Sipoo Archipelago - Kayaking2017-08-24 04:01 PM
This blogpost is by Henry from the blog Waifs and Strays, where you can read also about many other destinations in Finland.
What is it?
Sipoo is a charming municipality to the east of Helsinki. Its mix of forest, coast, traditional farms and pretty villages make it definitely worth a visit. Also, its crest is of a wolf. Cool.
The sea to the south is packed full of islands. Some just metres across, others huge and equipped with jetties, basic campsites, a ferry service and even a cafe. Almost all of the islands have mökkis, traditional holiday cabins.
Basic campsite, great view
Cafe on Norrkullalandet
Where is it?
Cafe Sibbe is about 30km from Helsinki city centre in the Joensuu area of Sipoo. Here you can hire kayaks and it’s a great place to start. The staff are lovely and you can get some pre-trip coffee and cakes and post-trip beer.
There is a direct bus (no. 848) from the Kamppi bus station (eastbound, downstairs) to the closest bus stop and from there it’s just a 15 min. walk to the cafe.
When to go?
The best months are July and August. Other times of the year are possible but the water can be seriously cold/frozen solid.
This is one of the best kayaking trips I have been on. The route starts paddling out of the quiet harbour next to Cafe Sibbe then continues leisurely down the river, first bordered by tall reeds and later by dramatic fjord-like walls with tiny sauna buildings perched at their foot.
Then the the water opens up into the sea and you pick your way around the islands, past the locals reading on their jetties or repairing something wooden.
If you decide to stay overnight, the campsites are well maintained, peaceful and offer breathtaking views of the quiet bays and the Gulf of Finland.
Perfect if you’re looking for an adventure that's both exciting, peaceful and breathtaking.
The easiest, and most recommendable, for novice kayakers is to paddle down to the rivermouth and back. This way you’ll get to experience all of the land/seascapes without the risk of getting lost in the islands (easier than you’d imagine).
The overland bit
If you have more experience and, perhaps just as important, a map and compass, the route below takes in a longer, adventurous route over two days around and through the islands. There are several basic campsites on Norrkullalandet (no drinking water) and also a bird watching tower and cafe. By the end of it we were pretty tired and happy to get back to dry land and a beer at Sibbe.
GPS for this routes available at this link.
Originally from The UK, Henry came to Finland two years ago and has begun to explore the Finnish nature, experience the Finnish seasons and write about local themes just as he had done previously in his home-country and in Chile. He enjoys all outdoor activities, especially exploring wilderness areas.