When my daughter was born 4 years ago and I had plenty of time to Google while breastfeeding, I found a campsite in Heinola that looked lovely. Heinola is a small town about 1,5 hours northeast of Helsinki. The campsite is called Heinäsaari and is located on a tiny island in a lake pretty close to the city centre. We were about to visit it back then but the night before I came down with the worst stomach flu ever. I’ll spare you the details but clearly we skipped the camping trip. Ever since we’ve been meaning to try Heinäsaari campsite, after all, the distance is perfect for a weekend trip, but it wasn’t until recently that we managed to go there; it IS a lovely campsite!
Staying in a tent doesn’t seem to be very popular as we were the only ones there in a tent. A few guests in rental cottages, and as always, loads of caravans. There seemed to be self contained cottages with a little kitchenette but most of them were, like on most campsites, tiny huts to sleep in and then common facilities to be used, the ones we used too. A night in a tent cost 13e/tent + 5e/person, children under 3 are free (and also older when they behave as nicely as our daughter ;)).
The whole campsite was tidy, as were the common areas, the kitchen, dining room, toilets and showers. There was also a barbecue place, playground (with a trampoline, yay!!!!), a morning sauna and a number of outdoor games such as crocket and mölkky for every camper to use. In addition one could rent kayaks, row boats and mini golf sticks and balls.
A great campsite in the relative proximity to Helsinki. Too bad there doesn’t seem to be anything else to do in Heinola on top of the activities the campsite offers. Lahti is only 20 minutes away and I assume it would offer more as a bigger city. This time we just enjoyed being together, kicking a ball, grilling, patting a puppy, and playing even though the weather could have been better.
P.s. if you think our house is empty, you might want to say hi to our house sitter 😉
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House sitters are excellent for bloggers 🙂 .
Seems like you might already be packed, then! Sometimes a simple camp site is just what you need – not lots of activities. Of course it’s nicer if the weather cooperates!
My brothers wife is pretty reliable and can take advantage of our home for her own stuff too. Win-win.
Why is there so much to do at the campsites? At ours, there is the lake. That’s it. We don’t have saunas, or trampolines! That’s such a foreign concept for me!
Good question, I’ve never thought of that because most campsites have something. Well, you got to have a sauna if there is an option to swim. Otherwise maybe one reason is that here you are allowed to camp anywhere but somebody’s front yard so campsites need to extinguish themselves to justify the payment? Also, it’s not always so warm that swimming is an option… or maybe it’s Europe, I remember having seen playgrounds on German, Portuguese and Danish campsites too.
I like tents camping. It’s really an experience worth trying in a lifetime. I wouldn’t imagine myself camping out with 3 kids. I camped out during my school days. One thing to know is to experience this while the kids are not too young and not too old cos older kids tend to dread out of comfort zone living, mine’s like this. Good campsite you have there and good scenery too 🙂
Our kids love it so far! They love the tent, the sleeping bags, playing outside the whole day, cooking together and I’m sure they also like having the attention of their parents. What do you think, would it be possible make children get used to sleeping out of the comfort zone if you start at a young age (say, 2 and 4;) )? I went camping with friends even as a teenager… I guess we’ll see how it goes!