Kotka Hamina Region – the home of good winds. When a smile is from ear to ear. When haste evaporates. When everything is as it should be. Then you know you have arrived. Kotka-Hamina Region is near everything and far from nothing.
The region is situated on the southeast coast of Finland, on the shores of the Baltic Sea. It consists of the cities of Kotka and Hamina and the municipalities of Pyhtää, Miehikkälä and Virolahti. An attractive seaside region, a beautiful natural environment, the river Kymijoki with its rapids, wonderful urban parks, and about 88,000 friendly people await you – all in an hour’s journey from Helsinki and just a stone’s throw from the Russian border.
Pyhtää offers a vast range of activities. The fascinating Kaunissaari Island, the hikers and skiers’ favourite – Valkmusa National Park– and the Sirius Sport Resort are sure to raise your pulse rate.
- Founded: 1347
- Population: 5 372
- Area: 781 km²
Kotka is the most beautiful of seaside cities. Established where the River Kymijoki meets the sea, this city has long traditions in seafaring. Kotka city centre is situated on an island. The City Port, dripping with the atmosphere of the past, is located on the northern shore of Kotka.
- Founded: 1879
- Population: 54 831
- Area: 941 km²
Hamina is Finland's oldest garrison town. Due to its location, it has also been of great military importance. The city’s 360-year history can be appreciated by exploring the city centre’s circular town plan and fortifications.
- Founded: 1653
- Population: 21 403
- Area: 1 155 km²
Virolahti has the most authentic natural setting in the Southeastern corner of Finland. The region is animated by its busy border crossing point and the associated services. Virolahti is an ideal spot for bird watching, due to the avian mass migration routes directly above it.
- Founded: 1336
- Population: 3 485
- Area: 440 km²
Miehikkälä offers a beautiful rural landscape and Finnish military history in a single package. The municipality is crossed by the Salpa Line – a defensive line from the Second World War. Finnish military history can be explored along the Salpapolku hiking trail, which winds its way along the Salpa Line.
- Foundedi: 1887
- Population: 2 169
- Area: 559 km²
Events that attract
The area is renowned for its events, gathering people from all over the world. Visitors’ favourites include Finland’s most diverse maritime festival, Kotka Maritime Festival, and the Hamina Tattoo, the best of international military music.
The region offers more than 100 kilometres of coastline, thousands of cliffs and coves and a perfect sea. There is no need to trek into nature; you are already right in the middle of it. Kotka-Hamina region takes the traveller on unforgettable journeys, both on land and sea. The beauty of the waterways is dazzling, and there are also special sites of fascination for hikers, anglers and bird-watchers, with countless alternatives, from shooting rapids at speed to gentle walks and tranquillity amidst fantastic scenery.
Great arts and culture
Kotka-Hamina region is also home to outstanding cultural offerings and sights. The unique and award-winning architecture of Maritime Centre Vellamo and its wonderful exhibitions attract people from afar. A guaranteed hit for the whole family is the aquarium of Finnish fishes, Maretarium. The theatres in the area stage a broad range of plays, of high quality all year round.
The region offers brilliant insights into the recent past and ages further back in the mists of time. The colourful history of the border region takes you on a dizzying adventure through the centuries from numerous nations' perspective, from the courts of Swedish-ruled Finland to the Russia of the czars. The key elements of the military history of independent Finland are explained in the Salpa Line Museum in Miehikkälä.