Helsinki city break, winter sports & gastronomy

“A tailor made, short break to Helsinki with a wonderful mix of culture and crispy white countryside. What a place to try snowshoeing for the first time.”

Highlights

Culinary and city tour of Helsinki | Countryside options of Lohja, Fiskars Village, Hameenlinna or Porvoo | Activities options of snowshoeing, kayaking or hiking | Repovesi National Park

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Departure information

This trip departs on a Friday
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Helsinki city break, winter sports & gastronomy

Environment

All our activities take place within the capital region so no further traveling is needed. The activities are man powered sports and even the culinary tour takes place on foot. The visitors will get to experience what a real winter feels like: how it is to walk on the ice or walk in a snowy forest. Real winters are in danger of disappearing from southern Finland due to the change of climate. Experiences like this might not be possible for the next generation. Ecology and sustainability is a key factor in all the operations of a sports resort.

The hotel in Helsinki has an ecological certificate called Ekokompassi which means a systematic way of following material efficiency, energy efficiency and communication of environmental topics both to their personnel and clients and offering environmentally sustainable services.

Fresh water is available everywhere and food ingredients in Finland generally come from close by and local vegetables and grains are used where possible and we select partners who use local ingredients as much as possible.

Walking is our preferred mode of transport but when needed public transportation can be used. The return from Helsinki to the airport takes place by public transportation now that there is a train connection between the city center and its airport which opened in summer 2015.

Community

This tour can be tailor-made to meet your interests. The basic structure is the same: Helsinki and one destination at the country-side. You can go west, north or east from Helsinki and get to know the local culture from a different point of view. Any direction you choose, you will see more or less of Finnish nature.

In each destination local guides are carrying out activities. During the activities you will hear about the local cultural history, nature and the way of living. You will meet people and are able to do something, not just look around.

Finnish culinary culture is a mixture of influences from the east and west. Our guide, who has lived in Helsinki for many years will tell you stories about Helsinki and its culinary culture. You will meet local vendors and hear their stories. You will visit a grocery store with a huge variety of produce as well as a one of the tinniest grocery stores around. You will hear about the alcohol production and you will taste local beers. You will visit cafeterias selected by Heather and taste their delicacies. In Helsinki you will also visit a restaurant specializing in local pure ingredients and local food.

2 Reviews of Helsinki city break, winter sports & gastronomy

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 30 Jun 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Spending a wonderful afternoon and evening at the country home of our Finnish guide, meeting her delightful family and enjoying a superb dinner while listening to her son's girlfriend singing Finnish songs. Not to mention the sauna and being introduced to traditional Finnish outdoor games.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


The guide makes all the difference. She went out of her way to find the activities and contact people that gave us a special experience in Finland. Nothing was too much trouble for her. I cannot praise her professionalism and charm too highly.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Ritta took us to charming out-of-the-way farmhouses and cafes where we met local people and enjoyed their coffee and purchased handmade gifts. We stayed in delightful farmhouse guesthouses where the host his way of life with us. We are a walking group, and so Riitta arranged for us to walk with a truly exceptional guide, Liisa Ytllila, who imbued us with her love of nature and the environment and the legends of the region. We felt truly privileged to walk with Liisa.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


A superb experience. I am grateful to Responsible Travel for putting me in contact with such superior travel and tour professionals.

Reviewed on 07 Sep 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


We really enjoyed the bicycle tour through green spaces around the edges of Helsinki. It was definitely off the beaten tourist track. Our guide was informative and delightful. We loved the evening boat trip to a tiny island west of Turku. There was live music on the boat and on the island we were served a feast outdoors with fresh salmon, potatoes, grilled vegetables and more. We were the only foreigners. Everyone else was Finnish. Walking on the dunes and the sandy beach near Pori was very special. The canoe trip on the pristine lake outside of Tampere was wonderful as well. And, of course, being on Riitta's farm and taking an old-fashioned sauna was a highlight.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Perhaps, more explicit instructions on how to get from point A to point B could have been helpful. Our GPS on the phone didn't always give us reliable information.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


That's hard to determine. We did take buses and trains as much as possible, but we did have to use taxis more that we would have liked.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


My daughter and I had a fabulous week. Our tour operator did a great job of creating a customized tour of Southern and Western Finland for the two of us.

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