Four days total 146 kms
Day 1: (29 km)
The start point for Church Boats is in the centre of Lieksa, at Hotel Puustelli. After a special Rowers' Service at Lieksa Church (close to the starting point) the boats head down through Lake Pielinen to Vuonislahti, a village on the east shore of Lake Pielinen. In Vuonislahti the meal is served at Herranniemi Inn, and it's possible to overnight at the inn as well. The speciality of this place is the traditional Finnish smoke sauna.
Day 2: (39 km)
From Herranniemi progress is via Kelvänsaari Island (saari = island), where there is a break for a meal at a house called Tarina-aho. From Kelvänsaari the route heads south again towards the second overnight stopover at Haapalahti lomakoti (Haapalahti Holiday Home), where meals, sauna and accommodation are available, and there is an enjoyable evening programme with dancing.
Day 3: (39 km)
Next day the rowers continue towards the south end of the lake, entering Pielisjoki River, which 67 kms later flows into Lake Pyhäselkä. During this river stretch the boats must pass down through the locks at Kaltimo Hydroelectric Station, where there is a drop of 9 metres. After the locks the route continues to Jakokoski (koski = rapids) for the third night. (Also transfer to Joensuu available.)
Day 4: (39 km)
Rowing continues down the river to Kuurna canal, where again there is a marked drop of 5.6 – 8 metres, which requires use of canal locks – and the acoustics lend themselves perfectly to a sing-song.
After passing through the locks the route nears the end of this river stretch. The approach to the town of Joensuu is marked by an increasing number of houses along the river banks. The boats land at Ilosaari, which is the final point of the rowing. Only a step from the boats is the restaurant Kerubi, where meals are available, and only a short walk away are the saunas in Hotel Kimmel. At the finish rowers who have completed the whole course are awarded their diplomas and medals.