Finland’s centenary year 2017 opens a treasure chest for campers, caravanners and motor caravanners. Nordic Rally, the most international camping event of the summer 2017 welcomes you all to the land of midnight sun and blue lakes. The event is held in Kokemäki from July 9 to July 15, 2017. Six days and five nights are filled with new experiences, interesting program and friends from near and far. The Nordic Rally is organized uder the patronage of the F.I.C.C.
Welcome to Finland!
Finland is a Nordic country that is big and small at the same time. In terms of square kilometres, or the number of lakes, Finland is a big country. But there are only five million Finns. Of these five million people, more than 100,000 families are caravanners and over 63,000 families are members of the central association for Finnish campers and caravanners, SF-Caravan. So why not look at Finland through the eyes of a caravanner or camper for a while?
There are hundreds of camping sites in Finland. And they offer something for everyone – not to mention a few of them that are quite surprising. The most popular camping site in Finland is Rastila Camping near Helsinki, the capital city of Finland. Rastila is an excellent choice for many caravanners, whether you’re arriving from Tallinn (Estonia) in the evening or spending the night before getting on a ship to Travemünde (Germany) in the morning. There is even a metro connection from the gates of the camping site to the centre of Helsinki. The distance from Helsinki to Pitkäjärvi, Kokemäki is approximately 200 km.
The camping site network in Finland is quite comprehensive. Unfortunately the camping season is very short in Finland and many camping sites close their gates as early as in August. But there are other options – the sites managed by the SF-Caravan member clubs. They are usually open year-round, although services may be limited in winter. Many of these sites offer discounts to international caravanners who are members of SF-Caravan’s sister organizations or have the CCI card. Most Finnish camping sites also have, of course, a sauna. It is definitely an experience worth trying!
In Finland, there are many provinces that differ in terms of, for instance, landscape and food. In the North, you can see fells in the horizon and come across freely wandering herds of reindeer. The openness of the landscape in Ostrobothnia will surprise you if you are used to mountains, and the archipelago on the west coast offers idyllic landscapes and traditional food. In the bigger cities such as Tampere, 100 km from Kokemäki, or Turku, 100 km from Kokemäki, you can also find a very international atmosphere in addition to traditional Finland. But let’s turn our gazes towards Satakunta, because that’s where Kokemäki is! And Pitkäjärvi, too.
Welcome to Satakunta!
Satakunta is deeply rooted in the Finnish soil, and it already existed before the 12th century. The Kokemäenjoki river has been a trade route for a long time, and as a result of land uplift the trading rights for the river have belonged first to Kokemäki, then to Ulvila and finally to Pori. With its 83,000 inhabitants, Pori is the region’s largest city. Pori is famous for the international Pori Jazz festival, which will be held at the same time as the Nordisk Camping Träff and Nordic Rally! In Pori, you can also find the world-famous Yyteri beach: 6 km long clean sun-bathing paradise with soft sand and an area reserved for naturists.
The other major town in the region is Rauma, whose old centre with its wooden houses is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Rauma is located south of Pori and has a five-star camping site that is quite popular, especially in the summer. The Rauma Lace Week at the end of July and start of August is a well-loved event. Meanwhile, younger people flock to the RMJ (RaumanMerenJuhannus) festival, whose line-up consists of rock, rap, techno, disco and dance music artists.
Thanks to its fertile and even terrain, Satakunta is one of the main bread basket regions in Finland – and one could also call it the sweetest region, since most of the Finnish sugar beet production is located here. Here you can also find Kokemäki, that is thought to have been the site of the Teljä marketplace.
There are numerous high-quality camping sites in Satakunta where caravanners’ needs have been considered. In addition to the Poroholma camping site, some places worth mentioning are the beautiful Siikaranta camping site surrounded by nature in Reposaari, Pori and the Kuninkaanlähde camping site, located in Kankaanpää and maintained by a caravanning club.
Welcome to Kokemäki! Based on archaeological studies, people already lived in Kokemäki approx. 7000 years ago. Some references to the old Teljä market place have also been discovered, though more thorough confirmation would be required to consider them as fact. The name Teljä can be found in the names of many shops, clubs or organizations in Kokemäki. Trading in Kokemäki is, of course, still going strong. In the centre of the city you can find shops belonging to the three main supermarket chains in Finland: K-Market, S-Market and Lidl. There are also specialty stores, such as the Mikan Konemyynti home electronics store that is a part of the Veikon Kone chain. In Finland, state-owned Alko has a monopoly on the retail sales of alcoholic drinks with more than 4.7% alcohol. There is an Alko store in the Kokemäki shopping centre. It is open from Monday to Saturday. In the centre there are also a few kebab-pizzerias and pubs. Kokemäki has 7 000 inhabitants, and the best place for outdoor activities in the area is Pitkäjärvi, approx. 7 km from the centre.
Welcome to Pitkäjärvi!
Pitkäjärvi is the oasis of Kokemäki. Clean water, no motorboats, good beaches and consideration for families with children. Playgrounds, the camping site, the rally site and the sports academy with its restaurant. That’s what you can find in Pitkäjärvi. The site has been used for camping for more than 50 years by the youth sports camp Pitkis-Sport, which takes place in July. Since the 1990s, there has been a leisure centre that offers accommodation, an ice arena, sports fields, a golf hall and excellent opportunities for outdoor activities in the vicinity. And don’t forget disc golf, which is very popular in Finland!
The Pitkäjärvi Leisure Centre offers hostel-level accommodation, saunas and a good restaurant with a full alcohol licence. The academy’s terrace Weranda is known for a wide selection of drinks, an inviting atmosphere, tasty food and delicious ice cream.The distance from Pitkäjärvi to the centre of Kokemäki is approx. 7 km. The bicycle path is safe and paved. The countryside around Pitkäjärvi is mostly typical Finnish pine forests. Some of the rally area consists of existing sports fields and exercise areas. The terrain is well suited for heavier caravans and there is a paved road all the way to the area. It is easy to get to Pitkäjärvi via the Finnish National Road 2 (Helsinki-Pori), National Road 12 (Rauma-Tampere) or from the Turku or Naantali ports.
Welcome to the Nordic Rally!
Mr Juha Hämäläinen, the chairman of the SF-Caravan, invites all campers and caravanners to Kokemäki to forge new friendships and enjoy good company and our excellent programme.
According to Mr Hämäläinen, “ this is the first time that we are organizing two events at the same time. It means we are opening our traditional Nordic event (Nordisk Camping Träff) to all caravanners who are members of our international umbrella organization, F.I.C.C.” Mr Hämäläinen also says that “Our event will also host the Baltic Sea Forum, where we will discuss the problems and development opportunities related to camping activities in the Baltic Region with clubs from the relevant countries.”
The Pitkäjärvi Leisure centre is the perfect place for this event. The short distance from the main ferry ports means that it is easy for both Finnish and foreign caravanners to make it to the event. The terrain will not cause any surprises regardless of the weather. In addition, the organizers – the SF-Caravan local member club from Kokemäki – are very experienced when it comes to organizing events and played a large part in organizing the 81st F.I.C.C. rally in Pori 2014.
Information, program and registration: For further details, please do not hesitate to contact us: Project manager Timo Tarvainen, tel. +358 (0) 400 500 121, e-mail: [email protected]