Close. Yet different
Only an hour from the hectic life in Helsinki is this seaside idyll, with rocky shores and charming old wooden buildings.
The city of Raseborg is situated halfway between Helsinki and Turku, on Finland’s south coast and on the main street of Finnish history and culture. Raseborg has six stars: The historic ironworks of Fiskars and Billnäs, Raseborg castle ruins, the Svartå Manor, Ekenäs with its quaint small wooden houses and the magnificent archipelago, which contains Ekenäs National Park.
Trips in the Ekenäs archipelago
Ekenäs’s 1300 islands and islets invite you to discover the archipelago culture, enjoying nature’s gifts and relaxing with both tranquil and exciting activities. Pleasant places to visit include islands like Fladalandet and Modermagan, both located in Ekenäs National Park. Every summer there are boat trips to the islands of Älgö and Jussarö from the Northern Harbour in Ekenäs.
Ekenäs Archipelago National Park is located on Finland’s south coast and extends from the inner islands right out to the open sea. On the larger islands of the inner archipelago there are wild swamps, fertile forests and rocky beaches with both elk and white-tailed deer to be seen. The outer archipelago’s islands are home to thousands of nesting seabirds and in the marine area at the southern end of the park you can see grey seals.
Bromarv is a place reached equally well by car or boat. Organized there every summer are Saturday markets and a midsummer celebration. Whilst you’re there you can discover a genuine archipelago shop in the centre of the village. There are many options for overnight stays, with about 6,000 cabins and summer cottages across the Ekenäs archipelago.
Sommaröstrand’s marina offers a meeting place for islanders and visiting boaters. While socialising there’s time here to resupply for the next stage of your boat journey, get the tank filled, eat like the gentry in the summer restaurant and even enjoy the marina’s sauna. The guest harbour’s shop and café are open every day of the year, even in winter.
Old ironworks and small towns of enchanting beauty
The old town of Ekenäs is located at the seashore. The street layout has remained the same since the 1500s, the scene reminiscent of an old continental atmosphere, with each street name telling a tale of life and work hundreds of years ago. At Christmas time, visitors can glimpse a Christmas tree, an old stove or mirror door through the small window panes of the old wooden houses. In the summer tourists can be seen peeking over the fences to see gardens where residents grow old-fashioned perennials and spring flowering tulips, scillas, daffodils, lilacs and apple trees.
In the town square near the Old Town, farmers, fishermen and other vendors sell the region’s produce. Beginning at the square is Finland’s first pedestrian street, Kungsgatan, or to locals “Kungsen”, along which are many of the local small shops. Along the main streets in the centre you’ll see signs for different well-being treatments and stores.
16th century businessmen in Finland understood how to put nature’s hydropower to good use and constructed blast furnaces here where they refined iron ore. In all, five of Finland’s early ironworks were founded in the Raseborg region: Antskog, Billnäs, Fiskars, Svartå and Åminnefors. Iron production in the mills ceased long ago, and today the mills are filled with new activities and events, which keep these historic sites alive.
Both the natural surroundings and many events make the old ironworks well worth visiting. Fiskars is a famous centre of art and design, while Billnäs hosts a number of summer events. At Svartå there is Finland’s largest and one of the most valuable wooden mansions.
Raseborg contains one of Finland’s oldest and most historic castles. The first mention of Raseborg’s castle was as far back as the 1300s. The castle was a symbol of the Swedish King’s power and was built as an administrative centre for southern Finland, but was eventually abandoned in the 1550s. Close by the restored castle today is a popular Swedish-language summer theatre and The Castle Guard´s Lodge, which is a restaurant and café. The “Love Path” leading from the castle ruins to Snappertuna village centre is evocative of the ambience of Astrid Lindgren’s stories.
In Raseborg we value local food
Locally produced and organic food is the norm for us in Raseborg. We have several small bakeries which have developed their own recipes and bake bread with wheat and rye from nearby farms. Fish are caught off the southern Finnish coast and along with berries and mushrooms from Raseborg’s forests, are the epitome of great local food. The city’s restaurants use as many locally sourced ingredients as possible and understand how important this is for many guests.
Try our speciality produce: Tenala cheese, West Chark high quality meats and Backers Bakers’ delicious archipelago bread. These are available in Friman’s general store in Tenala and DeliTukku local food shop in Pojo as well as in Backers organic bakery near Fiskars. Enjoy home-made chocolate, strawberry and lemon tarts in the shade of the apple trees at Café Gamla Stan while live musicians perform in the background.
Come by train, car or boat
Raseborg is located on Finland’s southcoast, about an hour away from Helsinki by train or car and an hour’s drive from Turku. If you are in no rush, it’s worth driving along part of the historic King’s Road, which stretches from Bergen in Norway all the way to St. Petersburg in Russia. Along this old mail route through Finland are many of Raseborg’s medieval churches, historic works, villages and other sights.
There are several marinas in Raseborg that cater to boating travellers. Jussarö marina has been the the Gulf of Finland’s favourite guest harbour for many years. Sommaröstrand and Ekenäs have both been winners of the annual Best Finnish Marina prize. Sandnäsudd marina is a lively meeting place where islanders and summer residents organize flea markets and other entertainment.
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