At least 10 different lake steamers use Savonlinna's harbor as a midsummer base. Beginning around 9am and continuing until about midnight, a sightseeing cruise boat departs hourly. Cruise rates range from 10€ to 18€ ($16-$29) for adults and 5€ ($6.50) for children 5 to 15; free for 4 and under. The tourist office can provide schedules and details.

The SS Heinävesi travels regularly to Punkaharju, 25km (16 miles) southeast of Savonlinna. Departures are daily at 1:30pm from June 13 to August, costing 15€ ($24) for adults and 5€ ($8) for children 3 to 12; free for 2 and under. At Punkaharju, you can also do some sightseeing, visit a summer art exhibit, explore a typical holiday Village, and enjoy a leisurely lunch at a restaurant in the holiday village or at Punkaharjun Valtionhotelli State Hotel (tel. 020/744-3440), with 24 rooms in the main building or in a nearby villa.

At Punkaharju, Lake Puruvesi is divided by a long Ice Age ridge that extends for 7.2km (4 1/2 miles), forming a causeway between the Puruvesi and Pihlajavesi lakes. This "thread" has been turned into a national park, one of the most famous and most photographed spots in Finland. Although you can also reach Punkaharju by bus or train, boat travel is certainly the most scenic.

Kerimäki kirkko (tel. 015/578-9111;, 22km (14 miles) northeast of Savonlinna and connected by Route 71, has the largest wood church in the world. Built in 1847, the church is large enough to accommodate 5,000 worshipers and is a masterpiece of carpentry with its pews, columns, galleries, tie-beams, arches, domes, and lanterns. According to the ground plan, it's a short-armed double cruciform church. The altarpiece was painted by Aleksandra Såltin in 1890. The organ, which has a registration of 20 stops and was constructed by the Kangasala organ factory, was mounted in 1894. The church is mostly visited during the Opera Festival, when it hosts concerts. At that time, buses run between the center of Savonlinna and the rural village of Kerimäki. The church is open June to August Monday to Friday 9am to 8pm, Saturday 9am to 6pm, and Sunday 11am to 8pm. To climb the adjacent bell tower, adults pay 5€ ($8).


Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.