Roll along the Häme Ox Road – a bike route through early history
The Häme Ox Road is one of the oldest historical roads in Finland. Now this Viking route can also be enjoyed as a signposted bike route for road cycling and tour cycling. When you visit Finland, you can easily reach the Häme Ox Road by coach or train on a day trip from Helsinki. You may even decide to stay longer to fully explore the region.
The historical cultural landscapes of the Häme Ox Road invite you to stop and take experience-rich breaks. The 70-kilometre-long guided DigiTrail – Ox Road cycling route begins in the village of Letku in Tammela and ends in Hämeenlinna. Of course, you can also travel the route in the opposite direction.
The route mainly runs along paved roads but has some gravel roads as well. This is worth considering when choosing your bike – a touring bike may be a better choice than a racing bike.
The bike route runs along the entire length of the Häme Ox Road. The first place that you will come across is the Häme Nature Centre and a little further on the Eerikkilä Sports Institute. The route continues through the beautiful ridge landscapes for approximately ten kilometres and then through small villages, such as Porras.
From Porras, the journey continues to Renko through several more beautiful Häme villages, such as Räyskälä, Vojakkala, Nummenkylä and Lietsa. All these villages are in idyllic countryside settings.
The route from Renko to Hämeenlinna runs along a peaceful section of road and is surrounded by forests and sporadically located farms, creating a great atmosphere. The Häme Ox Road ends at the gates of Häme Castle.
Experiences on every break
Some sections of the Häme Ox Road were built in the Middle Ages, but other sections were constructed way back in the Viking Age in the 800s. The Ox Road is 160 kilometres long and runs from Turku Castle to Häme Castle. In the Häme region, the road passes through Tammela, Loppi and Hattula.
Originally, the journey along the Häme Ox Road was achieved on horseback or on foot. The road was used to transport weapons, jewellery, metal and salt, to inland regions whereas fur and medicinal perfume were transported to the coast at Turku.
There are many historical places to visit along the Häme Ox Road that showcase local life, such as the Korteniemi Heritage Farm, Porras Tannery, the Hevossilta Resort and the Vekkilä Museum Yard. If you happen to be in Korteniemi at the right time, you can get involved in farm fieldwork, soap making or feeding the farm animals.
In Forssa, you should pay a visit to the carefully restored historical textile and factory areas that are now used for business, cultural and educational purposes. Centrally located in Forssa, the culturally-historically-significant park, Yhtiönpuisto, remains a wonderful green oasis.
You should think about arranging accommodation in advance of travelling to take full advantage of the numerous unique accommodation options available, ranging from museum facilities to cabins and inns. If you are looking for a bit of luxury, there are also full-service destinations such as Vanajanlinna, Petäys, Iloranta and Eerikkilä.
If cycling on the highway gets boring, you might want to pop into the forest. The national parks that are located in the Häme region (including the Torronsuo and Liesjärvi national parks) have several great trails and destinations for mountain biking: bikes can be rented from Eerikkilä in Tammela and Aulanko in Hämeenlinna, and at various bike travel outlets along the Häme Ox Road.
Fully completed mountain bike trails can be found in Aulanko, Ahvenisto, Evo, Hattula, Loppi and Tammela. The Ilvesreitti trail, which runs through the forests of Hämeenlinna, Loppi and Tammela, is a signposted route covering over 200 kilometres.
Cycling is a great way to explore many of Häme’s natural attractions. In the very midst of nature, you can also find numerous additional attractions and there are plenty of accommodation options available.
Opt for four wheels
Häme Ox Road is one huge museum and cultural attraction. As a national travel route, it is not only suitable for cycling but also for travelling by car or motorcycle, or as pilgrims do it – on foot.
There are many mansions along the way that adorn the countryside surrounding the Häme Ox Road. As a travel destination on your list of things to do in Finland, Häme Ox Road can be experienced many times over and in many ways. For example, the road can be used to conduct a museum tour of the Häme region. The road can also be used to take a tour of the local mansions and furthermore can be used to facilitate a tour of urban history.
Travel along the Ox Road and stop by: