What would be an easier and more eco-friendly way to experience the magnificent nature and top destinations of Saimaa than packaged Saimaa Hop On Hop Off bus and boat trips? Take a cruise to Astuvansalmi rock paintings in Ristiina and the beautiful archipelago of Puumala. Or experience the best destinations in Mäntyharju and rare cultural sites of Juva. You can also hop on a bus trip to visit the most wonderful gastronomic destinations in South Savo right from the Helsinki city centre.
Hop on and open your senses to the beatiful nature of Saimaa! Saimaa Hop On Hop Off trips run every week from 25 June to 16 August 2024.
Tip! You can combine to the trip some hiking, mountain biking or relaxing at the destinations and return on the Hop On Hop Off tour bus the next day or even a week later.
Did you know that joint transportation reduces the carbon footprint significantly compared to each of us travelling with our own car or motor boat?
Saimaa offers enjoyment for all senses! Saimaa Hop On Hop Off boat trip is a unique opportunity to enjoy the nature of Lake Saimaa. Take a day trip of stay a little longer at the destinations.
On the boat trip to Astuvansalmi rock paintings you can experience ancient mysteries of Saimaa as well as admire breathtaking lake sceneries. The largest rock art site in Northern Europe contains approximately 80 paintings dating back thousands of years. Boat trips to Astuvansalmi are organised on Wednesdays 26 June to 8 August 2024.
On Wednesdays on even-numbered weeks, the tour bus departs from Mikkeli to the Varkaantaipale canal, from where M/S Aino takes you to the Astuvansalmi rock paintings. From there, the journey continues towards Puumala, with stops at Pistohiekka Resort and Sahanlahti Resort, where you can also enjoy your stay for longer.
On Thursdays on even weeks, the bus departs from Mikkeli to Puumala harbour where the boat trip to the Astuvansalmi rock paintings starts. The cruise takes about four hours, so you'll have plenty of time to enjoy the cruise and the scenery. With a bit of luck, you may also spot a Saimaa ringed seal on the way. At the Varkaantaipalee canal, you board the tour bus that will take you to Mikkeli and back to Puumala.
Cruises to the destinations in Puumala archipelago are organised from 3 July to 15 August 2024.
Hop on the tour bus bus from Mikkeli and travel along the scenic route, country road 62, via Lietvesi to Puumala, where you board the boat and start the cruise in the beautiful archipelago.
On Wednesdays in odd-numbered weeks, the boat trip circles Puumala's archipelago destinations, stopping at Sahanlahti Resort, the beautiful island of Rokansaari and Pistohiekka Resort. At Pistohieka's new restaurant you can enjoy a delicious local lunch, or sit on the sandy beach and eat your own snacks. You can stay at the destinations a little longer, for example the Saimaa Geopark site Rokansaari has a quite unique natural setting.
On Thursdays in odd-numbered weeks, the Saimaa Hop On Hop Off boat trip in the Puumala archipelago takes you to Okkola Lomamökit on Niinisaari island, where you can have lunch at Restaurant Niinipuu and spend some time in the idyllic courtyard. The boat trip continues to the Liehtalanniemi Museum Estate, where you can experience authentic early 20th century lifestyle in Saimaa archipelago. At Nestorinranta, you can enjoy a coffee with some delicious stuffed pancakes.
At the end of the day, the boat returns to Puumala harbour, from where the tour bus contniues back to Mikkeli.
You can join the Wednesday and Thursday trips from Mikkeli or from the destinations along the way.
Arrive by train to Mäntyharju and take a day trip to the best destinations in Mäntyharju! The day trip starts from the Mäntyharju train station, at the atmospheric Makasiini Puoti & Kahvila café, located in the rustic warehouse. The tour continues to an exhibition of Finnish contemporary art at the Art Center Salmela, the unique, historic setting of Woikoski Feeling and the beautiful scenery of the pictoresque Miekankoski.
The tour will take place on Tuesdays from 25 June to 13 August 2024, starting and returning from Mäntyharju train station. The timetable to be confirmed depending on the summer train timetable.
Welcome to learn about the history of the rural municipality of Juva and its most popular destinations! The Hop On Hop Off trip to Juva will take place on Fridays from 28 Jun to 16 August 2024.
On this trip you will travel back in time to the 19th century in the courtyard of the idyllic Pattoi Heritage House, where your guide will tell you about the traditional South Savonian way of life and rural life. For an authentic, South Savonian taste experience, you can have lunch at the TeaHouse of Wehmais, a tea room located in the courtyard of a historic manor house. You can also buy treats to take away from their tea and delicatessen.
After lunch, you can visit the beautiful stone church of Juva and the Partala Museum area, the Juva Museum being one of the Saimaa Geopark sites in the region.
For afternoon coffee we stop at the Rapio Mill, where you can get a taste of authentic Finnish milling tradition in a charming setting. You can also buy mill products to take home from the mill's shop. On the way back, you will also visit the beautiful Tertti Manor.
The tour bus returns to Mikkeli at the end of the day.
Now it is also possible to access the wonderful experiences of Lake Saimaa directly from Helsinki! The trip starts from the Kiasma charter bus stop from where the bus takes you to Mikkeli, on the shores of Lake Saimaa. In Mikkeli, we will enjoy a delicious lunch at Café Restaurant Rauha and visit the exhibition of the Muisti Centre of War and Peace in Mikkeli. From Mikkeli, the journey continues to Puumala and Sahanlahti Resort, where we enjoy a coffee and hear the story of the place. You can enjoy dinner and stay at either the atmospheric Sahanlahti Resort by Lake Saimaa or PihlasResort in Joroinen, in the middle of enchanting nature.
On the second day we enjoy lunch at PihlasResort and visit TeaHouse of Wehmais and Tertti Manor. At TeaHouse of Wehmais, in the courtyard of Wehmais Manor House, we will enjoy dessert and at Tertti Manor we will have supper in the lovely manor house before the return trip to Helsinki.
Get a taste of the scenery of Hop On Hop Off trips from this video.
Explore the route through a fascinating audio story, which combines the turning points of local forest culture with folk tales of forest mysticism from the Finnish Literature Society archives. The audio story is available in Finnish and English through the free Glopas app and can be listened to while driving or riding a bike. The story for each site starts automatically when you approach the site and offers new perspectives on the sites along the route.
Find the detailed trip itineraries and buy your trip tickets!
Saimaa Hop On Hop Off tours are being developed as part of the Saavu Saimaalle! project. The project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the City of Mikkeli, the Municipality of Puumala and the Mikkeli Regional Council. The funding authority is the South Savo Regional Council.
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How to hike responsibly in Saimaa nature
Stop to listen, look, smell and feel. Enjoy!
In nature, we feel at home, but remember that we are guests in nature. Let's respect life around us and keep the following guidelines in mind:
• Take litter to a trash container