The Klamila fishing harbour area has been active since the 14th century: Virolahti has been mentioned as a trading location already in 1336 and as a church parish in 1370. The Klamila village, some 1.5 kilometres from the harbour, has been named after the Klami family. Its most famous member is composer Uuno Klami (1900–1961). The village developed by King’s Road, the old route to Vyborg. Although the village has a long history, its oldest buildings are from the late 1800s, as the centre of the village was destroyed by fire in 1865.

There are around 700 permanent inhabitants in the Klamila area, but the population multiplies in the summertime as summer residents arrive. Klamila was chosen as the village of the year in Kymenlaakso in 2006 and 2016, and the harbour as the favourite harbour among boaters in 2010–2012.

Fishing, seafaring, and shipbuilding have long traditions in the area. Shipbuilders in Virolahti were particularly productive in the 1870s. Ships were most likely built in Kelkkaniemi, and apart from iron chains and anchors, almost all building materials were available in the area.

Already in the 14th century there were peasants who sailed to Estonia with their own ships. Herring was exported to Estonia and exchanged to mostly rye. Two yearly trips, in spring and autumn, were made to Estonia from the Gulf of Finland shores and island for this exchange of goods, called sepra trade (the word sepra is of Baltic origin and means e.g. company, a good acquaintance or friend). There is a monument for peasant sailing in the Klamila harbour.


During war years the Klamila fishing harbour was a shelter for the Finnish navy gunboats and other vessels. During the Continuation War, it was a base for torpedo boats, and in the summer 1943, the Navy staff ship Merikotka was stationed in Klamila. The ship was anchored by the Hurpunvuori cliff in the Klamila bay and covered with a camouflage net, and you could not even see it from a hundred metres away. Even Marshal of Finland, Mannerheim, visited Klamila to inspect the torpedo boat fleet in July 1943.

Today, the Klamila harbour is the biggest harbour in Virolahti. It offers 15 guest spots for boats and lots of services for boaters – there is a restaurant, a kiosk, fuel service for boats and laundry facilities. Nearby, there is also a sports track, a disc golf course, a beach and workout stairs. The harbour is also a popular venue for events. Klamilan seutu ry, a local association, organizes yearly in the fall the traditional Silakkamarkkinat (Herring market) event there, held since 1993.

Hapanvellijuhla (sour gruel celebration) events have also been held in the harbour. Sour gruel is the traditional dish of Virolahti. It is made of rye sourdough starter, potatoes, and peas. It resembles pea soup, but the taste is more bitter. Sour gruel is not a quick dish: soaking of the peas alone might take twelve hours. Sour gruel is traditionally served with a pat of butter, rye bread, and cold milk.

Navy staff ship Merikotka camouflaged in front of the Hurpunvuori cliff in Klamila during the Continuation War. Photo: Walter Jokinen. War Museum. SA-KUVA

There are flying squirrels and bats living near the harbour. In the summer you can see endangered butterfly species around the rocky fields on the Lantviikinvuori hill. There are also many different bird species in the harbour area, and in the spring, you can follow arktika, the migration of arctic birds. The biggest masses of migrating birds can be seen at the Virolahti coast.

The sea is an essential part of Klamila, and its conditions and water level are always suitable topics to talk about in Klamila.

Read more

Klamilan kotisivut

Klamilan venesataman kotisivut

Tietoa Klamilan satamasta Vene-lehden sivustolla

Klamila Visit Virolahti -sivustolla

Museotie Visit Virolahti -sivustolla

Klamilan kalasataman alueen arkeologinen vedenalaisinventointi, 2016

Arktika Virolahdella

Hapanvelli Virolahden kunnan kotisivuilla

Miehikkälän ja Virolahden kylätoimijat: Virolahti/Miehikkälä kylien kertomana. Kouvola 2012.

”Erkki Klami oli etevä merenkulkija ja talonpoikaissäädyn johtomies.” Helsingin Sanomat 16.12.2007,

Miehikkälän ja Virolahden kylätoimijat: Virolahti/Miehikkälä kylien kertomana. Kouvola 2012.

Alpo Lommi: Pohjakunnan kyläkirja I. Klamilan Seutu ry. Kotka 2003.

Yrjö Kaukiainen: Virolahden historia I. Virolahden kunta. Lappeenranta 1970.

Martti Favorin: Virolahden historia II. Virolahden kunta. Mikkeli 1992.