Highlights Along the King's Road

Reed Travel Features

NEW YORK -- Following is a short list of things to see and do along Finland's King's Road:

* Espoo. This town on the south coast has been inhabited for 8,000 years. Visitors can peek in on 18th century village life at the Glims Farmstead Museum or view the sea from the Akseli Gallen-Kallela Museum, the studio and home of Finland's national painter, Akseli Gallen-Kallela (1865-1931).

* Hamina. This town has nearly two miles of 300-year-old fortification walls that once straddled the border with Russia.

* Kotka. Two important sites here are the St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church and the Imperial Fishing Lodge, built for Czar Alexander III in 1889.

* Loviisa. This small town near the Gulf of Finland was established in 1745.

Its most-visited attractions are Svartholm fortress and Degerby Gille, one of the best-preserved 17th century wooden buildings in Finland.

* Naantali. Naantali is best know for its spa, which was built in the 1860s.

The Naantali Spa Hotel is one of the most luxurious properties in Finland and offers plush rooms with views of the sea and the islands of the Finnish archipelago.

* Porvoo. Poorvoo features red wooden buildings on cobblestone streets facing the Porvoo River. The Haikko Manor, which once provided accommodations to royalty, now is a spa and hotel.

* Turku. At 750 years old, the former capital, Turku, is Finland's oldest city. Its landmark castle, which dates to the 1280s, is a massive gray-stone fortress.

For a look at medieval Turku, the Luostarinmaki Handicrafts Museum consists of 30 workshops where the trades of old still are performed.

There's also Turku Cathedral, consecrated in 1300 and visible from throughout the city.

* Vantaa. Although Vantaa is best known as the site of the international airport just outside of Helsinki, it also boasts a more venerable attraction, the Old Sotunki Village.

The village showcases life in the Finnish countryside as it was during the 18th and 19th centuries.

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