If you would like to view the capital region from a completely new angle, go for a trip with a kayak, canoe or on a Stand Up Paddle Board! This can be a good option especially for those travelling to Helsinki/Espoo on a tighter schedule. You can see a lot already in a few hours.
Many destinations from Otsolahti
We made a three-hour kayaking trip from SE-Action’s canoeing centre in Otsolahti, Espoo. A huge number of potential destinations open up after paddling only 500 metres, under the Helsinki-Hanko motorway. You can head to the beautiful archipelago in Espoo, with a number of islands open for the public. The services range from grilling places to cafés and restaurants. A good list of the possibilities can be found on the City of Espoo website.
You can also head to the East toward the Keilaniemi business district and Laajalahti. If you prefer longer routes, the island of Seurasaari and Lauttasaari in Helsinki could be something for you.
Break at Mustasaari
We decided to steer our kayaks to Keilaniemi and then further to the island of Mustasaari despite of some headwind. There was some traffic to avoid too: the boat routes can be busy this close to many harbours and the waves can surprise you. If you are paddling as a group, you should pass these marked routes as a group as well (not one-by-one). Fellow-kayakers and stand up paddlers added to the traffic mix. Nevertheless, we could experience the nature and smell the salty sea in a completely new setting.
The final stretch to Mustasaari goes under a bridge connecting the islands of Lauttasaari and Kaskisaari (and Lehtisaari further West). Tip: a bicycling tour on these islands has very nice views to offer! Mustasaari, owned by the Helsinki Parish Union, is a popular family destination open summertime. It has a café, a restaurant, a playground, a nature trail, a shallow beach and even sheep and rabbits. There’s also a chapel with daily prayers. A ferry connection from Taivallahti in Helsinki takes you there in only 15 minutes, unless you want to enjoy the more scenic kayaking route.
Heading back to our starting point was easier thanks to some tailwind. In total we paddled just over seven kilometres on the three-hour trip. A last-minute break would have been possible at the sand beach of Karhusaari, but time was running out.
Explore the archipelago by kayaking from Siuntio and Inkoo as well
SE-Action, who kindly supported this blog post by providing some kayaks, has canoeing centres also in Siuntio and Inkoo. Siuntio is a good base for river trips, whereas Inkoo is a good starting point for trips to the island of Stora Fagerö.
In addition to kayak/canoe rentals and trips, the company also arranges various other indoor and outdoor activities as well as theme days. One of SE Action’s specialty can be really rewarding after a few hours paddling: The local produce Sjundby ice cream (with a website in Finnish, sjundbyn.fi).
Contact details, prices and opening hours of the canoeing centres, please see the SE-Action website.
Things to do close by
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