Go Bicycle Touring In Central Finland

by jpc_touring-bicycle

There’s one thing particular about Finland that makes this often chilly, snow-covered nation of the north the proper vacation spot for a summertime bike tour.

With a inhabitants of simply 5.5 million folks (most of that are centered across the nation’s capital metropolis of Helsinki), Finland admittedly lacks the large cities and iconic monuments you discover in so many different European international locations. As a substitute, Finland affords one thing even higher for many who wish to expertise the endless nature of the north.

With greater than 188,000 lakes, 179,000 islands, and forests masking 86% of the nation’s land space, Finland is the biggest forested area in all of Europe… and one of many few locations in Europe the place moose, brown bears, wolves, and wolverines run wild.

In case you’re bored with biking within the metropolis and also you wish to get out and discover a very breathtaking endless wilderness, then a motorbike tour in Finland would possibly simply be the expertise you’ve been in search of!

I not too long ago had the pleasure of taking part in a brief week-long bike tour throughout central Finland with an organization referred to as “Upitrek.” This self-guided bicycle tour begins within the metropolis of Kajaani, Finland (inhabitants 35,000+) and ends within the tiny city of Lentira – only a brief distance away from the Finland/Russia border. Through the bike tour you’ll cycle previous a whole bunch of kilometers of pine, spruce and birch bushes. Dozens of lakes are noticed alongside the route, and the tour ends with a very distinctive nature-viewing expertise (which I’ll inform you about in only a second).

For extra data on this self-guided bike tour in central Finland, make sure to go to the Upitrek web site at www.upitrek.com. Along with this bike tour, the corporate affords mountain climbing, show-shoeing and cross-country snowboarding excursions as nicely.

Getting To The Begin Of The Tour – Kajaani, Finland

Attending to Kajaani, Finland for the beginning of this week-long bike tour isn’t as tough as it’d sound. Most tour contributors fly into Helsinki, Finland after which both fly to Kajaani (an 80-minute flight) or take a practice to the town (a 6-hour trip).

As soon as in Kajaani, you can be met on the airport by Urpo (the proprietor of the Upitrek tour firm) or one among his workers, and you can be shuttled into Kajaani and put up at one of many metropolis’s good resorts.


Whereas in Kajaani, make sure to stroll the primary avenue, which runs from the outside market on the nook of Kauppakatu and Lönnrotinkatu to Ämmäkoskenkatu and the intersection of the city Library and the Kajaani Fortress ruins (that are located on a small island in the midst of the Kajaani River).

There are a number of good eating places, cafes and bakeries scattered all through the town, in addition to loads of good sporting good shops and outlets. When the solar units late at evening (it doesn’t set till after 11 PM throughout the summer season months) make sure to go and sit by the river and take within the colourful night sky.

What Variety Of Bicycles Will You Be Utilizing?

Most people who select to take part on this specific bike tour will journey to Finland with out a bicycle and can choose to have a bicycle given to them to be used whereas on the tour. The bikes which might be used on this tour are European hybrid bikes, that are best-suited for on-road driving, however can even deal with a good quantity of filth and gravel roads as nicely.

You may choose to trip your personal bicycle on the tour, in the event you so want, however there’s a sure stage of ease that comes with not having to pack, put together and haul your bicycle to Finland. As a substitute of going by way of the difficulty of bringing your personal bike, let Upitrek deal with your bicycle for you. Simply present up in Kajaani for the beginning of the tour and a bicycle will likely be ready for you!

I personally selected to make use of my very own bicycle on the tour, not as a result of I didn’t wish to use the bicycles supplied by the corporate, however as a result of I mixed this bike tour with a for much longer self-supported bicycle tour I used to be conducting on the time (biking from Poland to Finland and past). That is why, if you see the images of me and my bicycle on this assessment, I’m carrying a lot gear on my bike. It’s not since you want this a lot gear to take part on this bike tour, however as a result of I used to be carrying all this gear on my earlier bicycle touring expedition.

Most tour contributors journey to Finland and have each the bicycle and a set of rear panniers supplied for them by the Upitrek tour firm. Though some tour contributors might choose to deliver their very own panniers – that are often stuffed with about one week’s value of clothes, toiletry and private gadgets. You will want to hold your personal clothes, meals and kit with you on this bicycle tour… though there may be an choice to have your private gadgets transported for you from one resort to the subsequent (at a further price).

Who Are The Tour Leaders?


Regardless that you can be met by Urpo (the proprietor of Upitrek excursions) or one among his workers at each the beginning and end of your bike tour throughout central Finland, this can be a self-guided bicycle tour, which implies that for a lot of the tour you can be touring by yourself (with out a information) and will likely be chargeable for navigating a pre-designed course and displaying up at your prearranged lodging on time. In case you get misplaced, you will have to seek out your approach. In case your bicycle will get a flat tire, you will have to restore it. And whereas breakfasts are included on most (if not all) days of the tour, you can be chargeable for making your personal lunch every day and both getting ready or discovering your personal dinner every night.

What Can You Anticipate To See & Do Alongside The Means?

In case you like biking by way of the forest, then you’ll love this bike tour in central Finland. Ranging from Kajaani, you’ll cycle east towards Russia for about 170+ kilometers, whereas passing by way of the small cities of Vuokatti, Sotkamo and Kuhmo alongside the way in which. Between these tiny cities there’s a seemingly endless expanse of coniferous taiga forests and lowland marshes, with little arable land.


The roads are largely flat or rolling, though there are a pair brief, steep climbs alongside the way in which. The route is paved all the approach and the roads are in glorious situation. Whereas there are few devoted bike paths alongside the route, the kilometers go by shortly and car visitors is gentle.


If the climate is heat, you will have to hold loads of water in your bicycle as you trip every day, as there are few locations to cease alongside the way in which and replenish. Restroom stops are additionally extraordinarily uncommon, so make sure to care for enterprise earlier than you permit your lodging within the morning, and make the most of any accessible bathrooms you could discover alongside your route.


Within the resort city of Vuokatti it’s endorsed that you just take the time to climb up the brief, however steep highway that takes you to the highest of the native ski resort. From the highest of the hill/mountain, spectacular views of the native space will be taken in. Dozens of lakes will be seen from the summit, and the world is often in use as a mountain biking mecca, in addition to a summertime coaching space for winter athletes (resembling ski jumpers and cross-country skiers).


Whereas there could also be hundreds of lakes in Finland, only a few of them will be accessed (and even be seen) from the highway. So when you end up biking alongside the sting of a lake in Finland (such as you see me doing within the picture under), make sure to cease and benefit from the expertise. Possibly even get off your bike and sit for some time, take within the surroundings and recognize the place you might be. Finland has some really magnificent lakes and rivers, however to expertise them totally, you want take the time to totally take them in.


Most of the individuals who come to Finland (each within the winter and the summer season) come to the nation to see and expertise a wilderness in contrast to any present in mainland Europe… and I can see why! The forests in Finland are huge, inviting and (occasionally) fairly spectacular. If the considered biking down the highway within the picture under excites you, then I feel you’ll take pleasure in this bike tour throughout central Finland.


What Are The Lodging Like?

The lodging on this bike tour differ from location to location. In Kajaani you can be put up at one of many metropolis’s few resorts. In Vuokatti, you’ll keep in a big cabin-like duplex neighborhood alongside the sting of Lake Särkinen. In Kuhmo you’ll keep a big, fashionable resort overlooking Lake Lammasjärvi. And, in the event you select to take part within the elective nature-viewing expertise on the final day of the bike tour, you can be put up in a small B&B within the tiny city of Lentira.


My favourite lodging on this bike tour was on the cabin-like duplex neighborhood within the resort city of Vuokatti. This massive, fashionable cabin featured a full kitchen (with a spread, microwave, coffee-maker and oven), front room, bed room (with 2 beds), toilet, an in-room sauna, and a non-public patio with views of the close by lake and forest.


The resort in Kuhmo, Finland was one other pretty lodging place on this bike tour. Whereas the constructing appears a bit darkish and Gothic when first approached from the entrance of the constructing, the resort has a heat and welcoming eating room located on the sting of Lake Lammasjärvi, with forest and water views in nearly each route.



In case you have the time, make sure to take a protracted stroll across the resort in Kuhmo. There’s a skinny strip of land that stretches from the shore close to the resort entrance and extends into the middle of the lake – a superb place for a night stroll or perhaps a brief swim!

What Is The Meals Like On This Bike Tour?

Through the course of the Upitrek bike tour, you can be fed a buffet-style breakfast at every of your lodging alongside the way in which. Nonetheless, you can be by yourself every day for each lunch and dinner. However don’t fear, discovering meals on route is simple. Every of the cities you’ll be visiting on the bike tour has a number of supermarkets the place meals will be bought. Plus, each the resorts in Vuokatti and Kuhmo having eating places connected the place dinner will be ordered.


My favourite meal was on the resort in Kuhmo, Finland, the place I ordered a scrumptious dinner salad, an entree consisting of cooked veggies and tofu (this was the vegetarian possibility), and ice cream for dessert.

Non-compulsory Nature-Viewing Expertise

When the bike tour involves an finish, you’ve the selection of taking part in a singular and memorable nature-viewing expertise. In case you select to take part on this a part of the tour, you can be pushed out right into a distant forest just some kilometers from the Finland/Russia border and positioned inside a big picket bear cover. This can be a small, cozy constructing designed particularly for nature-viewing.

As soon as inside this picket cover, you will have to stay extraordinarily quiet for a number of hours on finish. Meat of assorted kinds will likely be positioned exterior the cover and you then’ll want to sit down and await nature to run its course. In case you’re fortunate, you’re going to get to see a number of of Finland’s largest carnivores – bear, lynx, wolves or wolverines.

Throughout my time within the cover, I didn’t see any bears or wolves, however I did see a wolverine, which you’ll see by watching the brief video under. Specialists consider there to be solely 150 – 200 wolverines in all of Finland, so seeing such an animal within the wild is a very memorable expertise.

Regardless that I didn’t see a bear throughout my time in Finland, the those who run the nature-viewing cover advised me that bear sightings are extraordinarily frequent… and are an actual deal with for anybody visiting Finland for the primary time.

Would I Suggest The Upitrek Central Finland Bike Tour?

Whereas Finland doesn’t have the large, historic cities or the long-lasting statues and monuments which might be so well-known in a lot of western Europe, it does have one thing distinctive to a lot of Europe and even the world – a big, lovely, and really wild forested space the place bushes, lakes and animals will be seen in nice lots. The great thing about Finland is actually in its particulars!

General, the self-guided bike tour that Upitrek has put collectively is an efficient one. If entering into nature is your purpose, and slowing down your life-style for per week or extra sounds best, then I feel you’ll really take pleasure in this bicycle tour throughout central Finland.


To study extra about this self-guided bicycle tour with the Upitrek tour firm, please go to the official Upitrek web site at www.upitrek.com or comply with them on Fb at: www.fb.com/upitrek



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