Tulliniemi – a wonderful nature walk at the southernmost tip of Finland

Tulliniemi is a multifunctional area with plenty to see: a nature reserve, the southernmost tip of Finland, a pilot station for ships, a coastguard station, and a beach fit for swimming. It also has a historical women’s penal colony offering even more intrigue and mystery to the area.

Pebble beach and penal colony

The exciting Tulliniemi area starts with a lovely and open pebble beach stretching as far as the eye can see. Heath forest with conifers and shrubs lines the other side of the track with waves hitting the rocks on the other side.

Until 2014, there was no way of getting to the Tulliniemi area by foot because the large container port in the area blocked any access to the nature reserve until then. This turned out to be a blessing to archaeologists because Tulliniemi has been important in many different times: it has been occupied by the armed forces of the Soviet Union and Germany during different times of WWII, and there was also a women’s work camp or penal colony in 1947-1963 as well. If Tulliniemi had been accessible, proof that has recently been dug up of these events could have been lost.

The remnants of houses used by the Germans as well as the women’s work camp can still be seen through the woods, eerily peeking from behind the branches.

Uddskatan nature reserve

The Tulliniemi area has a nature reserve called Uddskatan created in 1990 as an area to protect migratory birds in Southern Finland. However, the waters surrounding Uddskatan were preserved already in 1933, and later the special sandy beaches and flora were later added.

Because the entire area is protected, you are only allowed to walk on the marked paths. Please respect this. Once you get to the beach and to the rocks, you are a bit more free but as mentioned before, the main reason for this nature reserve is to protect the migratory birds which rest and even nest in Tulliniemi. So, you are welcome to plop down on the billowy seaside cliffs as long as you make sure you don’t disturb the fauna.

Directions

Address:  Pohjoinen Pallbontie 1, 10940 Hanko. Just next to this address is a carpark where you can park your car or your bikes there for the time you spend. The Tulliniemi road continues to a dockyard and some industrial buildings but don’t worry – the nature path is close by!

How to get there: You can get to Hankoniemi by car, by bicycle or by bus.

  • Car: Tulliniemen pysäköintialue is the carpark closest to the start of the path.
  • Bicycle: The bicycle routes follow closely to the car route. The cycling route is basically the same road cars use so please take care.
  • Public transport: The best way to get to Hanko town is by train and by bus. The travel time on public transport is about 3.5 hours total from Helsinki. There is about a 2.5km walk from the Hanko train station to Tulliniemi. Check out ideas via the Routeplanner and e.g. the Matkahuolto bus service (Google Maps doesn’t show you all options so check out a few).

Accessibility: Especially the main paths at Tulliniemi support wheelchairs and children’s buggies. However, there are some places that aren’t very accessible and require careful attention especially with children due to the closeness of the sea. Note that many of smaller paths run on the natural forest floor as well as bedrock with moss, branches, and rocks.

When to go: You can visit the area at any time of the year – the views are great no matter what time of the year. You can visit the park during snowy or wintery seasons but make sure you are careful because there is no winter upkeep (no snow removal) and a lot of the more tricky areas can be hidden by snow. You don’t want to slip and injure yourself (or worse) on the slippery beach cliffs. Also note that there are no lights in the area so make sure you visit the area when there is enough light or have a flashlight with you.

What to wear: Outside the snowy season, normal sneakers will suffice as long as they have a good grip on them. Mosquito repellent in the summer is always a good idea even though being next to the sea and near open seas, Tulliniemi is also windier than usual so make sure you have enough clothes on even when it’s hot.

Things to see near by

Since you’re here, also check out the giant’s cauldrons at Kappelisatama.

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