Travels Diary

Helsinki, a Wonderful Archipelago

10 January 2018 | | Reading time 3 minutes

Visiting Helsinki by the sea, is possible! To this aim, several options are available as participating to the ARC Baltic race or sail on board your own boat! Finland and Helsinki are just 600 nm away from the Kiel Canal.

Photo by Lagoon Charter: HSS sailing club in Kaivopuisto, Helsinki

Discover the surroundings of Helsinki

1 . Vallisaari

It is rare to have a very isolated military island only 15-minute boat ride away from the heart of a capital. Used by the Finnish Defense Forces, Vallisaari offers to the visitors the chance to enjoy its diverse flora and spectacular views, thanks to its well-preserved historic fortifications.

Photo: Metsähallitus

Find out more about the activities available and the history of the islands, over here:

2. Suomenlinna

Suomenlinna (Fortress of Finland) was registered on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1991 to preserve it, for future generations, as an example of 18th century fortress architecture in Europe.

What is really unusual is to ask to a guide to take you down to the catacombs, which were in the past, the shelters of the army. For more information:

Photo: Suomenlinna

3. Söderskär – lighthouse

If you are visiting Söderskär, you should definitely visit its lighthouse, which is some 15 nm from NJK yacht club in the heart of Helsinki. The lighthouse was built in 1862 when Finland was under Russian Empire. Bird life and nature are brilliant and Söderskär gives you a place where you can just sit back and relax while listening natural sounds.

Photo: Söderskär

The best time to sail

“Lagoon Charter” has been offering a chance to discover these islands from the sea, since 2008 on board a 39 and a 42: The sailing season is from May until the end of September. It sounds a bit long? The secret is that “Lagoon Charter” has special equipment on board.

The best time to sail in the Finnish archipelago is from June to August. Harbours are pretty full in July, but you can pre-book a mooring here:, this website gives you also good instructions about how to enter the harbours.

During the summer, you can enjoy a very long day of sailing in the sun light, and in the end, you will meet a beautiful sunset!