Hamina is an idyllic town with a rich history. The circular town plan of the town centre is unique in the world. The beautiful and versatile nature surrounding the town offers an interesting contrast to the historical centre. Hamina is also an easy place to explore by bicycle.
The Hamina bicycle route is 16 km long, with roads varying from asphalted bicycle lanes to narrow dirt roads. However, all the routes are in good condition, so they can be navigated on a normal city bike. You can start the route from any point you like. In the following description, the point of departure is the centre of Hamina. The route is not marked in the terrain.
The route map: Google Maps (in Finnish) & PDF brochure
1. The heart of the town is the Town Hall (1798), currently serving as premises for local central administration, located at the crossing point of eight radial streets. Before becoming an administrative building, the Town Hall has served as a bank, place of trading, jail, police department and even as guard post for the fortress in the early 19th century. Currently, Raati Cafe Kaneli is also operating in the building.
2. The church of the Lutheran congregation in the neoclassical style is built in the shape of a Greek temple. The church was built in 1843, and it was designed by Carl Ludvig Engel. The official residence of the commandant of the fortress located in the same place earlier served as accommodation for the Russian negotiators, who eventually signed the Hamina Peace Treaty. A memorial stone in front of the church reminds us of the occasion.
3. Tanelinkulma in neoclassical and highly decorative wood construction style is the town palace of the Aladin family of Russian origin. The family belonged among the most influential people in Hamina since the 19th century. The house, designed by Waldemar Aspelin, was built in 1889. Today, the building houses, for example, Konditoria Huovila.
4. The Hamina Town Museum is the orange building further back in the photo.
5. The tholos-shaped Orthodox church of Hamina, designed by Italian-French architect Louis Visconti, is a combination of neoclassical and Byzantine elements. His most famous works include Napoleon's Tomb in Paris. The church was built in 1837.
6. After the historical tour of the centre of the town, it is time to head out of town. At the end of the route, you will return to the town centre. Before leaving the centre, however, you could still visit the old flag tower, which serves as the tourist information office of the town of Hamina in summertime.
7. On the Vilniemi route, you pass through the courtyard area of the Vilniemi Manor. The building is still privately owned, so please do not go enter the inner yard, but preferably admire the building from the road only.
8. The old courtyard buildings of the Vilniemi Manor bring back memories from the olden days.
9. Pitkäthiekat is a well-known beach in Hamina, attracting visitors from further away as well. Pitkäthiekat is located on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, about 5 km away from the centre of Hamina. The Pitkäthiekat Camping has a restaurant, where you can take a break to have something to eat and drink.
10. The Pitkäthiekat Camping also hires bicycles, which you can use to get acquainted to the town of Hamina, following the route described here, for example.
11. The beach itself is wide, and the water is shallow, as if tailor-made for playing on the beach.
12. The next stop is the birdwatching tower of Lupinlahti, from where you have a good view of this well-known bird-inhabited bay. Large numbers so birdwatchers visit the tower in spring in particular.
13. Old granary buildings along the route − country landscape at its best!
14. On the southeastern side of Hamina, the route follows an old dirt road across an old rural area.
15. At Kirkkojärvi, the route follows a causeway.
16. There is another birdwatching tower by the Kirkkojärvi causeway. The bulletin board next to the tower gives information about the avifauna of Kirkkojärvi.
17. The route returns to the centre of Hamina. Now is the perfect moment to learn more about the history of the town by getting acquainted with, for example, the Hamina Flag World.
18. The guard house of the Lappeenranta Gate from 1774.
19. The main building of the Reserve Officer School
21. At the end of the route, you can still stop by for coffee and a sweet roll in one of the restaurants in the centre of Hamina, such as Kahvila Varvara.