Friday, November 1, 2013

Coastal town charm of Finland

Tammisaari is an urban area in southern Finland’s Uusimaa region that received its royal charter in 1546. In 2009, it merged with two other municipalities into the town of Raasepori. Tammisaari was once a village that earned its living through fishing and crafts, and was known as a safe haven for seafarers. Today, it remains popular among boaters, especially during the summer season, and over 80 percent of the population is Swedish speakers.

Lovely old buildings

Tammisaari village grew up around the church, which still remains the central building of Old Tammisaari. The stone church was built in the 17th century in Barckens Udde which is the oldest part of the town. All the buildings in this conservation area date back to the 18th and 19th centuries, and strict regulations ensure that the area will retain its history. While many of the buildings in Old Tammisaari have been rebuilt over the years, care has been taken to preserve the winding alleys and lanes. Street names such as Hatuntekijänkatu and Nahkurinkatu offer a delightful glimpse into a bygone era.

Temptation harbor

Beside the harbor, overlooking the sea, sits the Knipan restaurant. Its sunny terrace is the perfect place to enjoy a lovely summer’s day, savor good food and feast your eyes on the magnificent view. Pleasant cafés and a sandy beach are nearby, and from the harbor you can also embark on a cruise around the lovely Tammisaari archipelago.

Hanko southernmost part of Finland

35 kilometers from Tammisaari is the seaside town of Hanko, which boasts a long history as a summer holiday centre. Hanko built its first spa in the late-19th century and several sumptuous villas were built to accommodate the guests. Today, these beautiful buildings of cultural historic value are still situated by the seaside.

The most recognizable landmark of Hanko is the bright red water tower, built in 1943. In the summer, it is a popular vantage point, offering spectacular views of Hanko and the sea.

Summer is full of happenings

Hanko is an active place throughout summer. Every Wednesday and Friday, a popular evening market is set up in the Eastern Harbor area. During Midsummer, people gather at the seaside by the Casino for a traditional midsummer dance, complete with maypole and bonfire.

Another summertime event is the three-day Hanko Regatta, one of Finland’s grandest sailing events and well-known across the country.

The summer festivities conclude on the last weekend of August with the Night of the Ancient Bonfires, which commemorates the long tradition of using lit beacons as signals for seafarers.

The harbor is made for guests

The Eastern Harbor of Hanko is Finland’s largest guest harbor, with moorings for some 400 boats. The numerous restaurants in the harbor area are ideal for enjoying a meal surrounded by the beautiful seaside scenery.

The warehouse quarter also offers an ample choice for diners. Many patrons are partial to the delicious seafood dishes served in the idyllic restaurants and, thanks to the proximity of the sea, the freshness and quality of the ingredients can be guaranteed.

Small town with many beaches

The longest unified beach in Hanko is the Tulliniemi beach, which seems to stretch as far as the eye can see. Walking distance from the town centre, Tulliniemi is located at the southernmost tip of the Finnish mainland. This tranquil spot is not only popular with sunbathers but also among both windsurfers and kite surfers.

Arguably, the most popular beach in Hanko is Plagen, where you can find the number one attraction for children: a water carousel.

There’s also Långsanda, a 1.6 kilometer-long stretch of beach, which is part of the so-called Eastern Spa Park, a recreational area of scenic and cultural historic value. The sandy promenade stretching through Långsanda has been used by walkers since the late 19th century.


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