On the eastern-southern shore of Finland lies a delightful old town called Loviisa. It is full of old wooden houses, historic ruins, and trails along with fine nature. The town is so charming that centuries ago, the king of Sweden pronounced a new name for it - Loviisa, after his beautiful and beloved wife. Through the eyes of a traveler, Loviisa seems small, cute, and delightful. The town has very original vibes, and I am sure that different kinds of travelers will find something for themselves in Loviisa.
The Old Town of Loviisa survived the fires that ruined the city many decades ago. Now, walking past old wooden buildings, you can find one of the oldest houses in Finland, dating back to the 17th Century. If you are lucky to arrive in August, you can spot an event, “Loviisan Wanhat Talot”. At that time, citizens of the Old Town are opening their doors into an authentic everyday life of the old streets. It is a great opportunity to enjoy the atmosphere of the old days. A local gem to discover is “Tuhannen Tuskan Kahvila” - a cozy cafe with an authentic atmosphere. The cafe's name literally translates as “a cafe of a thousand pains”, which is very misleading. In truth, it is one adorable place full of berry-desserts and flowers on the terrace and a must-see place in the Old Town.
Loviisa is a small town, and great nature-landscapes are most of it. The best way to meet local fauna and learn about the history of Loviisa is probably the Myllyharju path. The local nature path takes you through the forest onto a prominent watching tower. It is considered one of the most beautiful watching towers in Finland, if not the best. The tower rises from a hill in red colors of lacey metal. From there, you can enjoy the view all the way to the archipelago. Myllyharju is named after a mill, which you can also discover on your way through the forest. Other notable places in the area are a cemetery and a rhododendron valley, which blushes in many colors at the beginning of summer. The Myllyharju path starts near the Loviisa Church, which dominates the city's landscape and is an attraction on its own. The walk takes just 2 kilometers one-way and ends at the beach, which is a great way to end your trail in the summer.
Remember a fortress of Suomenlinna situated in the Finnish capital Helsinki? Well, on the island of Loviisa is another fortress, which belongs to the same chain of defence. The place is named Svartholm, it is a compact island holding a museum and a restaurant. Svartholm is a great place to visit with kids: nothing is as exciting as wandering through the corners of the old fortress and learning the island's secrets. There is a camping ground on the island, toilets, and barbeque facilities. Staying overnight with a tent by the fortress is truly a haunting experience.
Strömfors Iron Works is another attraction that tells a traditional old craftsmen's story. It is one of the best-preserved ironwork sections dating back to 1689. This is a place to visit peculiar galleries, learn about craft at workshops and buy authentic souvenirs. Besides all the interesting details, Strömförs Iron Works is a very scenic place: traditional red houses with towers are rising above the glittering river. The place offers many possibilities for an active traveler: you can jump on a sup board and enjoy the view from the river, or take hikes through greeny nature with lakes to swim in.
Many people have already heard about the beautiful old town of Porvoo and magnificent parks in Kotka, but not many know that on the same eastern shore, there is a small charming town of Loviisa. Locals mostly think of Loviisa as a summer destination, which makes sense. In summer, you can swim in lakes and sunbathe on beaches, visit Svartholm fortress by a summer ferry ride and take a hike through nature paths that might not be so accessible in the winter. But to feel the original vibes of Loviisa, head to the Old Town, walk cobbled streets, and admire the wooden houses. This place is enjoyable throughout the whole year and gets its own charm in wintry Christmas lights.
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