Food and Culture of Bothnian Coastal Route

Pure seasonal flavors, natural ingredients and locally produced delicacies become dishes with a story. This is what the coastal cuisine is all about. On this tour, we pair the dishes with modern and traditional culture for a tasty discovery. An unhurried gathering around a meal to share and discuss new impressions and experiences is a perfect way to travel. We recommend this tour for small groups with privatized services. The optimal group size is 6-12 persons.

We have based the tour on September-October in order to catch the season of the most sought after coastal delicacy, Kalix Löjrom (vendace roe from Kalix), which is a Protected Designation of Origin by the European Union. The tour can easily be altered to a year-round tour by replacing the caviar tasting experience with a sweets tasting experience.

  • The itinerary is designed for small groups.

  • The mentioned opening hours, and tour due to changes. 

  • See Distance table for driving distance between destinations.

Day 1: Arrival in Luleå

Arrival at Luleå Airport (LLA)

Several flight connections via Stockholm/Arlanda are available from Europe.

Your driver and mini-bus will greet you on arrival at the airport.

Check-in to Elite Stadshotellet Luleå.

The journey on flavors begins tonight at Restaurant CG in Luleå. “Honest northern Swedish flavors incorporated into dishes with our own unique twist, including options for vegetarian preferences.” is how the restaurant describes their food, which they make from scratch.

Accommodation in Elite Stadshotellet Luleå.

Day 2: Luleå

After a good Scandinavian breakfast, it is time to set off for the day’s experiences.

Lapland Heartwork promotes local handicraft and design featuring also delicacies and art.

Lunch is enjoyed at Restaurant Karl August. This is a very classic Swedish “krog”, a restaurant traditionally serving hearty home cooked food. However, Karl August is a fine mix of retro and modern day Swedish cuisine.

In the afternoon we have a visit and a beer tasting at Bottenvikens Bryggeri, a small local brewery.

Dinner at Hemmagastronomi in Luleå northern harbour.

Accommodation in Elite Stadshotellet Luleå.

Day 3: Kalix / Haparanda

After breakfast, we drive off towards Kalix, 1 hrs from Luleå.

Kalix is the home of Kalix Löjrom (Kalix caviar), which is the roe of a small fish called vendace. The specific Kalix löjrom is a Protected Designation of Origin and is a real treat. During the tour “Make Your Own Caviar” you learn all about this tasty delicacy.

In case you travel out of the production season of Kalix caviar, we suggest Arctic Treats Forest Fika, trying out chocolate and delicacies with local flavours and cooking coffé over an open fire in a lavvo in the forest.

We cross the border to Finland and check in at Grand Hotel Mustaparta. Crossing the border does not have any formalities, but remember to switch from Swedish time (CET) to Finnish time (EET).

Dinner in Siikakartano by Tornio River, where a starter and dessert is served. For the main course, we move to the hut in the yard, where flamed whitefish, prepared on sticks by the fire.

Accommodation at Grand Hotel Mustaparta.

Day 4: Oulu

After breakfast and check-out, we continue to Oulu.

Our Oulu experience starts with a guided walking tour with focus on history and food traditions ending at Restaurant Mallassauna. We have a beer tasting from their own produce together with pubstyle lunch.

Check-in to Radisson Blu Hotel.

Dinner at Restaurant Hugo, which has a cuisine based on local seasonal products prepared and served in an elegant and modern way.

Accommodation in Radisson Blu Hotel.

Day 5: Liminka / Kalajoki

Breakfast at the hotel. Today the journey continues to Liminka, just outside Oulu. Kalajoki

We make a stop at Vihiluodon Kala. This company produces fish meals and products for grocery stores and restaurants, from local raw materials, of course. They function as a wholesaler and also have a lunch restaurant on their premises. The salmon soup is well known in Finland and we will try this for lunch.

We continue to Kalajoki along the coast and check in to seaview apartments Safiiri, by Hotel Rantakalla.

Sandy Kelt is a peculiar little pub. It is very Irish in its appearance and ambience, but very local in its offering. Sandy Kelt arranges the annual Arctic Coast Beer Festival and has a good stock of local beers and wines, which we get to taste.

Dinner in Restaurant Lokkilinna. The menu consists of truly local flavors and ingredients.

Day 6: Kokkola & Pietarsaari

After breakfast, we continue southwards and stop in Kokkola.

The importance of fishing in the nearby archipelago has always been important. An archipelago food experience is therefore a must. We have lunch in an old boat shed with flavors and stories taking us back to the days when fishing and smuggling was the everyday life.

After a lunch that has filled our bellies and our minds with local history, we continue to the neighbouring city Pietarsaari.

Pietarsaari’s historical neighbourhood, known as both Skata and Norrmalm, is one of the largest cohesive wooden house neighbourhoods in Finland. A guided walking tour takes us around here.

Dinner and accommodation in Hotel Epoque.

Day 7: Vaasa

Breakfast at the hotel, followed by check-out. We head for the coastal town of Vaasa today, but make a short stop in an inland village called Iso-Kyrö. Just as strange as the name is, as strong is the character of the village. Finland’s best known gin is produced here.

We start with a guided round in the distillery, followed by lunch. Before we leave charming Iso-Kyrö, we of course have a gin tasting. The gin is flavoured with herbs and flavours of nature and a gin tonic Iso-Kyrö-style has its dedicated ingredients.

Check-in to Original Sokos Hotel Vaakuna. Time for some shopping, e.g. in case you wish to buy Kyrö Gin or Vihiluoto fish products.

Dinner at Restaurant Hejm. The restaurant aims at being a living room in Vaasa, easy to come to. The food is prepared by a team featuring two Chef of the Year, Finland.

Accommodation at Original Sokos Hotel Vaakuna.

Day 8: Umeå

Breakfast at the hotel.

Wasaline takes us over Kvarten Strait in 4 hours. Now as we are crossing the border between Sweden and Finland, remember to change clocks back to CET.

Umeå is a fantastic food town. Most of the restaurants, regardless of focus, use local produce – reindeer and moose, char, whitefish and whitefish roe, deer and berries. Västerbottensost (cheese) is an example of popular local trademarks.

Umeå is home to several interesting buildings and parks, as well as Bildmuseet, which is one of Sweden’s foremost venues for international contemporary art. We start with a guided tour at Bildmuseet.

Check-in to Clarion Collection Hotel Uman.

Before dinner, we enjoy a coctail in Facit Bar. This bar serves only producers from Sweden in the bar. Swedish wine is quite rare, so take the opportunity and try it here.

Dinner in the fine-dining restaurant Hunger & Törst.

Accommodation in Clarion Collection Hotel Uman.

Day 9: Skellefteå

After breakfast, we drive to Skellefteå.

We start enjoying Skellefteå by lunch at Restaurant Mandel, which is conveniently connected to Wood Hotel, where we check in.

Nordanå is a scenic culture and open-air recreation area near the centre of Skellefteå. A lovely rambling area starts from Nordanå and follows the Skellefteå River passing many interesting sights in Skellefteå. A local guide takes us around here.

A short transfer takes us to Kurjoviken and a small gin distillery there. The owner tells his story from a chef to a gin distillery owner, with a de tours in the brewery business. We get to taste some of the gins produced here.

Dinner at Restaurang Bryggaregatan, which is run by an Icelandic top chef and his partner who is a sommelier. Here the local flavors are paired perfectly with top wines.

Accommodation at Wood Hotel.

Day 10: Piteå

Breakfast at Wood Hotel, after which the journey continues.

In Piteå we check-in to Kust Hotellet and relax with a lunch with a view from the hotels restaurant located on the 13th floor restaurant. After lunch you can access the fantastic hotel spa for some pampering and relaxing.

Early evening we leave for Jössgården outside Piteå. This traditional farmhouse dates back to 1539. Tonight we get to cook our own dinner from local ingredients. This is a sociable, relaxing and fun evening ending in a three course meal prepared by yourselves.

Accommodation at Kust Hotell.

Day 11: Departure from Luleå

Breakfast at the hotel.

We depart to Luleå well in time, so you can do some shopping before the flight departure. Remember to pack your tasty souvenirs in the checked-in luggage!

Departure from Luleå (LLA) Airport. 

Bus companies at your service

There are advantages with a local driver and transfer company. We are happy to recommend the following companies along Bothnian Bay. The companies and their drivers have sustainability in focus and know the area well.