Finland may not be the world’s most obvious beach destination but with its picturesque archipelago, long seaside coastline and tens of thousands of lakes, there are plenty of options to choose from to spend a sunny day. From lakeside resorts to romantic cliffsides, here are the seven best beaches to visit outside Helsinki.
Hanko is a historic seaside holiday destination for Finns. In the late 19th century, Hanko was a famous spa town among the Russian nobility – Finland being, at the time, under Russian rule. Nowadays Hanko is a relaxing seaside town with cute hotels, shops and cafés as well as a picturesque sandy beach with white bathing huts – an Instagrammer’s beach paradise in Scandi style.
Let’s start with the basics: Yyterin Hiekkasärkät means ‘the Sand Dunes of Yyteri’. Although Finland may not be renowned as a beach destination, there are a few magnificent beaches Finns like to visit regularly. One of them is Yyteri, located on the west coast of Finland. The sand dunes of Yyteri stretch out for over six kilometres (3.73 miles) and lure thousands of Finns each summer. Apart from sunbathing, people also come here for golf and spa.
Located in the province of Oulu, Kalajoki beach is about a two-hour drive away from the city, but well worth a day trip. Kalajoki is famous for its sandy beach and a popular spot to visit among Finns. There are a number of accommodation options, from hotels and luxurious villas to tents under the starry night sky. Apart from chilling out at the beach, you can also go hiking over duckboards, rent a bike, surf, fish or golf or indulge yourself at a spa.
Rauhaniemi is yet another example of how Tampere pampers its inhabitants and visitors. The beach Rauhaniemi (which means “cape of peace”) has two sides, a shallow and a deep one, with two saunas, a café and a diving tower. The beach and the buildings were built in 1929 and they are still almost in their original shape creating a unique feel to the beach. The beach is located only a few kilometres from city-centre Tampere, so you can drive or take the Number 2 bus from Central Square. Rauhaniemi has ice-swimming facilities, too – don’t worry, the saunas are open all year round!
Åland Island is an autonomous part of Finland, and a popular spot to visit due to its seaside beauty and calm and cosy atmosphere. There are at least two dozen beaches in Åland and they vary from shallow sandy beaches of Degersand to a beachside seacliff with diving towers in Bambölevik. Swimming at Åland is a Scandinavian summer experience at its best!
For a summery seaside indulgence in Oulu, pop into Nallikari beach. Nallikari located on an island in the Hietasaari district. Take bus Number 15 or 15N from Oulu city centre, or, during summer, hop on the trackless train Potnapekka. Apart from the magnificent beach, Nallikari includes a spa hotel, a camping area with rentable cottages and a seaside restaurant.
Naantali is a little town on the West Coast of Finland. Naantali is famous for its harbour, being the home of Moomins and as the summer residence of the President of Finland. After a stroll in Naantali’s old wooden house area, head to Nunnaranta, behind the buzzing harbour. The sandy beach is quite small but makes up in cuteness what it lacks in size. And if you are visiting Finland during winter, don’t worry; there is an inviting ice-hole you can try too!