Finnish Eco-Agrotourism Association – ECEAT Finland



Craft skills and nature experiences on the archipelago route in the heart of Lake Saimaa
Language(s): Finnish, English, some Russian


information about the destination

Hanhiniitty island holding is located in Niinisaari archipelago village 10 km from Puumala town centre. The small family business offers visitors craft skills, nature experiences and possibilities for living a good life.

In all services it offers, the company fosters the unique nature and cultural environment of Lake Saimaa. Responsibility, goodwill and humanity are our key values.

Of your hosts, Sanna is a nature enthusiast and active canoeist, while Martti is a traditional village blacksmith who turns out knives, axes, chef’s knives and other products in his forge with solid professional skill and gives blacksmithing courses.

The company mainly offers accommodation as part of canoeing services. Should they wish, visitors can hire bikes and combine canoeing with a cycling trip through archipelago scenery. Hanhiniitty is located on Puumala archipelago route popular with cyclists.

The company rents islands for use as campsites for canoeists. Rather than building new cabins, old archipelago huts have been renovated for visitors’ use. Accommodation can be found in Jänissaari island cabin, Ukonsaari cabin and Sopala hut as well as on Erakkosaari island. For more information about the cabins, see the company’s website. Canoeist can also hire private campsites with all equipment provided.

The lakeshore log cabin of Hanhiniitty (for 2 persons), which was almost entirely built by local craftsmen, is located close by the starting point for paddling trips. More space is available in a tentsile (3 persons) and a tree tent (in connection with booking the cabin). All accommodation options use composting toilets.

Catering services are available in the form of packed meals. In most cases, we order these meals from the nearby Restaurant Niinipuu, which uses certified organic products. Okkola Holiday Cottages, the owners of Niinipuu, are a member of ECEAT Finland. We also favour local and seasonal products and services in other respects, and pick wild berries and mushrooms in the forest.

In summer, we have a shop in connection with the smithy, which sells our blacksmith’s products and crafts from the local area.

Tourism services and courses are only one side of the company’s activities. Hanhiniitty Ay is also registered as a private social service provider. In our services for special groups and ”Blue Care” activities, visitors can enhance their functional capacity and wellbeing by connecting with nature, making use of the natural and aquatic environment.

The company also offers professional support family services and services in which holidays are combined with social support under the theme “Different holiday”.

Surroundings and activities

The original name of Hanhiniitty, the main building of which dates back to the 1920s, was Koivumäki. It was one of the first villas in Puumala archipelago. The holding was unoccupied when Sanna and Martti bought it, and they have renovated the buildings applying artisan skills and respecting the building heritage. Old perennials and apple trees can still be found in the wild garden. A rooster, three hens and two dogs are part of the scene. The forest is today only used for firewood and, if necessary, building materials.

Numerous old trees grow outside the main building and along the shore. Decaying wood has been preserved, and all woodpecker species living in Finland have been found nesting on the lakeshore.

Activities and services in Hanhiniitty:

  • blacksmithing courses and displays
  • paddling courses in all seasons
  • guided tours and excursions
  • signposted nature trails and hiking trails
  • rentals of single and double kayaks, open canoes, bikes, snowshoes and other outdoor equipment
  • professional support family activities and holiday services
  • traditional sauna with a woodburning stove and bathing area

In the local area:

  • Liehtalanniemi museum farm and nature reserve, where you can travel back in time and see how people lived in the archipelago in the early 1900s
  • Restaurant Niinipuu
  • possibilities for cross-country skiing and fishing
  • visual arts camp for children organised by the municipality and arts association, and hunting camp organised by a local hunting club
  • on Liehtalanniemi museum farm, possibility of taking part in farm work


  • Train: closest railway station at 72 km in Imatra
  • Bus: nearest bus stop at 10 km in Puumala town centre.
  • Motorists/cyclists: 80 km to Mikkeli, 72 km to Imatra. Google maps: Ylössaarentie 84, 52200 PUUMALA

Opening times and prices

  • Open: round the year, advance booking necessary.
  • Prices: room EUR 80 to 100/night (not including bed linen and cleaning). Tent pitch/night EUR 20 to 40. Ask for details of the prices/check the company’s website.
  • Bonus for ECEAT Finland members and visitors arriving without a motor vehicle or a flight: visitors can be collected from the closest bus stop.

Our actions for the environment

  • we work actively to protect Saimaa ringed seals
  • we use solar energy in the island cabins, buy electricity generated by hydro power, and heat all buildings with woodburning stoves
  • all types of accommodation have composting outdoor toilets
  • after the excursion, the following types of waste can be sorted at the paddling base: glass, metal, cardboard, paper, batteries, plastic and mixed waste
  • a versatile selection of canoeing and camping gear available, no need to have your own
  • plenty of recycled materials used in the interior decoration of old cabins etc.
  • all outdoor activity services are based on physical exercise
  • the company posts public transport timetables on its website. If necessary, visitors can be collected from the bus stop
  • for 15 years, the holding’s forests have been left to develop naturally, without management
  • on its website and as part of guidance given to visitors, the company provides information about promoting sustainability and environmental welfare
  • bees are happy in the ‘wild’ garden, where an effort has been made to preserve old perennial plants
  • Sanna and Martti are actively involved in developing Puumala comprehensive school into a school focusing on Lake Saimaa and its nature, where pupils from other areas would also be welcome

Cultural actions

  • our Art Nouveau archipelago villa, the plans for which were drawn by Alvar Aalto, has been renovated in keeping with old building traditions and respecting its original style
  • a hand-crafted log sauna and cabin have been built on the lake shore
  • the smithy in the yard was constructed following building plans for old smithies.
  • we keep traditions related to crafts, buildings and outdoor activities alive in different ways: for example, blacksmith’s products, maintaining an old archipelago holding, renovating old archipelago cabins
  • Sanna is a founding member of Saimaa Coop cooperative, and Hanhiniitty is also a business member of it.


  • we have started collecting traditional knowledge from old people in the area and intend to continue this.
  • we will continue our efforts to develop responsible canoeing routes
  • developing Blue care activities