"One day trip to Savonlinna"
Savonlinna is a smallish town in East-Finland district, in the heart of Lake Saimaa district. Savonlinna has 28.000 inhabitants and the town is perhaps best known of its castle, the Olavinlinna Castle and the yearly Opera festivals. But it is far more than that. Again, like in Mikkeli, the best thing in my opinion of this town is its location: in the heart of Lake Saimaa area.
Savonlinna is easily reached destination. An express train journey from Helsinki to Savonlinna takes less than 5 hours, whereas a flight from Helsinki takes between 40-50 minutes. The distance from Helsinki by road is 335 km's.
Savonlinna is perhaps the most known of the Olavinlinna Castle founded in 1475. Today the castle serves Opera Festivals held every year in July. Which means that it is hard to find an accommodation during the Festival time, unless you have booked well in advance.
On the other hand, Savonlinna offers quite original accommodation for travellers at least summer time (Jun-Aug). One can f ex sleep in a day cruise boat or in a cosy family run hotel.
We made a day trip to Savonlinna from Mikkeli by car. Enjoyed a nice summer day by the central market and kept my eyes open for fellow travellers. Savonlinna and its archipelago can be explored by car, taking a boat sightseeing or a sighseeing made by tiny airplane. (I'll add some links with better time...)
With some better time I will also try to share a very beautiful lake sightseeing route. But to do this you will have to have a car...
ah, also you need to taste the traditional LÖRTSY, which are sold at the market place.. It is a deep-fried pasty with minced meat and rice filling. There are salty ones with the minced meat and rice but also sweet ones with f ex apple jam.
Do not forget to taste the local delicate "smoked MUIKKU" (vendace)... njam! That can also be bought from the market place or ordered in a local restaurant, I guess. Our friends made some smoked MUIKKU's at their backyard when we had BBQ's at the evening.
If you are really going wild, try KALAKUKKO. Traditionally, Kalakukko is prepared with rye flour. The filling consists of fish, pork and bacon, and is flavoured with salt. After being baked for several hours, kalakukko looks much like a large loaf of rye bread. Traditionally the fish used in kalakukko is the vendace (Finnish muikku), also salmon and perch are also used. It can be eaten cold or warm (put it/a slice in microwave owen and heat it). I would drink milk with it.
As in anywhere in Eastern Finland the people are very friendly and easy going. I will definately go there again as one day trip was not enough! There are many cruises that leaves from Savonlinna, also one can take a sightseeing in the archipelago by boat or even by airplane.
You can check more accurate information on Savonlinna Travel pages