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Oulu - the urban centre of the arctic region is beyond comparison in many respects. The Baltic Sea is frozen during winter; plenty of snow and darkness where as in the summertime the rivers flow to the Bay of Bothnia and the nature receives all the sunlight it lacked during the dark winter months. Under the midnight sun one can experience how the haste in the cities counterbalanced with the serene silence of outdoors all around. The River Oulujoki has been a prominent river in the history of northern industry as well as tourism. It has always been a source of livelihood for the northern people. Oulu is today one of the leading concentrations of technological industry in the world. Further down in history wealth was accumulated by the export of tar. Over one hundred years ago Oulu was rivaling with the Russian Archangel for the title of the world's number one exporter of tar. Great vessels around the world were tarred for protection with the best tar in the world from Oulu. The traditions of tar burning and transportation can still be seen all along the River Oulujoki.
Upon arrival at Oulu airport (OUL) meet & greet by Go Arctic! guide and board the waiting coach for transfer to your hotel, privately owned Hotel Lasaretti once nominated as the most artistic hotel in Finland. At Lasaretti, high- quality paintings and sculptures are everywhere, including your hotel room. Pre-registered check-in and key envelopes are ready in alphabetical order. Your luggage will be taken to your room by hotel porters. Welcoming dinner will be enjoyed at the Baltic sea. MS Oulu will take the guests to the Baltic and show another side of our city. Summer dinner will be enjoyed in one of the islands located in front of our city. Traditional Finnish music will fulfill the feeling of the Finnish summer evening. Return to the shore around midnight, coach transfer to the hotel.
Finnish buffet breakfast is served in hotel restaurant. After breakfast meet your safari guides in hotel lobby, short coach transfer to Go Arctic! dressing rooms to pick up the hiking gear. We recommend the guests to wear their own shoes, good for walking. Coach transfer to Rokua Geopark area for an interesting guided hiking and GPS orienteering in the worlds northernmost Unesco Geopark. Lunch will be enjoyed by an open fire at the silence and freshness of the Finnish woods. Rokua, situated right next to Oulu, is a unique combination of geology, nature and culture on the Northern hemisphere. The characteristic features of the area are the landforms shaped by the Ice Age: glacial ridges, pine and lichen-clad heaths, kettle holes and small ponds filled with crystal clear water. In addition to the incomparable environment, the area tells the story of a prehistoric settlement of the human being and of the ever since flourishing culture. Return to the hotel in the afternoon. Leisure time to enjoy the Park Ainola area/Oulu river delta or to relax at the hotel pool. In the afternoon a short walk over to the Oulu market place and canoes waiting. Guests will be taken for a beautiful and relaxing canoeing trip to admire the nightless night. Th e beauty and silence of the Finnish summer evening is stunning. Even though in the middle of the city, you get so close to the nature. Canoeing trip ends at Island Pikisaari and at the gates of Sokeri-Jussi whom with its old warehouse charm offers the perfect setting for tonights dinner. After dinner short walk over to the hotel.
Finnish buffet breakfast is served in hotel restaurant. After breakfast meet your safari guides in hotel lobby, coach transfer to the boats. Today we turn back in time to more than one hundred years ago, when Oulu lived from the tar and the Salmon the river provided. We take the bus to the Turkansaari outdoor museum, where our guides dressed in vintage clothing of the era are looking forward to meeting us. Also you and the other guests will have a suitable flannel shirt and felt hat. First, we will explore the history of tar in an exhibition, which takes you to a journey from the living tree into the barrel and then further down the river towards the world market. After a visit to the café we hop on to a long traditional tar boat and follow the old route towards the sea. We disembark at one of the most magnificent estates along the River Oulu, Maikkula Estate, and our guides engage you to the colorful history of the house, which has been renovated to its former glory as well as to a restaurant. What better place to have a delicious lunch. After lunch our guests can have a go at the skills required in the old days in the not-so-serious Tar Olympics. The activities follow the route of the tar. First we strip the tree using a barking tool, saw it into manageable pieces and finally we have to chop them into a size that can be burned later on. Then we lay the chopped wood and light the funnel-shaped tar pit. As the smoke ascends, we get to load the barrel and learn how to use the finished product of tar. The pleasant smell of tar will follow you home, as each of our guests applies tar to a small wooden souvenir to take home with them. The day ends with a traditional Finnish evening at the wonderful Maikkulan Kartano. The menu for the evening consists of local delicacies, and there will be Finnish music and dancing as well. After the dinner coach transfer to the hotel.
Finnish buffet breakfast is served in hotel restaurant. After breakfast meet the guides at the lobby of the hotel. Short walk over to the OMA – Oulu Museum of Art and Science Center Tietomaa. Guided tour in these leading attractions of the Oulu City. Lunch will be enjoyed at Restaurant Lasaretti, afterwards coach transfer to the airport.
Accommodation: 3 nights, hotel sauna & breakfast in hotel Lasaretti, luggage handling, transfers: airport transfer & between activities;
Meals & beverages: lunches feature 2 courses with coffee/tea, water, bread & spread, dinners feature 3 courses with coffee/tea, ice water, bread & spread, full-board from dinner on day 1 until lunch on day 4;
Programs: Dinner cruise with MS Oulu, guided hiking trip and GPS orienteering in Rokua Geopark (4h), midnight sun canoeing (2h), the story of the tar and a tarboat trip on Oulujoki river, tar olympics at Maikkula estate, visit to OMA & Tietomaa.
The city of Oulu is located at the western coast of Finland. As the fifth largest city in Finland, Oulu offers its visitors plenty of tourist attractions and activities all year round.
Oulu region is the biggest urban centre in Northern Scandinavia with 250.000 citizens. Oulu is very easy to access from any part of the world – there are numerous daily fights and just an hour’s flight from Helsinki and Stockholm.
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