Hanko (Swedish: Hangö) is Finland's southernmost city. It has a major marina which serves as a stop for boats traveling between Helsinki and the Archipelago Sea (a popular sailing destination). Hanko is a popular summer tourist destination. Tourism ensures good services and a lot of restaurants at the marina.
When Finland became independent in 1917 and the Russian aristocracy suffered due to the revolution, the Russian tourists disappeared. After the Winter War, 1939–1940, the peninsula was leased to the USSR as military base, as demanded by the peace treaty. The border was heavily fortified and manned, and plans for a decisive strike were made on both sides at the start of the Continuation War, but actual battles were minor and the Soviets retreated in 1941. Scattered fortifications remain.
The town remains a major port for international trade, retains its industrial base, and has revived its role as a summer resort.
The tip of the peninsula serves as a stopover point for migratory birds crossing the Gulf of Finland and, hence, hosts much birdwatching.
By carArrival is possible via Highway 25. The town is a 1,5-hour trip from Helsinki, making it suitable for a day trip.
By ferryHanko is primarily a freight port, but Navirail offers passenger and car services to Paldiski, Estonia, which has connections to Kapellskär, Sweden, and Lübeck, Germany.
The coastal fairways pass the Hanko Peninsula's tip where Hanko is situated. Seafaring, fishing and hospitality to seafarers are Hanko's heritage.
Hanko is easily reached from the sea, but there are crossing fairways and freight traffic in the archipelago and near the peninsula's tip. Parts of the archipelago are difficult to navigate when disoriented.
The Eastern Harbour (Itäsatama, Östra hamnen) is the biggest and busiest guest marina in Finland. There is another guest marina on the north side of the peninsula.
By train or by busAll trains between Helsinki and Turku stop in Karis (Finnish: Karjaa), which is connected to Hanko by commuter train. There are coaches from Helsinki.
The House of the four windsphone: +358 19 248-1455address: Neljäntuulenkuja, Pieni MäntysaariThe House of the four winds was hosted by C. G. E. Mannerhein in 1927-1933
Hanko Casinophone: +358 40-487-6409address: Appelgrenintie 10Not a real casino these days, but a lavish wooden structure with nice view of the sea. The original Hanko Sushi restaurant operates here in summer.
Giant's kettlesThese natural rock formations are east of the Casino, on the rocks by the shore.
Hanko RegattaThe Hangon Regatta yacht race, held annually in early July, is the highlight of the summer in Hanko. Competitors come from all the countries of the Baltic coast and, due to the numerous spectators, Hanko takes on a festive, even rowdy, carnival atmosphere.
- Swimming. Hanko has sandy beaches to the west of the city and pebbly beaches between the marina and the Casino.
Bengtskär lighthousephone: +358 2 4667-227Skerry in the outer archipelago, by the mouth of Gulf of Finland, with the tallest lighthouse in the Nordic countries. Tours from Hangö, with optional dinner, sauna, accommodation etc.
OrigoRestaurant with a seafood buffet
phone: +358 40-487-6409address: Appelgrenintie 10Open only in the summer. This is the first Hanko Sushi restaurant. The chain has spread to other cities.
phone: +358 19 248-4393address: ItäsatamaRoxx, the marina bar, is also open outside of the sailing season and offers drinks and snacks. Marina sauna is rentable from Roxx outside of the sailing season.
There is a bike route, Kustrutten ("the coastal route"), to Kasnäs at the far end of Kimitoön in the Archipelago Sea. The route includes pathways in the forest, but does not necessitate a terrain bike.
Kasnäs can also be reached by boat: there is a daytime cruise thrice weekly (Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday) via Kasnäs to Örö in the Archipelago National Park. Twice weekly (Wednesday and Saturday) there is an evening cruise ending in Örö. (Check! A ship on this route has been transferred elsewhere.)
It is possible to befriend a yacht crew and join them.