With such a short tourist season—July through September—there are few hotels in central Finland. B&B's and summer inns tend to be booked months in advance, so reserve early. Day 1: Arrive in Turku, Finland's first capital. Tour the castle, the Turun Sanomat newspaper building, the old Russian-style quarter, and the Alvar Aalto-designed Quality Hotel Ateljee. Day 2: Follow the E63 highway northeast through Tampere to Jyväskylä, the town where Aalto grew up. Eighteen of his buildings were erected there, including the Aalto Museum and much of Otaniemi Technical University's campus. Head south on Route 611, turning east toward Säynätsalo Town Hall. Day 3: Take Route 23 to Pieksamaki, then go south on Route 72 toward Mikkeli. From there, head southeast on Route 62 to Imatra and Aalto's Church of the Three Crosses. Take Route 6 southwest through Lappeenranta and Kotka, then on to Porvoo. Day 4: Pick up the E18 all the way to Helsinki.
Quality Hotel Ateljee Doubles from $80. 7 Humalistonkatu, Turku; 358-2/336-111
Säynätsalo Town Hall Two apartments: Alvar and Elissa. Doubles $25. 358-14/623-800
Villa KärkiSaari A former summer house on an island. Doubles from $100, including breakfast. 60 Kärkisaarentie, Kotka; 358-5/260-4804
Rocca Artfully presented dishes—including grilled leveret (young hare) with turnip-and-potato cakes—are served in this restaurant along the Aurajoki River. Dinner for two $80. 55 Lantinen Rantakatu, Turku; 358-2/284-8800
Memphis Bar & Restaurant Basic fare like burgers and salads. Aalto's signature "wave" carpets cover the floor. Dinner for two $25. 30 Kauppakatu, Jyväskylä 358-14/338-2740
Hommanäs This 1735 farmhouse offers simple meals: roast beef, shortbread. Lunch for two $40. 98 LÖfvingintie, Porvoo; 358-19/543-026