Shopping Cart -

Your cart is currently empty.
Upgrade to today
for only an extra Cxx.xx

You get:

plus This issue of xxxxxxxxxxx.
plus Instant access to the latest issue of 350+ of our top selling titles.
plus Unlimited access to 30000+ back issues
plus No contract or commitment. If you decide that PocketmagsPlus is not for you, you can cancel your monthly subscription online at any time. Auto-renews at $14.99 per month, unless cancelled.
Upgrade for $1.48
Then just $14.99 / month. Cancel anytime.
Learn more
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
   You are currently viewing the Australia version of the site.
Would you like to switch to your local site?
Read anywhere Read anywhere
Ways to pay Pocketmags Payment Types
Trusted site
At Pocketmags you get
Secure Billing
Great Offers
Web & App Reader
Gifting Options
Loyalty Points

How to be a Finn

In 2017, the land of wood, water and vowels celebrates a centenary of independence – a perfect excuse to head to Helsinki and Finland’s wild lakeland region to try your hand at nine quintessentially Finnish experiences
A Sex in the Forest cocktail, made of gin, blueberries, thyme and cranberry black tea, devised at Helsinki’s A21 bar.



Filing beneath the mighty towers that girdle Olavinlinna castle, a 2,000-strong crowd has gathered for the Savonlinna Opera Festival. The setting makes it seem less likely they’ve come to savour high-end Puccini than bear solemn witness to a medieval execution. For more than 100 years, the castle’s granite-flanked courtyard has hosted the festival, an unimprovably Gothic backdrop for tragedy and intrigue, set at the edge of a cobbled old town beside the mighty lake that dominates southeastern Finland. Larger than Cornwall, Lake Saimaa appears on maps as a mess of spindly inlets and speckled islands.

Bathing in Lake Saimaa after a sauna

Noise and drama are rare visitors to small-town Finland, and an hour of full-blown arias cannoning off ancient walls has almost overwhelmed the audience. Gathered on the castle ramparts during the interval, people gaze quietly out at what seems a twilit eternity of the lake’s calm, cold water. As they gird themselves for the second half, the loudest sound echoing through the arched corridors is that of fleece-lined waterproofs rustling over evening wear.

The 2017 Savonlinna Opera Festival runs 7 July–4 August (from £22; A short walk from the castle, Original Sokos Hotel Seurahuone has waterside rooms from £100 (

A lakeside cabin near Sahanlahti. OPPOSITE A basket of freshly picked lingonberries
Purchase options below
Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Lonely Planet - December 2016
If you own the issue, Login to read the full article now.