Welcome to Tampere! The largest Nordic inland city is known as the sauna capital of the world and apart from checking if it stands its nickname, we'll find out what do the local trails look like.
Today's trip will be rather short (below 25km) and so you can use the spare time to visit the ultimate re-fueling station. Yes, by that we mean café where you drink your morning coffee. Head West away from the trails towards Pyynikki protected natural area. In the middle of this area sits an observation tower and in its base Pyynikki café. Have a breakfast, coffee, enjoy the beautiful views from the top of the tower and you're ready to go!
WARNING: Please avoid riding natural trails in the Pyynikki area as mountain biking in this protected natural area is forbidden.
On your way to Kauppi, where the trails start, we suggest you ride through the city to see its beauties. Definitely climb up (ride with elevator) Näsinneula, which overlooks the whole city and lakes around. If you have kids with you (or if you're a kid yourself), you might also visit the theme park below the Näsinneula tower and don't forget to shake hands with Muumipeikko in front of the Moomin's museum!
If you came by car, you can park it either in Lappi, close to the Rauhaniemi sauna or in the Kaupinoja sports centre parking lot. You can find these on our Trip Tip map and all of these parking lots are free of charge.
Enough of the tourism stuff and riding tarmac! Let's rip up some dirt! Forests between Kauppi and Niihama are full of natural trails, which you can ride freely. These have a pure XC character and are not marked, so you need to make decisions on the go. Don't worry about getting lost, though, just set the course East and GO!
WARNING: Please avoid riding in the Soukonvuori protected natural area. This area is marked with warning signs and mountain biking there is forbidden.
At the very East of the trail in Niihama, you'll find an outdoors hut with many other facilities attached to it. It's open every day of the year from 10:00 to 19:00 and it's a great warm place to have a coffee, delicious soup or buy a BBQ package which can be used afterwards at the covered fireplace next to the hut. There's also a possibility for wakeboarding on the lake and on Tuesdays and Thursdays the sauna is open to public for a €6 fee.
When you feel relaxed and ready for more joy, hop on the saddle and start pedalling back to the West. You can either stay on the wide fitness tracks or pick different natural trails through the same forest. Decision is up to you.
BIKE TIP: You'll do a lot of pedalling and so a hardtail might be the better option here.
If the loop between Kauppi and Niihama isn't enough for you, we highly recommend you to visit the pump track and trials bike park in Iso-Vilunen. Considering you're riding an XC or Trail bike, you'll need to skip some of the bigger features in the trials park, but even the simple ones are fantastic to improve your balance and bike control! Otherwise there's a bike park in Sappee and Seitseminen national park is available for mountain biking, too.
TOP TIP: If you indeed decide to visit the Trials park, make sure you inflate your tyres a bit more to prevent punctures or a rim damage.
It wouldn't feel right if you left the sauna capital of the world without visiting one of the local saunas. And there are quite a few to choose from! If you stay in the Kauppi area, you'll be choosing between Rauhaniemi sauna and Kaupinoja sauna. Both are at a similar price (€7 and €8) and worth a visit, so you cannot put a foot wrong. Sauna in Rauhaniemi is larger while Kaupinoja sauna has a grill available to visitors.
Let us know which sauna did you pick and how was your day in Tampere!