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Eastern Finland still top draw for summer cabins

The eastern town of Mikkeli remains Finland's most popular location for summer cottages.

Punainen vanha mökki virran rannalla.
A proper summer cottage should be on the water. Image: Petri Aaltonen / Yle

According to fresh figures from Statistics Finland, Mikkeli in the Savo region was last year the nation's only municipality with more than 10,000 summer cottages.

The top 10 places for second homes remained unchanged from 2014. After Mikkeli, the next-most popular locations were Kuopio, also in the east, followed by Pargas and Lohja to the west of Helsinki, and then another eastern town: Savonlinna.

The summer opera capital is followed by Sibelius hometown Hämeenlinna in the south, Kouvola in the south-east and Salo in the south-west. Rounding out the top 10 are Kuusamo – the only one in northern Finland – and Raseborg, which makes five out of the 10 that are situated between Helsinki and Turku.

Among larger cities, Kuopio has the most holiday homes, followed by Oulu, Tampere, Turku and Espoo. Helsinki has just 407 buildings registered as vacation homes. Meanwhile the city with the least was nearby Kauniainen – with zero.

Be it ever so humble...

Altogether there are about half a million privately-owned summer cabins in Finland, or nearly one for every 10 people.

The average owner of a holiday home is 62 years old and makes a journey of 91 kilometres to his or her getaway. The average size of these hideaways is 48 square metres.

Traditionally the mökki was a rustic cabin by the water with minimal services – often even lacking electricity, running water or an indoor toilet. In the past couple of decades, though, many Finns have fitted out their cabins with all the modern comforts of home. A sauna and a nearby lake or seashore are still crucial, though. Many cabin-owning Finns still spend nearly all of their annual holidays – typically stretching from the Midsummer holiday in late June until late July or August – based at their second homes. And, with more comforts, more are also visiting them year-round, even using them for telecommuting.

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