Text: Olena de Andres Gonzalez and Minna Uusiniitty-Kivimäki / Center for Tourism Business Development, Satakunta University of Applied Sciences
Where is the beginning of Finland? Have you ever wanted to find the place from which the real Finland was born? See the stones that served as walls for our ancestors thousands of years ago? Try food what was naturally gifted by Nordic land? Then you definitely should visit Satakunta!
Satakunta is one of the first inhabited regions in Finland and rich in significant archeological sites. Sammallahdenmäki was inscribed to the UNESCO World Heritage list in December 1999 as the first prehistoric archaeological site in Finland. The complex is located on 36 burial mounds and it is the largest burial of the Bronze Age in the Gulf of Bothnia. The best way to enjoy Sammallahdenmäki is to order a company of experienced guide, who can be easily found from Visit Rauma.
Thanks to the flat landscape, coastal climate, Kokemäenjoki river and several lakes the perfect conditions for farming have been created by nature itself. One of the oldest farms in Finland is located in Satakunta. It is an archeological site called Rieskaronmäki. The complex consists of several burial mounds and is a farm dating back to i.e. 800–600 BC, which is a unique find for the Finnish Bronze Age. Many locals say that this is the most famous farm in Finland, from which the settlement of the entire territory began. The place is sited in northern part of Nakkila, next to Leineperi Ironworks, where you can experience the cultural heritage of the early industry.
Inhabitants in Satakunta started with small farms, used local soils filled with various minerals and nutrients, and gradually developed the economy. Through active farming, trade and seafaring advanced, which attracted investments and wealthy merchants. Pretty soon Satakunta became quite prosperous and active region.
Best places to experience the spirit of old towns are Reposaari and Old Rauma. Old Rauma is an excellent example of an old Nordic wooden town and it is UNESCO World Heritage Site. Rauma is the third-oldest town in Finland and a unique town, not just in Finland but also on a global scale. Here you can experience even two Unesco World Heritage Sites – Old Rauma and Sammallahdenmäki!
Today Satakunta is one of the main food production areas in Finland. Both agriculture and food industries are strong here. For example, half of the Finnish meat production of broilers and turkeys is located in Satakunta region and 75% of industrially refined vegetables are produced here. Numerous famous Finnish grocery brands come from Satakunta region.
Many local farms grow products that are used to prepare traditional dishes in small cafes and restaurants throughout the area. The purest food and water in Europe, the combination of traditional cooking methods and local recipes allow you to get almost 100% natural taste of products. In addition, the northern climate enables farmers to minimize use of the chemical pesticides, compared to the countries of southern Europe.
At the Gastro Map of Satakunta you can find places to taste the regional food. Not all web-pages are available in English, but thanks to the new technologies it’s not a problem anymore. From the map you can find restaurants, cafes, farm shops and other destinations that offer excessive variety of products made from local ingredients. These tasty places are truly worth visiting! Also, in many of them there are other attractions besides food and you are always welcome to stay overnight.
From farm shops you can buy products which are grown in the farm and supplements from other food producers in the vicinity. The selection varies depending on the season and is different in every shop. You can find for example potatoes and other vegetables, eggs, meat, bread, sauces, honey, toffees, fresh and frozen berries, and dozens of different berry products, including berry wine and other beverages produced in own production facilities.
Restaurants and cafes at the Gastro Map of Satakunta make food from the best local ingredients of the harvest season. The philosophy of the places is to do as much as possible by hand and thereby guarantee a high-quality original taste experience for the visitor. You could taste for example traditional Finnish Archipelago Bread (Saaristolaisleipä), which is baked in several restaurants and cafes. It is quite an exotic taste experience, especially for foreign tourists. In coastal areas such as Reposaari and Merikarvia you could visit restaurants with amazing view to Bothnian Sea and try fish caught from local waters.
In Satakunta you can see, feel and taste the real Finland by yourself!
The article was written as part of project “Growth for tourism in Satakunta region”, which highlights versatile tourism opportunities in Satakunta region with the support of the Rural Development Program of Finland.