Okkola Holiday Cottages on Lake Saimaa is a family enterprise on Niinisaari island, which is reached by a ferry. Our slogan is: “Where can you go for some genuine peace and quiet?”
Restaurant Niinipuu on the green grounds of Okkola serves traditional dishes of the local area in a converted stone shed. Most of our ingredients are local foods – fish from local fishermen, vegetables directly from producers, flour from a nearby mill.
The organic produce we serve includes eggs, new potatoes, some wines (organic wine is always available), bread, rye flour and beef. Our beef comes from a native Finnish breed of cattle produced on the local organic farm of Kotro. We bake our own bread and cater for special diets. We strive to minimise food waste: for example, leftover mashed potato is turned into potato cakes, and porridge is used up in bread rolls.
The loft above the restaurant is accessed along a ramp, just like in the olden days. Today the loft is used as a party venue that can cater for up to 120 guests. Meeting services are available for 30.
Old farming tools are on display in the loft, and local crafts are sold in the restaurant. On the grounds we have a smoke sauna as well as features built with recycled materials, including a greenhouse and a “sulking hut”.
In addition to the host family, Okkola is home to two Jack Russel terriers, Pomppu and Hilma, who you can meet in their outdoor pen.
We have 17 individual log cottages for our guests, each in a private setting.
Timber grown in local forests has been used to build the cottages. They were designed by Heikki Okkola, paying attention to the shapes of the terrain, direction of light and the natural environment alike. The sizes of the cottages range from a small cabin for 3 to a villa that sleeps 8. The total number of beds is 78 round the year. One of the cottages is accessible.
Each cottage has a private sauna with a wood-burning stove, yard, bathing area and campfire site, as well as a rowing boat for customer use (an electric outboard engine is available to rent).
Surroundings and activities
When maintaining Okkola’s culturally valuable outbuildings painted with red ochre, we strive to preserve their original style. Okkola is located in a landscape area of regional value.
Archipelago culture and local history have a strong presence in daily life in Okkola. Local culture is also showcased on guided tours and in our introductions and stories.
Activities in Okkola:
- Karelian pie workshop (received a certificate of honour in Hungry for Finland gastrotourism competition in 2019).
- METSO well-being path (1.5 km) through our own forest, on which visitors can learn about biodiversity, well-being impacts of nature and local history. The path leads through different forest types and offers a great setting for spotting different animals, plants and fungi.
Activities in the local area in Puumala
- Liehtalanniemi museum farm and nature reserve
- Archipelago routes of Puumala and Saimaa
- Hiisipolku trail (1.7 km)
- Loketononkalo, a 70-metre ravine
- rentals of bicycles, rowing boats and canoes/kayaks.
- Puumala belongs to the Saimaa GeoparkFor more information about excursions, see: http://visitpuumala.fi/pyoraile-ja-patikoi/
- Train: Imatra 62 km and Mikkeli 82 km
- Bus: Puumala, 9 km
- Motorists/cyclists: From Mikkeli direction: from Puumala village centre, cross the big bridge and follow road 62 towards Imatra for 2 km. You will see a signpost for OKKOLAN LOMAMÖKIT. Turn to Luukkolantie road towards Niinisaari and drive on for 6 km. Turn to Lintusalontie road towards Niinisaari and drive 2 km to Hätinvirta ferry. After the ferry crossing, drive on for 2 km and you will see a signpost to OKKOLAN LOMAMÖKIT on the right. This road leads to our grounds. Hätinvirta ferry operates non-stop 24/7 and is free for all users.
Opening times and prices
- Open: year round
- Prices: ask for our prices or visit our website. Lunch and dinner from EUR 19/person.
- Bonus for ECEAT Finland members and visitors arriving without a motor vehicle or a flight: free internet connection in the cottage.
Our actions for the environment:
- We follow the continuous cover forestry method when managing our PEFC certified forests.
- We respect landscape values when managing the environment and forests.
- We foster biodiversity by maintaining natural meadows and beehives.
- Natural vegetation around the cottages has been preserved. We have bird boxes on the grounds.
- The cottages were built using Finnish timber, which is a renewable, sustainable and long-lasting material and serves as a carbon storage throughout its life cycle.
- In the cottages, we have opted for sustainable products with eco-labels both in the household goods and building materials.
- As we have our own eco-biological waste water treatment plant, there is no need to transport sewage.
- Restaurant Niinipuu serves traditional Eastern Finland dishes and sells local crafts.
- Showcasing local archipelago culture on guided tours and in introductions and stories. Okkola also participates in the activities of the Archipelago Day.
- National acknowledgement from the regional government for planning and running an excellent agritourism destination and promoting rural building culture.
- We will keep maintaining and preserving the old buildings on the grounds.
- We are involved in Saimaa Coop Osuuskunta, which creates preconditions for enterprising and promotes cooperation in Saimaa area. For example, the entrepreneurs are developing a bicycle rental network in Puumala. Okkola Holiday Cottages manages the network’s business together with other entrepreneurs.
- We will step up cooperation with other local enterprises and support the vitality of the local area.
- We will participate in tourism projects whose aims include developing responsible tourism.