Back to Vallisaari – kayaking and fatbiking

The spring is finally turning into summer. I was in Vallisaari just a few weeks ago, but now it looked really different; much more green! This time, instead of taking the ferry boat, we kayaked to the island.

On the way to Vallisaari by kayak

As we got to our starting place the sun was shining. Pretty quickly it started to rain. And after a few minutes the sun was shining again! The best thing was, that it was warm anyway.

Kayaking in Helsinki

The kayaking route from Stansvik to Vallisaari is nice and sheltered. There is a lot of nature around, but in the background you have the city of Helsinki. I like the combination.

Fatbikes in Vallisaari, Helsinki

At Vallisaari we went fatbiking with our friends from Bliss Adventure. Fatbikes are a great way to see the island and you also get to visit the forbidden southern tip of the island. This is only possible on the guided fatbike and walking tours.

Fatbikes at the southern tip of Vallisaari, Helsinki

The scenery towards the open sea is spectacular. Too bad we didn’t have so much time to relax.

Sunshine and fatbiking

The fatbiking routes are easy to ride. Technically it is not demanding, but it is a great way to explore this beautiful island. The guides have a lot of knowledge and information about the island.

Kayaking in Helsinki

After the tour and ice cream at Paja kiosk we headed back to our kayaks. A great day to be outside and do something active! Thanks again to Bliss Adventure for the tour. We are planning a tour combining kayaking and fatbiking, but for now, you can just take the ferry and do the fatbike tour.

 

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Vallisaari – the paradise island

I had a chance to visit Vallisaari before the real season kicks in there. The island opened to public last spring and already during the first summer there were about 90 000 visitors. It used to be a military island and big parts of the island remained untouched. This means the flora and fauna of the island is something special. There are about 1000 different species of butterflies on the island and a lot of plants you don’t find anywhere else in Southern Finland.

At sea in Helsinki

It is just a short boat trip from the market square and regular traffic to the island has already started for the season. It was a calm and sunny day and the boat trip was very enjoyable. It has been really cool for the last month, but now it actually felt warm.

View from Aleksanterin patteri to the sea

We didn’t have a lot of time on the island, so we almost straight headed to Aleksanterinpatteri. This used to be a fortification for the military because it rises high above the archipelago. This is the view south to the open sea.

View towards Helsinki from Vallisaari

The view towards Helsinki is also nice. There are no leaves on the trees yet, so it is going to look different in just a couple of weeks. Hopefully I can find time to visit the island again.

Small pond in Vallisaari

It’s hard to believe there is a place like this so close to the city centre of Helsinki. Just a few minutes by boat. There are three ponds on the island.

If you don’t have a lot of time in Helsinki and still want to experience the Finnish nature, going to Vallisaari is an easy option. It really feels like paradise on the island! Next time, though, I think I will kayak to the island. This makes the trip even more special.

Day trip from Helsinki – Porkkala peninsula

I have been stuck home for weeks now. I went to play basketball for the first time in years and after 20 minutes of playing I tore my calf muscle. So I’ve been on crutches ever since. I thought I would have to go through my old pictures and write something here. But for some reason I haven’t found the time.
Today we decided to get out of the house. I did some research trying to find a place close to Helsinki where you could get in the nature without walking much. We found Porkkala peninsula west from Helsinki.

Porkkala and the open sea

It was raining in the morning, but the forecast promised that the weather would clear up by 2 pm. The picture is taken towards south so you can see the sun is shining somewhere in the distance. This place was pretty close to the road, but there were still a few places where I had to crawl to get there. It was really windy and it didn’t feel like winter as the sea was completely open.

View from birdwatch tower Porkkala

After taking some pictures we went back to the car and decided to try to find a birdwatch tower I had read about. It was on the way back at Lähteelä, a recreational area owned by the city of Helsinki. It wasn’t again too easy to get there and climb all the way to the top. But it was certainly worth the effort.

Sunshine in Porkkala, Finland.

As you can see, the sun was finally there! Just a few hours late. Eventhough we were high, it wasn’t windy. It even felt as the sun was warming us. Looking at this picture it was really worth the effort to get to this place!

Rönnskär lighthouse south of Porkkala peninsula

From the birdwatch tower you could see the Rönnskär lighthouse. Maybe that is a place to visit on a kayak trip next summer. I am starting to look forward to the summer. Especially since I can’t do much at the moment.

Ilkka with crutches in Porkkala

Here’s a picture of me with my crutches. Looking at the picture you couldn’t guess it is February in Finland. Well the forecast is much colder by the end of next week. So maybe winter isn’t completely over.

It felt really good to be outside again. I think we need to find a few other places in the nature, which are easy to reach.

Some more kayaking

September has been really great this year! Warm weather and very light winds. I like the feeling on the sea in September. The light is different and you have a sense of the upcoming winter, but on the warm days it still feels almost like summer.

Kayaking in the night in Helsinki

We did our last night paddling tour last weekend. It was full moon, but the sky was covered with clouds. The moon was bright even through the clouds.

Group of kayakers at night in Eastern Helsinki

This is our group getting back on the water after our break. My father Martti was guiding the tour with me. It was really calm and warm at night. We were really lucky with the weather for this tour.

Kayaking on a sunny day in Eastern Helsinki

I got to bed pretty late, but I needed to wake up early in the morning again the next day. I had made plans to go kayaking with Jens. He is visiting Finland from Denmark and is the president of a local kayaking club there. We went out for a couple of hours.

Kayaking in Finland

The weather was pretty much perfect, light wind from northeast. We paddled between Villinki and Itä-Villinki, where there is a small passage between the two islands. The water level was pretty low, because of the high pressure and northerly winds. But we managed to get through without getting out of our kayaks.

Kayaks in Hattusaari, Eastern Helsinki

We had a small break at Hattusaari and just walked around the island. There were no other people on the island although it was a beautiful Saturday.

September has gone really quickly and it’s less than a week before I head to Lapland and Lake Inari. I am really excited about the trip.

Kayaking with my father

Our kayaking season in Vuosaari is almost over as we close in the end of September. I am planning to leave a bit early and do a kayak trip to Lake Inari on the last week of September. My father is coming along, so I suggested we do a short one night tour as practice. So we headed towards Eestiluoto and Kutuhället.

Coffee before kayaking

I was ready well before my father, so I had time to enjoy a cup of coffee before leaving. The weather was perfect.

On a break at Tammaluoto

We got going and paddled in a very relaxed pace. We had a short stop at Tammaluoto since my father had never been on the island. It is a small island without any facilities, but a beautiful place. It is a bit further out on the sea, but the wind was very light.

Kayaking in Eastern Helsinki

I was also trying to take some promo pictures along the way and my father was modelling. I really liked this shot, so I might use at our homepage at some point.

Kayaks at sunset

We made a short stop at Eestiluoto, but came to camp at Kutuhället. The evening was really nice and was still warm. No other people on the island and not a lot of people out on the sea at all.

A kayak under the stars

As the sun set, the sky cleared. The moon is almost full though so there was a lot of light. It was still a great night!

Prijon Seayak at Kuiva Hevonen

The next day we took our time before leaving. We stopped at an island called Kuiva Hevonen. The western part of the island has no cottages, so it a nice place to have a break. The weather was still perfect and actually the wind turned, so we had following seas during our whole trip.

My father is turning 70 this year, but still going strong. He is still guiding some tours, but this was his first personal kayak trip of the summer. Luckily we will get to do our trip to Lake Inari in a few weeks, so he gets out a bit more.

Stand up paddling and mountain biking

It was raining very hard here in Helsinki on Saturday. But the skies cleared and it was a beautiful day on Sunday. I was supposed to be at the paddling center, but for some reason it was really quiet there. So first I escaped and went stand up paddling. We have had the boards for the whole summer, but still I have only gone out a few times. I’ll try to get our more still in September.

Stand Up Paddling in Vuosaari

It was a bit windy and I didn’t feel like fighting against the wind too much. So I just followed the coast.

On a break in Vuosaari

There are a lot of nice places to take a break in Vuosaari. I just sat here for a while and enjoyed the scenery. This small rocky beach is on the coast, but nobody comes here.

Going with the wind

Coming back was easy with the wind behind my back. As I got back to the paddling center it was still very quiet. So I went out for a short mountain bike tour.

Mountain Biking in Meri-Rastila

I used to bike a lot, but this was the first time in years. The trails were still pretty wet from the rain and I had way too much pressure in my tires. And I didn’t have any confidence in my skills, so I ended up walking a lot.

Mountain Biking by the sea

I hadn’t been biking in the area, so I didn’t really know the trails. I found some good parts, but I also needed to turn back several times, because the trail wasn’t good.
I still enjoyed it a lot and decided to start biking more again. Let’s see how that goes! The waether forecast atleast for the next week looks great. There’s still a lot you can do outdoors in Helsinki in September.

Night paddling in Vuosaari

The nights are getting darker now in August and it is my favorite time to go night paddling. Most nights are still warm, so it’s a great combination. This was the first night paddling trip I was guiding this summer.

Starting a night paddling tour

We started out with some daylight left. Tha day had been a bit windy, but it was already much calmer.

On a break

It is impossible to take any good pictures on the water at night. So I mostly took pictures on our break. We made a fire and grilled some sausages. The full moon was just rising.

Moon light at sea

Our break was at an island called Läntinen Neitsytsaari. This is a picture towards the south and the island in the picture is Kalliosaari. The moon is really bright!

Enjoying the full moon

It was just a macigal evening. And still very warm. It was hard to get the group back in the kayaks.

Kayaking in the night

This is our group back on the water. The tour went really well and I think everybody enjoyed the experience. I think I want to guide our next night paddling trip too!