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Tour de Fin

Henna

Tour de Fin

Bike Touring Collection by Cycling Through A Pandemic

39

Tours

386:48 h

2,991 mi

89,200 ft

Cycling Through a Pandemic is a project sharing the stories and perspectives of cyclists from ten countries around the world, who embarked on journeys in their home countries during the pandemic. This is Henna Palosaari's story.

Tour de Fin is a Collection of the routes I used on my bikepacking trip around Finland in the summer of 2020. After years abroad, I was back in my home country and my calendar was cleared because of COVID, so I decided it was finally time to explore Finland properly. I bought my very first gravel bike and bike bags and started this unforgettable 40 day and over 4,800 kilometre (3,000 mile) solo adventure around Finland.

To start, I followed the Finnish coastline down south enjoying the long summer evenings by the Baltic Sea. Another great thing about the seaside is that there’s way less mosquitoes than inland, where there can be plenty in the summertime. After following the coastline I started making my way up to the north through the Finnish Lakeland. Finland is known as the land of thousands of lakes, 188,000 to be specific, so there’s no lack of perfect picturesque camping spots in this area. There's also plenty of gas stations, grocery stores and cafés until this point of the tour so it wasn’t necessary to carry that much food or water with me.

The east of Finland and Lapland are one of the least populated areas in Finland, but what they lack in number of people and services they make up with scenery. Sunsets over the fells and reindeer along the road, it’s impossible not to love the serene beauty of the Finnish Lapland. Mosquitoes and blackflies do keep you company though, so I recommend bringing taking good mosquito repellant with you or simply enjoy your dinner inside your tent. In Lapland, you need to plan your food little better, since the distances are longer between shops but there’s plenty of little fell rivers you can fill your water bottles from.

I had only made a rough plan of the route before the trip, thus most of the planning was always done the night before ride. Thankfully there’s a good phone network in Finland in most places except the bigger wilderness areas. The best part of bikepacking in Finland is that we have freedom to roam, which means you can basically set up your tent wherever you want and there’s more than plenty of rural areas to explore! Remember though that in national parks and conservation areas, you are allowed to camp only on designated camp spots. And don’t forget to try at least one korvapuusti (cinnamon bun) and karjalanpiirakka (karelian pie) on your trip, they are so yummy!

Kiitos ja tervetuloa Suomeen, moi moi!
Thank you and welcome to Finland, bye bye!

On The Map

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Tours & Highlights

  • Day 1: Oulu to Kalajoki — Tour de Fin

    09:42
    106 mi
    10.9 mph
    1,425 ft
    1,375 ft

    There was some nice countryside roads on the first stage of my Tour de Fin, nothing spectacular but definitely worth it when you arrive to Hiekkasärkät and you can go wash off the sweat in the sea.

    by Henna

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  • 08:14
    74.0 mi
    9.0 mph
    1,325 ft
    1,300 ft

    After the busier road I found some smaller gravel roads, they were fun but also quite bumpy, so be prepared. Lillsand was a spectacular camp spot!

    by Henna

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  • 07:20
    56.0 mi
    7.6 mph
    875 ft
    875 ft

    The Finnish coast is just too pretty not to go check all the capes! There were some fun smaller countryside roads today and another beautiful beach to finish the day at.

    

    Storsand is an conservation area so camping is not allowed on the beach, but only in the forest in designated spots.

    by Henna

  • 13:42
    80.1 mi
    5.8 mph
    1,950 ft
    1,725 ft

    Definitely worth biking all the way to Björköby! Cool place shaped by the glaciers back in the day also cute harbour here.

    by Henna

  • 05:14
    36.6 mi
    7.0 mph
    450 ft
    650 ft

    The views from the Repot Bridge, the longest bridge of Finland, was a great way to start the day on the fifth stage.

    by Henna

  • 08:05
    54.9 mi
    6.8 mph
    1,050 ft
    1,050 ft

    Today's ride was mix of some more boring roads and perfect countryside roads. One even went through an old meteorite field! But still my favorite part was the camp spots, as I had no expectations for this and oh boy what a perfect spot it was!

    by Henna

  • 10:31
    86.9 mi
    8.3 mph
    1,675 ft
    1,700 ft

    After a slow morning in Kaskinen I cycled to Yyteri in the pouring rain. The light after the rain was absolutely stunning, as well as last leg to Yyteri with sea views.

    by Henna

  • 08:59
    56.4 mi
    6.3 mph
    1,225 ft
    1,200 ft

    I took a wildcard and chose some smaller roads for this day and I was happy that I did! Some super fun and stunning gravel roads across the fields, definitely recommend going for a ride here.

    by Henna

  • 03:45
    18.3 mi
    4.9 mph
    500 ft
    475 ft

    I had my first flat tire fo the trip and fixing it in the rain was no fun. Luckily a sweet lady stopped and offered me some strawberries so I could find a camping spot to hold the rain and fix my bike. Also I really needed a day off already...

    by Henna

  • 08:24
    85.9 mi
    10.2 mph
    3,075 ft
    3,050 ft

    The first coastal loop was little disappointing scenery-wise but the final part of the ride was beautiful. I understand why people love cycling around Turku and its archipelago.

    by Henna

  • 08:45
    71.5 mi
    8.2 mph
    2,525 ft
    2,575 ft

    If you haven't been cycling in Kimito Islands yet you need to go. The gravel roads here were stunning! I followed the Kimito Island Coastal route and it was well marked.

    by Henna

  • 07:47
    66.7 mi
    8.6 mph
    2,625 ft
    2,700 ft

    For the first part of the day I followed again the coastal route. I had great lunch at Gammelbyhouse before finishing the day to Finland's southernmost town -Hanko. The tracking turned off at some point but I recommend riding to Hanko through Öby.

    by Henna

  • 11:04
    110 mi
    9.9 mph
    3,975 ft
    3,900 ft

    Wow, so many fun gravel roads on the way to Fiskars! Also these towns Fiskars, Billnäs and Fagervik are a must-visit so many beautiful old buildings.

    by Henna

  • 11:06
    101 mi
    9.1 mph
    3,525 ft
    3,650 ft

    The classic Helsinki-Porvoo. I enjoyed a great lunch in Porvoo before continuing towards Kotka, with beautiful countryside roads after Porvoo as well. Also Strömfors, Ruotsinpyhtää, was worth a little extra loop!

    by Henna

  • 10:39
    50.7 mi
    4.8 mph
    1,825 ft
    1,775 ft

    I followed the Kuninkaantie towards the Russian border today, nothing spectacular but fun cruising.

    by Henna

  • 13:16
    118 mi
    8.9 mph
    4,650 ft
    4,425 ft

    The Saimaa area is stunning and especially Punkaharju. The Harjutie is a narrow road that goes between two lakes and it is an absolute must road to ride on a bike. I will never forget the feeling of riding it in the evening light.

    by Henna

  • 11:47
    87.2 mi
    7.4 mph
    3,050 ft
    3,050 ft

    There were huge lake views everywhere and I loved it. Finnish Lakeland is a must biking destination, with so many cool camping spots as well.

    by Henna

  • 11:34
    71.5 mi
    6.2 mph
    2,700 ft
    2,000 ft

    After a quick ferry ride to start the day, the last leg to Koli following the smaller gravel roads was super fun.

    

    The climb up to Koli maybe not that fun but definitely made you feel like a winner at the top.

    by Henna

  • 08:08
    56.0 mi
    6.9 mph
    2,150 ft
    2,900 ft

    I followed some pretty fun gravel roads on this stage when heading towards north from Koli.

    by Henna

  • 10:49
    63.0 mi
    5.8 mph
    2,375 ft
    2,075 ft

    Sometimes you loose sometimes you win. Today choosing the smaller gravel roads was maybe not the right call, as the roads were in pretty bad shape which made the riding pretty hard and eventually also got a flat tire. But same time wouldn't have gotten to have spend lunch break at Iso-Valkeinen if I

    by Henna

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Questions and Comments

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    39
  • Distance
    2,991 mi
  • Duration
    386:48 h
  • Elevation
    89,200 ft

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