One of St. Petersburg's most famous and popular visitor attractions, the palace and park at Peterhof (also known as Petrodvorets) are often referred to as "the Russian Versailles", although many visitors conclude that the comparison does a disservice to the grandeur and scope of this majestic estate.
Versailles was, however, the inspiration for Peter the Great's desire to build an imperial palace in the suburbs of his new city and, after an aborted attempt at Strelna, Peterhof - which means "Peter's Court" in German - became the site for the Tsar's Monplaisir Palace, and then of the original Grand Palace. The estate was equally popular with Peter's daughter, Empress Elizabeth, who ordered the expansion of the Grand Palace and greatly extended the park and the famous system of fountains, including the truly spectacular Grand Cascade.
Improvements to the park continued throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. Catherine the Great, after leaving her own mark on the park, moved the court to Pushkin, but Peterhof once again became the official Imperial Residence in the reign of Nicholas I, who ordered the building of the modest Cottage Palace in 1826.
Like almost all St. Petersburg's suburban estates, Peterhof was ravaged by German troops during the Second World War. It was, however, one of the first to be resurrected and, thanks to the work of military engineers as well as over 1,000 volunteers, the Lower Park opened to the public in 1945 and the facades of the Grand Palace were restored in 1952. The name was also de-Germanicized in 1944, becoming Petrodvorets, the name under which the surrounding town is still known. The palace and park are once again known as Peterhof.
In the 17th century, Narva was a city on the border between Sweden and Russia, which Sweden wanted to turn into a regional capital. The designer of the defence fortifications was a military engineer and architect Erik Dahlberg.
This is Narva’s oldest park, an example of park architecture from the end of the 19th century. Located on the Bastions. There are two memorials in the park and its environs. The first is the iron cross erected on the Victoria Basion in 1853 in memory of the Russian soldiers that died during the Siege of Narva in the Great Northern War. The second memorial marks the graves of soldiers that died in the War of Independence in November 1918.
Lohionginta Korpikeidas is a fishing place with a guaranteed catch! You can take your freshly caught fish with you or have it smoked. A domestic animal park is an excellent destination for family trips. Sheep, rabbits, chickens and roosters, guinea pigs, chipmunks, turkeys, pigeons, emus, a miniature pig and pony riding. Open also during winter time for fishing.
Hytermä islands are nature reserve area and museum islands, about 7km from the centre of Kerimäki towards Hälvä. Hytermä was declared a protected nature area in the year 1931, and the fact that is has survived almost completely in its natural state is all down to an ex-rural police chief (1916-1940) Heikki Väyrynen, a.k.a. Romu-Heikki, and his wife.
The islands have a one-of-a-kind collection of art made from rocks and easily walked nature paths. Hytermä can only be reached by boat which you can rent before rowing the 400m to the island. Once there you will also find a wonderful sandy beach and a pier.
Hytermä is situated 7 km from the centre of Kerimäki (Savonlinna-Kerimäki 23 km), address: Hälvänsaarentie 80, Kerimäki.
Alatskivi Castle Park – the biggest park in Tartu County (130 ha) – was established by squire von Stackelberg in the end of the 18th century. The Alatskivi Castle built according to the designs of Arved von Nolcken with the surrounding park is one of the main sights in the area. The towers and terraces of the castle offer beautiful views of the lakes, the church and the surrounding landscape. A marked hiking track runs through the park. The majority of the trees growing in the park are local species, such as lime trees, maples and oaks.
The University of Tartu Botanical Garden offers study programmes and excursions for visitors of all ages. There are more than 10,000 species and varieties of plants in the garden. In addition to natural plants, including rare protected plants, we introduce new decorative plants. In the greenhouses, rainforest and desert plants can be seen.
It is the oldest botanical garden in the Baltic States, operating for more than 200 years in the same location. The garden is designed by world-renowned botanists, professors Ledebour and Bunge. Guests can visit the greenhouses with a ticket, but the garden is open for everyone for free. There is a playground for children.
Vallisaari and Kuninkaansaari are enchanting destinations for outings, next to the Suomenlinna fortress, just 20 minutes by boat from the Market Square in Helsinki. These two islands have served as the home and workplace of hundreds of people and as the place of military service for thousands of soldiers. Fortifications, buildings, and a record-breaking range of species tell a tale of coexistence between humans and wild nature. Just take a trip to these mysterious islands on which time seems to stand still.
World Heritage Site Suomenlinna is a cultural treasure. Its construction began in the mid-18th century, when Finland was still part of Sweden. The development of tourism began after the wars in the 20th century, and in the 21st century, the Suomenlinna sea fortress is one of the most popular attractions in Finland. Today, the fortress and its museums, restaurants and events are a memorable experience for visitors of all ages. Suomenlinna is not only a popular visitor attraction but also a home of 800 residents.
The number of visitors to Suomenlinna has continued to grow, and with over 900,000 visitors every year, the sea fortress is one of Finland’s most popular tourist destinations. Suomenlinna attracts visitors from both Finland and abroad: it offers an ideal environment for exploring a historical world heritage site, or just spending a day relaxing. Many visitors come to the island during the summer, but the number of wintertime visitors is steadily growing.
Situated in the heart of Helsinki, the Esplanade Park serves as a promenade for visitors and a place to relax for the locals. The park and the Espa Stage host many popular events, including the Marimekko Fashion Show in June and the Jazz-Espa concert series throughout July.
Kadriorg Park is the most outstanding palatial and urban park in Estonia, covering around 70 hectares. Its construction began in 1718 on the orders of Russian tsar Peter I. Elements of park design from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries can be seen here.
The most popular places for a stroll in the park are the flower beds surrounding the Swan Pond and the promenade leading from there to the president's palace.
There are a number of museums in the park, including KUMU (the Estonian Art Museum), Kadriorg Art Museum and the Mikkeli Museum, as well as monuments to such cultural figures as sculptor Amandus Adamson, author F. R. Kreutzwald and artist Jaan Koort.
Tammsaare Park is located in the centre of Tallinn, between the Estonia Theatre and Viru Keskus shopping centre. In 1896, one corner of the park became the new site of Tallinn’s market, which was formerly located on Town Hall Square. From 1903–1905, the park was home to a giant wooden ‘Interimstheater’ – a barn-type hall that was a venue for theatre performances and cinema screenings. When this building burnt down, space was landscaped and pathways were constructed.
In 1978, a statue of A. H. Tammsaare was erected in the centre of the park to mark the Estonian author’s 100th birthday.
Tammsaare Park has modern lighting, white park furniture, and thousands of flower bulbs.
There is a pedestrian mall in the heart of Viljandi where you will see an amazing array of things - fragments of the medieval town wall; a modern walking track with unique fountains and benches; and examples of drying barn architecture from the olden days. The Garden of Arcadia was inspired by a dance hall and meeting place here that went by the same dreamy name among locals in the early 1930s.
The park in front of the main building of Viljandi Manor is home to a 'world tree' bearing national patterns carved out of the old, dry oak. Both the tree and the large wooden Hiiu zither nearby made a home for themselves in the park in spring 2009, when Viljandi held the title of Forest Capital of Estonia. The park's 'orchestra' obtained new players in 2010: a willow whistle and bellows.
Experience a touch of the Lappish exotic with reindeer in Nuuksio reindeer park which is the southernmost place in Finland where you can see and feed reindeer. You can also enjoy brewed coffee with Lappish cheese bread, grilling sausages or stick bun on an open fire or delicious glow fried salmon or game dishes in an atmospheric wilderness style of tepee restaurant "White Reindeer”. The tepee has a capacity of about 40 persons + outdoor terrace from where you can admire the reindeer at close range. "White Reindeer” Kota restaurant is fully licenced and it is open for groups on a reservation basis.
Nuuksio reindeer park also offers nature program services to an additional request such as Guided nature trail from the Finnish Nature Centre Haltia or from Haukkalampi to reindeer park, either on foot, Nordic walking style with poles, skis, snowshoes or kick sledges; transportation by two 8 person minibuses is also possible.
Lake Viljandi is in a primeval valley, which is 11 m deep, 450 m wide and 4600 metres long. The lake is well-known in Estonia thanks to the song about the boatman of VIljandi, who day-dreams about the beautiful blue eyes of a girl he once saw when he was young.
The Tallinn Zoo is located in the naturally beautiful Veskimetsa park forest that is rich in species. Boasting the most exciting collection of wildlife in Northern Europe, it is home to more than 11,000 specimens belonging to almost 600 species or subspecies from Australia to Alaska.
The Zoo has giant elephants and rhinoceros, dangerous predators, simians, polar bears, and many other exotic species. Tallinn Zoo also has the best collection of wild goats and sheep in the world, as well as a remarkable number of eagles and vultures, and an excellent selection of owl and stork species.
Nuuksio National Park – fresh air, nature, tranquillity. Away from the hectic city life but still next door. Nuuksio National Park is only 40 minutes from Helsinki.
Within easy reach of Helsinki, you can escape into wild natural settings and experience nature, lovely lakes, green forests and clean air. With its marked trails, cooking shelters and camping sites Nuuksio is ideal for short hiking trips lasting one or two days.
Nuuksio National Park forms the western part of the so-called Nuuksio lake uplands, the most extensive and ecologically important continuous backwoods area in the Uusimaa Region. Because it is located in southern Finland and affected by broken bedrock, the park consists of an intricate mosaic of habitats, where dozens of threatened and near-threatened species live.
Oravivuori arc point is a part of Struve Geodetic Arc. The Struve Geodetic Arc was accepted into the Unesco World Heritage List in 2005. It represents the cultural heritage of science and technology.
The Struve Geodetic Arc was laid out and measured in 1816-1855 with the aim of determining the size and shape of the Earth. The Struve Geodetic Arc is a chain of survey triangulation measurements stretching from the Arctic Sea to the Black Sea, through ten countries and over 2,820km. Six stations points are located in Finland.
The point of the Struve Arc Puolakka is located at the top of Oravivuori in Korpilahti. It is the most famous of the Finnish Struve Geodetic arc points, because it is located at the top of a hill and there are beautiful views to the lake Päijänne. On this spot a triangulation tower has been erected to commemorate the importance of the Oravivuori (or Puolakka) measuring station to the mapping of Finland.
Soomaa National Park, founded in 1993, is the second largest national park in Estonia. Soomaa, located on the border between Pärnu and Viljandimaa, is one of the pearls of nature in Estonia, with its large, man-made, almost untouched bogs and wild rivers.
There are 23 slopes at Tahko, the biggest ones 1200 meters long and as much as 200 meters high. At Tahko, you can find speedy slopes for active skiers, but the kids and beginners have their own slope, too. Snowboarders will enjoy the proper pipe and the boxes and rails of the street.
There are 13 T-bar lifts and two four-person chair lifts taking skiers to the top of Tahko. In addition, there is a lift connection from the slope area to the parking lot, and a safe carpet lift for the youngest skiers.
At Tahko, you do not have to leave the slopes when you get hungry. There are five slope restaurants ready to fill your stomach and quench your thirst. Additional slope services include two equipment rental shops and a ski school.
The Puurijärvi and Isosuo National Park, like other national parks, is a very exceptional and important pearl in Finnish nature. There are already 1500-1200 inhabited areas before the start of the time, and village communities around the park were born in the 13th century.
The Turku University Botanical Garden operating on the Island of Ruissalo is both a centre for scientific research and a public showcase for the fascinating world of plants.
The outdoor and indoor gardens display over 5000 species and varieties of plants. In the greenhouses are a wide range of succulent plants and a collection of tropical species. Flourishing in the outdoor garden are rhododendrons, peonies, annuals, economic plants, meadow flowers, exotic trees and shrubs, to name a few. A distinguishing feature of the new landscape is the three ponds containing colourful water lilies and other wetland plants.
Here it is possible to hold meetings, training sessions and private events held in the outdoor gardens, greenhouses, seminar hall and cafeteria (which is also available for dining).
The Archipelago National Park is located just 60 kilometres from Turku. Visitors can reach the park via Kimito and Pargas. Nature in the region is fascinating the whole year-round. The region is comprised of a rugged archipelago ecosystem and ancient bedrock, where the juniper and curling pine grow. Thanks to grazing livestock and long-term land management, the region also boasts beautiful, verdant traditional landscapes. Archipelago National Park is one of the most species-rich regions in Finland. Visitors can also experience archipelago life and culture within the park as well as in co-operation areas outside it. The Archipelago National Park is part of the Archipelago Sea Biosphere Reserve, which was established by UNESCO.
Hanhipuisto park was originally set up in 1988 on a dredged soil deposit site. Extensive rebuilding work has turned the former sedimentation basins into a park where horizontal dimensions are used to highlight the vegetation on display. The total area of the Hanhipuisto park is around 16 hectares, of which 8.9 hectares comprises built-up parkland.
Feel the surf and spindrift of the sea, listen to the ripple of the waves and look far to the open sea!
Established in 2011, the Bothnian Sea National Park comprises approximately 160 km of the coast of Satakunta and Southwest Finland. The National Park extends from Luvia to Merikarvia in the Pori region, and it is mainly located in the outer archipelago. 98% of the area of the Bothnian Sea National Park is water, so the park offers a magnificent open landscape for even several days’ trips by sail or motorboat.
See and experience the rugged and rocky outer archipelago with its sea-buckthorn bushes and blooming shore meadows. You can berth at the park’s islands and camp for short periods. There are resting and campfire places on the islands. There are also several excursion harbours in the National Park area to visit, such as Munakari, Iso-Enskeri and Seliskeri, Säppi in Luvia and Ouraluoto in Merikarvia.
The lighthouse on the island of Säppi in Luvia was built in the 19th century. In addition, you can admire the heritage landscape, rare mouflon and migratory birds on the island.
The Rundale Palace is set amidst the fertile Zemgale Plains in the south of Latvia. Most of the interior decorations were created between 1765 and 1768 when a sculptor from Berlin Johann Michael Graff, and Italian painters from St. Petersburg Francesco Martini and Carlo Zucchi worked at the palace.
Adventure and lively activities, tranquillity, unspoilt nature, and a unique landscape carved out by the last ice age. The Rokua Geopark is part of the Global Geopark Network, a UNESCO-supported conservation group. It comprises Rokua, Lake Oulu, and the River Oulu Valley. A geopark is a geologically unique area. Rokua Geopark is the world’s northernmost and Finland’s only Geopark.
In the summer, the park offers fantastic opportunities for trekking, kayaking, mountain biking, and fishing. In the winter, you can ski, snowshoe, go on a brisk husky safari, or enjoy a starlit sleigh ride through the winter night. Be part of the Arctic miracle at Rokua Geopark!
A visit to the medieval castle at Kastelholm in Sund makes for an exciting outing for the whole family. It was mentioned for the first time in writing in an estate inventory for Bo Johnsson Grip in 1388.
Senses is a privately owned visit garden. It is Birgitta´s dream come true thanks to Marcus special skills as a designer and gardener. He fulfils her dream of heaven of scents, sights and tranquillity, located in the lovely archipelago of Åland. The garden is still young but the goal is set high. We aim to become the best garden in Finland.
Highlights of the season are:
Spectacular spring bloom, maybe the best in Finland.
Impressive summer bloom with Peonies, Roses, Lavandula, Lillies and lots of perennials.
The breathtaking colour explosion marks the end of the season in autumn.
Koitelinkoski is a beautiful place for nature lovers, both local daytrippers and visiting tourists. The Koiteli region is surrounded by rolling forested hills and rich vegetation, and its many islands provide excellent opportunities for fishing, canoeing and kayaking, and trekking.
The Koitelinkoski rapids are part of the free-flowing River Kiiminki. The rapids are about four kilometres from downtown Kiiminki and a quick 24-kilometre drive from Oulu.
It’s easy to explore the area on foot, following marked paths that wind along the mainland and across the islands. You can reach several of Koiteli’s islands (Pikkusaari, Sahasaari and Pikniksaari) with suspension bridges – an adventure that sticks in children and young people’s minds in particular. The rocky cliffs on the shore are comfortable places to sit and observe the natural world. There are also several campfire sites where you can prepare your food and enjoy some refreshments.
Golitsynsky Pond consists of two parts: the small and the big ponds. Founded in 1954, the complex has always been one of the most romantic places in the park.
Golitsinsky pond changed its title and at the time of the Sovient Union was renamed as Pionersky. During the reconstruction of the Park, Golitsinsky Pond has received its original name.
The main attraction of the Pond is a small "Dancing island". Currently this island is abandoned, however in 1930's one of the most beautiful stages of the Park located there. On the brim there used to be the amphitheater for 700 spectators while the island served as a platform for the plays. Repertoire was quite diverse - theatre plays and ballet, opera, musical acts and other different performances. The Bolshoy Theatre artists also gave their performances here.
Boat renting is also available. The territory of the Pond is quite big so it's possible to move easily around it using the boat.
Syote, Finland’s southernmost fell region, is particularly popular with families. Syote is known for its two downhill skiing slopes. Iso-Syote was chosen as ski centre of the year 2012, and Pikku-Syöte has been lauded for its snowboarding parks
The Syöte National Park is an inviting place for skiing during the winter, and hiking and mountain biking in the summer. Nature safaris provide added entertainment. Hotel Iso-Syöte and Hotel Pikku-Syöte are located right next to the slopes, so you don’t need a car. The Syöte Central Booking Office provides a handy way to make reservations for the area’s extensive range of accommodation and activities. It’s easy to get to Syöte, as it’s only 140 kilometres from Oulu.