03 Jul SAVONLINNA FINLAND | WELNESS & LAKES
Year after year, Finland ranks among the top countries on the World Happiness Report, leaving us curious to discover the reasons behind their contentedness. Join us as we delve into the heart of Finnish life, soaking in the tranquil beauty of Lake Saimaa and the Savonlinna region.
Savonlinna is located in the Southern part of Finland, and could be considered a hidden gem. Lakes, a Castle and various Wellness options, make this the perfect Finnish getaway for those seeking peace and needs to recharge. We explored this region for 3 days to unveil the secrets that make the people of Finland some of the happiest in the world!
A first startingpoint could be the picturesque Ruokkee Holiday Village which is Nestled along the pristine shores of Lake Saimaa. We savored a traditional flamed salmon lunch on the beach hut, a delightful introduction to Finnish culinary food.
“A traditional flamed salmon on a beach hut is a mouthwatering culinary experience prepared by using an unique cooking technique. It involves grilling or roasting fresh salmon over an open fire, creating a heavenly combination of smoky, charred, and perfectly cooked fish.”
There is a big chance you’ll taste the best salmon you’ve ever had in a long time (I’m not kidding). We hopped aboard a traditional church boat for a journey across the crystal-clear waters of Lake Puruvesi. Our destination? The mystical Mantsin Matala island, right in the middle of the lake, where we could hear and feel the silence of lake nature.
You can spend the night at Villa Urhola. This enchanting Art Nouveau villa oozed nostalgia and was located very privately, offering us a peaceful stay with historic charm. As the sun started to set (and during summer, it jardly does), we set off for the crown jewel of Savonlinna – Olavinlinna Castle! This medieval castle is perched on a little island in Lake Saimaa. And.. it’s not just a castle; it’s a stage for the iconic Savonlinna Opera Festival. Talk about fancy! We were treated like royalty as we dined at a grand welcoming dinner. Delicious food, stunning views, a sprinkle of medieval magic, and we got to experience a live opera performance at our table. “If you book a trip with Voigt Travel to Savonlinna, you’ll be invited for a special welcome dinner in the Olavinlinna Castle!”
After a morning stroll in the woods surrounding Villa Urhula, you can start your day with a Sup Yoga lesson on lake Saimaa. Absolutely loved this work-out as you’re surrounded by the tranquil beauty of the lake while trying different yoga poses on a board. It’s quite a populair sport in the Saimaa region and can often be booked by accommodating places. The lesson, dependent on weather conditions, combines meditation and yoga making it an unique experience on the water. You can book your session with b
After such an intense session, you can immerse yourself in the traditional Finnish sauna culture. The wood-burning sauna located here, relaxes your muscles and tensions melt away at this the peaceful lakeside setting. I totally get why the Finnish enjoy sauna culture so much, I wish I could do this every morning!
Rejuvenated from the sauna, we started another activity called “seal sleeping.” We nestled ourselves in a grey sleeping bag that resembled the rare Saimaa ringed seals. Breathing in the fresh ridge air we fully felt present in the serenity of the moment. It was a comfy and warm way of meditating and enjoying nature while emptying your thoughts. Eat at the Muikkuterassi rooftop terrace we tried some fresh “muikku” fish while enjoying the panoramic views that stretched across the city of Savonlinna and the waters.
Leaving Savonlinna behind, we ventured towards Puumala village and arrived at the picturesque Sahanlahti Resort. From a sawmill transformed into a stunning destination, we were welcomed by the warm hospitality of the hosts. The breathtaking scenery of Lake Saimaa embraced me once again as the evening painted the sky with hues of gold and pink. Before dinner, we enjoyed the traditional smoke sauna and dips into the crystal-clear waters of the lake. As dusk settled, make your way to Restaurant Koskivahti (the restaurant at Sahanlahti Resort), which is voted for the most beautiful terrace scenery in Finland. Besides the views that were absolutely beautiful, the food is also really worth mentioning. Very original, culinary dishes! After a delicious dinner definitely for a walk around the property and enjoy the sunset on the pier.
Spa & Yacht day
Today we set off to Nature hotel & Spa Resort Järvisydän where we took a trip on a yacht. Having stunning views while enjoying some champagne – yep not bad! We set sail for Tallusniemi Villas, passing through the enchanting Linnansaari National Park. Known as the home-base of the endangered Saimaa ringed seal. We actually spotted one big seal sleeping on the shores of the lake! Once we arrived at the huge lake-side villa with private sauna, we spoiled ourselves once again with a sauna experience. It was a wonderful evening where we did yoga on the small, private pier and enjoyed the nature and silence of the area. You can book this activity at the Nature hotel & Spa Resort Järvisydän.
The recipe to Happiness?
After a couple of days experiencing Finnish lifestyle I could already understand why the Finns seem to be among the “happiest people in the world”.
Outdoor Activities: Finns have a deep appreciation for nature and actively engage in outdoor activities, which not only promote physical fitness but also provide a sense of peace, serenity, and oneness with the environment. From exploring the vast forests to hiking along scenic trails, canoeing in pristine lakes, and fishing in tranquil waters, there is something for everyone.
Sauna Culture: Sauna holds a special place in Finnish culture. It is more than just a steam bath; it is a way of life. Finns embrace the tradition of regular sauna visits, which provide relaxation, stress relief, and rejuvenation. Saunas are spaces for socializing, contemplation, and self-care.
The Finnish lifestyle is a harmonious blend of nature, relaxation, community, and appreciation for the simple joys of life.
Food Culture: Traditional Finnish dishes often feature fresh and natural ingredients sourced from local forests, lakes, and farmland. From delicious wild berries and mushrooms to hearty stews, fish dishes, and rye bread, Finnish food is a reflection of the country’s connection to nature.
Nature’s Beauty: Finland is known for its natural beauty. With thousands of lakes, enchanting forests, and the magical Northern Lights, the country offers a visual feast for nature lovers. The ability to immerse yourself in inspiring surroundings is one of the greatest joys of the Finnish lifestyle. It offers a unique and enriching experience for visitors wanting to get away from their busy lives or just in seek of some nature relaxation. Let us now in the comments if you would want to visit the tranquil Savonlinna region and delve into the Finnish wellbeing lifestyle!
Extra accommodation tips for Savonlinna region:
Hotel Seurahuone Savonlinna: Situated in the heart of Savonlinna, Hotel Seurahuone is a historic hotel with a charming atmosphere. The central location makes it convenient for exploring the city’s attractions, such as the Olavinlinna Castle and the Savonlinna Market Square. Book it here.
Kuru Private Resort: Kuru is a unique luxury resort for adults only. The villas include a bathtub, bathroom with shower & private sauna with phenomenal views.
Sahanlahti Resort: Sahanlahti provides a range of accommodation options to suit different preferences. Guests can choose from cozy lakeside cabins, rustic log villas, or charming hotel rooms. The ambiance of the property and lake-activities offered make it a total gem. Book here.