Islands within a one-hour ferry ride

Isosaari island
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Three islands lie a one-hour ferry ride away from the mainland. Isosaari and Vartiosaari can be reached in 50 minutes from the city centre and the ferry to Kaunissaari leaves from the eastern district of Vuosaari.

Isosaari (around 76 hectares) is the southernmost island belonging to Helsinki. The island was opened to the public in 2017 after being used for 100 years as a military island. Services found on the island include two restaurants, three saunas (one of which can fit 60 people at once!) as well as Finland’s most challenging par-3 golf course. 

Isosaari’s name means Big Island and its size lives up to the name. The nature is abundant and diverse. There are seals in the vicinity and rare species of birds such as the sea eagle nest on the island. The mix of sandy and rocky beaches offer great opportunities to enjoy nature. Bring a picnic basket! Read more about the ferry trip to Isosaari in the summer 2022.

Isosaari islands beach
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Vartiosaari (around 82 hectares) is located in East Helsinki next to the districts of Laajasalo and Tammisalo. As the crow flies, the Senate Square is around seven kilometres away. The ferry departing from Hakaniemi takes around 50 minutes to arrive. There is another ferry departing from Vuosaari that takes a few minutes longer. Summer villas sprang up on old Viking era guard post island when the steamships arrived. About half of the island’s 57 villas are owned by the City of Helsinki and rented out for different purposes such as youth summer camp facilities, recreational spaces for homeless people, and as activity centres for artists and child protection services. The twenty or so permanent residents of the island represent a now rare form of year-round archipelago living.    

The whole island is an open recreational area, aside from the private yards. According to the City of Helsinki’s Nature Information Database, more than a half of the island’s surface area has significant environmental value. In addition, the island is classified as an important natural habitat for bats. The island is graced with many over 150-year-old pine trees with thick barks, as well as specimens of the rare primeval white-rot fungus Dichomitus squalens. There is also a popular animal stable and a special walking path developed around the idea that being in nature benefits one’s health.

A trip to Vartiosaari is possible with a ferry operated by FRS Finland. The ferry operates in the Eastern archipelago route between Kalasatama and Vuosaari. During the ferry ride in the Eastern archipelago route the ferry will go past Herttoniemi, Laajasalo, Kivisaari, Satamasaari, IIluoto and Leikosaari. The route passes through the Degerö canal.

If desired, the trip can also be combined with a trip or return via Laajasalo on the Vartiosaari photovoltaic ferry

Boat to Vartiosaari island
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Kaunissaari (around 100 hectares) is an island some 22 kilometres from mainland Helsinki, east of the city in the Sipoo archipelago – almost on the open sea. It is two kilometres long and 800 metres wide with diverse flora and fauna as well as good fishing waters. The island has rocky beaches and beautiful sandy areas.

Services found on the island include a restaurant, a nature path, five outdoor cooking facilities and cabins, saunas and rowboats to rent. Certain areas are open campsites and some visitors spend the whole summer on the island, as did their parents and grandparents before them. Read more about the ferry trip to Kaunissaari in the summer 2022. 

Kaunissaari island dock
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Teaser text
Three islands lie a one-hour ferry ride away from the mainland. Isosaari and Vartiosaari can be reached in 50 minutes from the city centre and the ferry to Kaunissaari leaves from the eastern district of Vuosaari.