Sauna and nature are a perfect combination for a feel-good holiday! Here is a ready-made four-day programme for you to enjoy true Finnish sauna experiences and relaxing in nature.
Located 50 km from Mikkeli city centre, you will find the perfect place to immerse yourself deep in nature and local lifestyle at Uhkua. They provide guided tours, activities and equipments for you to explore the surrounding nature. A guided hiking trip to Astuvansalmi rock paintings is surely a memorable experience. The 3 km route goes through the forest the largest rock art site in the Nordic countries.
After hiking, it is time for sauna. Uhkua's floating sauna offers a great experience of traditional Finnish sauna rituals. After the gentle steam of the sauna, you can take a refreshing dip in the cooling waters of Lake Saimaa. An invigorating day culminates to delicious dinner at Uhkua's charming log cabin. The meal is cooked using the best seasonal ingredients from the surrounding nature and from local producers. For a goodnight sleep there is a 40 min drive to Sahanlahti Resort in Puumala.
Saimaa ringed seal is one of the rarest seals in the world, and it only lives in lake Saimaa. Join friendly captain Arto of LakelandGTE on a Seal watching cruise and get to know Saimaa ringed seal, its habits, habitat, and if you are lucky... see a Saimaa seal with your own eyes. Arto’s Ecoboat is the most seal-friendly boat in lake Saimaa, and it brings you on the waters of Saimaa seal during all summer.
In the winter time Arto can guide you to Saimaa nature with ”eLyly”, an electric, nature-friendly snow scooter. On the way, while you stop for a hot drink, you will heat Arto's stories about the Finnish winter nature.
Naturally, after enjoying the nature experience, its time for relaxing sauna bath in Sahanlahti Resort's wood-heated, smoke sauna or, in winter, in the ice block sauna. You might also take a dip in Lake Saimaa either from the beach in summer or through a hole in the ice in the winter. Stay overnight in Saha Hotel or the luxury villas of Elsanranta.
After an invigorating sleep and tasty breakfast in Sahanlahti the day begins with a cycling or canoeing trip with Opas-Guide Tiina to Pistohiekka Resort, which is one of the finest beach resorts at the shores of Lake Saimaa. Pistohiekka is part of Saimaa UNESCO Global Geopark and the main value of the resort is a genuine respect for local nature and culture.
The sauna of Pistohiekka Resort is a must! The Nordic Nomad just valued the sauna to the top of the list of ” Finland’s most unique
and transformative sauna experiences”.
After sauna, enjoy a dinner at the Beach Restaurant. The menus of both Sahanlahti Resort and Pistohiekka Resort are adjusted to the seasons and the harvest, but there is always a plenty of fish and other local ingredients available. Most dishes on the menu are based on local products and significant part of the food supplies come from D.O. Saimaa (Designation of Origin Saimaa) qualified producers. D.O. Saimaa is a recognised label for locally produced clean, eco-friendly and high-quality products.
From Pistohiekka beaches, it is only 1 hours drive to Neitvuori hill in Anttola, the landmark of Luonteri. Neitvuori hill in Anttola rises up to height of 184 meters from where you can see the maze of Luonteri archipelago, the national landscape of South Savo. Neitvuori used to be known as Hiidenvuori, the name meaning a mighty, sacred place. The name was changed to Neitvuori, ”maiden hill”, when according to the legend, a girl plunged off the cliff due to heartache.
The Hiiden polut hiking trails circle the terrain of Luonteri. In Neitvuori, there is a 4-km-long Hiijje silimukka trail which connects to a longer Hiiden kierros trail. There is also a connecting trail from Neitvuori up to Juva, to Metsänväentaival hiking trail, around 50 km long route through forests, rocky landscape the shores of ponds and rapids.