If you look at photos of Yyteri Cape, you might assume they are from the eastern coast of the USA or maybe even Australia. You might be surprised to learn that these sun-drenched golden sands are actually located in Finland and covered with snow and ice during the off-season. Yet this is exactly what makes it an ideal place for a beach holiday during the brief summer window for those looking for a different experience.
Yyteri is located on the west coast of Finland close to the city of Pori, about 250 kilometers from the capital city of Helsinki and just across the sea from neighboring Sweden. Known for its clean-sweeping sand dunes, clear blue waters, and miles of nature trails, it is one of the most popular beach destinations in Finland where Finns go to soak up some sun after the long winter. Despite the large numbers of tourists, at six kilometers (3.7 miles) in length, Yyteri is rarely as crowded as most European beaches and not as ‘touristy’.
Being close to the Bothnian Sea National Park means that the area is protected, making the beach and sea clean and safe. The beach is also frequently visited by rare seabirds, especially during the migration periods. There are several observation towers and bird-watching huts set up in the area for spotting them.
While many go to the beach to relax, Yyteri is also a paradise for water and beach sports enthusiasts. Activities include beach volleyball, horseback riding, canoeing, fishing and many others.
Yyteri is especially famous with the small but fanatical Finnish surfing movement as one of the best destinations in Finland, and all of Scandinavia, for surfing. The waters are some of the warmest in the Baltics at around 20° Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit) in the summer. Surf shops are typically open during the summer months for rentals of surfboards, mountain bikes, and other sports equipment.
One of the most popular times for experienced surfers to visit the cape is actually in the autumn when the temperatures are lower and the beach is windy, cold and a little bleak. The beach is virtually deserted during this time with no beginners, swimmers or windsurfers getting in the way of the surfers and it is more of a challenge to surf in the cold and choppy waters. The autumn storms actually provide surfers with bigger and better waves than they would find during the summer. All they need is a warm and insulated wetsuit.
Yyteri is around three hours away from Helsinki and easy to reach by car, train or bus. The Visit Yyteri website has a full list of travel options.
As a popular holiday resort, there are many hotels, luxury spas and camping sites in the area, plus plenty of services such as restaurants and ice cream kiosks. For the full Finnish experience, you can rent a ‘mökki’ or summer cottage right on the shore. Not only are they aesthetically pleasing but you can go straight from the cottage to the beach and back at your leisure and have everything you need within easy reach. Most cottages even have their own sauna, so you can take part in the Finnish tradition and cool down with a dip in the ocean afterward.