On the Frozen Lake

Semi-guided tour near an island village

A winter holiday on an island on Lake Saimaa is an unforgettable experience, with programme tailored to your preferences. Snow-shoeing on the frozen lake, skiing in the night under the stars, kick-sledging to the grocery store bus or the village hall, hiking in a nature protection area, stopping for a snack by campfire: you can do all this on your own with the help of our maps and instructions, from your base, a 5-star holiday cottage. Fancy a Robinson Crusoe adventure? A nature trail nearby has a covered shelter, and camping is permitted on several islands.

For your first holiday, ask your host to teach you the basics of cross-country skiing and snow-shoeing. You have a choice of several routes for both winter and summer. Maps, GPS coordinates and safety instructions in English, German and Russian are provided.

Semi-guided tour

Day 1, Saturday - Welcome
Transfer from Joensuu airport or train station; about 1.5 hours. Stop on the way in Liperi for shopping food in a local store. Ferry crossing at Arvinsalmi.
Arrival at Raita cottage; evening meal; getting to know the Island and the house; instructions on the use of the fireplace.
Weather forecast and the week’s programme

Day 2, Sunday – Snow-shoeing
9 am breakfast together with other guests
10 am – 1 pm Introduction to the use of snow-shoes. Snow-shoeing tour around the island Suursaari.
Safety instructions: things to remember while on the frozen lake Saimaa.
Free time/individual activities.

Day 3, Monday - Skiing
10 am – 2 pm Introduction to skiing, an easy skiing tour on the frozen lake.
Introduction to maps and trails, safety.
Kick-sledging, skiing or snow-shoeing, visit of Apajalahti Nature protection area
Snack by the campfire
Individual activities
(**possibility to meet villagers at Village Hall, Kylätalo. You are welcome to take part in informal gymnastics on Monday at 2 pm.)

Day 4, Tuesday – Individual activities*

Day 5, Wednesday – Individual activities*
(**possibility to meet villagers at Village Hall, Kylätalo. You are welcome to take part in informal gymnastics on Wednesday at 5.30 pm.)

Day 6, Thursday – Individual activities*

Day 7, Friday – Heinälahti, Ihalansalmi
10.30-12 Kick-sledging or walking to Heinälahti/Ihalansalmi
Individual activities*
Farewell day, photos, memories

Day 8, Saturday – Goodbye
** Possibility to visit a Finnish family / private house for a coffee or tea (Depending on the timetables of return flight / train)
Thank you and welcome back!

*Individual activities, photography, skiing, snow-shoeing, kick-sledging, Nordic walking. Tracks and maps available.
Trip to Rääkkylä or Joensuu (shops) can be arranged on Tuesday or Wednesday. Minimum 3 persons. Fee 35 to 50 euros per person.

Period: January-March/April
Semi-guided tours:

2023: 11.-18.2.,25.2.-4.3., 11.-18.3.

Try out long-distance skating on the frozen lake in Haapasalmi. The residents’ association maintains a 6 km track. 30 minutes by car from Raita.

You may even be lucky enough to help making snow nests for the threatened species, Saimaa ringed seal.

Group size: 3-6 persons
Price: 1328 EUR

We use forest skis. If you prefer professional cross-country skis, rental skiing equipment available for 80 €/person. Please give your shoe size, weight and how tall you are. You can also bring your own ski boots but please remember to inform us about the binding type so that we can reserve the right skis for you.

Tour price includes:

  • 7 nights, 8 days accommodation, guiding and food in 5-star Villa Raita on its own Island. The cottage has been awarded by VisitFinland with Authentic FinRelax experience.
  • Finnish sauna with herbs
  • Firewood (Raita fireplace, outdoor fireplace)
  • Semi-guided programme with skis, snow-shoes and the use of maps (nature trail, skiing route, village map, lake maps, safety instructions)
  • Meals: Breakfasts, light soups/sausages by campfire, coffee/tee and evening meals

The prices include transport from and to Joensuu airport or railway station. On the arrival day, Saturday; one group transfer from airport Joensuu is at 17.45. For return on Saturday one group transfer to Joensuu airport is at 9.30 (for the flight of 11.00). (All extra transfers from/to airport 320 EUR).
Transport can be arranged on your behalf. The taxi fare from Joensuu is about 160 euros and from Rääkkylä about 80 euros (supermarkets, post office, health centre, bank, skating rink, lighted tracks for cross-country skiing) about 80 euros


Our responsible tour operator is Äksyt Ämmät Oy
BUY ONLINE https://aksytammat.fi/en/p/37/on-the-frozen-lake


  • Live like the locals
  • How to use the fireplace, how to use the sauna with herbs
  • Skiing, snow-shoeing, Nordic walking


  • Possibility of winter fishing (join a local fisherman checking his traps/nets)
  • Winter angling
  • Karelian pasty-making workshop
  • Trip to Rääkkylä or Joensuu (shops)

What to wear in winter? …and other useful information at visitfinland.com
** PLEASE NOTE: You are welcome to join activities at the local village hall in winter 2018 - 2019. You will be provided with information about events you might want to join nearer to your holiday.
By Train 15.12.2019–14.6.2020  Check the timetables vr.fi
Helsinki Joensuu IC5 13.19-17.50
Joensuu Helsinki IC6 9.06–13.40, IC8 12.13. – 16.40

By plane Helsinki (HEL) Joensuu (JOE) on Saturdays Check the timetables finnair.com
AY 345 Norra 1h 05 min 16.10-17.15
AY 344 Norra 1 h 10.50-11.55


BUY ONLINE https://aksytammat.fi/en/p/37/on-the-frozen-lake



Please inquire