If history, culture and cuisine are close to your heart, head out to a countryside manor for a romantic break and a whiff of times past.
Be it noble families or industrial magnates, the rich have left behind some impressive estates around Finland, many of which have been turned into charming holiday retreats.
Here’s a few of our picks:
In the rush and crush of modern life, the rarities are what we value most, such as space, quiet and time. The space to breathe, a time to dream… you can find these treasures in Finland, where the lakes are many and the people are few.
Located only 50 kilometres from Helsinki, Haikko is one of the oldest and best-known manors in Finland, with history dating back to the 14th century. The beautifully green setting is complemented by a spa and seaside saunas. The most scenic route to Haikko is the waterway from central Helsinki on the M/S Runeberg.
Haikko Manor is an ideal romantic getaway in the summer and the interior has stayed classy through the ages. The Romanovs, closely related to the Russian Czar, stayed at Haikko quite a bit in their time, and it is easy to see why.
An hour’s drive from Helsinki, Svartå Manor was built around an ironworks. The manor now serves as a haven for art, relaxation and cuisine, and old worker dwellings have been turned into guest accommodation.
The five historical buildings of the grounds all have their thrilling stories, including “The White Lady” ghost story. The Svartå Manor is essentially one huge art exhibition in a beautiful natural setting. Modern and classic sculptures blend beautifully with natural elements such as the water lily path.
The old wooden main building of Svartå Manor is now a museum, and an impressive one at that. Swedish King Gustav III even slept here at the end of the 18th century.
Since the 15th century, a manor has stood in Wiurila, 50 kilometers from Turku. The current main building was designed in the 19th century by famed Finnish architect C. L. Engel, and it is one of the most elegant country club buildings in Finland. Bet you didn’t know cute and majestic could come in one package?
Besides golf, Wiurila Manor offers a country boutique, horse stables, and a horse carriage museum, among other things.
The old horse carriage museum in the attic of Wiurila Manor really is worth a visit, preferably a guided one.
Vuojoki Manor, Eurajoki
Arriving at Vuojoki is a somewhat surreal experience: The C. L. Engel designed manor is like a piece of Helsinki’s Senate Square in the middle of an idyllic Finnish West Coast country landscape. The well-kept garden and orangery add to the distinguished atmosphere, and the focus on art takes it a step further. The 160-year-old spruce lane is an impressive sight to behold.
Vuojoki Manor breathes prestige, and history tells why: it was once one of the biggest estates in Finland, and forestry giant UPM Kymmene has its origins here. The rooms at Vuojoki Manor are a mix of classic style and modern Finnish design: minimalistic, linear, and sleek.
In a country where people move en masse to the countryside in the summer and where forest coverage is 75%, it's no wonder ecological tourism has taken off so rapidly and steadily. Old farms are opening their doors to visitors from all over the world!