Europe

Hossa National Park, Finland

Hossa National Park

Attractions

Finland’s 40th National Park is located in the middle of the country near the eastern border with Russia. The beautiful wilderness of the Hossa National Park in Finland is an excellent destination: the paths running along pine forests are ideal for hiking and cycling and the crystal clear lakes for canoeing and fishing. The rock paintings by Julma-Ölkky and Värikallio show stories of shamanism that go back thousands of years. Hossa is an old Sami hunting area. The rock paintings on the cliffs of Värikallio are at least 3500 years old and are considered the greatest prehistoric painting in Finland.

Activities

There are around 90 kilometers of hiking trails in the national park. The mostly easy-to-walk paths lead through the beautiful Esker and lake landscape around Hossa. Vacationers can go on long hikes by combining circular routes and using the connecting paths. The forests and waters of Hossa are easily accessible to visitors. There is a wide range of hiking and biking trails, and the lakes and rivers are ideal for canoeing and fishing. 50 kilometers of cross-country skiing trails offer a great opportunity to enjoy winter in Finland.

The Hossa National Park has four marked mountain bike routes that lead through the most beautiful esker and lake landscape of Hossa. By using alternative paths and local roads, bikers can put together a suitable route. Canoeing is also an experience in the beautiful surroundings. Three free-flowing bodies of water meet in the Hossa area: the Somerjoki and Peranganjoki rivers and the Iikoski rapids. From Hossa the watercourses continue south across Lake Kiantajärvi to Lake Oulujärvi and then on to the Bothnian Bay. The rivers of Hossa are easy to navigate. Only the Lounatkoski rapids have to be avoided by pulling the canoe. Tourists can always go on a day trip by canoe or a longer tour. The Hossa National Park also has a large number of ponds and lakes, the diverse fish stocks of which represent a great challenge for recreational anglers. There are suitable spots for rapids fishing, as well as trolling, ice fishing and fly fishing. Two ponds are stocked with rainbow trout.

The entire park is ideal for families with children and some of the paths are even handicapped accessible: some of the paths are wheelchair accessible and there are also barrier-free huts to rent.

Porvoo

Historical charm in Finland

Porvoo was founded almost 800 years ago and is the second oldest city in Finland. This long history can still be seen and felt as you walk through the enchanting streets. Historically, Porvoo was an important trading center and the well-known, red bank houses were once used to store goods and products, such as exotic delicacies from distant countries. For centuries the city has served as a home and source of inspiration for many Finnish artists.

Red salt storage in a magical setting

Porvo is about 50 kilometers east of Helsinki and can be reached by steamboat from the capital in summer. Porvoo is not a coastal town, but is connected to the Gulf of Finland by the Porvoonjoki. The river flows through the small town and passes the most famous sights of Porvoo: the red bank houses. Originally, the shoreline houses were painted red in honor of the arrival of Gustav III, King of Sweden.

Sights – applied arts – culinary art

Porvoo Old Town is one of the most picturesque places in Finland and inspires photographers all over the world. It has retained its traditional shape all the way down to the cobblestone streets. There are many beautiful museums, restaurants, cafes, shops here. The square of the Old Town Hall is also in the heart of the city. Porvoo is definitely one of the top travel destinations in Southern Finland when it comes to culinary delights. As early as the 19th century, people traveled all the way from Helsinki to Porvoo to visit the lovely cafes and restaurants. The city’s quaint interior design stores are also known across the country, with styles varying from old and romantic to modern and chic.

Ainola

In the footsteps of the famous Jean Sibelius

The city of Järvenpää is located in the south of Finland, only about 30 km north of the capital Helsinki. The married couple Jean and Aino Sibelius lived for over half a century in a small, modest house in the middle of a pretty garden just outside Järvenpää. The composer Jean Sibelius (1871-1969) created some of his most important works in the house. The house “Ainola” – named after Aino Sibelius (1871-1969) – is now accessible as a museum. Anyone interested in music and history will definitely want to take a trip to Järvenpää to visit the home of the Sibelius family. The city of Järvenpää can be reached from Helsinki in half an hour by train.

The house “Ainola”

The Sibelius family house was built in 1903; In 1904 the couple moved in with their six daughters. Here the composer found the peace he needed to work. Today visitors can stroll through the garden and visit the two floors of the house, equipped with original furniture, dishes and ceramics. After the couple died, the daughters donated numerous items from the family property to the museum. There is a small wooden house in the garden: the family sauna! Although the house looks modest overall, it was – for the period around 1900 – quite modern: the family had a telephone and electricity!

Café and museum shop

A new small building was erected in the garden in the 1970s. It houses the entrance area of ​​the museum, the museum shop and the “Aulis” café. The museum shop offers books about the composer and of course CDs with his works. After visiting the museum, we recommend stopping off in the cozy café, whose large panoramic windows offer a view of the garden. When the weather is nice, guests can also take a seat on the terrace.

Opening hours

The house “Ainola” is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm during the summer season (from the beginning of May to the beginning of October). (Monday is the day off.)

One tip

Several other Finnish artists have settled near the house “Ainola”. The history of this artist colony is presented in the Järvenpää Art Museum.

Hossa National Park, Finland