13.08.2021

Sipoo – a hidden gem just over half an hour from the capital area

Lush forests and rolling hills are typical for the northern parts of the Sipoonkorpi National Park. Photo: Suvi Suovaara

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Many international visitors’ experience of Finland is limited to just the capital, Helsinki and maybe a sightseeing tour in the surrounding area.

Or then after a quick visit in the south, it is off to Lapland. But right next to the city of Helsinki, is the Municipality of Sipoo with its wonderful nature, excellent restaurants, and accommodation options like no other. And it is less than an hour from both the Helsinki-Vantaa International Airport and the capital city centre!

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Settlement in a castle since the early 14th century

In the outskirts of the southern of Sipoo’s two main residential and commercial centres, Söderkulla, the ruins of the medieval hill-top castle Sibbesborg were first unveiled in 1909. During more recent archeological studies, it has been declared that this castle was originally situated on an island off the cost of modern day Sipoo, but due to rising land, the area that once was an island has grown connected to the mainland by the 18th century.

Even earlier cultures have lived in the area of modern day Sipoo, since the Sipoo river (Sipoonjoki) has been an important route for trade for centuries before. As in many areas around the southern coasts of the Finnish Gulf, bronze age findings state that Sipoo has indeed been inhabited for a long time.

Some iron age findings have also been discovered implying, that there have been humans dwelling in the area for a very long time.

 

The Sipoo river is a slowly flowing vein that goes through the entire municipality. In times past it was an important route for both travel and transportation. The Sipoo river of today is a wonderful place for peace and recreation. Photo: Suvi Suovaara

The Sipoo river is a slowly flowing vein that goes through the entire municipality. In times past it was an important route for both travel and transportation. The Sipoo river of today is a wonderful place for peace and recreation. Photo: Suvi Suovaara

 

A National Park, the river, lakes, and an archipelago all in one area

The nature of Sipoo is unique by all standards. Not only is the majority of the Sipoonkorpi National Park situated within the municipality, but dense and lush forests surround rolling hills on both sides of the Sipoo river, continuing through the river delta into the Sipoo Gulf continue all the way to the archipelago.

What is striking, is that everything is within a day’s travel’s reach. Obviously, if you prefer to enjoy more than just a scratch of Sipoo, it is definitely worth reserving a few days or at least spend one night in Sipoo.

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Book your accommodation in Sipoo by zooming the Booking.com map here - or check the link here with accommodations in Sipoo and nearby - KivaaTekemista.fi / LikeFinland.com is an Affiliate Partner of Booking.com.

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Whereas in many places the archipelago slowly declines, Sipoo’s archipelago is still vibrant and has many year-round inhabitants. During summer months the service network is almost as extensive as it is inlands, there is even a shop that comes to the islands: the oldest shop boat of Finland, m/s Christina, is the last one still up and running in any of the Nordic countries!  Basic groceries are of course available as are produce and fish from merchants in and around the archipelago. Pre-orders are available even for gasoline, propane, and other necessities. Thanks to this, you can actually stay the entire summer on an island, without having to leave for shopping! Photo: Suvi Suovaara

Whereas in many places the archipelago slowly declines, Sipoo’s archipelago is still vibrant and has many year-round inhabitants. During summer months the service network is almost as extensive as it is inlands, there is even a shop that comes to the islands: the oldest shop boat of Finland, m/s Christina, is the last one still up and running in any of the Nordic countries!

Basic groceries are of course available as are produce and fish from merchants in and around the archipelago. Pre-orders are available even for gasoline, propane, and other necessities. Thanks to this, you can actually stay the entire summer on an island, without having to leave for shopping! Photo: Suvi Suovaara

 

More unique than international chain hotels

Sipoo is even by Finnish standards a middle-sized municipality and since the capital area with its international hotel chains is right next door, Sipoo has found other means of accommodation for guests and travellers to enjoy. That said, there is definitely no lack in comfort or even luxury and everything from exclusive private seaside villas with private chefs to more rustic and homelike accommodation options are available.

Technically there is only one hotel – VIlla Sibbe – which is a beautiful boutique style hotel with six different rooms. The capacity varies from 2 to 3 persons per room. Sipoo also has many wonderful Bed & Breakfast facilities and through services such as Airbnb, you can also opt for renting an entire apartment or why not try spending a weekend in one of the many cottages you can rent.

 

Nobel prize winner A. I. Virtanen’s estate’s former main building now functions as a picturesque boutique hotel Villa Sibbe with a fully licensed restaurant and riverside café. Photo: Kristian Meurman

Nobel prize winner A. I. Virtanen’s estate’s former main building now functions as a picturesque boutique hotel Villa Sibbe with a fully licensed restaurant and riverside café. Photo: Kristian Meurman

 

If you really want to dig deep into the heart of Sipoo, you should definitely try spending a night at a seaside cabin on an island. On the island of Norrkullalandet, Seasong has three fully equipped small villas, each with sea view terraces, personal saunas and kitchens. All of these, that are named after historic steam ships that used to drive through the archipelago in Sipoo, sleep up to 8 guests each.

Of course there are more accommodation options in southern Sipoo, other than hotels or seaside cabins , such as Juhlamenot Cottages and organic-based Guesthouse Box Bed & Breakfast.

 

Easy to arrive, simple to navigate

You can reach Sipoo easily by car, but there is also a rather extensive public transport network in the greater Helsinki area, that serves Sipoo too. Even the most remote areas are reachable by local busses, but it is always a good idea to check the schedules and plan the routes in advance. After all, the rural communities do not have neither transportation nor commuters to use these around the clock.

 

Hop-On Hop-Off bus to the Sipoonkorpi National Park

Between March and November there is a Hop-On Hop-Off bus from Tikkurila station in Vantaa and Nikkilä centre in Sipoo, that encircles the entire Sipoonkorpi National Park. You can reach Tikkurila station in Vantaa by bus, local train, or long-haul train. There is a direct train and bus connection both to the centre of Helsinki and the Helsinki-Vantaa International Airport.

There is a variety of tracks to walk, and Sipoonkorpi National Park is suitable for both quick passages with small children and for serious hikers, who prefer to spend the night in the outdoors. There are several fire pits for outdoor barbecues, and also designated areas for setting up your tents.

 

It is no coincidence, that the Sipoonkorpi National Park is called “the most foresty forest” of Finland. The variety of forest types is striking for such a limited area. Pictured here is the entrance to the National Park from Bakunkärr parking lot, which is also one of the spots served by the Hop-On Hop-Off bus service, a convenient way to arrive to the wilderness without your own car. Photo: Kristian Meurman

It is no coincidence, that the Sipoonkorpi National Park is called “the most foresty forest” of Finland. The variety of forest types is striking for such a limited area. Pictured here is the entrance to the National Park from Bakunkärr parking lot, which is also one of the spots served by the Hop-On Hop-Off bus service, a convenient way to arrive to the wilderness without your own car. Photo: Kristian Meurman

 

Take a dip in a lake or in the sea

Finland is called “The Land of a thousand lakes”, which is not exactly true. Because, truthfully, there are approximately 168 000 lakes. Sipoo has its fair share of these and many of them are reachable and open to the public. Three lakes well worth checking out are Pilvijärvi, Taasjärvi and Abborträsk. The last mentioned is situated in the Sipoonkorpi National Park and is easily accessible with the Sipoonkorpi Hop-On Hop-Off bus service.

 

Sipoo has many lakes of which some are suitable for the entire family to enjoy on warm summer days, whereas others are wilderness lakes with a different kind of appeal. The beach of Taasjärvi is situated right next to the Söderkulla centre and is easily accessible both by car and public transport. Photo: Suvi Suovaara

Sipoo has many lakes of which some are suitable for the entire family to enjoy on warm summer days, whereas others are wilderness lakes with a different kind of appeal. The beach of Taasjärvi is situated right next to the Söderkulla centre and is easily accessible both by car and public transport. Photo: Suvi Suovaara

 

The water of the Finnish Gulf may be rather cool at all times in the outer archipelago, but along the coastline and in the inner archipelago the summer temperatures can be very comfortable. There are quite a few places to take a dip in the sea too, one very popular site is on the island of Norrkullalandet. There is a free-of-charge ship service during summer months to the Municipality of Sipoo’s recreational area that is free for everyone to use.

 

The archipelago of Sipoo is a unique environment with many nesting birds, small, enclosed water masses between large islands and further on open seas with stormy waters in the autumns. Since the distances are moderate, you can benefit from the best parts of the archipelago even if you only have a day or two to spare. Photo: Suvi Suovaara

The archipelago of Sipoo is a unique environment with many nesting birds, small, enclosed water masses between large islands and further on open seas with stormy waters in the autumns. Since the distances are moderate, you can benefit from the best parts of the archipelago even if you only have a day or two to spare. Photo: Suvi Suovaara

 

Enjoy a picknick or benefit from the restaurants in the area

Sipoo has several quality restaurants for those, who like to indulge in gastronomic pleasures. For quick bites there are pizza and hamburger places, and several cafés also delight guests with fresh coffee and sweet and salty bites.

It is easy to pick up your own picknick treats from one of the many supermarkets, but most convenient by far, is to pick up your pre-made picknick cooler bag from one of the two restaurants offering this kind of service: På Krogen in Kalkkiranta and Restaurant Sibbe at Joensuun Tila travellers’ centre.

In the idyllic Gumbostrand by the sea coast, west of Söderkulla, you can find both Bistro Burken as well as Konst & Form Art exhibition with a Bistro too. Gumbo Kiosk is located in Gumbostrand Harbor, opposite Bistro Burken.

And there are many more other nice restaurants in southern Sipoo such as Restaurant Veljekset and Box Café & Grill.

 

På Krogen restaurant’s picnic bag comes ready with everything you need, from fresh salads to succulent ribs and delicious new potatoes with garlic. Everything is pre-cooked, so all you need to do is just heat the ribs and potatoes on the barbecue, unless you feel like eating them cool, which is absolutely fine too. You can even purchase a small bag of readily cut firewood from På Krogen. There are several free to use fire pits in the recreational areas of Sipoo archipelago! Photo: Kristian Meurman

På Krogen restaurant’s picnic bag comes ready with everything you need, from fresh salads to succulent ribs and delicious new potatoes with garlic. Everything is pre-cooked, so all you need to do is just heat the ribs and potatoes on the barbecue, unless you feel like eating them cool, which is absolutely fine too. You can even purchase a small bag of readily cut firewood from På Krogen. There are several free to use fire pits in the recreational areas of Sipoo archipelago! Photo: Kristian Meurman

 

Sipoo entrepreneurs are great in coming up with new ways to better serve both domestic and international guests. Extensive plans for easier access to the archipelago by different service means are being implemented and to complement the excellent restaurant and café services in Sipoo, some restaurants offer made-to-order picknick bags. 

 

Enjoy the open seas and the unique archipelago

If you would like to see more of the archipelago than just watch it from the shore, there is the abovementioned option of taking a ship to the archipelago. You need not stay put on one island but can continue your journey on the ship to the next harbour, where you can conveniently take the bus back to where you first left for the sea.

There is also a completely new application platform called Bout that allows you to easily book a travel from one point to another by boat for a fixed price. This service is similar to the many taxi type apps that are used on land.

To get the most out of the archipelago, it is always worth the effort and money to book a charter boat to take you out for the entire day. Several transportation companies in Sipoo offer this kind of service for smaller or bigger parties.

 

The picturesque archipelago can be accessed by boat or ferry. You can rent a small rowing boat with a small outboard engine, use the convenient Bout app to book a ride or charter one of the many local transportation companies’ vessels even for the whole day. Photo: Suvi Suovaara

The picturesque archipelago can be accessed by boat or ferry. You can rent a small rowing boat with a small outboard engine, use the convenient Bout app to book a ride or charter one of the many local transportation companies’ vessels even for the whole day. Photo: Suvi Suovaara

 

Get all your hints and details from the Visit Sipoo webpage

The Municipality of Sipoo’s official Visit Sipoo website has some hints for things to do and explore while in Sipoo as well as the most current and important information for travellers. You can also benefit from maps for travels both on land and at sea.

All - or at least most of - restaurants, cafés, accommodations, and other services are of course listed on the website, and you can even contact the municipality’s different service sectors through it by e-mail or telephone.

 

Why go someplace else when you could go to Sipoo?

Sipoo is a vast area that is sparsely populated. But since it is also the fastest growing municipality in Finland, new innovative services pop up like mushrooms after rain. The people in Sipoo are well educated, friendly and always welcoming towards guests and travellers.

 

This is the place, where you can start your day on a forest path!

 

Sipoo in a nutshell

 

Links

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Visit Sipoo - Sipoo - Sibbo - Here you can find more accommodations, places to eat and drink, explore and see in Sipoo.

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Seasong – Meetings & Events

Guesthouse Box Bed & Breakfast - Majatalo Box

The world’s easiest picnic trip to the archipelago of Sipoo – pick up the delicacies from the harbour! - Sipoo - Sibbo

Sipoo Map

Journey Planner, tickets and fares, customer service - HSL.fi

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Book your accommodation in Sipoo by zooming the Booking.com map here - or check the link here with accommodations in Sipoo and nearby - KivaaTekemista.fi / LikeFinland.com is an Affiliate Partner of Booking.com.

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Sipoo municipality - Visit Sipoo (www -- FB) is a Star Destination and media customer of LikeFinland.com. (commercial cooperation)

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Text: Kristian Meurman, Visit Sipoo

Kristian is a Finnish musician who likes nature and the archipelago. He has been in a university internship for the Municipality of Sipoo.

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LikeFinland.com is a nationwide leisure time media and search service of Finnish destinations. You can like us on Facebook or follow on Twitter and Instagram. Our main website in Finnish is KivaaTekemista.fi.

08.07.2021

Tips for summer holiday and attractions in Southern Finland!

Lomamäki Pet Park manager Mikko Auri (right) - with his boa - met a local Mikko Lagerström, who specializes in flowers and butterflies. Photo: LikeFinland.com

 

There are plenty of nice summer destinations in Southern Finland. Here we'll present you some of those, which are not so presumable.

Most of them are LikeFinland / KivaaTekemistä Star Destinations, where we have visited, and which are our customers.

Our media is currently a Booking.com Affiliate Partner. So, it is easy for you to book and compare accommodations through the Booking-links and map views on our sites LikeFinland.com and KivaaTekemista.fi, when planning the holiday trip!

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Book your accommodation in Finland by zooming the Booking.com map here

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You may know Linnanmäki Amusement Park and Korkeasaari Zoo, but did you know that there is a very special Mini Zoo Lomamäki (www) in Western Uusimaa, Inkoo's countryside, 2 km from the Road 51.

Kids favourites were the foxes and small dogs. There was also a big turtle walking freely as well as a turkey, who was friendly - luckily!

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Another traditional animal park is the Orimattila Domestic Animal Park (www), founded in 1990, located in Orimattila municipality, east of Lahti. In both those parks there is much to do for kids such as bouncy castles and playgrounds. It was interesting to hear that also young couples and seniors from nursing homes have been visiting the Orimattila zoo.

Pony ride by the personnel keeping the pony is one of the favorites of small kids. Photos: LikeFinland.com

Pony ride by the personnel keeping the pony is one of the favorites of small kids. Photos: LikeFinland.com

 


Are you interested in statues and fountains?

In May we visited in Muurla, which is a part of Salo town, in Southwestern Finland. It takes just over one hour’s drive from Helsinki to Muurla. However, you can also take a bus or train to many destinations presented here.

Art Bouffant Muurla (www) is a statue and fountain exhibition, open by reservation only. You can explore many kind of statues like animals as well as Egypt, Buddha and musician themes.

If you want some regular opening hours, take your direction to Art Bouffant Mäntsälä (www). That's another exhibtion of the same company, and there is also a garden shop Kivapiha (www) with flowers, bushes, trees, mold and soil materials as well as stones and yard tiles and fertilizers, in the same place. Mäntsälä is located 50 km north of Helsinki by the Highway 4.

What a great summer day you can spend in Kivapiha - ‘Nice garden’ in Finnish - and Art Bouffant in Mäntsälä. Not forget the flowing water and fountains, a break with a cup of tea or coffee!

Art Bouffant and Kivapiha consist of statue and gardening exhibition and sales. Photo: LikeFinland.com

Art Bouffant and Kivapiha consist of statue and gardening exhibition and sales. Photo: LikeFinland.com

 

Suomenlinna Sea Fortress

A historical Sea Fortress Suomenlinna (www) in front of Helsinki is achievable both by HSL ferries and JT-Line water buses. HSL is operating throughout the year.

Remember to both enjoy the fortress and sea, as well as respect the history and rocks of this unique island, one of the Finland's World Heritage Sites.

You may find idyllic cafés, restaurants and museums in Suomenlinna – or take part in a guided tour! Some people are also living in Suomenlinna, which is a former military base.

Take a closer look at Suomenlinna on their English website here.

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Heinola – what a pearl on the north side of Lahti!

We visited also this summer in Heinola (www). It’s a historical town in Päijät-Häme province.

Did you know that Heinola has been a valuable spa destination in the early 1900s with foreign tourists enjoying and relax?

Heinola has been a residence of the former Kymenkartano province. You can find even a police commander Aschan's House from the end of 1700s in the Centre of Heinola. It has been renovated during last decades, and belongs to the town's museum attractions.

You’ll find idyllic cafés in historical places such as Heinolan Harjupaviljonki (in photos) as well as Café Kailas pavilions. Photos: LikeFinland.com

You’ll find idyllic cafés in historical places such as Harjupaviljonki (in photos) as well as Café Kailas. Photos: LikeFinland.com

 

Heinola is located on the border of ‘Häme’ and ‘Savo’ regions, and it is also the first stop from Helsinki to north, where you can see and feel the water, the flowing Kymijoki river with its clean and fresh waves. There are are plenty of good beaches in Heinola, starting from the Centre, Kylpylä Beach 'Kylpylän uimaranta', near RantaCasino Restaurant.

There is an interesting exhibition of Finnish - could I say kitchen - design from Arabia in 1936-1950, going on in the Heinola City Museum until early September.

Or take a visit to Bird Park ‘Heinolan Lintuhoitola'. It’s free of charge as well as parking places in Heinola.

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Tree top adventure in Espoo and lakes of Lohja

Let’s go back to Western Uusimaa. In Leppävaara, Espoo, there is one of the most popular adventure parks in Finland, Treetop Adventure Huippu (www). You can choose the route based on your own level, or enjoy the beautiful adventure minigolf.

Adventure Golf Huippu and Treetop Adventure Huippu are beautiful summer destinations in Leppävaara, Espoo. Photo: LikeFinland.com

Treetop Adventure Huippu & Adventure Golf Huippu is a beautiful summer destination in Leppävaara, Espoo. Photos: LikeFinland.com

 

The Finnish Housing Fair will is held in Lohja (www) between July 9th and August 8th, 2021. A special attraction in Lohja is Tytyri Mine Experience (www). You'll get a cool experience also in a hot summer day!

Different parts of the mine are still in use as a limestone mine and an elevator test center of Kone Corporation.

Not forget the Aurlahti Beach and activites in the Centre of Lohja!

 

Lohja Aurlahti beach is enjoyable and located close to the Centre, not so far from the new Housing Fair area either! Photo: LikeFinland.com

Lohja Aurlahti Beach is enjoyable and located close to the Centre, not so far from the new Housing Fair area either! Photo: LikeFinland.com

 

New activities in Sipoo

Sipoo (www) is located east of Helsinki. There are many frisbeegolf as well as golf courses in Sipoo - and one of the Finland's newest national parks, Sipoonkorpi.

In Talma village, western Sipoo, you can find Talma Active Park (www), and challenge yourself to treetop adventure - like in Huippu - but also play paintball, minigolf, frisbeegolf, and since 2020 enjoy the Bike Park (downhill cycling, E-fatbike rental).

In southern Sipoo, Söderkulla, one can enjoy Villa Sibbe / Joensuun Tila area’s activities such as frisbeegolf, nature path, a small lake for swimming and SUP boarding, kayaking on the Sipoonjoki river. Or play minigolf on a brandnew cource, and enjoy a tasty meal in the new Restaurant of Villa Sibbe!

An art experience is waiting for you in Gumbostrand Konst & Form by the seaside, near Söderkulla. Many cafés and restaurants are serving you in Sipoo such as N´avetta by the road between East Helsinki and Söderkulla and Restaurant Tila close to Sipoonkorpi National Park.

 

Willa Fantti Elephant Exhibition (www) consist more than 23.000 elephants. It's located in Nastola countryside, east of Lahti. Photo: LikeFinland.com

Willa Fantti Elephant Exhibition (www) consist of more than 23.000 elephants. It's located in Nastola countryside, east of Lahti. Photo: LikeFinland.com

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Book your accommodation in Finland by zooming the Booking.com map here

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See more LikeFinland Star Destinations here

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Text: Henri Elo

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LikeFinland.com is a nationwide leisure time media and search service of Finnish destinations. You can like us on Facebook or follow on Twitter and Instagram. Our main website in Finnish is KivaaTekemista.fi.

21.02.2021

Winter holiday offers a lot to do in Finland

In winter time you can go skiing, skating, snowshoeing or just enjoying the nature. Holiday weeks of the Finnish primary schools in 2021 are weeks No. 8, 9 and 10. Photo: LikeFinland.com

 

We collected some tips for you to spend a winter holiday in our article in Finnish. Here is a summary also in English!

These tips consist mainly of LikeFinland Star Destinations, which have been our media customers during last 12 months, and they can be found among the first at www.likefinland.com.

Nice pictures of southern Tuusula cross-country skiing tracks in January. Tracks are maintained by Myllykylän Mylly ry. Photos: LikeFinland.com

Nice pictures of southern Tuusula cross-country skiing tracks in January. Tracks are maintained by Myllykylän Mylly ry. Photos: LikeFinland.com

 

Did you know that there are hundreds of kilometres cross-country skiing tracks in capital area, of course depending on weather conditions. You can check the current situation here: Ulkoliikunta.fi (incl. skiing, ice-skarintg, swimming in Helsinki, Espoo, Kauniainen, Vantaa).

 

One of the well-maintained downhill ski resorts near Helsinki is Talma Ski in Sipoo, north of Vantaa and east of Kerava. There are 5 ring lifts pulling you up and even 2 carpet lifts, which are easy for beginners. One of them is located in Werneri Park for kids and families. There you don’t need any slalom skis or snowboard or any equipment, because there are sledges and snow tubes for sledding and playgrounds also.

Remember to wear a mask if you go inside. A restaurant, rental equipment and ski school (in many languages) are also serving.

We were enjoying and practicing in Talma Ski in January. Photos: LikeFinland.com We were enjoying and practicing in Talma Ski in January. Photos: LikeFinland.com

 

Suomenlinna is worth to visit in winter time also. Suomenlinna Sea Fortress is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, such a cultural treasure of Finland with its long history! The fortress is also a district of Helsinki with about 800 inhabitants.

Suomenlinna is located in the Helsinki archipelago near the city and can be easily reached all year round by HSL ferry from Kauppatori in just 15 minutes.

Here is more info of Suomenlinna. In winter time you can enjoy the cafés and restaurant as well as HAA Gallery, or take a look to the Blue route for you own exploration!

Suomenlinna ferry and Rantakasarmi barracks. Photos: Super Otus / The Governing Body of Suomenlinna

Suomenlinna ferry and Rantakasarmi barracks. Photos: Super Otus / The Governing Body of Suomenlinna

 

Flamingo Spa in Vantaa is a warm destination, where you can feel like to be on sunny beach! It’s +32 Celsius degrees both in the air and in the water. There are both Water park for families as well as Sauna and treatment world for adults in Flamingo Spa, not forget delicious meals to enjoy.

 

All over Finland there many cosy accommodations we can recommend. Here is a list of our Star Destinations with links to a destination page on our site as well as Booking.com page (if exist).

 

SOUTHERN FINLAND

  • Park Alandia Hotel, Mariehamn  --  www --  Booking.com
  • Restaurant and B&B Kansakoulu (a former elementary school), Kemiönsaari  --  www --  Booking
  • Apteekinmajoitus accommodation (a former pharmacy), Asikkala  --  www --  Booking

 

CENTRAL, EASTERN AND NORTHERN FINLAND

Nice accommodations around Finland. Park Alandia Hotel in Åland (left up), Kolin Keidas in Eastern Finland (right up), Apteekinmajoitus accommodation near Lahti (left down), and Farmhouse Sipilä in Central Finland (right down). Photos: destinations and LikeFinland.com (Park)

Nice accommodations around Finland. Park Alandia Hotel in Åland (left up), Kolin Keidas in Eastern Finland (right up), Apteekinmajoitus accommodation near Lahti (left down), and Farmhouse Sipilä in Central Finland (right down). Photos: destinations and LikeFinland.com (Park)

 

Text: Henri Elo

You can check more contents and pictures at our Finnish article here.

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LikeFinland.com is a nationwide leisure time media and search service of Finnish destinations. You can like us on Facebook or follow on Twitter and Instagram. Our main website in Finnish is KivaaTekemista.fi.

22.12.2020

Amazing Sipoo with its new restaurants and destinations

Bistro Burken is one of the new restaurants in Sipoo with its beautiful surroundings. Photos: LikeFinland.com

 

It was so nice to visit two new small family companies and destinations, but find out the situation of other restaurants too, in Sipoo, 30 minutes east of Helsinki.

 

Sipoo municipality is geographically quite long from south to north, even so that you can feel the sea and admire the sunset as well as hike in a national park!
 

Located on the seafront in Gumbostrand, a tiny idyllic village near Söderkulla, there is one of the new restaurants, Bistro Burken. The restaurant opened in the summer, but it is open also in winter weekends. See more detailed opening hours on the website or FB.

Bistro Burken serves fish meals, delicious pizzas and also salad meals as well as cheese cakes and raw cakes. Burken is run by Santtu Salmelin and Catharina Fallström. Also Catharina’s parents and outside employees are working when needed.

In Gumbostrand you can also find an art gallery, Gumbostrand Konst & Form.

 

Did you know that one can manage in Sipoo at least three languages or even more. Finnish and Swedish are commonly spoken, and of course English is well-spoken too among younger people.

 

Elina and Milla on the left, Santtu and Catharina on the right side. Photos: LikeFinland.com

Elina and Milla on the left, Santtu and Catharina on the right side. Photos: LikeFinland.com

 

In southern Sipoo there is a cosy villa, like a tiny hotel - renovated a few years ago - run by new entrprenereus Elina Suomi and Milla Sohlstöm.

They are sisters and they started in Villa Sibbe in February-March 2020, but just after a few weeks the covid situation changed the plans.

Still, there has been a moderate number of guests, but parties, business meetings etc. not so many of course. It was nice to hear that Café Sibbe in the marina, below the villa, has been popular in sunny summer days.

There are many activities nearby like swimming pond, SUP board, kayaking, beach volley, frisbeegolf to name a few. In winter time you can go hiking in the forest, walking or skiing or skating on the ice if it’s cold winter and thick ice. More info on the website and FB and Booking.com.

There are also cross-country ski tracks in Söderkulla and alpine skiing and snowboarding in Talma Ski, located 25 minutes north of Villa Sibbe. Talma restaurant has served also a delicious Thai-menu since 2018!

Villa Sibbe has a unigue history; the Nobel-winner A. I. Virtanen has owned it and spent time there with his family in the early 1900s. Photos: LikeFinland.com

Villa Sibbe has a unigue history; the Nobel-winner A. I. Virtanen has owned it and spent time there with his family in the early 1900s. Photos: LikeFinland.com

 

I was surprised that there was also other news and rather new destinations on Sipoo’s "restaurant map".

Restaurant Tila near Sipoonkorpi National Park has been operating since 2018, including also cheese production in small scale nowadays. The restaurant is open mainly on weekends in winter season but closed in Dec.

 

By the way, Sipoonkorpi with its magnificent forests is one of the newest national parks in Finland, founded in 2011.

 

In Box village, east of Söderkulla, you can find organic-based Guesthouse Box & Handelsman Café with its new web shop, and a newer one, 3-year old Box Café & Grill with weekday lunch and delicious burgers, which are popular among drivers and motorbikers.

In Sipoonranta, near Helsinki border, an Italian-style Portside Trattoria opened its doors in November 2020, and it has been popular too, say the locals.

 

The late lunch in Restaurant Veljekset was tasty! Photos: LikeFinland.com

The late lunch in Restaurant Veljekset was tasty! Photos: LikeFinland.com

 

Restaurant Veljekset ('Restaurant Brothers') is a Turkish-twisted modern lunch and dinner restaurant in Söderkulla, open from Monday to Sunday. Veljekset moved this fresh new location and building just over a year ago.

 

Did you know that there are two 'conurbation-centres' in Sipoo, Nikkilä in the middle and Söderkulla in south. Other areas consist mainly of beautiful countryside with lakes, fields, forests and hills – not forget the seaside and archipelago in the south.

 

A picturesque and relaxing seascape in Gumbostrand before Christmas '20. Photo: LikeFinland.com

A picturesque and relaxing seascape in Gumbostrand before Christmas '20. Photo: LikeFinland.com

 

Text: Henri Elo

You can check more contents and pictures at our Finnish story here.

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Sipoo municipality (www -- FB) is a Star Destination and media customer of LikeFinland.com. (commercial cooperation)

Accommodations in Sipoo at Booking.com

LikeFinland.com is a nationwide leisure time media and search service of Finnish destinations. You can like us on Facebook or follow on Twitter and Instagram. Our main website in Finnish is KivaaTekemista.fi.

17.07.2020

The Pearl of Summer Finland north of Lahti: Heinola

Heinola view from the railway bridge towards River Kymi and Restaurant RantaCasino. Photo: LikeFinland.com

 

Could you imagine a Finnish town with hills and bridges, historical cafés, cosy accommodation, and a bird garden with no fee.

Not forget a long beach right next to the city center - and other swimming and spa possibilities.

Yes, Heinola is that all! The former center of Kymenkartano county, but nowadays a suitable-sized town for your summer visit! Of course there are museums and art for you: Art Museum (more info in Finnish here) and the unique Aschan's House from 1700s (www) are open also this summer! Then there is a special Dork Park 'Dorkin puisto' near the railway (freight) station of Heinola.

Just a short distance away from the Dork Park, there are two cafeterias: Café Tower and Café Harjupaviljonki. The later one was founded for Russian spa guests 120 years ago for their refreshment. The spa itself was located near the beach, and that's why the name of the beach is still Spa Beach 'Kylpylän ranta', just close to the center. :)

 

Café Harjupaviljonki 'Hill Pavilion' is specialized in waffles, both salty and sweet. Photos: LikeFinland.com

 Café Harjupaviljonki 'Hill Pavilion' is specialized in waffles, both salty and sweet. Photos: LikeFinland.com

 

When you continue walking accross the high railway bridge (see the view in the first picture!) and the River Kymi - well, there is also a walking side - you'll arrive on the Siltasaari island. However, you should come back maybe a hundred meters after crossing the bridge.

And there it is, Café Kailas, with its own little world and atmosphere. The name Kailas comes from a former Finnish poet Uuno Kailas (1901-1933). On Siltasaari you may meet a happy hostess of Café Kailas, Päivi Niemiaho. :)

 Café Kailas building has been a sauna for its original purpose some 100 years ago. The River Kymi flows very close to you. Photo: LikeFinland.com

Café Kailas building has been a sauna for its original purpose some 100 years ago. The River Kymi flows very close to you. Photo: LikeFinland.com

 

Walking back to the town along a nice footbridge, and you may take a lunch at Restaurant RantaCasino. Or would you like some live music, f.ex. in July 11th there was Celtic Music night at RantaCasino ('ranta' means coast). The restaurant is hosted by a Finnish-Irish couple Marika and Stephen Cronin.

There are more nice restaurants in town, and places for spend a night, like a cosy Villa Hulda for 1-2 families, ca. 1 km from the center.

 Pictures from RantaCasino, Marika left down, and right down there is Villa Hulda's Elina in Heinola center. Photos: LikeFinland.com

Pictures from RantaCasino, Marika left down, and right down there is Villa Hulda's Elina in Heinola center. Photos: LikeFinland.com

 

What is amazing and imoprtant for the whole town, is that there exist many shops and stores alive in Heinola! Well, the amount of inhabitants, nearly 20.000, and thousands of "summer cottagers" (with their villas) as well as tourists make it possible that you have quite a numer vital services in Heinola - such as clothes, shoe, decor and toy shops!

 

Here you can see Karoliina from Visit Heinola (left up), Hannamari from Roosamari clothes shop (right) and Jenni from Kenkä-Jenni (Shoe-Jenni) serving you. Photos: LikeFinland.com

Here you can see Karoliina from Visit Heinola (left up), Hannamari from Roosamari clothes shop (right) and Jenni from Kenkä-Jenni (Shoe-Jenni) serving you. Photos: LikeFinland.com

 

I visited Heinola in early summer 2020, and really enjoyd the feeling after the 'corona spring'. People are nice, open and friendly, there is enough air to breathe in this historical town.

 

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Text: Henri Elo

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Contact Information: 

 

Visit Heinola (www)
Kauppakatu 4, Heinola (Tourist info)
p. +358 (0)3 849 3615
matkailu(a)heinola.fi

Café Kailas (www)
Siltasaari 1, 18100 Heinola
p. +358 (0)44 74 77 001
info(a)kailas.fi

Café Heinolan Harjupaviljonki (www)
Kauppakatu 30, 18100 Heinola
p. +358 (0)40 5619 522
harjupaviljonki1(a)gmail.com

Restaurant RantaCasino (www)
Maaherrankatu 2, 18100 Heinola
p. +358 (0)40 192 1027 / 03 718 8666
info(a)rantacasino.fi

Villa Hulda (www)
Puistokatu 20, 18100 Heinola
p. +358 (0)40 726 5582
info(a)heinolatravel.fi

 

- More about Heinola destinations and services (www), and events (www)

- Our article of Heinola in 2019 (www)

 

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Heinola municipality, Harjupaviljonki, Café Kailas, RantaCasino and Villa Hulda are the Star Destinations and media customers of LikeFinland.com.

LikeFinland.com is a nationwide leisure time media and search service of Finnish destinations. You can like us on Facebook or follow on Twitter and InstagramOur main website in Finnish is KivaaTekemista.fi.

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