villas of hanko

villas of hanko (Photo credit: ****the dreamer****)

Roalde Smeets travel blog – Hanko (Finnish pronunciation: [ˈhɑŋko]; Swedish: Hangö), is a bilingual port town and municipality on the south coast of Finland, 130 kilometres (80 mi) west of Helsinki. Its current population is 9,404 (31 August 2012), with a majority being Finnish speakers and a strong minority being Swedish speakers (44%).

Social Democratic Party 29.8%
Swedish People’s Party 25.9%
National Coalition Party 13.4%
True Finns 12.8%
Left Alliance 6.3%
Green League 3.8%
Christian Democrats 3.6%
Centre Party 3.0%

The Hanko Peninsula, on which the city is located, is the southernmost tip of continental Finland. The soil is a sandy moraine, and vegetation consists mainly of pine and low shrubs, mostly Calluna. Hanko is known for its beautiful archipelago.

The city has a coastline of approximately 130 km (80 mi), of which 30 km (20 mi) are sandy beaches. There are also over 90 small islands and islets within the city limits.

The skyline of Hanko is dominated by the church and the water tower. Both of them received their current appearance after World War II, as their predecessors were either damaged or destroyed by the Soviet Armed Forces.

Scandlines serve the link between Hanko and Rostock since October 2007 four times a week with two RoRo-vessel. The trip takes some 36 hours.

The Hangon Regatta has been a traditional fixture on the Finnish social scene, and is the major summer event in Hanko. Sailing enthusiasts attend in order to compete, as well as mostly young people who have little or no interest in sailing; they attend only in order to party and drink. The latter constitute the “Regatta tail”, not appreciated by most of the town’s residents, since it causes huge expenses for clean-up of the parks and streets of all the litter left by those partying.

Other traditional summer activities are the “Tennis Week”, the “Sea Horse” riding competitions, the “Summer Theatre” and Hanko Music Festival events.

Several sandy beaches and a multitude of leisure harbors attract tourists during the summer months.