Koulumäen B&B is an idyllic, small bed & breakfast place offering accommodation to passers-by in the picturesque small town of Kärkölä, located in the province of Southern Finland. Kärkölä is a part of the Päijänne Tavastia region. Koulumäki was originally an elementary school building, but like so many other school buildings in the Finnish countryside, it was left unused when the small schools were merged into bigger ones. Luckily, this lovely location now has a completely new life. Despite being idyllic, this place is not for sobersides; neither is it for those searching for four-star luxury hotels. However, if you are not scared of the words ‘unique’ or ‘alternative,’ then you want to stop by for a visit! Seriously, how many other places have you seen where you’ll find a gymnastics hall next to your bedroom?
We visited Koulumäki as a part of our Nordic Tour (read more here). We wheeled to the yard of Koulumäen B&B with Polle, our electric vehicle, dead-tired after a long journey from Switzerland through German autobahns, a vessel across the Nordic Seas, and another long drive through the Finnish countryside. It was the second time we had the honor to stay overnight at Koulumäen B&B in Kärkölä, Finland. Our first visit was when they were still renovating the place; this time, we could see what an amazing job they had done with it. This place has been built with love and devotion. The atmosphere is uncomplicated, hospitable, and friendly. You’ll find enough evening programs from numerous board games, activities of the gymnastic hall, or the numerous books available for reading. And you’ll get some homemade fresh buns and freshly pressed orange juice for breakfast. Or, at least, we did! Oh, and if you enjoy walking in the middle of a calming forest, it is easily within reach from Koulumäen B&B.
You might wonder how did we come across this place? Well, the truth is, we happened to know the owners, and it was again a happy reunion with our dear friends. The day was not super-warm, but our kids didn’t care. They found a pool and were busy with it (according to my understanding, this pool is available for all little visitors during warm summer days), warming up in a sauna now and then. Later that day, they discovered the animal friends living in Koulumäen B&B’s ‘courtyard.’ We met a goat who likes to walk on a leash and many other cute little creatures. Our host Kari was busy with a show at a local summer theater that evening, but we had a lovely time chatting with our hostess Netta while she baked thin pancakes over a campfire. The kids enjoyed the tasty dinner of pancakes, strawberry jam, and whipped cream and were quite ready to retire to their comfortable beds afterward. We slept well in the midst of the silence of nature, and meanwhile, even our electric vehicle, Polle, got some well-deserved rest and fresh electricity for its battery.
Before hitting the road again the next day, we visited Kärkölä church, which is located across the road from Koulumäen B&B. Last time around, we missed the visiting hours, but remembering this, this time, we were standing on the doorstep at exactly the right time. The guide opened the doors to the church but was more interested in her smartphone than in us, so we had our peace to look around. This beautiful church was built in 1889 and is a typical design of the time. Once we got back outside, the graveyard surrounding the church and the soldier’s graves, together with a memorial from World War II, raised many questions from our little ones. They know that my grandfather fought in this war, and even though he has not been buried here (he got to keep his life at the time), visiting a place like that is quite a touching experience, even for adults, left alone little children.
After the church visit, it was time to say goodbye to our friends at Koulumäki and continue our journey toward Grandma’s place. I want to mention that the people of Koulumäki did not request this blog post, nor is it a paid advertisement. As a matter of fact, they have no idea I am writing about our visit. (I am unsure if they even know about this blog, but eventually, they’ll find out!) My recommendations are genuine. If you’d like to book accommodation, you can do it here, or you can get in contact with them here.
If you go for a visit, let me know what you think. I’ve said this before: Finland is a state of mind, and you have to experience it to understand what I mean. Koulumäen B&B is one perfect place to discover some of this state of mind.