Built in the 17th century near the coastal town of Raasepori, two former ironwork villages now offer summer travellers a delightful selection of quaint scenery, art, design, antiques and idyllic accommodation.
Only an hour’s drive from Helsinki, the retired ironworks town of Fiskars has, over the years, slowly come back to life. Communities of artisans, designers and artists now live and work here. For visitors, the area boasts charming museums, cafes, bed and breakfasts and even a hotel built in the 1800s. The ironworks hosts an annual summer art exhibition that has quickly become one of the country’s most anticipated and a tradition for many art lovers, attracting nearly 100 artists each year. The Billnäs ironworks, only a 10-minute drive from Fiskars, is also a worthwhile stop. Its annual summer antiques market is well known throughout Finland, and it bustles with experts who offer valuable shopping tips.
Coast and Archipelago
Coastal Finland with its stunningly beautiful archipelago offers a variety of fascinating destinations that are easy to reach.
Desico is a must-visit shop for candle collectors, stocking thousands of colourful, scented varieties. While shopping, customers can also learn how to make candles.
A builder’s cornucopia
Rakennusapteekki (‘building pharmacy’) is a gold mine in Billnäs for those drawn to traditional buildings. The shop is known for its antique decorative elements, including doorknobs, mouldings and everything one might need to put together a country kitchen.
A river runs through Fiskars
Both the Fiskars and Billnäs ironworks were built beside the Fiskarsinjoki river, which begins at Degersjö.
Spend the night in a former factory
Changes are planned for the ironworks in Billnäs. Developers are hoping to transform its surroundings into a vibrant cultural landscape. The town’s main focus will be on events, dining and hotels. The project’s planned completion date is 2020.
Offering an atmosphere that changes from season to season, Fiskars is a popular travel destination year-round. The former barracks of Antskog road (Antskogintie) have been turned into apartments.
Historical charm with modern comforts
The majority of buildings that used to belong to the Fiskars iron works have been beautifully renovated into apartments or studios. Special attention has been paid both to the structures and the furnishings.
Books and treats
Cafe Antique is located in the centre of Fiskars village, underneath the clock tower, and also houses a bookshop. It also has old furniture and kitchenware for sale.
The craftsmen, designers and artists of Fiskars formed a cooperative in 1996. Today the organisation has more than 120 members. The so-called “black hall” of the former copper smithy has been turned into a summertime exhibit space.
Fiskars Wärdshus inn was established in 1836, and today has 15 rooms for two as well as an upscale restaurant.
Old Porvoo is one of Finland’s most idyllic districts. The cobbled streets are lined with old, doll-house-like houses and on top of the hill a white stone church looks over the river valley. Wonderful in the summer, magical during wintertime. Only one hour East of Helsinki.
Lively Oulu is a gateway to urban culture as well as the unique nature of the North. The city is located on the shores of the Bay of Bothnia - where modern business and technology meet Northern peace and exoticism.