Kokkola, a once-important seaport 260 mi/420 km northwest of Helsinki, now offers sporting activities (soccer, skiing, rowing and watersports), but we also enjoyed its nature museum and the old town center filled with colorful, beautifully renovated wooden houses from the 19th century. The park holds a British small ship that was taken in 1854 when the English navy tried to land in Kokkola during the Crimean War. The charming if somewhat harsh and windswept islands outside Kokkola are known as the Archipelago of Seven Bridges. Plan one night.

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