Imagine if you could hop on a local bus and travel from the bustle of the city to hike in the wilderness or enjoy the summer sun on the deck of a boat in the archipelago. Or see how Santa relaxes at his cottage. Experience this in Espoo! Admire art, history and design in Espoo’s many museums, enjoy mouth-watering food and get enchanted by the eye-catching views of the Espoo archipelago.In 2013, The Finnish Nature Centre Haltia opened its doors right next to Nuuksio National Park. Haltia showcases Finnish nature and offers visitors unforgettable experiences. Dive into Espoo’s fascinating world on the website at www.visitespoo.fi or visit one of the city’s tourist information points in Tapiola, Matinkylä, Leppävaara, Espoonlahti, Espoon keskus or Kalajärvi.
Pack your hiking shoes, tennis rackets and swimwear or rent a pair of cross-country skis. In Espoo you can pursue your favourite hobbies on your holiday. Take it easy on nature trails and well maintained skiing tracks or try something new like winter swimming or horseback riding. Why not improve your handicap on one of the eight high quality golf courses in Espoo. Oh, and with children, you might enjoy a round of minigolf, a walk in the nature or a visit to Huimala Leisure Center.
Drop into one of the most popular museums in Finland, the magnificent art exhibitions at EMMA and the WeeGee Exhibition Centre. Jam along to the rhythms at Sellosali or Espoo cultural centre. Take a walk through one of the most interesting architectural areas in Espoo, Otaniemi, where one can admire the master pieces by Alvar Aalto. Continue to Tapiola where top architecture meets everyday life. Tapiola showcases the work of several famous Finnish architects like Viljo Revell, Kaija and Heikki Sirén and Aarno Ruusuvuori.
Hop on your bike and go out cycling. Cycling offers an excellent way to get to know Espoo, its seashore and other sights. There are many interesting cycling routes around Espoo which all have different characteristics varying from short city routes with landmark sights to more challenging ones along the forest trails. After experiencing suggested routes, find your own favorites and let us know. Follow the routes and find cycling tips in Sports Tracker! For routes and news about cycling in Espoo, log on to www.visitespoo.f
Visit Santas Summer Retreat
Everyone knows Santa Claus, the white-bearded old man coming from Korvatunturi. Have you ever stopped to wonder what Santa does during his holiday season? Once his work at the Arctic Circle is finished, Santa Claus relaxes in breathtakingly beautiful surroundings at a lake in Korpilampi, Espoo. The white-bearded man warmly welcomes you to his hideaway cottage which is unlike any other cottage. Santa Claus also has an authentic smoke sauna – the heart of Finnish tradition. In the summertime you may spot Santa rowing his wooden boat on the calm waters. Once you’ve experienced all nature’s wonders and met Santa himself, you can enjoy warm beverages and Finnish grilled goodies. Before you leave, you can purchase presents for your dearest ones from Santa’s gift shop.
Santa´s cottage is available only for groups and has to be booked advance.
The Finnish Nature Centre Haltia is the flagship of Finnish national parks presenting the entire spectrum of Finland’s nature. At Haltia’s exhibitions you can experience the dazzling beauty of Finland’s national parks as well as familiarize yourself with the green areas and recreational options available in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area. The beautiful scenery of Nuuksio and Lake Nuuksion Pitkäjärvi, as well as excellent hiking grounds, await hikers. Furthermore you can receive hiking guidance from the professionals at Haltia. The centre’s architecture embodies renowned aspects of Finnish design and introduces innovative solutions by utilizing solar energy and thermal energy from the ground. The building is made entirely of wood, including its load-bearing structures and its varied facades. Haltia’s restaurant serves delicious meals and its shop offers small hiking items, souvenirs and gifts. Further information: www.haltia.com
Nuuksio National Park is far away from the hectic city life but still next door. Choose your own way to relax; walk on marked trails, visit the Finnish Nature Centre Haltia, cycle, fish, pick berries and mushrooms, swim, snowshoe, geocache, ride horses, ski or sleep in a lean-to shelter. There are almost 30 kilometres of hiking trails near Haukkalampi, Kattila and Siikajärvi lakes. The Finnish Nature Centre Haltia grounds also house the starting points of two circle trails including an accessible route with a close by viewpoint. Nuuksio is ideal for a one or two day hike, with sites for camping and shelters for cooking readily available.
Set off on one of the scheduled boats and get to know the gems of Espoo’s archipelago. In one day you can visit a couple of recreational islands. Bylandet, Gåsgrund, Knapperskär, Rövaren, Rövargrundet, Stora Herrö and Torra Lövö islands are equipped for campers. There are piers, shelters for cooking and toilets on these islands. Firewood is available and waste management is taken care of by the city of Espoo. Drinking water has to be carried with you. One island worth a visit is Iso Vasikkasaari Island. There is a fascinating restaurant Gula Villan open during summer time and you can also admire views from an observation tower or go for a swim.
Information Courtesy of – http://www.visitespoo.fi/