Every traveller on motorway 4 in Finland knows the Tähtiniemi bridge. The bridge is magnificent, but there is so much more in the city of Heinola, when the traveler peeks deeper.
M/S Suomen Neito (Päijänne Cruises Hilden) arriving to Heinola. On the right Restaurant RantaCasino. Photo: LikeFinland.com
Heinola is a town of great bridges, ridges, and of course Kymijoki river with its boat rides. Heinola has also a long history, as it has been the center of Kymenkartano County in the 18th century. As a reminder of that time, there is the Aschan's house, one of the Heinola museum sites at Kauppakatu 3, open to the public during the summer season, Tue-Sun 11-16 and Wed 11-18, which is really worth visiting.
Without history, there would have been no such museums and historic cafés in Heinola as there is. In the city, there has been a teacher seminar, as well as a bathing facility, where Russian aristocrats arrived for holidays at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. Of course, you can still take a bath - good places for swimming are for example the Spa beach (Kylpylän uimaranta) in the center, next to the RantaCasino Restaurant, or Kumpeli Spa.
RantaCasino Restaurant, which is a Star Destination at LikeFinland.com, is located in the center of Heinola, by the river of Kymijoki. The restaurant organizes music evenings and serves lunch and even theater menus! RantaCasino has been renewed and expanded in recent years.
From RantaCasino our journey continued to Siltasaari island and Café Kailas, which is named after Uuno Kailas, a famous hymn writer in Finland. Café Kailas is also our Star Destination and arranges numerous summer events! The Siltasaari café building, Café Kailas, is a former sauna, built by Niilo Helander to his wife, approximatily a hundred years ago. The main house, a large villa, was destroyed in Continuation War, but the foundations of the building can also be found in the tiny, idyllic Siltasaari.
Café Kailas and its owner Päivi Niemiaho. Delicacies come mainly from local producers. In the picture, delicious ham pie and refreshing lemon ginger ice tea. Photo: LikeFinland.com.
One more Star Destination of ours, Harjupaviljonki café, is nowadays a waffle cafe. Originally, the building was a place for resting and staying of the important spa guests. And when a visitor comes to Harjupaviljonki today, there is no wonder why the Russian spa guests wanted to stay here early in the 20th century. Up there, there is no mosquitos and the view down to Jyrängönvirta (part of Kymijoki River) is magnificent. Harjupaviljonki also arranges lovely music nights. Wonderful music evenings are becoming increasingly part of the café's atmosphere!
What a view from Harjupaviljonki terrace! Owner Anne Koski below on right. Photo: Likefinland.com
Finally available - Heinola's travel packages!
One of our Star Destinations in Heinola, magnificent Villa Hulda, is a cozy, spacious accommodation for two families or a group of friends. It is located in a quiet area, about 1 km from the center of Heinola. Pets are also welcome.
The same entrepreneur, Elina Hynninen, who owns Villa Hulda, offers now new travel packages. Heinola Travel has developed a range of affordable travel packages for groups!
For example, Heinola Travel connects visitors to the summer theater with meals, coffee, guided tours as well as accommodation if needed - according to the customer's needs. It is wise that Elina also cooperates with other accommodations. In addition to Villa Hulda, the range includes: Kumpeli Spa, Hotel Valo / Nowene Spa and Cronin's Guesthouse.
Villa Hulda is a 4-star accommodation for self-catering guests, breakfast on request. Puistokatu 20, Heinola. Photo: LikeFinland.com
We are positively surprised that new travel packages make Heinola even more attractive! More about Heinola Travel (www)
P.S: When you visit Heinola, don't miss Heinola Art Museum's summer exhibition! It is about Heinola's masters.
"Exhibition of works by artists who portrayed Heinola or lived in the city, from the late 19th century to the 1970s. The exhibition celebrates the 180th anniversary of the city of Heinola."
Text: Anne Kinos-Järvinen / Original Finnish text Henri Elo
Café Kailas (www)
Siltasaari 1, 18100 Heinola
p. +358 (0)44 74 77 001
Heinolan Harjupaviljonki (www)
Kauppakatu 30, 18100 Heinola
p. +358 (0)40 5619 522
Maaherrankatu 2, 18100 Heinola
p. +358 (0)40 192 1027 / 03 718 8666
Villa Hulda (www)
Puistokatu 20, 18100 Heinola
p. +358 (0)40 726 5582
- More about Heinola destinations and events (www)
- Our article in English of Heinola 2018 (www)
Heinola has been chosen as the Destination of the Month in LikeFinland.com in July 2019. Harjupaviljonki, Café Kailas, RantaCasino and Villa Hulda are Star Destinations and Media Customers to LikeFinland.com.
Suviranta. Picture: VisitTuusulanjarvi.fi
LikeFinland tested the Visit Lake Tuusula bus, which is on traffic for the second summer now. It takes guests around the Lake Tuusula four days a week, from Tuesday to Sunday until September 15, 2019.
Lake Tuusula is such a wonderful cultural attraction that really deserves a bus! Just over a hundred years ago, the famous artist community arose in the Lake Tuusula region. Finland's first railway connection from Helsinki to Hämeenlinna in 1862 was one of the reasons, that the artist community broke out right here. With the bus the guests are able to see all the destinations of the region on the same day, and learn more about them, as the friendly chauffeur-guide knows so much stories about the destinations!
Visit Lake Tuusula bus takes guests around the destinations of Lake Tuusula. Picture: LikeFinland.com
We started our trip from Hyrylä, Tuusula, but you can join the hop on - hop off -ride anywhere on the route. We got to enjoy at first the scenic west side of the Lake Tuusula, and our first stop was Sarvikallio, which is also called a ”Little Koli” because of the stunning view there. Sarvikallio is an excellent place for rest, for example, on a bike ride around the lake or as a single hiking destination. The area's nature trails have been renewed this summer, and also stairs are built from the strad to the cliff. Car park is also within walking distance.
Our trip continued to a cozy area in Vanhankylänniemi. There you can find the Pytingin puoti, which is a shop with handicrafts, and a summer café in Vanhankylä Manor, as well as a summer theater show, this summer a screenwriting by Eppu Nuotio and Tiina Brännare, a musical show called ”Love in Ahola”.
West side of Tuusulanjärvi, Lake Tuusula. icture: LikeFinland.com
On west side of the lake is located also Lassila's farm with its local products and chickens, and the Härmän Rati restaurant focusing on organic products and raw materials. Härmän Rati is a two-tone building, which was originally built in Southern Ostrobothnia in the village of Ojala in Alahärmä in the 1920s.
Then we arrive to the city center of Järvenpää, where we first visit Villa Cooper. It is an impressive timber building designed by architect Lars Sonck. The house was originally built by a doctor, dentist and painter Gösta Enckell and it was originally located beside Ahola near the lake. Later, the house was moved to its present location on Myllytie, Järvenpää, and was owned by the carpet manufacturer Edvard Cooper since 1931. Cooper's wife, Agneta, testamented the building to the city of Järvenpää – but with the condition that it would also be open for the public. Now, a Villa Cooper visitor can admire not only the historic building and its artefacts, but also the numerous handicrafts in the sales exhibition.
Villa Cooper in Järvenpää. Picture: LikeFinland.com
After Villa Cooper, we visited Järvenpää Art Museum next to the library. Both are located in the same complex as the Järvenpää House, right next to the railway station. And wow, which world opens at the new weather-themed exhibition in there! The downstairs showroom is like a big world. One could not believe it outside the building.
The Art Museum in Järvenpää. Picture: LikeFinland.com
After the Art Museum, our trip continued for lunch at the new Gastro Bar Sesonki, opened by Citymarket, led by Matti Jämsen. The salmon served for lunch was delicious, suitable for a summer day and cauliflowers were nice and crunchy.
Sesonki Gastro Bar at Järvenpää. Picture: LikeFinland.com
Then back on road, as there are still many destinations to see by Lake Tuusula! We stopped at Ahola in southern Järvenpää, which is a home of writer Juhani Aho and his wife, painter Venny Soldan-Brofeldt. They moved there in 1897.
Just 500 meters from Ainola's stop is the popular Art House of Jean and Aino Sibelius in Ainola and a stone's throw from Ahola, are located Kallio-Kuninkala and Suviranta. Completed in 1901, Suviranta, the artist home of painter Eero Järnefelt, is open to the public this summer with guided tours on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.
Next stop was Marin Puoti. It is a lovely gift boutique in the old barn. The product range includes small items for both bathroom, living room and the kitchen.
The last destination of our day is located near to the Marin Puoti, so we can walk there. It is Halosenniemi, the atlier of painter Pekka Halonen.
In Halosenniemi the paintings are on two floors. Guides Emmi Järvi and Tommi Ikonen told us about the Halosenniemi summer exhibition: “The exhibition includes works by women on the golden age of Finnish art (ca. 1890-1910) and works that depict women.”
The Guide Emmi Järvi wellcomes guests to Halosenniemi. Picture: LikeFinland.com
On our way back to Hyrylä we learn from the chauffeur more about some destinations we decide to pass this time, like the Battle School, the Lotta Museum, Air Defence Museum and Onnela, where the writer Eino Leino spent a long time. Also Krapihovi and its cosy summer restaurant Mankeli at Krapi, and architecturally unique, well-decorated hotel and restaurant milieu of Gustavelund, witch has also art exhibitions, and ferry cruises to the lake, departing from Gustavelund. They even offer rental kayaks, SUP boards, rowing boats and bicycles.
This day trip to Lake Tuusula was just a surface blow to this versatile destination. The area is worth exploring with time. Good choices for accommodation on the area include Krapi, Gustavelund and Onnela, as well as Härmän Rati and Scandic Hotel Järvenpää. There are also smaller cozy lodges, like Pescator Villas, Villa Tammikko and Bed & Breakfast Pajula.
House the Lotta Museum, the Finnish Women’s Aid Foundation and the Air Defence Museum are located in Tuusula. Picture: LikeFinland.com
Text: Anne Kinos-Järvinen / Original Finnish text Henri Elo
Visit Lake Tuusula
04410 Järvenpää, Finland
p. +358 (0)44 231 0856
Visit Tuusulanjärvi and Visit Lake Tuusula -bus is our Destination of the Month in June. Visit Tuusulanjärvi is a Star Destination and a media customer to KivaaTekemistä.fi / LikeFinland.com.
- Ecological way to get to the area is to come by train (from Helsinki or Tampere) to Ainola Station or to Järvenpää station.
- The Lake Tuusula bus hooks passengers aboard the Ainola parking lot at Tue-Sun 10.20, 11.50, 14.20 and 15.50. Similarly, the bus leaves from 10.15, 11.45, 14.15 and 15.45 from Järvenpää railway station. Visit Tuusulanjärvi Map 2019 and guidebooks, both of which have a bus schedule, are available from the area's tourist attractions or can be ordered from Tuusulanjärvi Tourist Information (info (a) visittuusulanjarvi.fi, tel. +358 (0)44 231 0856). A timetable and lots of information about the area can also be found on the homepage. (Visittuusulanjarvi.fi)
A view from the King's Manor to the river. Photo: LikeFinland.com
Would you believe that it is possible to relax in the nature so near Helsinki? But it is, at least in our Star Destination, Restaurant Kuninkaan Lohet, which is located by the rapids Vantaankoski in Vantaa, north of Helsinki.
They have two unique buildings, a historical factory building Vanha Viilatehdas (Old File Factory) and an idyllic Kuninkaan Kartano (King's Manor), a manor with lovely, renovated rooms and cabinets.
Nowadays this lovely Gustavian atmosphere is suitable for organizing parties both for families as well as corporate and other groups. All rooms have even up-to-date conference technology for business meetings.
Delicious lunch on the Manor's sunny terrace at the end of April 2019. Photo: LikeFinland.com
In the surroundings of the Old File Factory and Vantaankoski rapids (fast flow in the river), they have a nature trail, that is worth experiencing. The King's Manor, the Old File Factory and the flowing Vantaankoski form together a historical milieu in the nature but still near the highways of Helsinki area.
While enjoying nature's relaxing feeling, you can also enjoy lunch with pure tastes and components. It’s now served in the King's Manor on the hill, but in June the lunch will be available by the rapids in the Old File Factory with it's large summer terrace. The lunch buffet is served around the year, either in the manor (autumn, winter, spring) or in the factory (summer). In spring time it’s possible to have a lunch on the Manor’s warm, sunny terrace, too!
The premises of the King's Manor were renewed in cooperation with the National Board of Antiquities in late summer 2018. The Manor is now more practical both for customers and employees. Photo: LikeFinland.com
The history of the area goes far. It is an old ironworks, a file factory of the Dahlfors’ company by the rapids. The factory was still running in the 1960’s. The file factory is from 1890s, and there are still old times things for restaurant guests to see. The manor's main building dates back to the early 20th century. It was originally built as a Swedish-speaking folk school, but Mika Turunen, Managing director of the Restaurant Kuninkaan Lohet, tells that there was also a tavern even in the early 18th century in this area.
The manor house expanded to be more practical
The Restaurant Kuninkaan Lohet is a venue for parties, meetings and banquets. The manor's premises were expanded in cooperation with the National Board of Antiquities last year. Changes and extensions have been made in lobbies, kitchen, social facilities and the location of the buffet.
All in all, the Restaurant Kuninkaan Lohet offers a variety of premises either for a few people or family parties, up to groups of 140 people - or even bigger groups, depending on the arrangements.
Rooms and cabinets for different needs. Photo: LikeFinland.com
Kuninkaan Lohet is located in Vantaa, that is a city with many popular tourist destinations. And many of them are internationally popular too, such as Science Center Heureka, Finnish Aviation Museum and Flamingo Entertainment Center. So, this Kuninkaan Lohet environment and services consist a good supplement for Vantaa experience!
Vantaa is a former rural municipality of Helsinki, and the manor and the ironworks are fixed part of the local history. It's nice to see that is being developed on a long-term basis. Mika talks about a comprehensive nature experience and, in cooperation with educational institutions, he is estimating what today's young people want from this kind of experience destination in 2025.
Besides parties and food experiences close to nature, Kuninkaan Lohet offers activities both for private and business customers. A new activity is a real “extreme survival game” in Vantaankoski's nature! In the game the participants are divided in teams, and they need to solve a problem related to fictional car crash and give first aid, find the way out of the woods, crossing the river... Very exciting!
The teams get help from a real nature guide, that is hired for this experience. Other activities, such as the paddling with solo canoes, you can find here.
The Restaurant Kuninkaan Lohet is an experience-filled, natural and historical restaurant and event destination for various family and private events, meetings and corporate events. Kuninkaan Lohet also has sauna facilities in both the King's Manor and in the Old File Factory.
Kuninkaan Lohet offer you both daily lunches (Monday-Friday year-round) and also popular themed dinners and weekend brunches. Please, see the schedule below or at Kuninkaan Lohet website here.
Text: Anne Kinos-Järvinen / original Finnish text: Henri Elo
UPCOMING EVENTS IN MAY AND JUNE 2019
Sat 25.5., 15.6., 6.7., 20.7. Viilatehdas' Summer Brunches on Saturdays (www)
Fri 17.5. Lasilliset Juicea (Glass full of Juice) – a musical about legendary Finnish artist Juice Leskinen (www)
Fri 24.5. Viilatehdas' Summer Party (www) – Comics MC Ali Jahangiri, Antti Haapala and Ursula Herlin, the band Jusba Humaljoki Duo!
Fri 14.6. Stand Up Grill (www) – Comics: MC Ali Jahangiri, Mikko Vaismaa and Fredi Lilius
More events at Restaurant Kuninkaan Lohet here
Restaurant Kuninkaan Lohet
Voudintie 1 (Kuninkaan Kartano) / Kuninkaantie 28 (Vanha Viilatehdas)
01740 VANTAA, FINLAND
Phone +358 (0) 9 253 253 00
We have chosen Kuninkaan Lohet as the Destination of the Month in May 2019. Kuninkaan Lohet is our Star Destination and media customer.
Our main website in Finnish is KivaaTekemista.fi.
Suomen Tivoli Tour 2019 has started. The funfair depot in Tuusula, on the horizon, has been left behind.
There is one sign of summer - or at least start of spring - that one can recognize on the road - and it can not be mistaken.
Eetu, 7 years, told me many times at the beginning of April, which kind of funfair tour trucks he had seen on the road of 45 in Tuusula - and which machines or rides they were carrying on.
This is a new funfair field in Vanhankylänniemi, Järvenpää, by the lake of Tuusulanjärvi. Photo: LikeFinland.com
We - as a LikeFinland team - experienced a nice and funny funfair day in Järvenpää in April 13th, 2019. The weather was not so nice. It was around +5 C degrees, but were well prepared with beanies and wool trousers!
So, time passed quickly. We spent in Suomen Tivoli funfair in Vanhankylänniemi around three hours. The boy liked more quick rides like Gravitron, Mega Hip Hop, Roller Coaster, Sombrero, Spider and Twister.
Aada, 11-year girl, liked more rides with nice wies, like Star Flyer (launced in 2018) and Ferris Wheel.
Rides of Suomen Tivoli. Photo: LikeFinland.com
We enjoyed delicious meals of Suomen Tivoli. Especially my Premium Burger was very tasty and juicy! Funfair manager Lulu Sariola told us that the burger is developed by Suomen Tivoli's own kitchen.
The Grill wagon is completely new, and in this season there is also a new Candy wagon as well. :)
Tasty meals in Suomen Tivoli. :) Photo: LikeFinland.com
You can see more info of Suomen Tivoli Tour 2019 here. The funfair is staying in Jyväskylä until May 19th.
After Jyväskylä, Suomen Tivoli is directing to Oulu. The tour through Finland will reach Rovaniemi by Midsummer - with nightless nights in Finnish Lapland.
Suomen Tivoli is the biggest travelling funfair in Finland.
Text and photos: Henri Elo / LikeFinland.com
We have chosen Suomen Tivoli Tour 2019 as the Destination of the Month in April 2019. Suomen Tivoli is our Star Destination and media customer.
Our main website in Finnish is KivaaTekemista.fi.
The feeling in the evening in Mariehamn - there must be some mysterious or romantic! Photo: LikeFinland.com
We, as a LikeFinland team, were thinking, which could be a nice, different, relaxing and not so expensive winter holiday destination for two school age kids and an adult.
The mainland of Finland is quite familiar for us – of course not all destinations – but then… as we all know, the kids are dreaming ship cruises - and many adults too! It is a fixed part of Finnish “tourism culture”, built-in to the Finn’s mind, could I say. :)
Leaving from Turku by a cruise ferry on Monday morning of the winter holiday, "sportlov", as they say in Åland. Photo: LikeFinland.com
From Helsinki to Tallinn, to Stockholm. From Turku to Stockholm and so on. But then there is also Mariehamn, the capital of our lovely Åland, partly independent province of Finland!
Yes, the kids will get their ferry cruise – and we all get our Mariehamn.
Our absolute favourite in Mariehamn was Mariabad Spa and Waterpark – Badhuset Mariebad. We visited there two times!
A crazy water slide as well as a pool from inside to outside were really relaxing. You just watch the sea and the ice, the sea nature, which is living its calm and cold season. And you enjoy when the warm water lubricates you, getting your soul to rest.
Mariebad, we love you! A water slide with speed metrics and a pool with a sea view! Photo: LikeFinland.com
We liked very much the short distances of Mariehamn. One can just walk to anywhere. Even the Western Harbour, where the big ferries arrives and leave, is less than 1 km or 15 minutes walk from the city centre.
Of course, if you want to go to the biggest shopping mall, Maxinge, in this amazing island, you may take a taxi or car, or a bike. Maxinge is located approx. 3 km north from the centre.
But there are services like shops and restaurants, cafeterias, in the centre also. Many are open in winter time too. Two nice shopping malls Sittkoff Gallerian and Zeipels are there for you!
Our renovated hotel was nice, comprehensive and reasonably-priced. Park Alandia Hotel has a restaurant, bar with outdoor terrace and live music Wed-Sat round the year as well as conference facilities, pool and sauna. Photo: LikeFinland.com
We enjoyed our time in a fully renovated traditional hotel, Park Alandia Hotel. It is located in the middle of the centre, Norra Esplanadgatan 3. We got good sleep in our comfortable beds in the nice, renovated hotel room. It was even hard to distinguish if the hotel was completely new or renovated.
The restaurant was good with classic meals as well as vegetarian meals. The breakfast of the Park Restaurant gave a good start for the days in our 2-nights mini holiday!
We enjoyed also other restaurants like Pizza Diablo and Sittkoff Gården. All these places to eat were reasonably-priced.
Another favourite for kids, besides Mariebad, was Åland Maritime Museum – Ålands Sjöfartsmuseum. It is located a little bit north from the Western Harbour.
They have been also thinking kids in the museum, because there exist interesting “Give it go” activities (these are for any ages people!) around museum:
“At Åland Maritime Museum we want you to learn the ropes. Climb the mast, tie knots and try to steer a ship in the simulator. The hands-on activities are all around the whole museum and are great fun not just for kids.” (sjofartsmuseuum.ax)
Åland Maritime Museum offers to see and explore for people of all ages. Photo: LikeFinland.com
My kids were keen to hunt all the treasures from the mysterious holes:
“Follow Ruby the ship’s rat and look for the nifty rat holes hidden in various places around the museum, discovering the exhibitions as you go along. Return your answers to the front desk and receive your prize from the treasure chest.”
Maybe the trickiest task was to choose a nice prize after the successful hunt. :)
Finally we spent time downstairs in a place called “Ruby and the Sea”:
“Ruby and the Sea, the imaginative children’s room at the Maritime Museum presents a fascinating world both under and above the surface of the sea. The sea has moved in and the kids get to discover all that might hide on the sea bed – wrecks, fish, corals, sea creatures and even secret mermaid grottos.”
There was one disadvantage in our museum visit. We had just roughly an hour time to explore. The museum is open daily 11-16 (winter 2019).
You should reserve more time for this museum, which was chosen as the Museum of the Year in Finland 2016! A re-opening of the Museum Ship Pommern, next to the Maritime Museum, will be held in May 1st, 2019.
This is not the end of Mariehamn experience!
We were really positively surprised that there were a toy store called Dillen with a wide selection of toys both for boys and girls. At the same time there have been closed many toy stores in the Finnish mainland.
Pearls of Dillen. Photo: LikeFinland.com
Maybe the family company culture is so strong in Åland that they can retain their shops and keep them open around the year with some mysterious “archipelago energy”. Good for tourists! :)
Aada, 11 years old, was also interested in nice shops of Sittkoff Galleria. Most of the shopping possibilities and restaurants in the centre are located along the walking street, Torggatan, or nearby. Photo: LikeFinland.com
Friendly Felicia and Didrik at the Visit Åland tourist info told us that there is even a skiing resort in Åland! Photo: LikeFinland.com
Good to know!
Mariehamn is worth a visit all year round. In summer time you can enjoy nice hiking, biking or motorcycling trips in different parts of the island.
And don’t forget a lovely Eckerö area in the western side of Åland, with Eckerö’s beautiful beaches like Degersand, historical Post and Custom’s House by the seaside, and a theme park for the whole family, Smart Park, opened in 2015.
In the eastern side of the island, Sund area, there are castles and fortresses like Kastelholm Castle and Bomarsund Fortress.
You get more information of the Easter weekend in Åland here: Visit Åland - Easter
CONTACT INFO OF STAR DESTINATIONS
Visit Åland, Åland's tourist info and webpages (VisitAland.com in English here)
Storagatan 8 (open in winter season Mon-Fri 9-17)
22100 Maarianhamina, ÅLAND - FINLAND
Phone +358 (0) 18 24000
Park Alandia Hotel (ParkAlandia.com in English here)
Park Alandia's FB
Norra Esplanadgatan 3
22100 Maarianhamina, ÅLAND - FINLAND
Phone +358 (0) 18 14130
The sun came to greet us last day. We enjoyed our mini holiday in Mariehamn, Åland. Thanks! Photo: LikeFinland.com
Text and photos: Henri Elo / LikeFinland.com
We have chosen Mariehamn and Åland in winter time as the Destination of the Month in March 2019. Visit Åland and Park Alandia Hotel are our Star Destinations and media customers.
Our main website in Finnish is KivaaTekemista.fi.