Last summer I visited Helsinki’s Vallisaari with Katy, a fellow blogger from the States, on our island hopping escapade. At the time, staying the night on the island on your own boat was forbidden. When I heard that it was finally possible this year, hubby, son and I headed there for a short weekend getaway.
We started our sail in Espoo. I am always happy when we reach the beautiful shores of Helsinki.
Sailing past Suomenlinna island, it was time for the part I was afraid of the most – passing through Kustaanmiekka. This is a narrow inlet through which the huge ferry ships pass. I’ve heard many a horror story of boats drifting into trouble there.
Just as we were approaching, I saw a Viking Line ship behind Suomenlinna. You can easily miss these ships (till it’s too late!) as only the chimney of the ferry was visible. We waited for the ferry to pass and sighed with relief.
We then started sailing through the inlet.
Only to realize that another ferry was coming our way! We quickly motored up. Thankfully we were through the narrowest place at this point and managed to circle for a bit till the FSTR ferry was gone. PHEW! It would be a good idea to check the ferry timetables before entering the inlet as not to be surprised…
The marina seemed to be full but we managed to find a spot for our sailing boat. Thank goodness! After all that excitement I wasn’t keen to continue our journey further on.
There is a fee for docking – seven euros for max five hours and 15 euros for the night. There’s no fee for electricity as there’s none.
You can find two restaurants by the marina. We tried the speciality hot dogs!
Now if you make the effort to sail to this destination, you will definitely want to explore. There are two islands, Vallisaari and Kuninkaansaari – of which I found the latter more interesting.
Unfortunately when Katy and I visited, we ran out of time and missed Kuninkaansaari almost entirely. Thus, if you are pressed for time, I suggest you concentrate on this island. Nature is somehow closer there and the buildings are more interesting.
We even saw a snake! Just a harmless grass snake – but I was still disappointed that I failed to capture it on camera.
Ice-cream is a must on a summers day! You can find these at the Paja cafe. I had the Daim-licourice ice cream but it wasn’t to my taste.
It’s good to know that all the toilets on the island are outhouses. Even though the smell may be a bit much, rest assured that you will manage!
I loved the Swidden Rotaion (Kasken Kierto) installation – photographs displayed on sheets with nature as it’s backdrop.
If you become a fan of the island, you can buy a t-shirt as a souvenir from the marina shop.
Unfortunately this summer has been cold and our Vallisaari weekend was no exception. I wouldn’t mind going back one day and I recommend the island as a sailing/island hopping destination.
Do you like sailing? Have you been to Vallisaari? What were your impressions?