LikeFinland team explored a new virtual reality park, named Pikseli Arcade, at Flamingo leisure world in Vantaa, near Helsinki. Pikseli, opened in Jan 2017, is not only the first VR (virtual reality) park in Finland but in the whole Scandinavia to this extent!
Pikseli is suitable for almost all ages. For children under school age, the virtual reality game glasses may be too heavy to use for a long time.
Everyone is welcome to play without booking, but reservation in advance is recommended especially on Saturdays.
Elina is briefing Daniel.
Before gaming, players watch a guided video and the staff gives instructions how to play games or how to experience the virtual world. In VR games, the player is able to look at any direction by turning his/her head. The views change just like (s)he would be there for real.
Pikseli lets you not only watch a movie or play a game, but to live inside it. The experience is unique.
There are 14 game rooms in Pikseli, which is located on the second floor at Flamingo. There can be only one player playing the game in a game room at the same time, but two more can follow and encourage the player! They watch the screen how the game is going on.
Wide range of games
Pikseli has a surprisingly wide game selection. There are kids' games, action games, mountaineering, scuba diving and short films, even a mini opera! The game selection is constantly being reformed.
Pikseli Arcade gives nice experiences both for children' celebrities and also for working place kick-offs, not forgetting families. There is also a party room for groups, where you can sit down and enjoy drinks and snacks.
The staff is able to limit the range of games in each game rooms, as the selection also includes games that are not allowed for players under 18 years. You can stop the game at any time, if you don’t want to play it anymore, and choose a new game to play. The staff is happy to help you with little tips and tricks concerning the games and equipment. The atmosphere was really good.
It is possible to get familiar with Pikseli's games in advance through the Pikseli Arcade web-pages, and it is recommended to book at least one hour to play. The game is nice and inexpensive to experience with a friend in the same game room, where you can easily take turns.
Very popular games for teenagers are for example Raw Data and Elven Assassin. On the other, the mountain climbing game Everest is liked by all the age groups and it is suitable also for the beginners. Google Earth is a great way to explore a holiday destination from the air before the trip - or afterwards.
Our LikeFinland team was positively surprised that Pikseli, with its kindly personnel and wide selection of different games and VR experiences, is suitable also for those who are not so familiar with video gaming. Pikseli is also a unique holiday destination for those who are travelling in Helsinki area, located near Helsinki-Vantaa Airport.
Mon - Tue 14:00-21:00
Wed - Thu 12:00-21:00
Other times are negotiable.
30 min / 20€
60 min / 36€
Price / one room. Max. 3 persons can enter one room at a time.
Kindly Pikseli employees Ada, Mirka and Artur.
Pikseli Arcade (www)
Flamingo leisure world
Tasetie 8, Vantaa
Text: Henri Elo, Sari Särkijärvi
Our main website in Finnish is www.KivaaTekemista.fi.
LikeFinland team visited the Finnish Nature Centre Haltia on a sunny spring day in March. Haltia is located by a beautiful Nuuksion Pitkäjärvi Lake in Espoo, to the west of Helsinki. You can just take a bus from Espoo Centre 'Espoon keskus'.
A wooden building with large windows, designed by architect Rainer Mahlamäki, was opened to the public in May 2013. Haltia has a fantastic location in the metropolitan area, but it is still near the nature and away from Espoo and Helsinki cities.
Haltia is funded by cities of Espoo and Helsinki, as well as the nearby municipalities and cities (Vantaa, Kauniainen, Kirkkonummi, Vihti), Metsähallitus Parks & Wildlife Finland and Solvalla Nedre Ab.
The Nature Centre's purpose is to familiarize people to the nature and give them a sparkle to go outside - and explore the nature of the whole Finland!
In Haltia you can get familiar with a Finnish environmentally-aware architecture, art and eco-technologies. Haltia is the first public building in Finland built entirely of massive wood elements. Large windows bring in lots of natural light. Nature seems to be close to you, even if you are inside.
The environment has been taken into account in Haltia’s facilities and activities through skillful design and the latest ecological solutions. Among other features, the building is heated and cooled with energy derived from the sun and the earth cover.
Haltia is a gate to Finland’s beautiful nature destinations. You are able to experience all the seasons at the same time and dive into the magnificent scenery of Finland’s national parks. Haltia is an excellent place to visit for those, who don’t have the opportunity or time to go to nature.
Haltia works as a customer service point for visitors of Nuuksio National Park, but also for those who are planning a trip to Sipoonkorpi National Park, east of Helsinki, or to the fortress island of Vallisaari in the coast of Helsinki. Vallisaari was opened to the public last summer. In the main exhibition area of Haltia it is possible to make a virtual tour in Vallisaari.
Map of Vallisaari. Photo: LikeFinland.com
The Nature Centre consists of three exhibition areas: The main exhibition, Green Belt exhibition, and the special exhibition. In addition to these, there is an exhibition area outside of the building. New outdoor exhibition, "The man and the wolves" by a world-renowned wolf-photographer Jim Brandenburg, will be opened in May.
HALTIA SHOP & LIBRARY
From Haltia Shop you can buy for example maps for hiking trips as well as books, jewellery, CDs, souvenirs and other gift items related to nature and hiking.
The shop is situated in Haltia’s main lobby. Near the shop, there is also a library and reading corner, where you can find information about national parks, hiking and nature. The library’s selection includes outdoor activity maps, online maps, brochures, hiking magazines, and books.
NEW EXHIBITION: COMEDY WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY AWARDS - THE WORLD'S FUNNIEST WILDLIFE PHOTOS AT HALTIA
The new special exhibition at Finnish Nature Center Haltia is an humorous photo composition of wild animals in funny real life situations. The exhibition is based on the competition - The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards. The physical exhibition had it's World premiere on 4th of March, and it will be ongoing until fall of 2017.
The aim of the competition is to raise awareness and advance the conservation of nature and animals through joy and positive feelings. The competition is open for all. It is only allowed to photograph wild animals in their natural environments. Funny picture should be taken without disturbing the wildlife.
All of the photos at the exhibition are for sale and the profit will be donated to the Born Free Foundation, which is a wildlife charity working throughout the world to stop individual wild animal suffering and protect threatened species in the wild.
There were 56 fun and captivating photographic works. The funny photos of animals, their expressions and attitudes are interesting for people of all ages.
We noticed some changes at the Main exhibition area compared to our previous visit in Haltia a few years ago. It was great to see that Haltia tends to be renewed over time, which makes it even more attractive destination.
The Snowy Canyon, leading to the main exhibition space, describes life on the snow, in it and under it.
After the Canyon you can see a large wooden Duck Egg and a wide panorama screen, where you can watch changing presentations and stunning sceneries of Finland's national parks. Photos are taken by well-known nature photographers and are updated from time to time.
One of our favorites was Touch the Nature touchscreens, where you can explore all the 39 Finnish National Parks!
We tried a new voice guidance in Haltia; a visitor gets a headset and a simple remote control. Voice guidance is available in Finnish, Swedish and English.
Guidance in Russian, Chinese, Japanese, German, French and Italian is also possible, but should be booked in advance.
The Snowy Canyon of Haltia. Photo: LikeFinland.com
FUN THINGS TO DO FOR KIDS
The Visitor Center organizes plenty of events for families. In the first Saturday of every month, there is a Kids Nature Saturday in Haltia.
Alina from Haltia told us that, the kids like especially the animal nests of the main exhibition as well as the Snowy Canyon. For children there are also tasks related to the main show.
You can go to the bear's nest! :) Photo: LikeFinland.com
GREEN BELT EXHIBITION
The Helsinki Metropolitan Area differs from the other capitals of the world with its exceptionally wide green territory.
The protected and recreational areas of the Helsinki Metropolitan Area form a so-called Green Belt - from Sipoonkorpi National Park in Sipoo in east side of Helsinki to the west coast, Porkkalanniemi in Kirkkonummi. The Green Belt includes the archipelago, the coast, forests, lakes, rivers, bogs and cultural landscapes.
The Green Belt exhibition introduces visitors to the natural environment of the Helsinki Metropolitan Area, providing information on the destinations’ natural values, history, program and guide activities as well as equipment rental and recreational services. Some of them may be unknown to even the residents of this area.
At the Green Belt Exhibition you can sit back and look at the panoramic images that change according to the four seasons, spring, summer, autumn, winter. The exhibition will be redeveloped during the spring.
NUUKSIO NATIONAL PARK
Nuuksio National Park is one of the most popular nature destinations among the citizens of the Helsinki Metropolitan Area. The National Park turns 23 this year. It has an area of 55 square kilometers, extending to Espoo, Kirkkonummi and Vihti municipalities.
Nature center is located right next to Nuuksio National Park. The marked hiking trails starts from right next to the Haltia parking lots. A connection trail to National Park's main entrance Haukkalampi is 4,6 km.
The National Park can be reached in many different routes. Parking is available at different parts of the national park and its edges. Bus number 245 from Espoo Centre drives to Nuuksio all year round.
The Nuuksio National Park covers the westernmost part of the Nuuksio lake uplands, which is the largest and, as regards natural values, most important continuous wilderness area in the Uusimaa Region. Nuuksio boasts beautiful glens, steep gullies, rocks, groves, lakes, ponds and bogs.
Dozens of endangered and rare animal, plant and fungi species have been found there.
Nuuksio National Park has a total of approx. 33 kilometers of marked hiking trails. Cooking shelters and camping areas make the park an excellent hiking destination.
Nearly 350 000 hikers visited Nuuksio last year. Finnish Nature Centre Haltia had allmost 180 000 visitors. The Visitor Center is open from Tuesday to Sunday throughout the year, in summer time (from May) also on Mondays.
MOODS AFTER THE DAY
Haltia is a surprisingly large entity and it may easily take several hours to make the most of it.
Haltia was memorable because of its versatility. Many do not realize that Haltia provides not only nature experiences but also cultural experiences. There is an art exhibition and also the building itself is a kind of a work of art - Finnish architecture and ultra-modern ecological solutions are worth introducing for foreign guests.
When you sit down to watch the video presentation at the main exhibition, you can easily imagine yourself sitting on a rock admiring a beautiful lake scenery and feel the peace and presence of the nature. If you like nature, Haltia visit is the excellent way just to enjoy and relax, as we did in our visit. :)
Right after the visit I started to think and make some plans, of which nature destinations I would like to see and visit next in Finland.
In connection with the Nature Centre, there is a restaurant Haltia on the second-floor. It is definitely worth to visit because of its generous lunch buffet. Pure and near produced Finnish food with genuine taste makes the experience even better. In warm weather, food can be enjoyed in the restaurant's outdoor terrace, which offers stunning views over the Nuuksion Pitkäjärvi Lake and the forests. More information
** “Nature on the plate” lunch 18 € / adult, 9 € / 4-12 years, children under 4 years eat for free with an adult **
Photo: Tara Whiteman
Haltia is easy to access. Haltia was designed to enable wheelchair users to get almost to all parts of the building except for example the Pohjannaula tower.
At Haltia, you can also go out to enjoy nature in a wheelchair or with children’s pushchairs at nearby Maahisenkierros nature trail. The trail is 1.8 kilometres long. Due to the varying terrain in the area, the trail is classified as a demanding wheelchair trail, and persons in wheelchairs need to bring an assistant with them.
Haltia’s lighting has also been designed to enable the visually impaired to get around in the building.
Finnish Nature Centre Haltia (www)
Nuuksiontie 84, 02820 ESPOO
Tel. +358 (0)40 163 6200
Winter, October 1 - April 30
9:30 AM – 5 PM, TUE-SAT (Closed on Mondays)
Summer, May 1 - September 30
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM, DAILY
Adults 12 € (including all exhibitions and audio guide)
Children 5 € (7 - 17 years old) + 2€ if audio guide is included
Children under 7 years of age no entrance fee
Family ticket 25 € (including 1–2 adults and 1–4 children + audio guides)
Annual ticket 16 € (personal)
Ticket prices include VAT 10%
Guided tours 95 € / h for max. 25 persons / group (incl. VAT 24%).
NuuksioResort - nature activities and services in Nuuksio area
Text: Sari Särkijärvi, Henri Elo
Our main website in Finnish is www.KivaaTekemista.fi.
The Finnish Science Centre Heureka is one of Finland’s most popular leisure time destinations for all ages. In Heureka visitors can experience the joy of discovery through spectacular exhibitions, planetarium films and events.
Heureka has four exhibition halls with interactive exhibits as well as a modern digital planetarium. The exhibition experience is available in three languages: English, Finnish and Swedish, partly also in Russian and Estonian. Heureka is located in Helsinki metropolitan area, in the heart of Vantaa city, Tikkurila, and it is open year-round.
The expanded and renewed Science Centre Heureka reopened doors to the public on 28 January, 2017.
How Heureka has been renewed?
At first sight Heureka looks more spacious. And no wonder, after all, there is now approximately 2 000 square meters more space than before. With small changes, Heureka has succeeded in creating quite a stylish package being a traditional class trip destination. It is definitely worth a visit with foreign guests - or for you, who are planning a trip to Finland!
Heureka Classics as well as the main exhibition 'Wind in the Bowels, Intelligent City' have also experienced some degree of facelift.
In a rescue ship simulator, the task is to find a person who has fallen overboard. Photo: LikeFinland.com
A new exhibition area is clearly separated from the other spaces of Heureka. It was now easier for us to perceive the area even better. The show types of experiences, Science Theater and the Rat Basketball, have been moved behind the closed doors with certain showtimes.
A Shadow Theatre. Photo: LikeFinland.com
Body Worlds – ANIMAL INSIDE OUT
In connection with the reopening of Heureka, there was also opened a new exhibition about the anatomy of animals.
ANIMAL INSIDE OUT allows visitors to get acquainted at close range with animal anatomy, from the tiniest frog to a giraffe 5.1 metres tall and a full-size elephant. The exhibition consists of more than a hundred plastinated animal bodies and body parts.
Thanks to a technique known as "plastination", it is possible to show the internal structure of animals in precise, authentic detail down to the level of the bones, muscles, nerves, and organs.
Elephant nervous system. Photo: LikeFinland.com
The exhibition has been created in cooperation with several universities, zoos, and teams of specialists. The animals on display were donated to the exhibition through the veterinary medicine programmes of a number or universities, and from zoos and animal welfare groups. No animal was killed or harmed for this exhibition.
A Human brain. Photo: LikeFinland.com
Other renewals in a nutshell
Film: Pandas – The Journey Home (35 min)
You will fall in love anew with this iconic, delightful creature and better understand the desperate plight of pandas in the wild.
The filmmakers of Pandas: The Journey Home were granted unprecedented access to the Wolong Panda Center in China to bring to light the extraordinary efforts of the Chinese to secure the panda’s future in the wild.
At the Idea Area visitors can become factors instead of being just an experiencer: you can design and make small aircrafts, create stories at a Shadow Theater, and build anything you like from hundreds of wooden bricks. Apart from these, there are three interesting challenge: Build from straws, Plan a hill automobile and Create an electrical chain reaction.
Rat Castle & Rat Basketball (10 min)
Heureka's basketball rats have moved to their new home, Rat Castle. Seeing rats playing on a new fine basketball stadium is a memorable experience. At the same time “Inspirerers” of Heureka will tell you about rats and how the rats are trained.
Science Theatre Aga: Fun is in the air (20 min)
Science Theatre Aga’s Science Shows are a great experience for all ages. During the show you get to see the clouds, balloons, soap bubbles as well as a poor man's saxophone.
"A thousand and one bricks" was one of children's favorites in Heureka. Photo: LikeFinland.com
There are so many things to see and experience in Heureka. One day is not enough, if you want to see and experience all that Heureka has to provide you.
It was great to notice that Heureka had built an area where children can design and create different things by themselves or together with an adult. And also that Heureka appears now as a Science Centre for people of all ages.
In Heureka you can build a hill race car. Photo: LikeFinland.com
Heureka Science Centre (www)
Kuninkaalantie 7 (parking: Kuninkaalantie 5)
Tel. +358 9 8579 288
Mon-Wed, Fri 10-17
Text: Sari Särkijärvi, Henri Elo
Our main website in Finnish is www.KivaaTekemista.fi.
We have spent most of our winter holidays in Finnish Lapland. This time we decided to try something else. We headed to the heart of the Lakeland area of Finland: Tahko Ski Resort in Nilsiä, in Northern Savonia. We had visited Tahko once before in summertime, and we were just thinking that Tahko was a liitle bit like Alpine village in Austria, where we have visited earlier.
Tahko is located approx. 11 km from the center of Nilsiä and approx. 65 km from the center of Kuopio city - the capital of Savonia.
A wide range of slopes
Tahko is one of the largest and most diverse ski resort compared to those in Southern and Central Finland. Tahko slope has up to 200 meters elevation difference.
Tahko has slopes for skiers of different levels in both sides of Tahko mountain.
Eetu 5 yrs were practicing snowboarding with mother, while Aada 9 yrs explored the bigger slopes with dad. A slight children's slope with a carpet lift at the bottom of the front slope was just perfect for the beginner.
The front slopes on the left may be too challenging for beginners. Most gentle slopes - 700-meter-long 'Westerns easy', that was opened last season, can be found on the other side of Tahko, on the West slopes.
Tahko offers plenty of indoor activities at Tahko Spa centre: a bowling hall, gym, fitness center and a multifunctional arena, where you can play indoor games: badminton, table tennis, floorball and football. A surprisingly wide setting of everything!
If you don’t have your own sports equipment with you, you can rent cross-country skiing and ski equipment as well as snow shoes and toboggan from Tahko’s SciMac Promenade and SciMac Tirol Ski Rentals.
We stayed at Tahko Spa Hotel's stylish Vuori Apartment of two bedrooms, a living area, fully equipped kitchen, a sauna and a glassed-in balcony with great views directly to the Tahko slopes. Each apartment has an external storage place for skiing equipment on the ground floor.
The apartment was equipped also with two tellys, a washing machine and a drying machine.
A breakfast at Tahko Spa Hotel Restaurant Trattoria was plentiful and tasty with fresh bread, fruits, and the American-style pancake and with real croissants! The breakfast is offered at an additional fee.
Vuori Apartment at Tahko Spa Hotel. Photo: LikeFinland.com
Childrens favorite - Tahko Spa
After a long day on the slopes it was nice to go to a spa in the evening. The children were very excited about it - they had waited for it long before our arrival to Tahko. Although the day had been long, they were full of energy.
There are four pools at Tahko Spa, one for the smallest children's water play, the other for older children and a third 140-meter-deep for childrenm who can swim. For adults and for active swimmers there are a 25 m pool – added with a flatable Wibit water adventure course during the high season. The Spa also has a Jacuzzi, a waterslide and a pool bar.
Although there were lots of people in the Spa, it was a nice experience for all of us. Successful diving exercises and the first waterslide experiences without a parent left nice memories to the childrens' minds. Those memories will be remembered for a long time. :)
Tahko Spa is really good for families with children. Outside the high season there ais even more space for adults to relax in jacuzzis.
Tahko Spa. Photo: Kuopio-Tahko Marketing
First-class cross country skiing tracks
The skiing tracks of Tahko area were in really good condition. There was surprisingly tranquil in skiing tracks, so it was nice to enjoy views and voices of the nature.
We made a skiing trip to a skiing café "Latukahvio" near Tahko. The café is known for its delicious “Munkki" -donuts. The entrepreneurs Pertti and Päivi Huovinen arrange also reindeer safaris.
A distance from Tahko center to skiing café and back were approx. 9 km. Thanks to Tahko’s well maintained skiing tracks the trip was a nice experience also for children.
Tahkolahti. Photo: LikeFinland.com
We planned to visit Tahko Farm petting zoo on our departure day. At the farm we saw alpacas, goats, sheep, pigs, ducks, roosters, chickens, miniature ponies and bunnies. The animals seemed happy and healthy. :)
The best thing was that we were allowed to touch and feed the animals with carrots and apples that we received from the reception - however, following the certain rules.
In addition to Tahko Farm petting zoo and its activities, entrepeneurs Hannu Puustinen and his wife Minna Kirjavainen-Puustinen offer cottage accommodation. Hannu recommended to try a frozen toboggan hill close to the farm. Use of a helmet is recommended especially for smaller children.
Tahko Farm arranges horse safaris, pony ride, riding lessons, buggy ride etc. at an additional fee. Tahko Farm is open all year round.
Tahko Farm. Photo: Likefinland.com
Other activities for children
Next to Tahko Spa there is an activity park that combines a sport ground and a playground with different game equipment, a wire rope glider and parkour area. In winter, if the weather permits, there is a skating rink in the park.
In Tahko area you can find also babysitting services and a pet hotel.
Tahko has plenty of nice restaurants. We did not have time to visit as many as we would have wanted. Restaurant Tirol, at the sub-station of Tahko front slopes, was one of our favorites. The atmosphere in Tirol was like in alpine village. The dim lighting and a real fire in the fireplace brought to the restaurant warm and welcoming atmosphere. Also, the service was fast and friendly.
Tirol restaurant had been renewed for this season. The ownership had changed as well as the menu, being now more classy. During the high season Restaurant Tirol organizes children's discos and candy lotteries.
Children's Burger. Photo: LikeFinland.com
An lunch time of our alpine skiing day, we visited Restaurant Kaisla, which impressed us with its tasty homemade food and delicious pastries. The restaurant is located next to the Piazza Restaurant, just along the skiing tracks, near the gulf and skiing tracks.
Restaurant Kaisla. Photo: LikeFinland.com
Last but not least, we enjoyed lunch in Restaurant Rehti. Rehti’s entrepreneurs Ilkka and Raili Aapajärvi and daughter Suvi Valtonen invest in genuine tastes and in raw materials of high-quality. The Restaurant is open all year-round. Children’s menu is one of a kind.
Restaurant Rehti. Photo: LikeFinland.com
Tahko Panorama Bar & Cafe on the top of the front slopes has expanded its facilities to 70 seats. Also UKKO Restaurant at the heart of Tahko center was re-opened in December 2016.
Other popular restaurants in Tahko are Break Sokos Hotel Tahko’s Restaurant Hillside, and Restaurant Mosquito serving American cuisine and Mexican flavors.
Tahko in figures (March 2017)
Panorama Bar & Café. Photo: LikeFinland.com
24.-25.3. Kunkkupilkki - the first ice-fishing competition in Tahko’s History (evening program’s main star is Samantha Fox)
1.4. Tahko Winter ExtremeRun
13.-16.4. Tahko’s Easter
Tahko has great performers through the season.
Feelings after holiday
Tahko is a nice and compact ski resort.
A good thing in Tahko is that everything you need is close to you: skiing slopes, cross-country skiing tracks, restaurants, grocery stores, Spa and Tahko Farm. We didn't need our car at all during our 4-day holiday.
Tahko seems to be a good and versatile holiday destination for families all year round. We received very good benefits with Tahko Kids bracelets: children's theater was free of charge as well as desserts in a few restaurants. The bracelets are available in certain seasons.
Our kids liked most the chair lift of skiing slopes, and the water slide of Tahko Spa. We (adults) were impressed by Tahko's well maintained cross-country skiing tracks and friendly service. We would have enjoyed a longer stay in Tahko.
Text: Sari Särkijärvi, Henri Elo
Our main website in Finnish is www.KivaaTekemista.fi.
There are incredibly lively small villages in Finland. We visited a small Kierinki village in the municipality of Sodankylä in Northern Finland at the beginning of January.
The weather was extremely cold when we arrived to Kierinki. At the same time as we followed the car thermometer falling down to -38 degrees Celsius, we could not stop admiring the relaxing view and the amazingly beautiful colors on the sky.
Kieringintie-road. Photo: LikeFinland.com
We visited Kierinki during the ”kaamos” (a polar night season).
Although the sun does not rise above the horizon during the polar night, it does not mean that the winter time in Lapland would only be dark. There are only a few hours of daylight, but the colors and the prevailing peace of the nature - not forgetting the Northern Lights - are precisely those things, which is why many tourists come to Lapland just during the polar night time.
The Polar night period lasts from December to January. Everyone should experience ”kaamos” at least once in a lifetime. The length of kaamos varies from a few days to couple of months, and the length depends on how far you are from the Arctic Circle.
The story of Kierinki is unique. The village was spared from destruction of the Lapland War (1944-1945). That is why there still can be found old and spectacular buildings.
The main building of Hietala. Photo: LikeFinland.com
One of them, approx. 100-year-old Hietala house and its origin Ostrobothnian farmstead, was renovated by entrepreneurs Paavo and Teija Holopainen (cur. Raaterova).
The graceful, yellow Hietala building cannot go unnoticed when arriving to the village of Kierinki. Hietala operates as a restaurant and as a grand venue for parties, meetings and events. In the beautiful and idyllic courtyard, there are the Maailman pienin pubi (“World's smallest pub”), Latobaari (“Barn Bar”) and the Pikkupuoli Gallery buildings. The premises operate as a restaurant and meeting premises as well as exhibition premises.
Paintings by Teija Raaterova. Photo: LikeFinland.com
Both guests and locals were celebrating New Year 2017 in Hietala together by singing karaoke and eating local delicacies: meat of highland cattle and elk, salmon, whitefish and vendace.
Hietala’s treasures include art by Teija and her daughter Inari Raaterova, handicrafts and hunting trophies. All pieces of art in the Hietala premises tell about the mysticism and tradition of Lapland.
In the early 1900s Kierinki was a very vibrant village with its own sawmill, planing mill, private schools and self-built roads.
In the 1960s, the village had 870 inhabitants at its best. At that time the village had even two shops and a smithy, where a famous finnish knife maker Janne Marttiini had his first job at the age of 16 as an apprentice of a blacksmith.
Cozy accommodation - magnificent new hotel
The magnificent new hotel "Guesthouse" was opened to visitors in December 2016. The guesthouse has 12 double rooms with a country living interior design, a common comfortable living area, a sauna and a small kitchen. There has already arrived guests to Kierinki from Germany, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Russia, Latvia, and Finland, respectively.
The new Guesthouse. Photo: LikeFinland.com
Other accomodation alternatives in Kierinki consist of holiday village apartments and charming "grandma cabins". There is also a caravan area and a tent village of 10 furnished tents.
Grandma cabins. Photo: LikeFinland.com
Kierinki Shop & Café became a living room for the locals
Kierinki had already lost their grocery shop, but thanks to Paavo and Teija, Kierinki got it back. The shop was opened again in the summer of 2011. It is not just a shop anymore. It offers a wide range of services: groceries, lottery and betting, fishing permits, as well as local art or souvenirs.
The reception for Kierinki Holiday Village accommodation services is located at the shop, as is the breakfast and lunch restaurant. The large sun terrace serves from early in the spring to long in to the autumn. There is a petrol station in connection with the shop.
Since Kierinki has no longer bars, the locals use to come there for a drink and meet other people. Kierinki café serves mild alcoholic beverages and wines.
Kierinki Shop & Cafe. Photo: LikeFinland.com
Way into the wilderness - but still close to everything
Although Kierinki is located in the middle of nowhere, from the village it is easy to go for a day trip to skiing resorts like Ylläs, Levi or Luosto, or to the capital of Finnish Lapland, Rovaniemi. All of them are slightly over one hour's drive away by car.
"Kierinki is located in the center of everything. You don't have to spend all your holiday in one place. You can make day trips by car to different places", Teija says.
"Kierinki is a good place for visitors from foreign countries as well as for Finnish travelers, who appreciate the peace and the countryside." Teija hopes that the people would understand the importance of rural areas.
The village of Kierinki has been nationally assessed to be a significant scenery area in the Finnish Lapland. Kierinki offers their guests Lappish experiences in a beautiful original setting, in their own genuine way. Dog sled, horse and reindeer safaris, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, skiing and kick sledding can be arranged through them.
Northern Lights can be experienced in the yard of our guesthouse, but an unforgettable experience can be sought in the wilderness, where the only light is that of the stars and the northern lights.
Ritzo ten Cate. Photo: LikeFinland.com
When we - LikeFinland team - visited Kierinki in January 2017, we also met friendly Ritzo ten Cate from The Netherlands. Ritzo had come to Kierinki to enjoy the nature of Lapland and to recharge his batteries after a busy year. "The best thing about this place is a pure nature and the millions of trees and lakes."
Ritzo had enjoyed the wilderness by walking over 100 km in one week using Topo Gps app in his mobile phone. "The darkness and coldness surprised me. It was crazy that it was dark in the morning when I woke up, and in the afternoon around two to three p.m. it was dark again."
Dog sledding on skis. Photo by Teija Raaterova.
Kierinki region consist of sparsely populated forest-Lapland. There are villages only here and there. From the northern side of Kierinki there begins a wide marshland.
Things to do in winter: reindeer feeding, dog sledding, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing.
Things to do in summer: ATV / buggy safaris, fishing, canoeing, hiking.
Toboggans and kick sleds in the winter as well as bikes in the summer can be borrowed from the Kierinki Shop & Café.
Theatre Festival - July
Country fair - 1st week of September
3.-5.3. Gathering for snowmobile enthusiasts:
Comfortable accommodation, good food, sauna, karaoke, off-road -driving etc.
Further information: tel. +358 (0)40 8091610.
Teija Raaterova (in the middle), her daughter Malla (left) and Airi Kangas, a chairman of Kierinki Development Association (right). Cheerful shop keeper Outi Kaisanlahti (below). Photos: LikeFinland.com
Kierinki surprised us
Kierinki surprised us in many ways. We could not have imagined how great things we would find in Kierinki: nice people, admirable energetic entrepreneurial spirit, beautiful buildings, modern hotel rooms and charming granny cottages - not to forget the art.
Extensive marshland would be nice to explore some day. The most memorable thing in Kierinki was a friendliness and immediacy of the people. And the fact that everything is possible, when you have the energy and desire to keep the countryside alive in Lapland.
When you travel to Lapland by car, remember to watch out the reindeers, as well as other cars when you arrive to the main road after having driven tens of kilometers in a narrow and silent Kieringintie-road.
97390 KIERINKI (Sodankylä)
Tel. + 358 40 809 1610
Text: Sari Särkijärvi, Henri Elo
Our main website in Finnish is www.KivaaTekemista.fi.