The sea fortress of Svartholma, situated at the entrance to the Bay of Loviisa, is a sister fortress to Suomenlinna in Helsinki. Svartholma and Suomenlinna belong to the same defense chain of fortresses. Svartholma is a popular destination for the whole family. You can get to the sea fortress with the scheduled waterbus or by your own boat. The waterbus timetable can be found here. There are berths for guest boats at no charge.
Guided tours filled with interesting history are arranged on the island. Children can enjoy themselves participating in the renewed adventure for children, “The Lost Archives of Svartholma”, during which they get to experience how the fortress was built a long time ago. After an exciting tour you can visit the exhibition of Svartholma, with free entrance and a lot of information about the building of the fortress, its history and life on the island during Swedish and Russian reign. There is also a summer restaurant on Svartholma where you can enjoy a good meal after a day full of activities. Svartholma is the number one destination of the summer!
More information about Svartholma and its services can be found here.
TO STRÖMFORS IRON WORKS:
The old Strömfors Iron Works is a beautiful destination by the Kymijoki river in Ruotsinpyhtää, approximately 18 km east from the centre of Loviisa. In the Forge Museum you can learn about how iron was forged in the olden days. Forging exhibitions are held on many Saturdays during the summer in the restored Upper Forge. The Strömfors Iron Works is characterized by handicraft and in the small shops you can buy handicraft, presents and art. A series of art exhibitions are held during the summer in the Tallinvintti gallery. You can go swimming in the Kymijoki river at the Kiramo beach near the Iron Works area or go for a hike along the Kukuljärvi trail (approx. 8 km).
If you are interested in the history of the Iron Works, you can participate in a guided tour or get to know the area by a drama tour lead by Virginia af Forselles herself. The tours are suitable for adults and older children. Children can learn about the Iron Works history and about old working methods during a guided tour with the smith’s apprentice. The restaurants and cafés offer a break from exploring and there are lots of family friendly accommodations to choose from.
Find out more here.
TO THE LAIVASILTA GUEST HARBOR:
Laivasilta in Loviisa is a family friendly guest harbor and an ideal destination during the summer. The idyllic red buildings were once used to store salt and other imported goods, but nowadays they host the Loviisa Maritime Museum, art galleries and summer restaurants. There is a children’s playground next to the park behind the red buildings. There is also a special type of stone labyrinth called a turf maze or “Troy Town” by the park, along with the old towboat “Onni”. There are public restrooms at Laivasilta with baby changing facilities, free of charge. The boat connection to Svartholma Sea Fortress and the packet yacht Österstjernan make berth at the Laivasilta pier. The historical passenger ship m/s J.L. Runeberg travels from Helsinki to the Laivasilta guest harbor in Loviisa on Thursdays in July. After Runeberg’s arrival the ship’s passengers can participate in a guided tour of Loviisa, free of charge. Several family friendly events are organized at Laivasilta.
More information can be found here.
In the centre of Loviisa you can find playgrounds for children in the Laivasilta area, behind the red buildings and restaurant Saltbodan, the address is Laivasilta 4, 07900 Loviisa. Another nice playground can be found in the Kappelinpuisto park, between restaurant Loviisan Kappeli (Kuningattarenkatu 19) and Generalshagen primary school (Kuningattarenkatu 21). At the beach, Plagen (Kapteenintie 5), there is a play boat, where the children can entertain themselves.
Smaller playgrounds can be found in the residential areas, for example next to the kindergarten in Rauhala, in Antinkylä and Määrlahti as well as in the countryside. In Ruotsinpyhtää there is a playground next to the school, together with a traffic park in the corner of Puistokuja and Koulutie (07970 Ruotsinpyhtää).
Loviisa’s map service can be found here.
Some beaches in Loviisa:
-Taikaranta, address Taikarannantie (Hopjärvi), Sävträsk
- Plagen, also possible to swin in the winter Sept. 1st- MAy 31st. Kapteenintie, Loviisa
- Valko beach, road signs from Saukkolahdentie and Kalevantie
- Kiramo, Kiramontie, Ruotsinpyhtää
- Särkjärvi south, Särkjärventie, Tesjoki
Loviisa is a lovely town to explore by foot, since most places in the city centre are within walking distance and there are many beautiful walking routes to choose from. Particularly interesting areas to explore by foot include the market environment by the city square and the adjoining shopping streets, the beautiful wooden houses in the streets of the Old Town and the historical downtown area. Visitors can follow the charming trail along the Myllyharju ridge, from the church in the city centre all the way to the city beach, Plagen, in the shade of the beautiful pine forest. There is a lovely view over the idyllic small town and the sea from the ridge. There is an old windmill on the ridge, as well as the sightseeing tower “Kukkukivi” with a magnificent view all the way to Svartholma Sea Fortress and the wide sea behind it. In the Garnison fortress area visitors can explore the 18th century fortress ruins and Ehrensvärd’s trail. Along the nature trail visitors can follow signs and learn more about how the fortresses were built, how people lived before and about the types of flora and fauna that are found in the nearby woods.
The map of the Ehernsvärd's trail can be found here: http://www.loviisa.fi/!file/!id5052/files/attachment/ehrensvardinpolku.PDF.
Loviisa’s map service can be found here.
Older children can give horseback riding a try at the following stables:
Esma’s riding school, tel. +358 (0)40 557 7464, www.esma.fi/10
Stable Hagelund, tel. +358 (0)40 773 6526, www.stallhagelund.net
A variety of family friendly events are arranged in Loviisa throughout the year. The most interesting events can be found here.