5 Reasons to Visit Hanko This Summer

Finland’s southernmost town Hanko is well worth a visit: the place is unique due its endless sunny days and beaches. It's quiet in the winter months but full of life in the summer. Here are some of my favorite places to see in Hanko.

1. Villas

Hanko is full of beautiful old villas. Just by walking to the beach, you'll have plenty of pastel-coloured eye-candy to look at. Most of the villas are in use as private summer residences but there are a few villas that are hotels, such as Villa Maija. Usually these villa hotels are open only in summer.

2. Nature

Unique bits of nature in Hanko include pine trees that grow widely and are bent in wild shapes due the endless wind. Pine trees close to the beach are easy to climb on and great for taking pictures. Hanko is, of course, famous for its various beaches. The Plagen beach is the most popular one and very nice for swimming because the water is quite shallow. There is also a café on the beach and carousel in the water. Don’t forget to try Hanko’s famous beach huts. Another beach that's great for swimming is Bellevue. The beach seems neverending and the sand is silky and white - almost as if you had gone abroad!

3. Bengtskär Lighthouse

If you want to take a boat trip, the Bengtskär Lighthouse is a great option. I went there couple of years ago on a warm sunny day. The sea water there was so warm that I just had to go for a swim. Bengtskär is Finland’s southernmost inhabited place and the lighthouse was built there in 1906. Here you can also learn about the history of Hanko: the town was lent to Russia as part of the Moscow Peace Treaty in 1940. It was ruled by the Russians until 1956. 

4. Cafés and restaurants

My favorite café in Hanko is Neljän Tuulen Tupa. Just by walking to this café is fun, because you can simply follow the shore, and enjoy the sea view. The café is in a fabulous place, right on the border of sea and land. You can find this café in Neljäntuulenkuja, Pieni Mäntysaari.

There are a number of interesting restaurants in the West Harbor. There you can visit Finland’s first classic pizza restaurant where you'll get a good pizza in a nicely decorated place. If you have a craving for Japanese food, there's Hanko Sushi in Hanko Casino in Appelgrenintie 10.

5. Kino Olympia

This movie theater is nothing like those Finnkino ones you have been to in Helsinki. The inside has been left like it was in 1946 when the theater was rebuilt after a fire. There are no seat reservations so make sure to arrive early to get the best seats. The movie selection is quite small, you can choose from two films that are shown at different times. But if you are around when others are not, you can almost get a private film screening! You can find this historical theater in Vuorikatu 11.

So get your friends along and go explore the summer city Hanko!

For more information, visit hanko.fi