Author Archives: porvoovelo

Porvoo swimming pool

One fantastic option after you’ve pedalled in Porvoo and its outskirts is to pay a visit to Porvoo swimming pool (link in English). It is ideally situated, about 1 km IMG_5247from the city centre and close to a recreational park (Joonaanmäki / Jonasbacken) enjoyed by cross-country skiers and hikers alike. What’s more a youth hostel is situated right in the vicinity of the swimming pool allowing for a  relaxing time after the effort.

The only drawback, so-to-say, is the opening schedule during summer as the pool is closed for maintenance (June 20th – July 27th). One then needs to move to the outdoor facilities around Porvoo (I’ll post about that later) and they are quite a few of them not far away from the city centre.

Whenever I can I usually come and swim twice a week. Honestly I cannot remain away from the swimming pool more than 10 days in a row. Swimming is sooooo good 🙂

For a fee of only 5e for an adult and 3,5e for a child or a retired person, you access various pools including jacuzzi, saunas and hammam. There are also numerous activities, some of which you can practice on your own like water aerobics. As it opens as early as 6.15AM during weektime even in winter you might think that one must be an early bird to come and swim lengths. Mind you, there’s no shortage of visitors to the pool!

Finally there’s a tradition days before Christmas Eve I like to take part in: the swimming pool is lit with just small candles for a few hours. The contrast between the darkness outside and the light from the candles inside makes it just a magical and definitely a must-live experience in Porvoo!

Spring is in the air

Snow has long become one of Finland’s trademarks. And deservingly so!  I love wintertime in Finland despite harsh coldness at times and unendless (or so it seems!) whiteness. IMG_3552I took this picture in the middle of winter last year. I don’t recall how many minuses the thermometer showed then but definitely way below 0*C. And for the last three or four winters in a row the snow would refuse to cease an inch from March 15.

So in March we usually still deal with snow at various levels of either pleasure or disconfort; some would glide on the thick ice on the river or on the slopes nearby as others would freeze their toes and fingers while waiting for the bus.

But all came to an abrupt end a few weeks ago.

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Strangely enough the weather bears little resemblance with what we are accustomed to at this time of year. Spring seems to have invited itself almost without knocking on the seasons’ door. Obviously when I go outside and ride around town these days, I’m not the only one to be amazed by the mild weather conditions.

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I take a glance at the river only to observe thin layers of ice which still seem to cling like a leech to the surface. It’s unlikely they’ll remain for another week.

With the years passing by I wonder if we are to get accustomed to this premature arrival of spring. Unless snow and wintertime decide to play extra-time later in April…

Let’s bike through the “Empire town”

Our certified guide of Finland will take you to the discovery of the “Empire town” of Porvoo. You’ll enjoy biking with Jopo, the traditional Finnish bike. Biking comfortably with Jopo is a funny experience. Along the way you’ll learn about the history of Finland as you stroll along the harbour and into city landscapes from the 19th century.

Tour time: 1 hour

Main attractions

  • Simolin’s building (at present: Bar Paahtimo)
  • Empire-town houses (Eklöf, Lewin’s ancient brewery)
  • The harbour
  • Gymnasium park
  • Runeberg’s house, Finland’s national poet
  • Runeberg’s park

The tour is available from 2 persons and is suitable both for adults and families with children. Children under 7 ride in a trailer.

Tour distance: about 3km

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City parks and the Art Factory

Cycle through three unique city parks. Then head to the brand new Art Factory. Your tour continues through one of Finland’s oldest cemeteries before ending with a beautiful view upon the old town.

Tour time: 1h30

Main attractions:

  • Runeberg’s park
  • Engel’s park
  • Eklöf’s park
  • The Art Factory
  • The 18th-century-old cemetery

This tour is available from 2 persons. This tour is suitable both for adults and families with children.

Tour distance: about 6km

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“Sweet” old Porvoo

We’ll first stroll around the Empire-style town of Porvoo to explore the 19th-century city landscapes with its rich history. We’ll then head to the chocolate factory where you have a chance to glance at the production lines while making your selection of sweets.

Tour time: 2 hours

Main attractions:

  • Empire-town houses (Eklöf, Lewin’s ancient brewery)
  • The harbour
  • Runeberg’s house, Finland’s national poet
  • Gymnasium park
  • Brunberg chocolate factory

This tour is available from 2 persons. This tour is suitable both for adults and families with children.

Tour level: easy

Tour distance: about 7km

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