Breathtaking Archipelago of the Eastern Gulf of Finland

Where the gaze may freely wander along wind-swept islets, where the barren meets the beautiful and the dramatic twists and turns of history live in perfect harmony with romanticism. Where small villages are alive with a unique archipelago atmosphere. There lies an archipelago that has remained hidden from many and is becoming one of the most attractive travel destinations in southern Finland. We welcome you to enjoy the gorgeous archipelago of the Eastern Gulf of Finland in Kotka, Hamina, Loviisa, Pyhtää and Virolahti!

Ulko-Tammio and Other Islands in the Eastern Gulf of Finland Named Domestic Travel Destination of the Year

During the summer of 2023, Ulko-Tammio was declared the world’s first phone-free island, aiming to enhance well-being through nature experiences. The news spread globally, sparking a media phenomenon. In January 2024, the Guild of Travel Journalists named Ulko-Tammio the destination of the year. Have you embarked on a digital detox journey in the captivatingly beautiful Ulko-Tammio?

Phone-Free Island Ulko-Tammio Finland’s Top Domestic Travel Destination of the Year

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The Island of Kaunissaari

Kaunissaari Island, a beloved attraction since the 1950s, boasts charming red beach storehouses, idyllic fishermen’s huts, beautiful pristine beaches stretching for miles, and pine forests shaped by the sea breeze. Explore its history at the archipelago museum, then unwind on sandy beaches and indulge in local delicacies at local restaurants and cafés.

Kaunissaari Island

The Island of Tammio

Experience the charm of Tammio, a picturesque island village in the eastern Gulf of Finland. Explore its quaint wooden houses and blooming lilacs, steeped in history dating back to the 16th century. Conveniently accessed via MeriSet’s boat cruises from Kotka, Tammio offers a tranquil escape and a glimpse into a tight-knit island community.

Tammio Island

The Phone-Free Island of Ulko-Tammio

Our world-famous phone-free island Ulko-Tammio is the gem of the Eastern Gulf of Finland National Park. The island is uninhabited and harbors rare birds and plants within its folds. The beautiful and lush nature of Ulko-Tammio with its rugged rocky shores is impressive. On Ulko-Tammio, you can hike along well-marked nature trails, and from the island’s birdwatching tower, you can enjoy a magnificent view of the national park.

Ulko-Tammio Island

The Island of Haapasaari

Haapasaari, an untouched gem in the outer archipelago, is just a 40-minute boat ride from Kotka’s Sapokka, making it ideal for group outings. Experience its authentic ambiance with a charming village shop and 19th-century church and school, while nearby Kilpisaari and Vanhankylänmaa offer wartime relics. Accessible via your own boat, Meriset cruises, or ferry, Haapasaari promises a memorable island adventure.

Haapasaari Island

The Island of Rankki

Explore historic Rankki Island, once a vital part of Russia’s sea fortress line. Now open to visitors, delve into its military past, from heavy coastal cannons to World War remnants. Enjoy picnics on scenic shores and dine at the iconic Sotku military restaurant.

Rankki Island

The Island of Varissaari

Varissaari Island, a historic site near Kotka, boasts outdoor activities and the ruins of Fort Elisabeth, guarding Ruotsinsalmi’s shipping lanes. Enjoy Restaurant Vaakku and Sauna Raft Kiulu, plus naval vibes with SUP boarding.

Varissaari Island

Svartholm Sea Fortress

Svartholm Sea Fortress is a perfect summer experience for the whole family. This beautiful and isolated fortress island is like a miniature version of Suomenlinna Sea Fortress and can be reached from Loviisa Laivasilta by water bus daily. There is a lovely restaurant on the island that serves meals and snacks, perfect for the day out on the sea.

Svartholm Sea Fortress

The Island of Kukouri

Kukouri, the second fortress island near Kotka, features Fort Slava, a distinctive round red-brick fortress completed in 1794. One of Ruotsinsalmi’s outermost fortresses, its unique perfectly round shape sets it apart in Finland, with a diameter of 75 meters and 44 cannon posts. Despite being destroyed during the Crimean War in 1855, Kukouri is accessible via chartered transportation for visitors to explore.

Kukouri Island

The National Park of Eastern Gulf of Finland

The Eastern Gulf of Finland National Park is located in the outer archipelago. The national park includes over a hundred islands and islets that are known particularly for their birdlife and military history. The largest islands are Kilpisaari, Ristisaari, Ulko-Tammio, Mustaviiri and Pitkäviiri.

The main island of the national park is Ulko-Tammio, where the only sheltered harbor in the national park is located. Ulko-Tammio is also a significant site in terms of military history where one can see many remains from a World War II fortress and fortifications. You can find out about the military history of Ulko-Tammio by taking a tour along the nature path. There are also two cannons that have been restored to their posts along the nature path. Ulko-Tammio can be accessed from Sapokka in Kotka on summer weekends.

The natural park offers magnificent experiences for birdwatchers. The migration of arctic birds every spring is one of the most spectacular events in birdlife. A flock of millions of migrating birds in all its glory can be seen in southeastern Finland, and its main route passes right over the national park.

To secure your sea adventure, book a ticket on a cruise by Meriset. There is a free ferry that goes once a day in high season, but during the summer it often happens that there isn’t room for everyone on board. If you visit during spring or autumn, there is plenty of room on the ferry but it goes only a few times a week.

Fishing at the Eastern Gulf of Finland

Eastern Gulf of Finland offers diverse fishing waters and the opportunity to take a packaged trip with our professional guides to try your luck at catching, for example, pike-perch and pike in sheltered bay areas, or having a go at surf fishing for trout on outer islets and offshore spin fishing for salmon. You can focus on one type of fish only, or choose the best catch for each fishing season.

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