Q: I WILL be in Helsinki, Finland, for a week next month and have five free days to tour other parts of the country after that. Are there any festivals happening during that time, and what day trips do you recommend? Besides Tampere, where would you suggest if I want to do some trekking?
Yan Xin Xin
A: There are festivals aplenty in Finland during summer, when daylight stretches up to 19 hours.
In Helsinki, there is Jazz Espa, a series of jazz concerts held at the Esplanade Park that runs throughout the month of July, and the Minitattoo International Military Music Event at the Senate Square on July 29.
Also, the Helsinki Cup, an international junior soccer tournament, is held from July 6 to 12.
According to Chan Brothers Travel, a good day trip to make would be to the city of Turku, about 150km west of Helsinki.
The oldest city in Finland is home to the mediaeval Turku Castle, which houses the historical museum of Turku. You can also catch rock festival Ruisrock here from July 4 to 6.
Good trekking can be found in the city of Savonlinna, four hours from Helsinki by train.
The 8km Punkaharju Ridge boasts magnificent views of the surrounding area.
A key highlight of the city is the 15th-century Olavinlinna Castle.
For convenience, opt for the Eurail Finland Pass from 230 euros (S$488) for 10 days of unlimited train travel within one month.