My name is Kaija Ahonen and I was born in Juva, about forty kilometers from Mikkeli. I work as Chairperson of Mikkelin Torikauppiaat ry (Mikkeli Market Trader Association) and promote the interests and rights of the market traders. I work myself at the Mikkeli Marketplace selling fresh vegetables and berries of the season.
The lively marketplace, tourism and warm, friendly customer service are a matter of heart to me. I believe in them firmly and that they bring joy and benefits for everyone. That's why I want to promote and work for the marketplace and market trade. Mikkeli Marketplace has a long and prestigious history, which carries also well into the future.
My 10 tips for visitors in the Mikkeli region:
Mikkeli Marketplace and produce. At the marketplace you can enjoy genuine encounters with people from near and far as well as the abundance of fresh delicacies from local producers. We offer heaps of sociability and heartfelt personal service like we did over hundred years. That is the kind of modern luxury that draws from old times.
Bistro Holvi. When customers are looking for a nice place to eat, I guide them to a restaurant that offers an original experience. Eating is a moment of peace and enjoyment and the food tastes different in an intimate restaurant. The restaurant Bistro Holvi in the historical theater building in Mikkeli is one of such places.
Mikkeli Theater has a cozy atmosphere, and their programme of the winter season has a variety of plays to every taste. The summer theater at Naisvuori offers entertaining plays just a stone's throw from the city centre. The musical performances have been extremely popular over the years.
Naisvuori Hill. If you want to enjoy something special, hike up to the Naivuori Hill and have delicious dessert: the café on the ground floor of the Naisvuori Observation Tower makes wonderful waffles. From the hill and from the top of the tower you have a magnificent view over the town with its historical sights, and Lake Saimaa.
Urpola Nature Centre is located close to the city centre. From there you can hike along the nature trail, which follows the idyllic Urpolanjoki stream. Along the trail, you can find two campfire sites where you can make fire and have a barbecue (you can get the firewood from the Nature Centre). There is also a historical, old mill building. All in all, the nature centre and the trail are an idyllic nature attraction for the whole family!
Säynätti nature trail. There are plenty of hiking trails in the Mikkeli region, and one of them, Säynätti trail, is also quite neat Mikkeli centre. There is a large parking area at the beginning of the trail. Along the circular trail you can stop for a break at campfire sites, and there is also a nice hut on the Ylä-Säynätjärvi Lake.
Cycling route “Vanha vitonen”, the old road five, is a popular cycling route running from Mikkeli to Juva. There are nice stops along it, such as Punaisen Piipun Kievari tavern, where you can enjoy lunch. The lovely Tertti Manor is near Mikkeli, about 8 kilometers from Mikkeli Marketplace, which makes it a perfect destination for a shorter cycling tour. You can leave your car at Mikkeli harbour and ride to Tertti along the old road number 5.
Church of Juva. The majestic old stone church of Juva from 1863 has had a great impact for entire Sourth Savo. Juva has a long tradition as a county, the parish of which was established already in the 15th century.
Rapio Mill in Juva is definitely worth a visit, a perfect place to take a plunge in the history of the region. The authentic mill was built in early 19th century and it is still in operation! There is also a summer theater, Rapion Myllyteatteri, in the mill milieu in summer.
TeaHouse of Wehmais. The TeaHouse in the courtyard of the historical manor of Wehmais promotes beatifully local history, traditions and food and combines them with the Britsish tea culture with over hundred, carefully selected tea flavours. The stones of the church of Juva were gathered from the fields of the manor of Wehmais, and the lord of the manor of Wehmais played a significant part in having the church built. Teahouse is an attractive place to visit, for example, for cyclers along the old road five.
This was just a start. There are at least 101 more reasons to come to Mikkeli.