The small islands on the coast line of Helsinki are beautiful. If you need to choose one to hop on, most people will pick Suomenlinna. But I’d recommend the neighbouring island, Vallisaari.
Vallisaari is an old army fortress, which got open for civil folks only a couple of years ago. Being restricted for army only for decades, the nature of Vallisaari is practically untouched. And boy what a beautiful place it is – especially in early summer, but also in autumn colors.
It’s amazing to have such a rich blooming nature heaven just a couple of kilometres from the city center. You can actually see the city, and still be surrounded and overwhelmed by the nature.
There are hiking paths worth of 5,5 km in Vallisaari area. You must stay on the path for not harming the nature and because there are still old explosives in the ground from the times of the fortress. Take some sandwiches and a water bottle with you to enjoy a picnic lunch, but remember to take away the trash with you when you leave. If you’re strong enough to carry the food with you, you’re also strong enough to carry the empty wrapping papers, cans and boxes back to mainland.
Boat connection from Market Square (Kauppatori) to Vallisaari and from Hakaniemi to Vallisaari