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.

10.04.2020

Spring flowers, Easter - and Gift cards to adventure parks!

Hyacinths, bead lilies and other summer flowers arrived in Kivapiha! Photo: Kivapiha garden shop 2020, Mäntsälä

 

It has been completely different spring season both for us LikeFinland as well as our customers. Most of them are suffering from COVID-19 and its limits, set by authorities.

These are for example adventure parks and destinations, restaurants, guest houses, hotels as well as small shops. Some of them are forced to be completely closed like indoor parks and restaurants (excl. take away).

At the same time, these places are those, which are offering important possibilities to kids and teenagers to meet each other and have a nice time together.

Now you can support these by buying a gift card/voucher. It would be a very nice Birthday present also! Joy for receiver, support for the destination, and a small price for you. We collected these webshops in our Finnish article:

  • Rush Helsinki (www) – buying gift card "lahjakortti" at phase 2, valid 1 year
  • Suomen Tivoli (www) – mobiile tickets beforehand, ticket valid forever if you can show it on your mobile!
  • Megazone laser tag ja Prison Island, Helsinki, Vantaa, Tampere, Jyväskylä (www)
  • Treetop Adventure Huippu and Adventure Golf Huippu, Espoo (www) – gift tickets valid until the end of October 2020
  • Talma Ski ja Talma Active Park, Sipoo (www) – gift tickets for skiing and summer adventure- / climbing park
  • Flamingo Spa, Vantaa (www) – tickets and gift vouchers from the web straight to your email.

 

Enjoying Birthday party at Prison Island Vantaa in the fall of 2019. Photo: LikeFinland.com

 Enjoying Birthday party at Prison Island Vantaa in the fall of 2019. Photo: LikeFinland.com

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Luckily, it's spring now - bright and relaxing to enjoy the sun and flowers.

Our Star Destination, unique garden shop Kivapiha in Mäntsälä - some 40 km north from Helsinki area, along the high way 4 - has been completely renewed!

There are available garden stones, stone yards, walking stones, summer flowers, soil, shell covers, play sand for kids, pots for garden flowers, small trees and so on by Kivapiha company, but now there is also Garden statue and fountain sales by Art Bouffant as well as Motorbike sales and maintenance by W-bike. Both in Kivapiha premises from 2020 onwards.

Kivapiha is located at Vuolteenmäentie 7, Mäntsälä. (www)

 

Kivapiha is located at Vuolteenmäentie 7, Mäntsälä. Photo: LikeFinland.com

Kivapiha is located at Vuolteenmäentie 7, Mäntsälä. Photo: LikeFinland.com

 

HAPPY EASTER TIME FOR YOU! :-)

 

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Text and photos: Henri Elo / LikeFinland.com 

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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 InstagramOur main website in Finnish is KivaaTekemista.fi.

15.03.2020

Sipoo and Talma - northeast of Helsinki - offer great outdoor and skiing possibilities!

Nice view in the afternoon from the platter lift line of the practise slope in March 2020. Photo: LikeFinalnd.com

 

We spent a great time in Talma in March 2020. Talma Ski is a skiing and outdoor resort in Sipoo municipality, near Helsinki and Vantaa.

It has been hard winter for skiing resorts in Southern Finland because of warmer weather than normally. Still, Talma has been able to be open over 100 skiing days also in this season, even if the all slopes have not been open.

We visited first time in Talma this season at the end of December. That day the family slope and main snow park were closed due to snow making by snow cannons. The system is very developed in Talma; in this kind of winter they make new snow by snow cannons almost every time, when the temperature goes under zero.

That's the way the resorts can offer great downhill skiing and snowboarding circumstances for people also in Southern Finland!

 

From left up to down right: the view from the center towards the hill; the family slope lift line; a new building for 'take a break' in Werneri Park; and a snowcat at the top of the hill, as a mark that back slopes are closed. Photos: LikeFinland.com 

From left up to down right: the view from the center towards the hill; the family slope lift line; a new building for 'take a break' in Werneri Park; and a snowcat at the top of the hill, as a mark that back slopes are closed. Photos: LikeFinland.com

  

It was really nice to enjoy winter, speed and sun in Talma in the middle of March 2020! 

The snow, sun and outdoor are so relaxing. My - and the most of us in Southern Finland - winter experiences have been limited in this season, even if the alpine skiing resorts, municipalities and cross-country skiing clubs have done a great job to offer circumstances on a smaller scale.

In Talma's Werneri Park area there is a totally new building. Werneri Park is an area for children with sleds, toboggans, tubes and an easy carpet lift. The building is very practical; there are more rooms and tables for birthday parties, sausage frying and enjoing own food. In Talma there is also a nice restaurant with delicious Thai menu as well as hamburger, pizza and ´home-made food´ like meatballs with mashed potatous.

And yes, I think it's safe to experince outdoor actiivites also in this 'korona time'. You can keep a wise distance to other people, take care of hand hygiene, and stay home if feeling sick. 

 

 In Sipoonkorpi National Park one can really feel the nature and peace. The park was opened in 2011. Photos: LikeFinland.com

In Sipoonkorpi National Park one can really feel the nature and peace. The park was opened in 2011. Photos: LikeFinland.com

 

I had a great possibility to participate a hiking trip in Sipoonkorpi National Park in the beginning of January 2020. The length of the hike was around 20 km and 7 hours, from Nikinmäki, Vantaa to Landbo in Helsinki area, across the park from north to south.

There are also routes with guide signs in Sipoonkorpi. You can get more info here (National parks in Finland), and choose "Sipoonkorpi". The park is one of the newest national parks in Finland. The Finnish Nature Center Haltia in Espoo offer much infromation about national parks in Finland.

Did you know that there are nice art exhibitions - like Gumbostrand Konst & Form - restaurents and B&Bs (Visit Sipoo) as well as REKO local food service (FB group) in Sipoo, last one connected to Guesthouse Box & Handelsmans Café every other Friday.

 

Back to Talma! :) Talma is also a summer destination, called 'Talma Active Park', including many activities like paintball, climbing park, minigolf, frisbee golf and Werneri Park. Photos: LikeFinland.com (in winter 2020)

Back to Talma! :) Talma is also a summer destination, called 'Talma Active Park', including many activities like paintball, climbing park, minigolf, frisbee golf and Werneri Park. Photos: LikeFinland.com (in winter 2020)

 

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Talma Ski contact info:

Talma webpages in English (incl. opening times in March 2020)

Prices in Finnish

Tickets +358 (0)400 716 882 info(at)talmaski.fi
Rental and Ski Shop +358 (0)400 716 866
Ski School +358 (0)44 574 9070, hiihdonopetus(at)talmaski.fi
Restaurant  +358 (0)400 716 856, ravintola(at)talmaski.fi

Talmantie 341
04240 SIPOO
(for navigator: Norantie 1, Sipoo)

Talma @ Facebook (www)
Talma @ Instagram (www)

 

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Text and photos: Henri Elo / LikeFinland.com 

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Sipoo municipality, Talma Ski and Guesthouse Box & Handelsmans Café are the Star Destinations and media customers of LikeFinland.com in Sipoo.

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.

09.03.2020

Spring holiday in Mariehamn and Park Alandia Hotel refreshed both soul and mind!

We enjoyed the eastern coast of Mariehamn, which is a 'cape-shaped town' from north to south. Photo: LikeFinland.com

 

We enjoyed and spent again - like a year ago, 2 children and one adult - a nice winter/spring holiday in Mariehamn, the centre of Åland. Åland is a beautiful island in the middle of the Baltic Sea, between Finland and Sweden.

When Åland is usually considered as a summer destination, this island is really worth to see in all seasons, also in winter and spring time!

 

Park Alandia Hotel's rooms are cosy and comfortable. Hotel manager Johanna Enberg showed us a renoved sauna and spa department. Photos: LikeFinland.com

Park Alandia Hotel's rooms are cosy and comfortable. Hotel manager Johanna Enberg showed us a renoved sauna and spa department. Photos: LikeFinland.com

 

Park Alandia Hotel is nowadays a family-company, owned by Zaida and Jesper Blomsterlund. Until 2015 it was owned by Viking Line cruise company.

Both Zaida and hotel manager Johanna Enberg told that they want a customer feel like being home when visiting hotel and that (s)he could get service with his/her own language.

We liked the hotel; the rooms are renovated, and both breakfast and dinner were good. We enjoyed for example fish and beef as a dinner. The kids liked and waited the breakfast very much, because it's not that common you can choose and collect yourself a delicious morning meal. :)

 

Park Alandia Hotel with its delicacies, and Viktor Crafts & Design and Café Viktor, down right. Photo: LikeFinland.com

Park Alandia Hotel with its delicacies, and Viktor Crafts & Design and Café Viktor, down right. Photo: LikeFinland.com

 

It was nice to notice that Viktor Crafts & Design opened its doors in summer 2016 by Torggatan 15 in one of the Mariehamn's oldest wooden buildings. The store and its gallery are focused on 'Ålandish' design and art, and the products of the shop are made in an environmental-friendly way, for example of recycled materials.

A hundred metres to north, in Torggatan 9, there is a nice Syrrans / Pentik Mariehamn store, which offers Pentik and other decoration and textile brands. Anncatrin Kytömäki told that the shop has been operating for 16 years, and last 3 years in this location.

Happy women! :) Åland Maritime Museum's Lisa, Park Alandia Hotel's Zaida and Anna-Lena. Down left Viktor's Inger and Linda, and right Matilda and Anncatrin from Syrrans. Photos: LikeFinland.com

Happy women! :) Åland Maritime Museum's Lisa, Park Alandia Hotel's Zaida and Anna-Lena. Down left Viktor's Inger and Linda, and right Matilda and Anncatrin from Syrrans. Photos: LikeFinland.com

 

There are many shops and restaurants in the centre of Mariehamn, not forget Sittkoff Gallerian shopping mall, Torggatan 13. You can take a closer look at the shops and services of Mariehamn and Åland on the website of Visit Åland. (www

We were positively surprised that there is a wide and spacious shopping mall, Maxinge Center, quite near the city, just 4 kilometres towards Jomala. We took a bus from the bus station to Maxinge, but came back by walking. And it was a great experience - as well as outdoor activity with kids - in the sunny weather!

Maxinge offers more shopping choices in Mariehamn area. The story begun from Sparhallen in 1981 (current location since 1985), and there is still the low-budget store Sparhallen in Maxinge as you see our LikeFinland team! :) Photos: LikeFinland.comMaxinge offers more shopping choices in Mariehamn area. The story begun from Sparhallen in 1981 (current location since 1985), and there is still the low-budget store Sparhallen in Maxinge as you see, our LikeFinland team! :) Photos: LikeFinland.com

 

We had a great time in Mariebad waterpark where you can admire the calmness of the sea also from the outdoor pool. Or take a fast waterslide from a 'tower' along the waterslide tube to straight the pool - and you'll see your speed time on the screen!

We spent 3 three nights and slept well in Park Alandia Hotel. Our room was a combined double-room, which is very suitable for families with kids.

Last day we explored maritime miracles and history in Åland Maritime Museum, which was awarded as the Musem of the Year 2016 in Finland. The exhibition is versatile for all-age people! In summer time you can visit also a museum ship Pommern and feel its revised (since 2019) visitor experience. Pommern is located in the harbour of the museum, Hamngatan 2.

 

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Park Alandia Hotel (ParkAlandia.com in English here)

Park Alandia's FB

Norra Esplanadgatan 3
22100 Maarianhamina, ÅLAND - FINLAND

Phone +358 (0) 18 14130
info(a)parkalandia.com 

Online booking here

 

We really enjoyed the views of Nabben and the eastern coast of Mariehamn, incl. Maritime Quarter, when walking back to the town. Photos: LikeFinland.com

We really enjoyed the views of Nabben and the eastern coast of Mariehamn, incl. Maritime Quarter, when walking back to the town. Photos: LikeFinland.com

 

Text and photos: Henri Elo / LikeFinland.com 

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We have chosen Park Alandia Hotel and Spring holiday in Mariehamn as the Destination of the Month in March 2020. Park Alandia Hotel is our Star Destination and media customer.

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.

23.12.2019

Fun things to do in Helsinki area at Christmas time 2019

Skiing center Talma in Sipoo is open at Christmas and New Year time every day but not in Dec 24-25th. Photo: LikeFinland.com

 

Even if there is not snow in Southern Finland, you can still do many nice holiday activities also in Helsinki area at Christmas time 2019, and New Year time 2020!

Here we've collected and presenting you our Star Destinations’ activities you can do – before and after enjoying Christmas delicacies, or when thinking what to do on holiday season.

(Star Destinations have been our advertising customers during last 12 months, which we’ve usually tested and explored ourselves. You can find also individual articles some of these places on our site.)

A skiing center Talma Ski in Sipoo, northeast of Helsinki, has been open some weeks, because they have snow canons working when the temperature goes under zero!

Not every slope is open, but open are: front slope, jumpline of the front snowpark, two training slopes and a pop-up snowpark! Also equipment shop, rental and restaurant are open when the center is open.

Opening hours in Dec: Mon-Fri 16-20, Sat-Sun 10-18.
Opening hours at Christmas time (www)

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Rush Helsinki is open every other day but not in Dec 24-25th and Jan 7th. There is no Happy hour on holiday season. Photo: Rush Helsinki

 Rush Helsinki is open every other day but not in Dec 24-25th and Jan 7th. There is no Happy hour on holiday season. Photo: Rush Helsinki

 

We tested and experienced the first trampoline park in the Nordic countries. Trampoline park Rush is located in Pitäjänmäki, Helsinki. So you can reach it by bus or train easily.

It was fun and the kids want to Rush again. There are many various trampoline activities at Rush.

I met and interviewed Rush Helsinki entrepreneur Mikko Vihersalo. “Teenagers between 13-15 years are most likely to drop out of their hobbies, but for example here they can meet each other, spend nice time and have sport too”, says Mikko. 

Our whole article (www)
More about Rush in English and booking (www)

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Miniholiday to the warmth? It's always +32 C in Flamingo both inside and outside water. Photo: Flamingo Spa

Miniholiday to the warmth? It's always +32 C in Flamingo both inside and outside water. Photo: Flamingo Spa

 

Flamingo Spa is one of the biggest and most enjoyable water parks and spas in Finland. It is located in Flamingo Entertainment Center, Vantaa, next to the Shopping Center Jumbo.

There are two sides in Flamingo: a wide waterpark for the whole family with many pools, jacuzzis, water slides, jump tower and a wibit course.

Then there is an adult sauna and treatment center with many saunas and pools for relaxing without noise or hullabaloo. Time for you.

Spa Cafe Deliberi is serving both waterpark and adult spa customers.

Note: “Children that are able to swim on their own and are ower the age of 10 can swim in the waterpark by themselves. Children under 10 yo must have an 18 year old adult with them at all times.”

Read more about Flamingo Spa here (www)

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In Megazone, there is again available Day Pass for 30 € between Dec 23 – Jan 6. Photo: Megazone Helsinki & Vantaa

In Megazone, there is again available Day Pass for 30 € between Dec 23 – Jan 6. Photo: Megazone Helsinki & Vantaa

 

The action is not over. In Flamingo Entertainment Center there are also Megazone and Prison Island adventure activities, best suitable for school kids, teenagers and adults.

Both Megazone laser tag game, and Prison Island riddles to solve, are located under the same customer service, on the 3rd floor of Flamingo.

By the way, there are plenty of free-cost parking places both inside and also outside Flamingo, by Tasetie road.

Last fall we experienced Kid’s Birthday in Megazone and Prison Island. So here you can check the article in Finnish (www), and here more info and booking ("Varaa peli"):

Megazone, Vantaa (www)
Prison Island, Vantaa (www)
Megazone, Helsinki (www)
Prison Island, Helsinki (www)

Megazone & Prison Island in Vantaa and Helsinki are open every day 12pm – 19pm on Christmas holiday, but both are closed on Christmas Eve 24th. Helsinki is also closed on Christmas Day 25th and New Year’s Day Jan 1st.

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Note: Our Star Destinations are offering Present tickets for a Christmas present. Check more info on the websites Megazone, Prison Island, Talma, Rush, Flamingo etc.

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One can also enjoy in the Finnish forest. The picture is from Tuusula - Kerava woods from Sunday Dec 22th. Nordic walking – walking with poles – in the nature is one of my favourites to relax.

The Finnish forest, not depending the season, is worth to experience and calm your mind. Photo: LikeFinland.com

The Finnish forest, not depending the season, is worth to experience and calm your mind. Photo: LikeFinland.com

 


Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2020 - and thank you for reading in 2019!

 

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Text and photos: Henri Elo

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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