi and others are on the program. Finally, Olavinlinna Castle, with its rich history, is also an interesting venue.
In short: the opera festival in Savonlinna is a festival for lovers of culture and nature.