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Cultural Tour of Western Finland

Location: Alajärvi, Eura, Pori, Raseborg, Seinäjoki, Turku, Finland

Duration: 8 days

Sites: Kauttua Ruukinpuisto Works at Eura, The Terraced House at the Kauttua Works in Eura, Villa Mairea and Ahlström’s Noormarkku Works in Pori, The Seinäjoki Civic Centre, Alvar Aalto in Alajärvi, Villa Skeppet, Paimio Sanatorium

Available: Midsummer - end of August

Accommodation: Not included

Transportation: Not included

Turku – Rauma – Eura – Pori – Noormarkku – Kristiinankaupunki – Närpiö – Vaasa – Isokyrö – Seinäjoki – (Alajärvi) – Tampere – Forssa – Tammisaari – Fiskars – Paimio – Turku (8 days + 1 optional day)

Tour highlights:

  • Kauttua Ironworks, the Terraced House
  • Noormarkku Works, Villa Mairea
  • Administrative and Cultural Centre of Seinäjoki
  • Alajärvi Administrative and Cultural Centre, Villa Väinölä
  • Villa Skeppet
  • Paimio Sanatorium

This seven-night tour allows you to discover the top cultural sights in Western Finland. You can begin your tour from Turku or Vaasa as both towns are connected to Sweden by car ferry (Viking Line, Tallink Silja or Wasaline). You may head in either direction and take the tour throughout the year. You can manage the duration and route according to your own timetable.

Eura terassitalo004
Terraced house in Eura, bird's-eye view. Photo: Tomi Glad / Glad Media Oy
Villa Mairea, Johanna Kokkola
Villa Mairea is located in the Noormarkku Ironworks area, where it was designed as a home for Aalto's friends Maire and Harry Gullichsen. Photo: Johanna Kokkola
Guided walking tour of the Aalto Centre in Seinäjoki
Guided walking tour of the Aalto Centre is a great way to get to know Seinäjoki city. Photo: Visit Seinäjoki
Alajärvi Aalto center from the street
Alvar Aalto - Villa Skeppet_246
The living room of Villa Skeppet has an open fireplace designed by Aalto as an abstract sculpture. Photo: Pyry Kantonen
Paimio Sanatorium staircase photo Maija Holma Alvar Aalto Foundation
The color schemes of Paimio Sanatorium were co designed with Eino Kauria. Photo: Maija Holma, Alvar Aalto Foundation

Programme by day

Day 1: Turku - Rauma – Eura (Turku – Rauma 90 km / 1 h 15 min and Rauma – Eura 40 km / 35 min)

Arrive in Turku and explore the sights, such as the medieval Turku castle and cathedral, or any of the many major museums in this attractive coastal city. We recommend you visit the Finnish Design Shop (Aviatie 2, 20360 Turku) for the design showroom and a tasty lunch.

From Turku, head for Rauma and its Unesco heritage sites of Old Rauma and the Bronze Age Burial Site of Sammallahdenmäki. Rauma Maritime Museum exhibits the history of seafaring.

From Rauma, continue to the Kauttua Ironworks in Eura. The area is known for its many layers of architecture, from the red ochre of the ironworks to the modernism of Alvar Aalto. The most famous Aalto site is the Terassitalo building built in 1938, where you may take a guided tour. Accommodation and sauna in Kauttua Jokisauna, which was designed by Aino and Alvar Aalto.

Drive via the lively coastal town of Pori to Noormarkku. In Pori we recommend you visit the Jusélius Mausoleum, the Satakunta Museum and the town’s own central park of Kirjurinluoto.

The Gothic rival Jusélius Mausoleum is located in the Käppärä Cemetery and it is one of the most popular sights in Pori to visit. The Satakunta Museum exhibits a journey into the life of Satakunta from the distant past to the present day. The Kirjurinluoto Park is located on an island, only a few minutes’ walk from the city centre.

You may also wish to visit Yyteri beach and Reposaari Island. Yyteri beach is part of the internationally acknowledged Natura and nature conservation area where the sky is the limit to creativity. Reposaari Island hold thousands of stories of the sea with its charming old buildings.

The drive from Pori town centre to Yyteri takes 20 minutes (18 km). Reposaari is located 15 minutes’ (14 km) drive from Yyteri beach.

You can reach day’s final destination, Noormarkku Ironworks, from Reposaari along a short, scenic road, which takes you over three bridges and through the picturesque village of Ahlainen.

The Finnish Heritage Agency has designated the Noormarkku Works as a cultural environment of national significance. Alvar and Aino Aalto’s masterpiece, Villa Mairea is located in the Noormarkku Works area and guided tours are available year-round.

Accommodation is available in five different guest houses. All guest houses are a short walk away from the ironworks restaurant and cultural services.

Useful information

Kristiinankaupunki is a maritime town with a well-preserved collection of old wooden houses. The town and its environs are full of historical monuments and sights. The merchant house of the Lebell dates back to 1762 and has been a museum since 1939. Cat Whipper’s Alley is one of Finland’s narrowest streets. Wooden Ulrika Eleonora Church from 1700 is a typical seaside church, complete with a votive ship hanging from the ceiling.

On your way to today’s final destination, Vaasa, you may visit the unique restaurant, Lind’s Kök in Närpiö. You will dine under tropical fruit trees and breathe the fragrances of herbs while you will enjoy a culinary experience.

We also recommend visiting the Stundars open-air museum, where you can experience life as it may have been at the turn of the 20th century in the countryside of Swedish-speaking Ostrobothnia. In Vaasa, we also recommend you to visit the Strömsö, an idyllic villa (guided tours are available) and the largest floating sauna restaurant in the Nordics, Sauna Restaurant Meri which combines the beautiful natural environment and architecture with Finnish bathing and sauna tradition.
Accommodation in Hotel Astor, Vaasa.

Useful information

Before heading inland, you can further explore the Vaasa area. The unique Kvarken Archipelago is Finland’s only Natural World Heritage Site on the UNESCO World Heritage List and it is handily accessible from Vaasa via Finland’s longest bridge, Raippaluoto. We recommend Berny’s restaurant for lunch.

On your way to Seinäjoki, visit the award-winning Kyrö Distillery Company in Isokyrö and Wanha Markki in Ylistaro, a retirement home for animals. Accommodation is in Hotel Alma, Seinäjoki.

In Seinäjoki you will enjoy a guided or self-guided walking tour of the Aalto Centre. As an architectural entity, the Administrative and Cultural Centre of Seinäjoki is unique on a global scale. Afterwards you may wish to visit The Art and Culture Centre, Kalevan Navetta, located near the centre of Seinäjoki.

Useful information

You may wish to stay another night in Hotel Alma, Seinäjoki and visit the nearby town of Alajärvi, which Alvar Aalto called his spiritual home. On your way to Alajärvi, you’ll see Aalto’s childhood home in Kuortane, and the Culture Centre, Vanha Paukku, the traditional Ostrobothnian house, Kosolan Talo and Lapuan Kankurit Factory Shop in Lapua.

In Alajärvi, you will see buildings representing the long span of Aalto’s career, from the earliest assignments to the last of his office. At the Alajärvi Administrative and Cultural Centre there are 11 locations, including the recently renovated Villa Väinölä, a home Aalto designed for his brother. You may also wish to visit the Nelimarkka Art Museum and the Punaisen Tuvan Viinitila restaurant known for high quality berry wines.

Useful information

On your way to Tampere, stop in Jalasjärvi for the historical factory area with its factory shop for linen products.  In Tampere, accommodation is in Radisson Blue Grand Hotel Tammer in the city centre. Tampere is known for its excellent museums, such as the Muumin Museum, the Vapriikki Museum centre and the Sara Hilden Art Museum, as well as for public saunas.

Useful information

Today you will make your way to the delightful seaside town of Tammisaari via Forssa, known for its historic spinning mill area and textile pattern centre. In Tammisaari, you will visit Alvar Aalto’s unique house, Villa Skeppet, designed for his friends Göran and Christine Schildt and the art museum, Chappe.  Make sure you visit lunch restaurant, Piazza, which is located in the Alvar Aalto-designed building. You may wish to join a guided walking tour on the footsteps of artist Helene Schjerfbeck and admire her works in the local museum. Accommodation is in Hotel Marine.

Useful information

On your way to Alvar Aalto’s renowned Paimio Sanatorium, you can explore the attractive Fiskars Village, a historical haven of art, design and picturesque architecture. We also recommend popping into Brinkhall Sparkling winery in Halikko.

In Paimio Sanatorium you will enjoy a guided tour, exploring this Alvar and Aino Aalto’s masterpiece. Later on, you can explore the surrounding woods on a nature trail (2,6 km), which takes you to the sanatorium’s fairy tale forest, where a clear-water creek is bubbling amidst mossy rocks.

Overnight in the Sanatorium’s stylish apartments, dinner at Restaurant Toivo.

Useful information

Return to Turku. Before your evening ferry departure, you can finish off your tour of Western Finland by visiting a couple of fascinating museums in Turku: ‘Art Museum, Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova Museum of Archeology and Contemporary Art’ and the Forum Marinum maritime centre. Alternatively, you may want to visit the island of Ruissalo, which is known for its lush forests and ornate wooden villas.

Sites included in this trip

The Seinäjoki Civic Centre


As an architectural whole, the Seinäjoki Civic Centre, or Administrative and Cultural Centre of Seinäjoki, is unique on a global scale. Seinäjoki is also the location of the Defence Corps Building built in 1924-26, one of the rare works from Aalto’s youth. The Administrative and Cultural Centre consists of six…

Alvar Aalto in Alajärvi


The city of Alajärvi in the Southern Ostrobothnia is located close to Alvar Aalto’s childhood hometown Kuortane. Aalto spent his childhood summers in Alajärvi and later had his own summer house there up to 1940s. For him Alajärvi represented leisure time with family and relatives in contrast to the hectic…

Villa Skeppet

Raseborg / 1969−70

Villa Skeppet was the last home Alvar Aalto designed. Almost all the ideas and solutions that Aalto developed during his career are seen in Villa Skeppet. Aalto designed this house in for his friends the author Göran Schildt and his wife Christine. Göran Schildt’s passions in life; sailing and his…

Paimio Sanatorium

Turku / 1933

The building completed in 1933 as Paimio Sanatorium was of key importance to the international career of architects Alvar and Aino Aalto. Together with Vyborg (Viipuri) Library, completed two years later, it gave the Aaltos an international profile. Finnish architecture was no longer merely the receiver of influences from outside.

Information on this trip

Good to know

This seven-night tour allows you to discover the top cultural sights in Western Finland. You can begin your tour from Turku or Vaasa as both towns are connected to Sweden by car ferry (Viking Line, Tallink Silja or Wasaline). You may head in either direction and take the tour throughout the year. You can manage the duration and route according to your own timetable.

Example price

Please request an offer from the tour operator to customize the tour according to your needs and preferences.

Inquiries and bookings

Example price

Please request an offer from the tour operator to customize the tour according to your needs and preferences.

Magni Mundi

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