The Espoo archipelago is a place I haven’t explored enough yet, but luckily summer isn’t just over yet! Visiting more of the local islands that are right in front of my doorstep is easy and a wonderful day trip from anywhere in Helsinki, so that it’s something great for the weekend. Iso Vasikkasaari is a beautiful recreational island in Espoo that you can reach by boat from various spots, such as Otaniemi, Nokkala or Haukilahti.
Little getaways from the city, especially in the summertime for day hikes and exploring the areas closeby Helsinki, are my favourite thing to do! I had seen so much of Porkkalanniemi on social media, and I’m not sure why it took me this long to get there. I knew it looked nice, but it totally exceeded my expectations! Magnificent views, rocky shores – actually reminding me a lot of the Åland Islands where I had been recently. Porkkalanniemi is now my favourite spot for a day hike, and let me show you why.
Last autumn, I did my first multi-day hike of the St. Olav Waterway – together with my friend Rania, we completed the first section of this pilgrimage trail from Turku to Korppoo. Now it was time for the second part: continuing from the edge of the Finnish archipelago to the Åland Islands! And what a beautiful trip it was: in the most perfect Finnish summer, this time with my friend Eva, we hiked for a few days amidst the rugged and wild beauty of Åland – spectacular views, the scent of strawberries in the air, ferry rides, wild trails through the forest and along the rocky shores – it was truly the most stunning part of the trail so far!
Villa Nagu is an incredible house on the shoreline a couple of kilometres outside of the town of Nagu, and it is the perfect spot for what we had in mind. Secluded in the wilderness, cosy, yet full of design details, and hence was the perfect inspirational spot (and just the most beautiful backdrop) for us.
I’m constantly on the search for brief Helsinki escapes, from busy times working and all that. I knew Naantali only by the comparison of it being “the Miami of Finland” (without the drugs) and heard plenty of stories about it from friends praising it, but only recently I got my own first glimpse of this magical seaside town. Nature? Food? Some pampering? MUUMINS? What else could you ask for.
Only opened in May 2016, Vallisaari is a true treasure right in front of Helsinki’s coastline. The fairly big island was in use under the military until pretty much then, but finally opened up for visitors as well. The island combines history and nature beautifully with stunning views of the city from high above – for me the perfect alternative day trip for those seeking to avoid the crowds heading out to Suomenlinna in the summer, the season ends in late September.
Getting out into the nature of pure, deep Finnish winter is something that everyone should experience. It makes you fall in love with the season, understand why winter can be incredible and just be out and away from daily life for a while. Luosto is an ideal spot to do that, amidst a gorgeous National Park and the Fells. Some action? Snowmobiling, skiing and husky sled safaris are only a few ideas.