Kymenlaakso is a region in Southern Finland named after the valley of river Kymijoki.
- 1Repovesi National Park. One of Southern Finland’s most popular hiking destinations.
- 2Valkmusa National Park. Large mire landscape with plenty of birdwatching opportunities.
- 3Gulf of Finland National Park. In outer archipelago, best explored by boat.
Kymenlaakso means "Kymi River Valley," as the Kymi River flows through the region.
The province has a population of around 180,000 people and covers an area of about 5,887 square kilometers. The largest cities in Kymenlaakso are Kotka and Kouvola. The province is known for its beautiful natural scenery, including forests, lakes, and the coastline.
Kymenlaakso has a strong industrial sector, with paper and pulp production being particularly important. The province is also a hub for transportation, with major rail and road connections to other parts of Finland and Russia.
In terms of education, Kymenlaakso has a number of universities and vocational schools, as well as research institutes focused on areas such as energy and the environment. The region is also home to a number of cultural institutions, including museums, theaters, and festivals celebrating local traditions.
There are no passenger airports in Kymenlaakso but frequent connections both to Kouvola and the coastal cities by coach from Helsinki. Trains from Helsinki to all parts of Eastern Finland and Russia pass through Kouvola, and so do many coach lines going in that direction. If you're coming by road from Saint Petersburg and are heading for Helsinki, you will likely cross the border at Vaalimaa, east of Hamina.
The Kymenlaakso joint ticket is valid for local traffic in Kouvola and Kotka and on VR trains between Kouvola and Kotka, single ticket price is €7 and it is valid for 2 hr. You can purchase the joint ticket using the app Waltti Mobiili.
- Kymenlaakson Taksi, ☏ (extra charge: €1.25+0.68/min+pvm). Smartphone app: Taksi Kymenlaakso. Daytime M–Sa €4.90+€1.39/2.10/km+0.49/min, nights and holidays €7.80+€1.49/2.20/km+€0.49/min; lower km fee for 1–4 persons; waiting time €56/hour, prebooking €5.50.
- National smartphone apps: Valopilkku, 02 Taksi, Menevä, Taksini
The Maritime Centre Vellamo in Kotka has status as national seafaring museum. Kotka also otherwise has a lot of seafaring heritage.
Off the coast of Kymenlaakso is the Gulf of Finland National Park, and a cruise, spending some time at an island such as Kaunissaari or Haapasaari, is certainly worthwhile.
- The old town of Hamina
- Kymi river and the dam near Kouvola.
- Verla Groundwood and Board Mill in Jaala, Kouvola; a former paper factory that now is an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Mustaviiri, near Pyhtää, is one of the points on the World Heritage listed Struve Geodetic Arc that is among the more difficult to access. Located in the Gulf of Finland, you will need a boat to get to this point.
- Langinkoski Imperial Fishing Lodge near Kotka was known as the holiday home of Emperor Alexander III of Russia and his imperial family. Today it functions as a museum.
- Virolahti Bunker Museum, in Virolahti, is an exhibition inside a wooden building built to resemble the style of the war period in Finland. Outdoor part surrounding the museum building includes fortification sites in the forest.
- Salpa Line Museum, in Miehikkälä, has an indoor exposition and an extensive outdoor exposition (guided tour included in the entrance fee, as well as a short film).
- Salpa Trail. The Salpa Trail is a 50-km one-way hiking route between Virolahti and Miehikkälä. It follows a part of the Finnish World War II defence line (the Salpa line). Along the route there are numerous remains of bunkers, dug-outs and other fortifications and several rest-stops. They are equipped with a compost toilet, compost, a fireplace and a firewood shelter and some of them with a lean-to for an over-night stay. The Bunker museum in Virolahti and the Salpa Line museum in Miehikkälä are part of the route.
- Have fun at Tykkimäki amusement park in Kouvola
Kymenlaakso region is a safe place.