Herrankukkaro used to be a fisherman’s homestead complex near Turku and this is where we spent the night during the NBE Finland program. The area could be the perfect location for a terror movie or a family trip, it all depends of how you see it. We choose the fun family movie and we enjoyed every moment we were there.
We arrived at there during a stormy night and it felt like were going a few decades into time. We looked around and saw wood houses and nature. We were surrounded by the beauty of the Finnish archipelago even though we couldn’t see much of it. It felt like we were getting into the roots and values of this area of Finland. And we can say it felt good.
What is Herrankukkaro?
Herrankukkaro, literally translated as Lord’s Purse, is unique in every way. What used to be a fisherman’s homestead complex among 41,000 islands on the island of Rymättylä in Naantali became a place for recreation, conferences and instructional courses. Easily reachable from Turku in 30 minutes, Herrankukkaro is a place you should visit if you are near the southwestern Finnish archipelago.
This feeling of being back in time got even stronger once our guide there, Oskari, decided to show us the flavors of the fish in an open fire. While we made a mess trying to learn how to cook using a stick on the open fire, he told us all about cooking fish in the old traditions from this fisherman’s homestead. From smoked to cold smoked, to broiled to ember roasted, you can find everything here. Koivuniemen Janne’s buffet table with 20 different kinds of fish is known throughout the archipelago. We ate there and you need to do it as well.
What can you do at Herrankukkaro?
Like everywhere in Finland, Herrankukkaro likes to takes the sauna seriously and there we had our first winter sauna experience during the NBE Finland days. And we did that in the world’s largest smoke sauna that fits up to 124 people at the same time. That sauna is big but it was too dark for good pictures. Following the winter sauna traditions, we were supposed to jump into the cold water but… We didn’t jump into the water due to the stormy night but walking around with snow between our toes felt different enough for that point.
Our only night in Herrankukkaro felt even more special once we realized where we were going to sleep. We were on a boat. Like that The Lonely Island song, we were on a boat and it was great to watch the stormy skies surrounding us on our bedroom. It was even better once we woke up to clear skies on the next day. If you don’t like sleeping inside boats, don’t worry. At Herrankukkaro you can choose to sleep on one of the many idyllic cottages they have spread around the area. Or you can go a little crazy and try the luxury birdhouse! We would love to try that next time we are there.
Next time we are at Herrankukkaro, we know we have to try some of the many activities they have there. We were curious to try out the boat trip to where bootleggers used to hide alcohol during the Finnish Prohibition. And they have a lot more than that. From archery to skiing, they have something from anybody that like outdoor activities. May it be during the summer or the winter, Herrankukkaro is ready for any kind of weather. Its year round availability is really important.
Important because Herrankukkaro is also used for conferences and meetings. They have nice conference rooms that can accommodate up to 240 people with everything you might need to host your talk: high speed internet connections, video projectors. But the best thing about having a conference at Herrankukkaro must be the breaks from work at the surrounding nature.
Reaching Herrankukkaro from Turku and Helsinki is easy and it shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes from Turku Airport. The Herrankukkaro area is only open by advanced booking and you need to get in touch with them if you want to explore this beautiful place.
Call Karioskari Kangas, Oskari like he told us to call him, and tell him you learned about Herrankukkaro on Fotostrasse. He is the guy on the picture below and he is an amazing host. Ask him questions about the place and you will learn everything you can about this amazing place.