Kotka and Hamina Facts
Kotka is situated on the south coast of Finland, 130 km east of Helsinki. The distance to the Russian border is 60 km. Kotka, which belongs to Kymenlaakso region, was established in 1879. Kotka has approx. 55,000 inhabitants.
The archipelago constitutes
the primary attraction of Kotka in the summer. There are almost 400 islands off
Kotka, many of which are available to boaters. Even if you do not have a boat
of your own, you have access to the islands by using regular boat services
departing from Sapokanlahti. The adjacent Sapokka Water Garden is the most
prize-awarded park in Finland.
Kotka relies on the sea in many ways. Before Kotka was actually founded, a system of naval fortresses was constructed in the area. Several sawmills were also established at the mouth of the river Kymijoki which empties into the sea. Goods have been carried through the port of Kotka for centuries. The Mussalo Deep-Water Harbour is currently the foremost export port in Finland.
Kotka has a colourful
history: it has served as the venue of many historic events. The eastern border
of Finland has been shifted on a number of occasions in the past, which has
also given Kotka additional traits. Kotka has belonged both to the east and west.
The largest naval battles in Northern Europe took place right off the centre of
Kotka in the 19th century.
The Kotka of today breathes the past and looks towards the future. If you really use your senses, you can feel a touch of history and an expectation of the future in the wind carried by the sea. The sea speaks, and it is worth listening to it!
Hamina is situated about 20 km east of Kotka. The arterial highway E18 runs through the town. Hamina has approx. 20,000 inhabitants.
The 350-year old town with the circular town plan has retained its appearance which breathes past times. The old star-shaped fortress surrounds the town centre and offers a unique setting for various kinds of events. The fortress houses an event area, Hamina Bastion, which hosts colourful events all the year round.
Pop into the town's churches or the museums of different denominations, all located side by side. Make sure to visit areas outside the town centre to experience the sea, the countryside, and the unique archipelago with its fishing villages.