On a long, sandy peninsula, Hanko (Swedish: Hangö) grew up as a well-to-do Russian spa town in the late 19th century. During this period entrepreneurs and industrialists built opulent seaside villas, with fabulous Victorian and art-nouveau architectural detailing. These beauties are still a star attraction here, especially as many of them now house guesthouses and restaurants.
Summertime visitors flock to Hanko for sun and sand, and there are several attractive beaches. There's a party atmosphere throughout summer, especially around the huge Hanko Regatta in July. For island hoppers, Hanko's a good jumping-off point for the southern archipelago. Or you can stay on dry land and relish the fruits of the sea at the town's many excellent restaurants.