Hanko, also known as "Finnish Riviera", is a top choice for a summer vacation in Finland. The city amazes you with many beaches, dazzling nature, and the esthetic beauty of country house life. Hanko is situated on a southern shore and, actually, brings you to the most southern point of continental Finland, where the most southern point considering archipelago should be Utö. In my opinion, Hanko is the best summer destination in Finland. Here is why you should discover it as well.
Hanko has a vast coastline, 30 kilometers of which are sandy beaches. My favorite one is probably Bellevue Beach. It is situated inside a small bay which keeps the water warm. I also enjoy it the most because there is forest and rocky shores by the beach, where you can hide from the sun and enjoy more traditional sceneries. Going further from the center of Hanko toward Raseborg, you are going to find a long sandy coastline which is a wild Lappohja Beach, a beautiful destination for a swim and walks. Tulliniemi Beach is the best choice for water sports since it is usually a windy place, although I like it because of the wild feel. Tulliniemi Beach is a scenic place with small sand dunes and dried grass, giving you a "far from city" feeling.
Hanko is full of sandy beaches but also flowery forests and rocky shores. A good way to get into nature is a short walking trail romantically named "Path of Love". It is a 1,5 km walk that takes you through beautiful sceneries, the terrain is quite rocky but easy. The more iconic walk would be Tulliniemi Nature Path, which is around 7 kilometers long and takes you to the southernmost point of continental Finland. The path is long but easy, it starts by the beach and continues by the seashore into a forest. The walk is calm and scenic, with many interesting plant species by the road.
Kyplyläpuisto, briefly translated as a "Spa Park", is a beautiful area named after a spa that existed on the shore of Hanko many years ago. Unfortunately, the spa building was destroyed during the war, but the wooden laced buildings are still here, preserving country house culture. The area truly has some gorgeous buildings that suit the summer reputation of the city. The Hanko Casino is a good example of such buildings and also a great spot for a nice meal on a terrace. Do not let the name confuse you - it is actually a restaurant, providing its historical halls for many events, such as weddings, meetings, and live music.
Walking deeper into a city, you are going to find a nice church on a hill. A long time ago, this church had a very different appearance, it was decorative and had multiple towers. Hanko Church got destroyed during the war, and years later, it was renovated, getting a totally new appearance. This time people aimed for functionality and simplicity, which did not stop the church from becoming one of the recognizable symbols of Hanko. By the church, you will find a red, bright water tower, which is worth visiting for the greatest city views.
Finland has many "summer cities", like Loviisa for its charming old town or Pori for its famous beach life. Nevertheless, among locals, Hanko is considered a beach paradise with its fancy villas and rich nature. I will not lie if I say that Hanko is the best summer destination you can discover in Finland.
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