Kierinki Village - a hidden pearl of Finnish Lapland

We visited a small Kierinki village in Finnish Lapland at the beginning of January. Kierinki is located in the municipality of Sodankylä in Northern Finland.

We had visited Kierinki once before, but at that time the weather was extremely cold, almost -40 degrees Celsius. This time the weather was on our side. We were very happy about it because we could get to know the small Lappish village even better.

We visited Kierinki during a polar night season ("kaamos" in Finnish) when there are only a few hours of daylight.

Photo: LikeFinland.com 

We got a warm welcome from Teija Raaterova, who has played a key role in revitalizing this small village - together with her fellow entrepeneur Paavo Holopainen, and other active people in Kierinki like Airi Kangas and restaurant entrepeneur Pekka Hakola.

In Kierinki you don’t see large number of other travellers, and that is one of the reasons why we like Kierinki so much. In Kierinki you have a chance to be in peace and spend your vacation at your own pace or in activities with the locals. Kierinki is also a very snow-sure place in Finland.


Ready to go! Photo: LikeFinland.com


The heart of the village is Kierinki Shop & Cafe, re-opened in 2011. The shop offers a wide range of services: groceries, fishing permits, as well as local art and souvenirs, not to forget a restaurant that offers breakfast and lunch. There is also a petrol station in connection with the shop.

A beautiful, yellow Hietala building operates as a restaurant ans as a grand venue for parties, meetings and events. Photo: LikeFinland.com 

Hietala's treasures include art, handicrafts and hunting trophies that tell about the mysticism and tradition of Lapland. Photo: LikeFinland.com


There are different kinds of accomodation alternatives in Kierinki: a brand new guesthouse, opened in Christmas 2016, holiday apartments, Grandma Cabins, a caravan area and a tent village. 

We stayed in one of the cosy holiday apartments. It is a good choice for families with children. The apartments have a private sauna, kitchen and lounge, and they are equipped with bed linen, towels and kitchenware as well as a TV.

The charming and traditional Grandma Cabins are popular during the summer.

Places to stay are needed, as there are annual popular Lappish events taking place in Kierinki. The Theater Festival is held in July and the Rural Market, with merchants from all over the Lapland, is held in the first week of September.

Holiday apartment. Photo: LikeFinland.com


A special thing about Kierinki is that guests, if they want, have an opportunity to experience activities truly together with the locals. We sat down on a sleights pulled by snowmobiles and went to check the fishing nets on the frozen Miskisjärvi lake together with Teija, Airi and Esko.

Along the way we stopped by one of Kierinki's reindeer farms. There were not only a couple of reindeers, but there were dozens of them.  

It is important to walk calmly at the farm, because the reindeers are quite sensitive. We had a chance to feed them together with the owner. The kids were excited.

Photo: LikeFinland.com

We continued our journey to Miskisjärvi lake where the first nets were. Unfortunately, we didn’t get any fish from there, but luckily Esko and Airi had nets also in Riipijoki river, right next to the village. And then it finally happened, we got a huge pike!

Esko checking a fishing net on lake Miskisjärvi. Photo: LikeFinland.com

What a catch! Photo: LikeFinland.com

At the end of the day we sat down by the open fire and grilled some sausages. The trip was a thrilling and relaxing experience both for children and adults!


Ice fishing: 80 €/ person

Visit to a reindeer farm: 80 €/ person

Trip to wilderness: 179 €/ person

Evening trip to see the Northern Lights: 80 €/ person

Finnish sauna and swimming in the snow: 130 €/ person

Guided tour on snow shoes: 40 €/ person

Renting the snow shoes: for a day 20 €/ person

The rates are minimum 2 full paying adults. Children with 2 adults -50%. 

More information and bookings

Teija Raaterova, tel. +358 40 809 1610, e-mail: teija.raaterova(a)kieringinloma.fi

Kierinki Village in Booking.com

Airi Kangas, tel. +358 40 823 9291, e-mail: airi.kangas(a)gmail.com (activities and history)

Pekka Hakola, tel. +358 400 696 061, e-mail: hakolapekka(a)gmail.com (activities and special food)

Kierinki is a perfect place for a pilates retreat. Photo: LikeFinland.com


Before returning home we still wanted to enjoy the snow and at the same time test Kierinki’s cross-country skiing tracks. The weather was nice, the sky was bright and the temperature was -5 degrees celsius. The sun was still not visible, but the sky was full of beautiful colours.

To get to the skiing track, we had to drive 1 km of Raaterovantie. The track that leads you near the border of Kittilä municipality can be found on the left side of the road.

Photo: LikeFinland.com 

What a pleasure it was to ski in all the silence along the track surrounded by snowy trees. Because of a flat terrain, it was nice to ski, especially with children. 

If you do not have your own sled with you, you can borrow it from the Kierinki Shop & Cafe or from the Guesthouse. Kicksleds can also be borrowed freely. 

Reindeer farmer Ilpo Kumpula from one of the Kierinki's reindeer farms had saved a reindeer fawn that had got lost from it's doe. Photo: LikeFinland.com


In Kierinki you have also a chance to get acquainted with the highland cattle. The animals seem calm and are eager to come to you if you've got bread with you to taste.

However, be careful when feeding the cattle. On arrival, the animals came so enthusiastically to us that it felt like the fence almost crashed. So we continued feeding by throwing the bread for them.

Highland products can be purchased at the Kierinki Shop & Cafe, or they can be enjoyed at the restaurant.

Photo: LikeFinland.com



Kierinki brings us warm memories, especially because of the friendly people. We felt welcome and we found Kierinki more fascinating than a year ago due to the longer visit.

The Polar night period (Kaamos) brought its own spice to our visit. A headlamp was one of the most important tools during our visit.

It was great to be able to see and experience the winter activities of Kierinki - winter fishing and reindeer feeding. According to our children, the best part of our holiday was sitting on a sled pulled by a snowmobile. That really is something different than at home.

Eetu (6 years) also liked our nice "cottage" there. It was surprising that there's so much to experience in Kierinki. 

Photo: LikeFinland.com

Our article about Kierinki from last year: Destination of the month: Adorable Kierinki Village in Lapland (published 14.2.2017) 

"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 Village
Tuirantie 4
97390 KIERINKI (Sodankylä)

Tel. + 358 40 809 1610
E-mail. teija.raaterova(a)kieringinloma.fi

Website - Facebook

Kierinki Village in Booking.com


Raaterovantie road. Photo: LikeFinland.com

Text: Sari Särkijärvi, Henri Elo

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

Our main website in Finnish is www.KivaaTekemista.fi.


Fun things to do in Helsinki region on Christmas time

If you are heading to Helsinki on Christmas Time, we made you a list of interesting places to visit.

Suomenlinna Sea Fortress

Suomenlinna, The sea fortress, founded in 1748, is a Unesco World Heritage site and one of the most popular tourist attractions in Finland. Visitors are not charged an admission fee – you only need to pay for the ferry crossing. Suomenlinna is also a borough of Helsinki. 

Christmas at the fortress is full of experiences and cosy atmosphere from 2 December 2017 to 7 January 2018. Restaurants, museums and galleries are open with special opening hours and Christmas themed program is available around the islands. Read more

How to get there?
Suomenlinna is accessible only by water. A ferry service runs from the Market Square to Suomenlinna throughout the year. 
The trip to Suomenlinna takes 15–20 minutes and offers magnificent views of Helsinki and the surroundings from the sea. During the cold winter months, the trip through the ice-covered waters is a unique experience. More information

The photo archives of the Governing Body of Suomenlinna/Arttu Kokkonen

Kiipeily Areena Climbing Centre
Salmisaari Sports Center (K1st floor)
Energiakatu 3, Helsinki

KiipeilyAreena in Salmisaari, Helsinki is the Scandinavia's biggest and highest indoor climbing centre! Here you will find the perfect level of difficultiness. KiipeilyAreena suits also for groups and children's birthday parties incl. climbing instructor.

Opening hours
Mon-Fri 9-22
Sat 10-19
Sun 10-21

24.12. closed
25.12. closed
26.12. 9-22
31.12. 10-18
1.1. 13-22

Ticket prices
Adult 14 € (with equipment 20€)
10 € Mon-Fri before 16 (with equipment 16€)
Child 10 € (with equipment 15€)
Bouldering 11€


Prison Island Helsinki
Salmisaari Sports Center
Energiakatu 3, Helsinki

Prison Island is a destination with adventure for all in ages 9-99 years old. It’s a lot like the successful TV-show “Fort Boyard” where you use team-work to solve tricky challenges in cells and collect points. All while the clock is ticking…. Gather your friends, form a team and solve the challenging tasks in the prison cells together. Cooperate, collect points and have lots of fun. 

Key card 60 min. 18€ / person
Key card 90 min. 25€ / person
Key card 120 min. 32€ / person

Opening hours
Mon-Sun 12-19
Closed 24.-25.12. and 1.1.

Please make a reservation in advance: tel. +358 50 596 5017

Prison Island Helsinki. Photo by LikeFinland.com

Megazone Laser Game
Salmisaari Sports Center
Energiakatu 3, Helsinki

Megazone laser tag is a fun, futuristic and exciting game that is suitable for all ages. Laser tag is played in a dimly lit, fog-filled, multi-level arena where players are provided with high tech vests and awesome but harmless laser guns. Players then try to score points by deactivating other players’ vests and destroying their bases.

1 game 10€
2 games 18€
3 games 25€

Opening hours
Mon-Sun 12-19
Closed 24.-25.12. and 1.1.

Please make a reservation in advance: tel. + 358 50 595 4094 or helsinki(a)megazone.fi.


Exit Room Helsinki
Eurantie 2, Helsinki

At EXIT ROOM HELSINKI you have 66 minutes to explore a mysterious room full of surprises and to find the key for the exit. ESCAPE ROOMS are the perfect freetime activity for friends, families, colleagues… Search the room, turn it upside down. Be clever and solve all the puzzles. The rooms in a very special atmosphere are suitable for groups of 2 – 5 people. Read more

2 players 80€
3 players 90€
4 players 100€
5 players 120€
6 players 135€

Prices are valid from Monday to Saturday. On Sundays and Finnish National Holidays all games cost 135 €. Book a game!


Ice Park
Rautatientori, Helsinki

The Ice Park is centrally located in the heart of Helsinki, right next to the central railway station.
Enjoy the urban culture with skates on. Relax with a hot drink in the atmospheric café, listen to music or meet friends. Come as you are – with or without the kids, straight from work, with your special someone under your arm, or on your way to a night out with friends. The award winning Ice Park is the perfect meeting spot! Read more

Opening hours
24.12. – Closed
23.12. - 6.1. – Open from 10 until 21

Tickets and prices
Adults 6 €
Children (under 18 years-old) 3 €
Skate rental 6 €

The ticket is valid all day. Before skating you will buy a ticket from the ticket booth and put it on your jacket. If you need skates, you can rent them from the Ice Park. Helmets and helping sleds can be borrowed free of charge.

Image source: Jääpuisto - Ice Park, Helsinki


LikeFinland.com is a nationwide leisure time media and search service of Finnish destinations. Would you like us to write about your destination for tourists. Please let us know.


Helsinki City Museum
Aleksanterinkatu 16, Helsinki

2.12.–10.1. ”Shadows of the Past” light installation

Helsinki City Museum at Aleksanterinkatu 16 will again create a peaceful winter oasis of light installations in its outdoor courtyards. This year, Alexander Reichstein, the creator of last winter’s immensely popular historic light sculptures, will bring Shadows of the Past to the historic Govinius’ courtyard. In this installation, ghostly silhouettes walk in an endless procession. The procession marches to the strong rhythms of Shostakovich’s music, which conveys the drama of time passing by.

Falkman’s courtyard will be filled by Willem Heeffer and Jussi Karjalainen’s light installation Around Helsinki, based on shadow theatre techniques. The installation features familiar and less familiar landmarks of Helsinki, including Hotel Torni, a kiosk and an old street lamp, alongside iconic urban transport vehicles ranging from a tram to a Zeppelin. Both light installations can be admired during the museum’s opening hours from 2 December 2017 to 10 January 2018. Read more


What does the nose remember? What does the city smell like? Can a museum experience be built on a single smell? The Helsinki City Museum at Aleksanterinkatu 16 will offer a new sensory experience starting from Friday, 7 October 2016 when Smell opens on the fourth floor of the museum. Read more

Time Machine

The Helsinki City Museum whisks visitors away on a time-travelling expedition one hundred years into the past. The Time Machine makes the photographs of famous Helsinki photographer Signe Brander come to life with a little bit of help from new technology. Time travellers can also visit the courtyards and streets of 1960s, 1970s and 1980s Helsinki. Historical VR experience! Read more

Children's Town

In Children’s Town, Helsinki’s past is illustrated by means of play and joint activities. Entrance to Children’s Town is always free of charge. Read more

Helsinki Bites

The Helsinki Bites exhibition dives into the past of Helsinki, bringing up common memories about the city’s history. Miniature Helsinki about the city in the 1870s, a thoroughly decorated 1950s apartment, and the interactive panorama experience are just some parts of Helsinki Bites. Read more


The freedom to be yourself is not something all of us can take for granted. The Helsexinki-exhibition in the Helsinki City Museum, is based on the everyday experiences of city folk. It’s about sexuality, gender and sex – and about the freedom to choose how to express them. Read more

Opening hours
mon – fri 11–19
sat –sun 11–17

24.-26.12. and 1.1. More information

Helsinki City Museum exhibitions can be enjoyed free of charge.

Helsinki Bites. Image source: Helsinki City Museum

Löyly - un urban oasis
Hernesaarenranta 4, Helsinki

Löyly, an urban oasis, offers exceptional architecture in a unique location. The sauna is open to the public and has separate locker rooms and showers for men and women – however the sauna rooms and other facilities are open to everyone. Please remember that appropriate swimwear must be worn in the shared sauna room. If you would like to enjoy a private sauna visit, a smaller wood-fired sauna is available for exclusive hire. Read more

The admission fee for a two-hour sauna visit is EUR 19.00. The price includes a towel, seat liner and shampoo and shower gel. Additional hours are charged at EUR 10.00 per hour.

Opening hours
Mon-Wed 16-22
Thu 13-22
Fri-Sat 13-23 (morning sauna on Saturday at 8-10)
Sun 13-21

Sat 24.12. closed
Sun 25.12. closed

More information

Image source: Löyly. Photo by Pekka Keränen

Allas Sea Pool

Katajanokanlaituri 2 A, Helsinki

Allas Sea Pool is a gardenlike oasis in the heart of Helsinki with a large pool area and magnificent saunas. In addition to swimming, bathing in the saunas and good food, Allas Sea Pool offers many options for wellness. Allas is full of events and things to do - good modern life right at the shore of the Baltic Sea! Read more


Swimming ticket 12€
Children’s ticket (children 3-11) 6€
Children 0-2 for free

Opening hours in December:
Mon-Fri: 7am-9pm
Sat: 9am-9pm
Sun: 10am-8pm

Exceptional opening hours:
24-25 December: 10am-8pm
26 December: 10am-9pm (Special event until 23:00)
31 December: 10am-1am


Image source: Allas Sea Pool

Korkeasaari Zoo
Mustikkamaanpolku 12, Helsinki

Helsinki Zoo is home to 150 animal species and almost 1000 plant species that show the diversity of nature. Helsinki Zoo is one of the few zoos located on an island. It is the perfect place to visit due to its natural environment, animals and history. The zoo was established already in 1889 and this makes it one of the oldest zoos in the world. Helsinki Zoo also participates in the work to protect the habitats in the original homes of the various species. Helsinki Zoo´s mission is to work towards preserving biodiversity. Read more

How to get there?
Bus number 16 runs from the Central Railway Station to Helsinki Zoo every day all year round, except on Christmas Eve. The platform at the Railway Station is no. 17. The estimated travel time is 21-23 minutes.

Opening Hours
Every day at 10-16. Closed on Christmas Eve 24.12.
Please note that the ticket office and entrance closes one hour before the Zoo closes.

Ticket prices
Adult 12€
Child 4-17 years 6€
Child under 4 years Free of charge


Manta Christmas market

Manta Christmas market (Mantan markkinat) will be brightening the darkest time of the year at the beautiful Havis Amanda square from November 18th until January 9th. The market will be open from 10am to 8pm every day, except on Christmas Day, when we will remain closed.

There are about 20 stalls at the market, and they will be selling everything from Christmassy food and beverages to traditional Finnish bakery products, various delicacies and beautiful crafts - for yourself or for your loved ones! 


Market Halls in Helsinki

Helsinki’s adjacent indoor market halls are homes of great food. Hakaniemi Market Hall, Hietalahti Market Hall and the Old Market Hall are full of friendly family enterprises selling unique local delicacies. Many loyal customers come in to town regularly from the countryside and even from overseas to stock up on items you won’t find anywhere else. Read more



Café Esplanad
Pohjois-Esplanadi 37, Helsinki

Café Esplanad is well known for its central European atmosphere and style and especially for its huge cinnamon rolls (a Finnish sweet pastry called Korvapuusti) that are baked in the cafés own bakery. On the outdoor terrace one can also enjoy the sun. Restaurant Bistro in the back of the café offers inexpensive lunch.

Café Ekberg
Bulevardi 9, Helsinki

With a history dating back to the 1850s, Ekberg is considered a beloved veteran of the Finnish café and confectionary culture. The classic café Ekberg still serves the Napoleon cake and the Champagne Cork, favourite to many of its customers. 

Café – Restaurant Ursula
Ehrenströmintie 3, Helsinki

Ursula was founded on the seaside the same year 1952 as the first Olympic Games took place in Helsinki. The profit of Ursula has been used since the beginning for the benefit of poor people.

Café Regatta
Merikannontie 8, Helsinki

Outdoor café by the sea in Töölö with funky vintage interior and decoration.

Fazer Café
Kluuvikatu 3, Helsinki

Karl Fazers French-Russian café&cake shop was opened in Kluuvikatu 17.9.1891. As years have passed by the building, designed by Juslen, has been renovated and the interior of the café has been changed many times. The design of the cupola salon has been designed by interior designor Kaisa Blomstedt, who's well acquainted especially with interiors in functionalistic style. A part of the café&cake shops goodies are still made in Kluuvikatu, and it is possible to see the confectioners at work behind glass.

Read more about Cafés in Helsinki



Flamingo Spa for adults & Aqua Park Flamingo
Tasetie 8, 01510 Vantaa

In the Spa, you can enjoy the relaxing warm water pool, the therapeutic mineral water pool, the six different saunas, the relaxation divans, and the treats at our pool side restaurant, Spa Café, which is licensed to serve alcohol. In addition to all this, the adult spa has over 20 luxurious treatment rooms where you can savor our Spa-treatments or luxuriate in an oriental steam sauna together with a group of friends or your beloved. Read more

Aqua Park Flamingo offers thrilling moments to all lovers of action- packed water games. Inside the water park, you will find different kinds of pools and slides, as well as our pool side restaurant, Spa Café, which is licensed to serve alcohol. In connection with the showers, there is also a Finnish sauna. Read more

Image source: Flamingo Spa

Pikseli Arcade
Tasetie 8, Vantaa / Piispansilta 11, Espoo

Pikseli is Scandinavia's first virtual reality park. Our great selection of games and short films takes you around the world, to the mountains and up to space. Experience everything that you have ever wanted – experiences and adventures are waiting for you in virtual reality! Read more

Heureka - The Finnish Science Centre
Kuninkaalantie 7, Vantaa

The Finnish Science Centre Heureka intro- duces the public to science and technology in an engaging and interactive way. Visitors can experience the joy of discovery through spectacular exhibitions, planetarium films and events. Read more

Fazer Experience Visitor Centre
Fazerintie 6, Vantaa 

The journey of Karl Fazer’s French-Russian café started on Helsinki’s Kluuvikatu, and on 17 September, it will have been going on for 125 taste bud-inspiring years. To commemorate our anniversary, we opened a new, unique visitor centre in October that have a memorable exhibition, a Fazer Café and a store. Read more

Talma Ski
Talmantie 341, Sipoo

Talma Ski is a high-class ski resort and snow playground for the whole family in Sipoo, near Helsinki. Alpine skiing, snowboarding, snow park, ski school and also Werneri Park for small children. Read more

Haltia - The Finnish Nature Centre
Nuuksiontie 84, Espoo

The Finnish Nature Centre Haltia presents all of Finland's nature under one roof. Haltia is also a modern and ecologically designed Conference and Event Center. The main exhibition will fascinate the visitor with its enthralling visualization of the Finnish nature. Read more

Haltia - The Finnish Nature Cantre, Espoo. Image source: LikeFinland.com


Fiskars Village
Fiskars, Raseborg

You can sense already at first sight that Fiskars Village enjoys a unique setting beyond compare. Fiskars was built on the banks of the river and architecturally is completely unlike other places in Finland. Forget the rush of everyday life as you let the verdant surroundings inspire you. Read more

Svartå Manor
Hållsnäsintie 89, Raseborg

Svartå Manor is one of the most precious manor houses in Finland with a history of more than two hundred years. The Manor is situated about 80km west of Helsinki along the Finnish coast. Today it is a museum and is opening its doors to the public with guided tours. Read more

Tytyri Mine Experience
Kuilukatu 42, Lohja

The Tytyri Mine Experience is a unique and multi-faceted travel destination 110 metres below ground level, combining the Nordkalk mining industry, Kone’s top-class technological development, and the adventure and thrills of a travel destination. Read more



Visit Helsinki

My Helsinki - Your local guide to the best of Helsinki

What does Helsinki look like? How does it feel? Finnish photographer Jussi Hellsten in co-operation with Visit Helsinki has captured local moments in Helsinki for one year.

Helsinki Secret
Discover the best kept secrets and places where you can enjoy the most genuine atmosphere as recommended by the locals themselves.

Helsinki Region Journey Planner

Hel Yeah! Food Helsinki brochure (including map)


Sources used in this article: Visit Helsinki, MyHelsinki, Suomenlinna, Flamingo Spa, Löyly, Allas Sea Pool, Helsinki City Museum, Ice Park, Haltia, Fazer, Heureka, Korkeasaari Zoo, Megazone, Exit Room Helsinki and Prison Island -websites.


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

Our main website in Finnish is www.KivaaTekemista.fi.







Destination of the Month: Beautiful Aulanko in Hämeenlinna

LikeFinland team visited Aulanko in Hämeenlinna few weeks ago in September. Hämeenlinna is located just an hour's drive from the Helsinki Metropolitan Area, which makes it a nice mini holiday destination.

As a nature-loving family, we wanted to find out what kind of outdoor activities Aulanko offers.



Surrounded by two waters, Vanajavesi in the west and Aulangonjärvi in the east, Aulanko is not only a beautiful but historically significant area. We were surprised by its versatility.

Aulanko was formerly known as Karlberg and was originally built for a Polish Countess, to whom Aulanko's founder, Colonel Hugo Standertskjöld (1844-1931) was in love. However, the countess never arrived in Finland.

Standertskjöld wanted the Karlberg to be open for everyone. His numerous creations that still remain consist of the Aulanko lookout tower, Ruusulaakso Pavilion, Temple of luck, Bear cave as well as artificial islands and artificial lakes. This all gives you an authentic historical and nature experience.

Many of the latest destinations in the area are named after Aulanko's most famous host and builder, including two golf courses in Aulanko Golf, Hugo and Eversti, and the adventure park HugoPark, opened last year.


Ruusulaakso Pavilion. Photo: LikeFinland.com


Aulangon Rauha contains several accommodation units for rent by Aulangonjärvi lake. The accommodation company Evon Luonto - Peace & Privacy offers villas also near the Evo hiking area east of Hämeenlinna, and in Loppi, south of Hämeenlinna. (By the way, 'rauha' in Finnish means peace, and 'luonto' means nature.)

We stayed in a fully renovated Aulanko Grand Villa, opened in spring 2017. It is suitable both for families and for larger business and other groups. The Villa of 350 m2 includes several bed rooms, sauna facilities, and a large lounge with fully equipped kitchen.


Aulanko Grand Villa. Photo: LikeFinland.com

The Aulanko Grand Villa is a nice place to spend holidays, for example, with friends or to organize family reunions.

The villa's speciality is its own game room with billiards, air hockey and ping-pong tables, darts and table football. Children were very excited about it, and the best thing was that it made the kids forget about the smartphones!


Photo: LikeFinland.com

We would have liked to stay longer, as Aulanko offers plenty of nice things to do and places to see, for all ages. One weekend is not enough!

If you really want to be in peace and enjoy the nature of Aulanko, with no strangers, the villas of Aulangon Rauha is the right place! We were surprised that the villas are rented for only one family or group at a time.

More information:
Evon Luonto - Peace & Privacy (www)

Tel. + 358 207 300 888
Email: info[a]evonluonto.fi



There are eight National Urban Parks in Finland, of which Hämeenlinna is the eldest, founded in 2001. The land area extends from the centre via Häme Castle to Aulanko.

We did not have a precise plan but after having explored the map we decided to head our nose to the scenic Lookout tower of Aulangonvuori Hill.

The trails were well marked and there were maps along the trails.


Photo: LikeFinland.com

Photo: LikeFinland.com

We felt once again: Are we really in Finland?

From the tower we continued to the Ruusulaakso pond and the lovely Ruusulaakso pavilion. What a great spot for a picnic!

Photo: LikeFinland.com



HugoPark is an adventure park opened in summer 2016 near the Aulanko spa hotel. There are 7 tracks in the adventure park, and most of the courses are suitable also for children. The recommended hight limit is 120-140 cm depending on the course.

HugoPark has a continuously-assured ZAZA2 system, where the adventurer's harnesses are hooked in the safety wire all the way.

Eetu, 6yrs, was inspired by the course 1. Although the course runs low, there are points on the course, where the smallest children may not survive without a help of an adult. Aada, 10yrs, experienced the courses 2 and 3.


Photo: LikeFinland.com

None of the Hugo courses was physically extreme, but the courses 5-6 tracks certainly require more courage – especially in the jumps.

Other activities at Aulanko Park: mini golf (equipment rental from the hotel), disc golf and beach volley.

At the end of the climbing adventure we enjoyed a lunch buffet at Aulanko Golf's restaurant Eversti. The lunch was tasty and of high quality. Kids liked it too.

You can find restaurant services also at Hotel Aulanko.

Aulanko Golf & Restaurant Eversti. Photo: LikeFinland.com

Other destinations 

Spa Hotel Cumulus Resort Aulanko (Hotel Aulanko)
Aulanko Golf: 18-hole Kenraali & 9-hole Hugo + golf lessons
Aulanko Riding School
Aulanko Outdoors program services


Evon Luonto is a Star Destination and a media customer of LikeFinland.com media. 

Text: Sari Särkijärvi, Henri Elo


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

Our main website in Finnish is www.KivaaTekemista.fi.


LikeFinland explored a new adventure destination in Tampere: Prison Island!

We - LikeFinland team - visited this summer the fourth Prison Island of Finland, which was opened in Tampere in April 2017. Prison Island is a family adventure destination that has its roots in Sweden. Popular Prison Island has opened its prison cells already in Vantaa and Jyväskylä in 2015, and in Helsinki last fall.

Prison Island Tampere is located in Tullintori Shopping Centre. Photo: Likefinland.com

In Prison Island your goal is to collect points as a team (2-4 persons), by solving tasks in prison cells in certain time, approximately 2-5 minutes per cell. But at first you need to figure out, what are you supposed to do in every cell to gain the points.

Some of the tasks are easier than the others, and some of them are so tricky that you literally need to be as clever as Einstein to solve them. There were many of those that we didn’t solve and that makes Prison Island so interesting destination.

Amazing wall paintings of Prison Island Tampere. Photo: LikeFinland.com

Our team consisted of 2 adults and two children at the age of 6 and 10. At first we saw a video that gave us all the information we needed to start our adventure in Prison Island.  

There are 23 cells in Prison Island Tampere. You can choose the order and the cells you want to enter. If the task has been solved, you see a green light and if not, the light is red. If you want to try again, you can enter the cell as many times as you want.

You need a key card to enter the prison cells. Photo: LikeFinland.com 

Before going to a cell, you should look at the info table outside the cell. It tells you, how many people are needed to solve the task with full points, what is the level of the full points, and what is the stress level of the task.

Even more interesting is the question of whether it is a tactic, technology or physics needed in the cell, which is also marked at the info table!

If you think that you don’t get sweat, you are wrong! But you can choose, which kind of tasks you try first. You can leave the cell at any time, the door is not locked. And you can also try the same cell again, when the door light is green.

Photo: LikeFinland.com

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Clothing is good to be sporty, not at least the finest dress from your wardrobe. In some of the tasks, the ability to crawl may be required.

A player can choose between 60, 90 or 120 minutes of adventure. We think that 60 minutes is too short, if you'll try to solve the tasks seriously. We had 120 minutes – even that time really flied!

Photo: LikeFinland.com

How did we managed?

For us, Prison Island was not a whole new thing. Prison works as an adventure for families as well as for work mates or friends. Prison Island can be a little bit too demanding for children under the age of 10, but if the team consists of people of different ages, then everything works better. :)

Photo: LikeFinland.com

Favorites and mysteries

The favorite of the whole family - and really addictive - was the cell called The Nest, where we tried to find a solution by visiting the cell 8 times. We were close but didn’t manage this time.

Also the Slippery Slope was one of our favorites and we achieved full 100 points from it! Points can be tracked from the light board, outside the cells, during the adventure.

We found Prison Island Tampere with its 23 cells a really nice destination for the whole family, even if the tasks were partly quite challenging. For example Tilt, Einstein, Boxes and Cliffhanger were mysterious puzzles for us. We didn’t receive any points from those.

One of the most challenging cells. Photo: Likefinland.com

The final score of our team was 578/1775. For us, Prison Island and some of the tasks were familiar and the points were fairly good. Typical total points for beginners are from 150 to 300.

Prison Island is a nice family destination, but it also offers a great experience for couples. Also Birthday parties (with party rooms) can be arranged at both Prison Island and in Megazone Laser Tag, which is also re-located destination in Tampere.

New Megazone is located right next to the Prison Island with same info desk. And you can also combine the Prison Island adventure and Megazone adventure!


Prison Island Tampere
Hammareninkatu 6, Tullintori (map)

email: tampere(at)prisonisland.fi
tel. + 358 50 400 7811

Prison Island Tampere web pages & booking
Prison Island Tampere at Facebook

Prison Island Tampere Star Destination page at LikeFinland.com


Prison Island Tampere is a Star Destination and a media customer of LikeFinland.com media. 

Text: Sari Särkijärvi, Henri Elo


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

Our main website in Finnish is www.KivaaTekemista.fi.



Destination of the Month: Heinola – City of beautiful parks, cafes and museums

One of the most interesting summer towns in Finland is Heinola, which is located in Päijät-Häme province near Lahti. The distance from Helsinki to Heinola is about two hours by car.

Heinola is a special inland city because there are several big bridges around the city. One of them is a magnificent, nearly thousand feet long Tähtiniemi bridge - over Kymijoki river along Highway 5 - that was completed in 1993.

We had visited Heinola once before as we wrote about Harju Pavilion, which is considered as one of Finland’s most beautiful cafés according to our readers. We had also visited earlier the Sport and Leisure Centre Vierumäki, located 13 km from the center of Heinola towards Lahti.

Photo: LikeFinland.com



We visited two of Heinola’s museums. Heinola City Museum, was built in 1872, having served previously as a town hall.

At the latest exhibition “Pienet Piimäsuut” (10.6 - 20.11.2017) visitors can look back at their childhood. There is a playroom upstairs, where children can try on old-fashioned clothes. They even have permission to draw on the certain wall!

The permanent exhibition contains nationally valuable collections, for exemple a large collection of items designed by Anja Juurikkala for the Arabia ceramics factory.

Heinola City Museum. Photo: LikeFinland.com

A short distance from the City Museum you will find Heinola Art Museum that organizes changing exhibitions all year round, and the amazing House of Chief Constable Aschan. While walking in the rooms of both museums and watching their Gustavian style furniture and decoration, you could well imagine yourself in the same era!

The renovation of the house that was built at the end of the 18th century (ca. 1780) was started by the city in 1986, and it was opened as a museum three years later. The Gustavian style furniture and interior decoration tells of the time, when Heinola was the seat of the Governor.

The paintings of Nils Schillmark, one of the first artists at the end of the 18th century, can also be seen on the walls. Also the garden of the house is laid out in late 18th-century style.

House of Aschan. Photo: LikeFinland.com

Heinola is also worth a visit because of the scenery of the Heinola National Heritage Area ('city park'). There are eight National Heritage Areas in Finland, of which Heinola belongs to the elders, together with Pori and Hämeenlinna.

Heinola has nice hiking trails. In Jyränkö, on the other side of the Kymijoki river, there is a trail called “Juustopolku” (16 km) to Vuolenkoski as well as a lighted trail (12 km) to Vierumäki Sports Center. Playgrounds for children can be found around the city.

Guest harbour of Heinola. Photo: LikeFinland.com


RantaCasino is a family-owned restaurant, and it has been operating in Heinola since 2003. The entrepeneurs, Marika and Stephen Cronin, also own and run a small Bed & breakfast Cronin's Café & Guesthouse (www) outside Heinola center.

RantaCasino is located at the picturesque harbour of Heinola. Restaurant’s big sunny terrace at the river bank offers an unforgettable scenery.

RantaCasino. Photo: LikeFinland.com

RantaCasino, formerly a summer restaurant, has expanded its opening hours. Only in midwinter, in January, the restaurant is completely closed. There are also band nights and various events such as the popular Oktoberfest at RantaCasino.

RantaCasino serves great modern European food and festive dinner menus. Extensive lunch is available from Monday to Friday.

It would be nice to stay a little bit longer and enjoy the amazing sights over the river and try out, if it is really true that RantaCasino has the best and widest selection of beers and ciders in the town.

Photo: LikeFinland.com

RantaCasino Restaurant & Bar (www)
Maaherrankatu 2, HEINOLA

Tel. +358 40 192 1027
( +358 3 718 8666)

Heinola can be reached by water from Lahti and Jyväskylä. Boaters can find places from the guest harbour right next to the RantaCasino.


The idea behind the Heinola Bird Sanctuary is to take care of injured wild birds and return them back to the wild. In addition, it is an interesting destination especially for the families with children.

Heinola Bird Sanctuary was founded in 1963 at the initiative of Anthony Bosley. Bosley was interested in tropical birds. Birds are brought to Heinola from all over Finland. Approximately 30-40 % of injured birds can be returned to nature.

Photo: LikeFinland.com

In addition to domestic bird species, the Bird Sanctuary is home to pet birds that have been abandoned by their owners, such as parrots, poppies and cockroaches. Approximately 250-300 birds are given annual care, and some will stay there for years.

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Heinola Bird Sanctuary has also an interior exhibition room filled with Finnish bird and bird species and butterflies. Last summer, the QR code was added to the permanent exhibition, which gives the visitors more information about the animals.

Heinola Bird Sanctuary has free entrance.

Photo: LikeFinland.com



Beautiful Harju Pavilion, located on top of the ridge, in Harjupuisto Park, date back to the beginning of the 20th century, when an eastern-influenced Art Nouveau building served as a recreational venue for spa visitors.

Harju Pavilion. Photo: LikeFinland.com

The Harju Pavilion, which is known by its freshly baked sweet and savoury waffles is open now for the fifth summer.

Cafe entrepreneur Anne Koski told us about this summer's novelties. There has been changes in the waffle selection as well as in other coffee delicacies. Also salad dishes are available at the café this summer. 

Photo: LikeFinland.com

Heinola Summer Theater nearby brings many of its customers to enjoy delicious waffles and the nice landscape over Kymijoki river.

In addition to the café, Harju pavilion has a great variety of live performers. Also the exhibition room upstairs offers many interesting exhibitions during the summer.

Harju Pavilion (www)
Kauppakatu 30, 18100 Heinola
Tel. +358 40 5619 522

Photo: LikeFinland.com


Café Kailas is a Central-European-style cafe located in a historical Siltasaari island.

The 5-year-old cafe is named after the poet Uuno Kailas, who was born in Heinola.

The café building is a former sauna, built by a merchant and the nobleman Niilo Helander for her wife Fanny a hundred years ago. Helander’s villa in Siltasaari, was destroyed in the Russian air bombardment on the first day of the Continuation War in 1941.

Café Kailas. Photo: LikeFinland.com

Päivi Niemiaho and her husband Matti Kantola have renovated the island in accordance with the spirit of the early 20th century. The uniqueness of a small island with its delightful arched bridge, pond and gazebo is worth a visit!

Kailas offers delicious pastries that are baked by a local Pekan Leipä bakery.

Kailas cake. Photo: LikeFinland.com

There is also a playground for children in Siltasaari and an ice cream kiosk. On the terrace of Café Kailas you will see live performers during the summer.

Café Kailas (www)
Siltasaari 1, 18100 Heinola
tel. 044 74 77 001

Photo: LikeFinland.com

Interesting destinations in Heinola

Dorkin puisto park
The park is filled with thrilling and thought-provoking contemporary folk art. All of them are made of metal scrap by ITE artist Vesa Väänänen.

Heila Local Food Market
Heila local food market offers a varied selection of high-quality and cleanly produced food from small-scale producers. 

Vierumäki sports and leisure centre
Active travellers’ top destination: Flowpark adventure park, golf, tennis, sup-boarding, kayaking etc.

Heinola is known from the popular James jeans and the designer Anja Juurikkala. Photo: LikeFinland.com

Shopping destinations

Nature destinations

For children

Cafés and restaurants

Visit Heinola (wwwFB)


City of Heinola, RantaCasino, Café Kailas and Harju Pavilion are Star Destinations and media customers of LikeFinland.com media. 

Text: Sari Särkijärvi, Henri Elo


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

Our main website in Finnish is www.KivaaTekemista.fi.

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