Have you visited the islands on the Helsinki shore yet?
Finland is known as the land of a thousand of lakes, but on the Helsinki islands you’re able to breath the salty sea air, listen the waves to crash ashore and admire the grand ships that are sailing on the Baltic Sea. You can easily find your own, quiet cove on the islands. There you are able to watch the horizon, have a bite of your picnic meal, get to know the variety of the island’s flora and fauna, and take a dip in the refreshing sea. We gathered some less known islands, to where you can easily make a day trip from the city center, especially during the summer season.
There used to be a linseed oil refinery and also a sea spa on Uunisaari Island. Nowadays the factory buildings are occupied by a restaurant which is open on summer time. If you’re looking to pamper yourself you can reserve a private sauna just for yourself and enjoy the beautiful sea views. There’s a lovely beach suitable for small children and lots of places on the cliffs to have a picnic. On the summertime you’ll reach Uunisaari from Merisatamantori pier in three minutes. On winter time it’s possible to cross the sea by the pontoon bridge.
You can easily reach Harakka Island with a boat from Ullanlinna dock in Kaivopuisto. The main building of the island provides a working space for 30 artists who get inspiration to their work from the outstanding surrounding nature. Various art and nature exhibitions are held on the island. You can find the house of nature there along with the nature trails both on summer and winter season. On the winter time when the ice is strong enough it’s possible to walk along the ice all the way to the Harakka Island.
The extraordinary Isosaari Island is located on the outer archipelago of Helsinki, around half an hour by ferry. The ferry leaves from the Market Square and operates from May 15th to September 15th. There are plenty of things to do and see on Isosaari Island. Among others there are 2 restaurants, 2 sandy beaches, 3 different saunas, barbecue areas, and even a 9-hole golf course. As on most Islands in Helsinki, you are able to spot lots of different traces of war history. You can see an old shooting range, plinth of Russian barracks, tower cannons and some funeral monuments. If you are lucky, you may encounter a seal or a white-tailed eagle.
Lonna Island’s military history includes some negotiations with Russia, mainly about surrender of Viapori. You may get to know the demagnetization equipment in the museum of the island. It was made to remove the magnetism from sea vessels. In recent times ihe island has been in recreational use, and you are able to use a public sauna and swim in the sea. There’s a restaurant and a café-bar, where you may enjoy some snacks and drinks. There’re some indoor and outdoor games and air sofas available to borrow. The scenery is spectacular with versatile flora and fauna. Over twenty different bird species nest on Lonna. The JT-line ferry operates from May till September and you can catch it from The Market Square. You’ll be on The Lonna Island in 10 minutes.
Vallisaari Island used to be in military use but it was also a place of residence for the civilians working for the Finnish government in the fifties. The island was deserted several years so nature has taken it back and it has the most diverse nature of all the archipelago. There are lots of different plants, over 1000 different butterfly species and 5 different bat species inhabiting the Vallisaari Island. The international art event, Helsinki Biennial is held in the island’s unique environment 12.06.-26.09.2021. During the event it’s possible to see the work of 40 different artists or artist groups along the cobbled path and inside historical buildings, gunpowder cellars and empty residential buildings. There’re 4 charming cafés to visit. The ferry goes in 20 minutes and operates from May to October and leaves from Lyypekki dock by The Market Square.