Vartiosaari, Outdoor Oasis at the Heart of Helsinki


In the inner archipelago of Eastern Helsinki there is small island of Vartiosaari. A flourishing nature Oasis right between the residential areas of Laajasalo and Tammisalo.

Vartiosaari has an active society of people protecting the island and developing it’s recreational use. The society called Vartiosaari seura is also aiming to save the island from city zoning plans of turning it into a residential zone.

The island itself is quite unique. For most parts it’s open for anyone to visit. There are some Villas and summer cottages mostly on the shores but they actually fit in the environment nicely. We arrived in Vartiosaari by boat over a small narrow. There are commercial boat transports couple of times a day but the boats don’t run very often so you might have to do like we did, hitch-hike a boat ride back from a local resident.

The local community has marked a nature trail that goes around the island. The trail is a special health nature trail where you can find posts along the trail with information about the waypoints, and also some health and good life tips. The notes are interesting to read and give hiking something extra. The trail itself isn’t very long but there a lot’s of different kinds of landscapes along the route. Specially at the far end of the island the trail goes around some clifs with unique views to the baltic sea. There’s also a domestic animal farm, a forest church (!) and a fireplace for cooking along the route.

Vartiosaari is a nice place for a day trip just next to Helsinki. Hopefully the local zoning officials understand the beauty of nature in this unique place and the island is preserved for recreational use in the future. If you are in Helsinki, you should definitely take a weekend day trip there. It might not be possible for long.

You can find more information from Vartiosaari website: http://www.vartiosaari.fi

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