municipality in the region of Finland Proper

Kimitoön (Finnish: Kemiönsaari), literally Kimito Island, is a municipality in the Archipelago Sea, Finland. The main island (which gives the municipality its name) is a large coastal island with rural landscape typical for southern Finland. It is surrounded by inner archipelago and outer archipelagos of minor islands, similar to that in the rest of the Archipelago Sea.

Överölmos, village in Dragsfjärd.
Cliffs in Dragsfjärd.

In the summer 2023 the official tourist information points are at Sagalund's museum in Kimito and DB Marina in Dalsbruk. For detailed info see the official website Visit Kemitoön.

  • 1 Kimito tourist information, Museivägen 7, +358 2 421-738, . Jun–Aug Tu–Su 11:00–17:00, M closed.
    • Villa Lande, Engelsbyvägen 8 (Kimito). M–F 12:00–17:00.
    • Magasinet, Stallsbacksvägen 6 (Dalsbruk). W–F 10:30–17:30, Sa Su 10:30–16:00.
  • 2 Dalsbruk harbour office and tourist info, Stallsbacksvägen, +358 440-221-321, . Jun–Aug M–Su 10:00–20:00.

Understand edit

The island Kimito is the second largest island on Finnish seas after Fasta Åland. The municipality consists of about 3,000 separate islands, of which, in addition to the main island, Hitis, Örö and Bengtskär are especially important for tourism. Kasnäs is an important hub for travelling to the outer archipelago. The area has been permanently inhabited since at least the 12th century, the Hitis islands are probably home to the oldest settlements. A separate Kimito parish was first mentioned in written documents in the 1320s and the marine pilot station of Jungfrusund in 1490. The current Kimito church was completed in 1496.

In the village Dahl there was a deep natural harbour and plenty of iron ore, which is why an iron factory was established in the village as early as in 1686. The factory was in continuous operation until 2012. Such 326-years history is rare in the metal industry, even worldwide. This industrial history have significantly affected the appearance of the village, now known as Dalsbruk (Finnish: Taalintehdas), and the building stock in the village is fairly exceptional and worth of seeing. The famous locksmith company Abloy had a lock factory in the village of Björkboda until 2019. Nowadays there is a lock museum in the village. In the Västanfjärd area there were several small limestone quarries and lime kilns since the 1600s until the last one ceased its operations in 1952.

Finnish businessman and significant art patron Amos Andersson lived in the Söderlångvik manor 1927—1961. Today, the manor is a museum with a remarkable art collection on display.

Kimitoön as a municipality was created in 2009 by joining the small municipalities of Kimito (Finnish: Kemiö), Västanfjärd and Dragsfjärd, all partly on the main island. Earlier many of the island groups and some other villages were independent municipalities. Kimitoön forms the eastern part of the Åboland region. The western part is now the "city" of Pargas (of which only a tiny part is urban).

In 2022 there were 6,500 inhabitants out of which 67 % speak Swedish as their mother tongue and about 30 % are Finnish speaking. Kimitoön is a popular 'summer cottage municipality'. There are more private summer cottages in the municipality than apartments inhabited all year round, which increases services and events in the area during the summer months.

Villages edit

Reachable by road without ferry crossings:

  • 3 Kimito (Finnish: Kemiö), a traditional rural village (or a couple of them) with a medieval church and some museums. The new centre by the main roads hosts large grocery stores and other service.
  • 4 Björkboda, village between Kimito and Dalsbruk with lock factory and museum.
  • 5 Dragsfjärd (Kärra), cosy village with wooden church and a restaurant.
  • 6 Dalsbruk (Finnish: Taalintehdas), the most urban settlement of Kimitoön, nice village with ironworks and a related museum, famous for its Baltic Jazz festival. Marina.
  • 7 Västanfjärd, small village in the south-eastern part of the main island, with two churches and some shops.
  • 8 Kasnäs, starting point for many trips to the outer archipelago and a tourist trap. Spa hotel, marina and ferry harbour in the south-west.

Reachable by a ferry or your own boat only.

  • 9 Hitis (Finnish: Hiittinen), island group and a former municipality south of Kimitoön. The quite large village of Hitis has retained much of its traditional character. The adjacent Rosala has a Viking centre. Ferries from Kasnäs or Dalsbruk.
  • 10 Högsåra, island near Kasnäs, with a road ferry passage.
  • 11 Vänö, a larger remote island, ferry from Kasnäs.

Talk edit

Kimitoön has a Swedish speaking majority, like the rest of Åboland, and a large Finnish-speaking minority. Most people also speak the other national language decently, and people know English as in the rest of Finland.

Get in and around edit

 
By boat on Högsåra

There are three roads to Kimitoön: from the north via Sauvo from national road 1 (E18) or regional road 110, both between Helsinki and Turku, from the east via Perniö over the Strömma canal (said to be the only place in Finland where tides can be observed) and from north-east along small roads via the Kokkila–Angelniemi ferry. The main village, Kimito, is some 60 km from Turku, 155 km from Helsinki via Raseborg.

The main island is 60 km long from the north-east – Angelniemi of Salo not counted – to Kasnäs in the south-west and 40 km wide from Mjösund in the north-west to Lammala in the south-east. In addition to the main island and islands connected to it by bridges, there are a few larger islands with proper villages, a handful of islands inhabited by one or a few families – and countless smaller islands and islets. The inhabited ones are reachable by ferry.

By car edit

Many roads have cracks and potholes, but getting around by car is generally unproblematic, except for the remote islands, which don't have public parking.

By bus edit

There are coaches by Vainion Liikenne (timetables summer 2023) on the route Turku–KaarinaPaimioSauvo–Kimito(–Dalsbruk/Kasnäs) a few times a day: lines 721–723 (€16 to Dalsbruk; the S variants combine with a coach from Turku harbour, satama). Some of the services to Kimito or Kasnäs combine with Vainio's SaloPerniö–Kimito–Dalsbruk services (€18; mostly line 520).

From Helsinki, Vainio (link above) is usually the best option. Take their Turku–Salo–Helsinki service and transfer in Salo for line 520 or their own service, possibly again in Kimito for Kasnäs (€18–25 from Salo to Kasnäs, €26–36 from Helsinki). When there isn't a service from Salo to Kimito (or the coach doesn't stop in Salo), instead transfer in Kaarina or Turku to one of the 72x lines (ask the driver about transfer details). There may be other options for the transfer, using another coach company for the first leg and transferring in Salo, Paimio, Kaarina or Turku.

There may also be coaches from Helsinki via Raseborg (and Perniö).

1 Kimito bus station is in the centre by Arkadiavägen, 2 Dragsfjärd bus stop is on a looped road next to the church and graveyard, and 3 Dalsbruk bus station is in the harbour next to the Ramsay's quarters. All of these are just bus stops with roof but without room indoors, so it makes sense to dress for the weather.

Connections to Kasnäs were significantly improved in the summer of 2023. In summertime there are two or three daily bus connections on the route Turku–Kaarina–Sauvo–Kimito–Kasnäs (€20–24). Note that buses to Dalsbruk do not visit Kasnäs and vice versa (except the 723H service), but there may be a transfer option in Kimito or a bus between the two.

J & M Launokorpi drives Kimito–Västanfjärd in schooldays (i.e. not during the summer). The connection is scheduled for school children but is open for anyone to use for €4. Otherwise you probably need to leave the bus at the Västanfjärd th stop and call a taxi.

By bike edit

By bike you can follow the same routes as the cars, but the roads are narrow and cycleways few, so this is less nice if there is much traffic. If coming from the east, there is a biking route mostly avoiding the main roads, Kustrutten from Salo either via Kirjakkala, Teijo (Tykö) and Mathildedal ironworks, Teijo National Park, over the Strömma Canal and via Dalsbruk to Kasnäs with ferries to some of the islands, or via Finby and Angelniemi to Kimito and Dalsbruk (the latter route may have been superseded by ferries via Bengtskär to Hanko). The route mostly follows small village roads, with some legs by the main roads, some through the forest. Not suited for racing bikes, but normal bikes will do.

By boat edit

See also: Boating in Finland, Archipelago Sea

With yacht you probably arrive via Hanko in the east or via the waters of Pargas or Nagu in the west. The main inner fairway between the Gulf of Finland in the east and Pargas, Nagu, Turku and Åland in the west and north-west goes south of Dalsbruk and Kasnäs, north of Hitis and Örö. The outer archipelago south of these is difficult to navigate and lacks official channels. There are many marinas, and except Kimito, most places of interest are reachable by boat with some walking.

There are probably passenger connections from Hanko to Kasnäs in summer, for those who want a cruise. Vitharun has ended its services, hopefully somebody else continues them. You could also take a boat to the Bengtskär lighthouse and "return" with another boat to Kasnäs (check both legs before booking).

There are ferry connections to the main remote islands. The ones to Högsåra and Rosala are car ferries, on the other islands there is no parking and no road to drive.

By taxi edit

See edit

 
Interior of Söderlångvik mansion
 
Landscape on a minor remote island
  • Churches. The 1 Kimito church is a medieval stone church first documented in 1447 but there are coins from the 14th century found in archaeological excavations. The wooden 2 Hitis church was built in 1686 while 3 Dragsfjärd church and 4 Västanfjärd old church are both wooden cross churches built in 1750-1760. The 5 Dalsbruk church was built 1921–1922 and is a bit off-town. Like some other buildings in Dalsbruk the church is made of slag, a by-product of ferroalloy production.
  • 6 The ironworks museum in Dalsbruk (Dalsbruks bruksmuseum), Tullbacksvägen 7, +358 40-721-9535, . Daily 11:00–18:00 or by request. Dalsbruk has ironworks traditions from 1686. The museum tells about the history of ironworking and worker housing. Signboards probably in Swedish only, ask about guiding in English in advance. €4/2, children under 16 free, guiding included.  
  • 7 Coke ovens (Kolugnarna), Malmvägen 2. This group of 11 coke ovens survived until today is completely unique. The ovens were built during 1830's and there were originally 28 of them. The coke ovens were used to burn wood into coke which is necessary to smelt raw iron ore into metallic iron. The ovens are made of slag, which is a by-product of iron production. The same, weird looking material, has also been used in many other buildings in Dalsbruk. free.
  • 8 The old blast furnace (Den gamla masugnen), Tullbacksvägen 3 (Dalsbruk, 100 m behind the K-market). This old blast furnace was in use until 1860 when the iron factory moved to current industrial area in the harbour. Some of the structures are in bad shape (in 2023) and one shouldn't go into the building. There is a nature trail to the lakes behind the village departing from left side of the furnace. free.
  • 9 Worker's Barracks. These two-story wooden apartment buildings were built for iron factory workers in the late 19th century, and they form a unique part of Dalsbruk's peculiar building stock. The buildings are still in normal residential use, just admire them from afar. There are several underground cellars around them. They were used to store potatoes and other food over the winter.
  • 10 Ramsay's quarters, Stallbacksvägen 4-8. A group of yellow-white storage houses from the 19th century in the harbour. Two of them serve today as restaurant and one as a movie theatre. The quarters represent neoclassical architectonic style, and the buildings are sometimes called Engel's quarters as their style resembles the style of the famous architect C. L. Engel. Unfortunately, the designer's identity has been lost in the mists of history.
  • 11 The lock museum (Björkboda låsmuseum), Tullbacksvägen 7 (in Björkboda), +358 40-721-9535 (mobile), +358 2 466-200 (landline), . 27 Jun–5 Aug: W–Su 14:00–18:00 or by request. Björkboda has ironworks traditions since 1732. The museum tells about the local locksmith and lock factory traditions (the Abloy lock factory closed down in 2018). The museum is in a worker house from the 1840s. Signboards probably in Swedish only, ask about guiding in English in advance. The museum is administratively part of the Dalsbruk ironworks museum. €2/1, children under 16 free, guiding included.  
  • 12 Sagalund local museum, Museivägen 7 (Vreta, 500 m from the bus stop), +358 2 421-738, . Jun–Aug daily 11:00–17:00; wintertime (main building only) M–F 09:00–16:00, Sa 10:00–13:00. Good local museum with history revival activities for children (perhaps Swedish/Finnish only). Includes houses of district court, schools and farms. Café. Nice museum shop. Groups should call in advance. €6/5/1, children under 7 free, guiding included, history revival tours €5/person, lunch €8.50.  
  • 13 Söderlångvik manor, Amos Andersonvägen 2 (also mooring for guests when museum open), +358 2 424-662 (museum; M–F 09:00–12:00), . May–Sep daily 11:00–17:00; park open 24 hr daily. Mansion, museum, park, farm, café with meals (see Ateljé Sami Tallberg below), craft and farm shop, cottage-like accommodation. The museum is primarily about Amos Anderson, but has also e.g. a large art collection from the first half of the 20th century — Anderson's own collection included 450 paintings. The mansion interiors and the park are in themselves worth a visit. €10/5, children under 18 free.  
  • 14 Rosala Viking Centre, Reimarsvägen 5 (in Rosala village at Hitis island), +358 40 218 2960, . see the web page. The only runestone found from Finland so far was found here at Hitis in 1997 giving an idea of a Viking village as a tourist attraction. Cozy place, Viking style restaurant and an option for accommodation. Included in many tours to Bengtskär. Adult €8, children €4; accommodation (1 pers room) €80-100 + entrance fee (incl. sauna & breakfast).

Do edit

 
Eugenia leaving Helsingholmen off Dragsfjärd
  • Sailing with traditional sailing ship (Eugenia) (from Kasnäs, Dalsbruk or Kalkholmen (Västanfjärd)), +358 440-427-862, . Weekly to Örö, check other routes and dates. Groups of 15–34 can book trips of their own. Start usually 09:00. The original Eugenia, built 1879–1880, was one of the last Finnish ships without engine in 1951. She was a small ship sailing with coastal cargo, e.g. stone for the Bengtskär lighthouse 1905–1906. The replica was built 1997–2000. The ship is maintained by volunteers. Book in advance. Dress warmly. €48/30 for an eight hours trip including lunch (children's fare for 5–14 years old).
  • 1 Bjärkas golf, Västanfjärdsvägen 655 (Nivelax, Västanfjärd), +358 440-184-653, . Demos/courses available. Greenfee 16–18/9 holes/unlimited: M–F €24/16/36 Sa–Su €28/18/36, juniors (<18) -50 %; golf cart €25/round.
  • Go on a sea kayaking tour
    • Aavameri, +358 50 569 70 88, . Full service guided trips and supported solo expeditions with transportation from/to Turku. Also help with route planning and maps. Equipped sea kayak €40 first day, €35 consecutive days, delivery or pick up at Kimitoön €40; hiking mattresses and sleeping bags for two, tent and camping stove €56/day/night. Day tour with guide (ca 7 hours, 4–8 persons, lunch included) from Kasnäs or Rosala €95/adult, €50/child. Four days' tour with guide and tent accommodation (own food, 4–8 persons) €440/person, with accommodation indoors €560/person.
  • Sailing: Go on an afternoon trip or charter a yacht and go for a week or two of sailing in the Archipelago Sea. Along the main boating routes you could sail to Kustavi or Uusikaupunki through the inner archipelago and back through the outer, or you could sail to Mariehamn. If you have more than a week, also Hiiumaa in Estonia, the Stockholm archipelago and Gotland may also be good options – although there is indeed enough to explore in the Archipelago Sea alone. Bareboat chartering is the default, and requires adequate skills. They will love to tell you about the archipelago and local culture, and to recommend routes and sights.
  • 2 Saaristokylpylä Kasnäs, Kasnäsvägen 1294, +358 2 521 0100. A traditional recreational spa offering spa services from baby to elders. The spa has a children’s pool, practice pool, jacuzzi, cold pool and two 25-meter tracks for swimmers. In addition to the regular women’s and men’s saunas, the spa includes a steam bath, a custom sauna, and an infrared cabin.
  • 3 Yxskär (7 km west of Vänö). Excursion island of the Archipelago Sea National Park with primitive harbour (depth 1.5–2 m), nature trail, primitive campsite, picnic table, campfire site and toilet. Keep your dog on leash. Used as pasture to keep the traditional landscape. Own boat and own water needed.

Events edit

  • Baltic Jazz: 7–9 July 2023. Relaxed music festival annually in July.   (date needs updating)
  • Kimito Music Festival (Kimitoöns musikfestspel): 10–16 July 2023. Chamber music. Celebration 25 years in 2023. Concerts at different venues, such as Söderlångvik and Sandö mansions (with, Kimito, Dalsbruk, Karuna, Hitis, Teijo (Tykö) and Västanfjärd churches, Dalsbruk market place and Salo art museum. Lunch and dinner concerts on Saturday (Labbnäs and Sami Tallgren, book in advance). (date needs updating)
  • Norpas: 3–6 August 2023. Multi-art festival by the in Dalsbruk. (date needs updating)
  • September Open: 9–9 September 2023. Harvest and handicraft markets, re-enactment shows (including tournament by Rohan Tallit), related program for children, sailing race, and evening party. (date needs updating)

Buy edit

Kimito edit

  • 1 K-supermarket Kompass, Engelsbyvägen 9. M–Sa 07:00–22:00, Su 09:00–22:00. Large K-group supermarket.
  • 2 S-Market Kemiö, Engelsbyvägen 15. M–Sa 07:00–22:00, Su 09:00–22:00. Large S-group supermarket.
  • 3 Alko Kimito, Engelsbyvägen 15. M–F, Sa 09:00–18:00, F 09:00–21:00, Su closed. Alcoholic beverages.

Dalsbruk edit

  • 4 K-market Kompis, Hertsbölevägen 1. M–F 07:00–21:00, Sa 9:00–20:00, Su 10:00–18:00. Grocery store. Some local products.
  • 5 Sale Dalsbruk, Kolabacksvägen 2. M–Sa 07:00–21:00, Su 09:00–21:00. Grocery store.
  • 6 Alko Dalsbruk, Kolabacksvägen 2 (same entrance with Sale). M–Th 09:00–18:00, F 09:00–21:00, Sa 09:00–18:00, Su closed. Alcoholic beverages.
  • 7 Varuhuset Wahlsten, Kolabacksvägen 1. M–F 09:00–17:00, Sa 09:00–15:00, Su closed. All kinds of stuff from clothes to toys. Dalsbruk-themed souvenirs.
  • 8 Glasshyttan. Glassblower J. Hohenthal makes art glass and utility items in his workshop in an old iron factory building. Factory shop.

Dragsfjärd edit

  • 9 K-market Kiva, Kullavägen 150. M–Sa 08:00–21:00, Su 09:00–21:00. Grocery store.
  • 10 K-Kärra, Kyrkobyvägen 7, +358 2 424-626, . M–F 09:00–18:00, Sa 09:00–14:00, Su closed. Grocery store.

Hitis edit

Eat and drink edit

There are decent or good restaurants at least in some of the See/Do/Sleep places and in Dalsbruk. Restaurants with limited supply (including places for pizza and kebab) also in Kimito and probably in a few of the other villages.

Dalsbruk edit

Dragsfjärd edit

Kasnäs edit

Kimito edit

  • Livohka (in the yard of the old former pharmacy). M–Tu F–Su. Vegan outdoor summer café. Lunch of the day from widely varying cuisines. Brunch in weekends.
  • 7 Konditori Mazarin, Engelsbyvägen 5, +358 45 883 2192. M-F 9-17, Sa 9-15, Su closed. Small-scale bakery and café. Bread varieties varies somewhat by day (calling ahead to get your favorite mostly works). Try traditional sourdought-based rye bread or the Kimito limpa. Opened 2021 with slightly renewed concept, formerly known as Kimito Bagare.
  • 8 Kebab pizzeria Arkadia, Arkadiavägen 5.

Västanfjärd edit

Sleep edit

 
Hotel in Dalsbruk

There are no real hotels, but there are nice places to stay overnight. Bathrooms usually shared. Be prepared to pay with cash unless you know cards are accepted. There are cottages for rent in many locations (ask around).

Some businesses arrange camping in their tents or hammocks in "exotic" surroundings, i.e. in the Finnish nature.

On the main islands, there should be no problem to find places for wild camping according to the right to access. You should probably carry your potable water. Campfires require landowner permission.

Accommodations below ordered by location.

Budget edit

  • 1 Eknäs semesterby (Ekniemen Lomakylä), Campingvägen 55 (a kilometre west from the bridge from Sauvo), +358 400-325-701, . Camping, pier and cottages. Also beach, kiosk, café, sauna and cooking facilities. Boats for rent. Tent €5+2.50/person, caravan €20/night (€25 with electricity), cottages €35–60/night (with own linen; 2–6 persons), sauna €15/hour (€20 for groups not staying), rowing boat €5/hr, €40/day.
  • 2 Dalsbruks camping, Olavi Hjelmans väg 16 (600m before Dalsbruk centre, by the sport courts), +358 40-661-5939. Tents and caravans. Limited service. Nature trails nearby.

Mid-range edit

  • 3 Hostel Panget (Merikruunu), Pensionatsvägen 6, +358 2 424-553, . Former pension in Dragsfjärd. Toilets ensuite, showers in some family rooms. Breakfast and linen included. Owner change and renovation 2019–20, the restaurant and pub reopen in the winter, rooms again available from May, at least some of them more expensive than before. Also caravan lots. Guest pier Merikruunu/Kulla. single/double/... €70/93/98/110.
  • 4 Labbnäs Semesterhem, Labbnäsvägen 66, +358 2 424-637, fax: +358 2 424-999, . Nice quiet location 5 km from Dalsbruk, very good local food in the catering restaurant. A rectory since the 17th century, Labbnäs was bought in the 1950s by Amos Andersson, donated to the Martha organisation and transformed into a pension. Now schools and conference groups are common guests. Rooms in the main building and as small apartments with kitchen in a modern building nearby. Events such as sing-alongs and flea markets are arranged. In wintertime there is a hole in the ice for swimming (join the weekly group, Tu 17:30 or heat the sauna and go by yourself). double €70, single €40, with kitchen €76/47, pets €10, breakfast + €8/person.
  • 5 Villa Merihelmi, Sjukhusvägen 6, +358 44-295-5639. 1930s house in local style, Dalsbruk. €30–45/person, extra bed €20; towels not included, breakfast + €7/4.
  • 6 Strandhotellet Dalsbruk, Dalsbruksvägen 694, +358 400-481-028, . Old hotel in Dalsbruk. Free Wi-Fi. €80/double, €55/single.

Splurge edit

  • 7 Kasnäs Archipelago Spa (Kasnäs Skärgårdsbad), Kasnäsvägen 1294, +358 2 521-0100, fax: +358 2 521-0101, . Modern spa hotel by a big marina and a ferry harbour. Accommodation in small houses. single €70/90, double €90/130 (off/in season).

Connect edit

Mobile phones should work as in the rest of rural Finland. At sea there may be areas with deficient coverage.

Stay safe edit

Be careful when at sea and when getting a lift on a Saturday night. Do not let children or pets into water with algal bloom. Otherwise there are few risks. The only non-obvious one is probably the ticks, which may carry TBE or Borreliosis. There are adders, lynx and wolves, but you are unlikely to stumble across them.

Go next edit

 
The Bengtskär lighthouse.
  • 1 Örö, a large island with valuable nature south of Hitis. Until 2015, the island was closed for outsiders as a military base (first fort by the Russians 1915), which has retained many otherwise threatened features. There are meadows with rare butterflies, old forests and nice cliffs and beaches. Also the military history is interesting. It is now part of the Archipelago Sea National Park (from the beginning of 2015) and most army facilities have been converted for tourism use, with services arranged by private partners; minor areas are still off limits. Ferry connection from Kasnäs. Accommodation in hotel rooms, cottages (private or shared), at a campsite or in your yacht in the guest harbour.
  • 2 Bengtskär, a skerry in the outer archipelago, with the tallest lighthouse in the Nordic countries. Tours from Kasnäs via Rosala (the Viking centre) and from Hanko, with optional dinner, sauna, accommodation etcetera at the lighthouse. Service is provided also for those arriving with own boat, but the island is difficult to reach, due to location and lack of shelter.
  • 3 Mathildedal, with old ironworks, and Teijo national park, near Strömma, in the municipality of Salo
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