Archipelago experiences since 1966

There is a long history of cottage lettings on Niinisaari island. Eija and Aaro Okkola built the first holiday cottage in the Lake Saimaa archipelago before there was even a cable ferry connection to Niinisaari. When tourists from Germany and elsewhere discovered the cottages, the business steadily expanded alongside the farm’s other activities. When Heikki, the son of Eija and Aaro, took over the farm in 1984 and Paula moved to the farm in 1985, cottage lettings began to play a more important role in the farm’s activities.

Restaurant Niinipuu opened its doors in a former barn in 1991. Paula and Heikki have been kept busy overhauling the cottages, extending them and building new cottages. All of the cottages and villas were designed by Heikki Okkola, who is a trained architect

1924

Johannes Okkola buys the Repola farm. Johannes was a parish crofter’s boy. He started out with 50 Finnish marks in capital.

FROM THE 1950S TO THE EARLY 1970S

The farm sells logs and ice to passenger ships

1965

Eija and Aaro begin renting out cottages as a secondary business alongside farming. The first cottage, “Muikkula”, is built

1968

Cable ferry to Niinisaari

1975

The southern archipelago road in Puumala is completed

1984

Change of generation on the farm: Heikki takes over

1985

Ylössaari cottages connected to the electricity

1985

The lady of the house arrives: Paula and Heikki are married

1989

The last cows leave the farm, the barn is emptied and renovation begins

1991

The lower floor of Niinipuu is completed

1992

National Board of Agriculture: certificate of honour for excellent design and implementation of an agricultural tourism destination and the promotion of rural building culture

1993

Puumala Entrepreneurs’ Association: Entrepreneur of the Year

The first cottages with all modern conveniences are built (Hessula, Aapola, Luotola)

1994

Niinipuu’s attic is completed and the popular Sunday lunches begin

1995

Mikkeli County Government: Mikkeli County tourism prize

2017

Mikkeli Region Tourism Service Association: Tourism Activity of the Year