The thing about old buildings and artefacts is that they remind us about a smaller, simpler life. Almost to the point of wanting to go back, if even for one day. Life on the northern shores had to follow the seasons and certainly was not easy, but it was a full life for sure. The warmth that radiates through in these places – just the perfect way to detach yourself from the present. It’ll do you good.
How cool life used to be
Tiny houses built for persistent people
In Oulu, the island of Pikisaari boasts rows of colourful, old wooden and red-brick houses. The river delta around the island attracts local fishermen and you’ll be sure to see people ice fishing long into the spring. Ice or no ice, fishing was a means to get by through the winter, as well. The houses in Pikisaari used to be homes for seafarers and artisans. In the old industrial quarters, ships were built on the island already in the 17th century.
On your walk in Pikisaari, keep yourself nourished with pure and local Finnish food in a tavern built into an old timber storehouse, or quench your thirst in the atmospheric, red-brick restaurant & bar serving organic beer and tapas.
Ships were built on the island already in the 17th century.
Travel through time, snow and ice
Ii, half an hour drive north of Oulu is a small town full of history and culture. And a great example of making the most of it no matter the season! Visit the Old Hamina historic district, one of Northern Finland’s oldest trading centres dating back to the 14th century. The oldest remaining buildings are from the early 19th century.
Snow-covered roads and frozen waterways have never been a hindrance but a possibility to people along the Pohjola route. Have you ever skated around art? The Environment Art Park in Ii allows you to follow a skating path that goes around the park – kick sleds are also allowed!
Or, head south of Oulu to Raahe, where another well-preserved 19th century wooden town awaits you. Among its museums with intriguing artefacts full of local maritime history, Raahe is known for the exquisite 19th century cafe and B&B Trade House of Lang, where history becomes alive in the staff’s outfits and beautiful coffee services. Let the feeling linger and spend the night – they have exquisite rooms to book.
We rule on these islands
Along with fish, seals were important to the survival of people along the arctic shores. In Kalajoki, seal hunting and fishing communities formed, and some of that history is still alive.
On the islands of Maakalla and Kallankari, some 18 kilometres off the coast, wooden fishermen’s cabins and an 18th century church still stand. Like the rest of the seashore, the islets emerged from the sea as the land uplifted centuries ago. Local fishermen and seal hunters made their home on them and were granted self-government by the King of Sweden in 1771. That treaty still stands today.
Book a snowmobile safari and see the magic of Maakalla for yourself!
Witness the magic of Maakalla!