Day One

Escape! Malaysia - - Free & Easy -

Re­fresh af­ter a long flight with a jaunt into the coun­try­side, where you can in­hale some fresh for­est air and even cop a cup of cul­ture. Por­voo is only slightly over 30 min­utes from Helsinki’s air­port but worlds apart from its cos­mopoli­tan city cen­tre. The streets of Por­voo are lined with ar­chi­tec­tural ev­i­dence of its im­pe­rial past – many of its newer build­ings were de­signed by the Rus­sians af­ter its orig­i­nal struc­tures were deemed “too Swedish”. A cen­turies-old time cap­sule of en­tire wooden towns and nar­row cob­bled lanes, Por­voo is a joy to ven­ture filled with a myr­iad stores and cafes sell­ing fashion, food and adorable Moomin mer­chan­dise. Be sure to stop by Brun­berg (Te­ol­lisu­ustie 19, 06150 Por­voo; brun­berg. fi/en), Fin­land’s old­est choco­late fac­tory that has been churn­ing out de­lec­ta­ble con­fec­tionar­ies since 1871, and pick up some of their fa­mous truf­fles.

Im­merse your­self in the grand beauty of Fin­nish na­ture by em­bark­ing on a brief trek on the is­land of Emäsalo, where the guides of Seikkailu­laakso (en.seikkailu­laakso. com) will take you on their Mind & Na­ture path, a short pro­gram that is sup­posed to aid con­cen­tra­tion, cre­ativ­ity and stress tol­er­ance. A quick tour of the sur­round­ing forests al­lows you to pick wild blue­ber­ries and lin­gonber­ries, spot some rein­deer moss, and en­joy a warm fire and tea in the brisk, cold moun­tain air. In the sum­mer, the wa­ters sur­round­ing Seikkailu­laakso are also a favourite for fish­ing, swim­ming, and boat­ing.

BOT­TOM Cy­cling is one of the best ways to ex­plore Helsinki and sur­rounds

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