Kymijoki Culture Route
The 100 km long cultural tourism route linking the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Finland to to Finnish lakeland and the west bank of the mighty river Kymijoki passes through Loviisa and Ruotsinpyhtää, Elimäki in Kouvola, Perheniemi in IItti, Kausala and Kirkonkylä, to Kuusankoski, Kaunisnurmi and Koria
The Kymijoki River area is known as one of the most important for the Finnish forestry industry. Sights worth seeing along the West Kymi Culture Route include The UPM museums, the UNESCO World Heritage site, Verla Groundwood and Board Mill, and the Stora Enso Cardboard Factory also founded in 1872, south of the Kymijoki River, now Ankkapurha Industrial Museum and the protected old factory village and dame area surrounding it, with the workers’ housing designed by Alvar Aalto.
The largest natural rapids in Southern Finland roar downstream of the Kymijoki River. You can take part in rafting on the fastest rapids in the main river or take a peaceful canoe trip down quieter river routes – or go fishing in the surrounding lakes or at the seaside town of Loviisa.
The landscape changes dramatically along the 100-km route, and you pass several bird hides, swimming beaches and wonderful natural spots for hiking.
If you are interested in architecture and the border history of Kymijoki River, there are many centuries-old churches and other important historical sites, including nearly 20 museums. For culture vultures, there are summer theatre, art exhibitions, music festivals and Kymi Sinfonietta’s concerts. Of course, there are plenty of good eateries besides: lovely cafes, summer markets, country fairs and specialist shops, interior design and fashion boutiques. The Veturi shopping centre and Finland’s largest Prisma department store are also in Kouvola.
It is also easy to find somewhere to stay along the route. Besides the town hotels in Loviisa and Kouvola, rural accommodation and holiday cottages are are at your service in the countryside.
Kymijoki Culture Route
You can travel along the West Kymi Culture Route all year round. More destinations are open to the public in the summer than during the autumn and winter months. There are also fewer events held in rural areas in winter than there are in the summer months.