Our excellent Savonlinna Opera Festival Tour is perfect for music and serenity lovers. The festival takes place in the medieval castle of Savonlinna in Southeast Finland in July. Our tour dates are July 8 – 15th including three performances: “Otello”, “The Queen of Spades”, and “Faust”.
Arrival to Vantaa Airport near Helsinki. Half an hour drive to the hotel in the centre of the Finnish capital. After the arrangements in the hotel and the rest a welcome dinner at the hotel.
After breakfast, start our tour of Helsinki from the Neoclassical-style Lutheran Cathedral on the Senate Square. Afterwards, we cross the street and visit the National Finnish Library. You’ll admire the stunning classical architecture with its accents of floral Art Nouveau. From here, it’s a short walk to the Great Hall of Helsinki University. Here’s where Jean Sibelius himself played, and we’ll be able to listen to some passages of his compositions. Next stop, the Railway station built in Finnish National Romantic style, as well as the National Theatre.
Continue exploring the city along the impressive Mannerheim Avenue, stop near the Olympic Stadium (1952) to see the sculpture of the most famous Finnish runner Paavo Nurmi, pass the world-known “Finlandia” concert hall, see the house of Eduskunta, the Finnish parliament. Finland is famous for its designers in architecture, furniture, household – and you’ll get acquainted with some of the pieces of modern Finnish design at Iittala & Arabia Centre.
We’ll be sure to pay a tribute to the great Finnish composer Jean Sibelius at his monument. Visit to the picturesque Fish Market, where you can taste various fish and sea products if you like. We wrap up the tour of Helsinki at the unique Temppeliaukio Church built into solid rock. The church is used frequently as a concert venue due to its excellent acoustics.
In the morning, we drive to the land of lakes surrounding Savonlinna. On our way, you’ll be able to enjoy the picturesque views of Finnish nature, its thick forests, blue lakes, small rivers and little villages, built, of course, of wood. Upon arrival to Savonlinna and checking in at the hotel, we’ll go out for the first acquaintance with surroundings. Dinner at the local restaurant.
After breakfast, we get out to sightsee Savonlinna and the vicinity. We’ll walk along the main street Linankatu with its wooden houses built according the traditions of Finnish provinces of the XIX c. Visit Olavinlinna Castle, constructed on the lake by Danish knight Erik Axelsson Tott in 1485. In the afternoon walking in the local market square where one can taste the specialties of Finnish national cuisine and also take in the spectacular scenery of the area. In the evening, we’ll see an opera “Otello” by Giuseppe Verdi at Savonlinna Opera Festival, which has been open for more than 100 years.
After breakfast, we drive to Kerimaki townlet, about 15 miles from Savonlinna. We visit Kerimaki church, the largest wooden church in the world, built between 1844 and 1847. The church has a length of 45 meters (148 ft), a width of 42 m (138 ft), a height of 37 m (121 ft) and a seating capacity of more than 3,000. Altogether, there can be around 5,000 people at a time in the church.
On the way back to Savonlinna, we stop at Lake Puruvesi, which lies less than a kilometer away from the church, one of the clearest lakes in the world. The water is so pure, that you can freely drink straight from the lake. Back to the hotel for rest before the evening performance – opera “The Queen of Spades” by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
Today we’ll discover the Finnish summer by shoreline cruise traveling through the labyrinthine Saimaa Lakeland. You will admire the wonderful scenery of the lake and see the medieval Olavinlinna Castle, the main stage of the Festival, from the angle of the water surface. Afternoon free. In the evening enjoy another opera performance of the Savonlinna Opera Festival.
After breakfast, leave for Punkaharju about 20 miles from Savonlinna to visit Lusto – the Finnish Forest Museum. Lusto is a national museum and science centre focusing on Finnish forest culture and illustrating the interaction between man and the forest from the past to the future. The exhibitions provide a diverse and illustrative insight into the significance of forests in the life of Finns. On the way back stop at Rauhalinna, a wooden Moorish style villa, built in 1900, designed and commissioned by a high-ranking fortification engineer in the Russian army. He presented Rauhalinna as a silver wedding gift to his wife. In the evening last performance of our trip to Savonlinna Opera Festival – opera “Faust” by Charles Gunod.
We leave Savonlinna back for Helsinki. On our way, we’ll visit Lahti, a city situated on a bay at the southern end of Lake Vesijärvi. The Lahti region is growing and is one of the main economic hubs of Finland. Walking in the Market square, enjoy the modern architecture of the city, visit the impressive building of a large congress and concert center, the Sibelius Hall, hosting widely known Lahti Symphony Orchestra. Late afternoon arrive to Helsinki. Farewell dinner in the hotel.
In the morning visit to Ateneum, the most known Fine Art museum, having the biggest collection of classical art in Finland from 18th-century rococo portraiture to the experimental art movements of the 20th century. Drive to the airport for the flight back home.
Destination Management Company JeruLita operates individual private tours as well as small and medium size groups in cooperation with our partners. We will be glad to accommodate you in a private tour or will direct you to travel expert in your country who will register you to the groups we operate.