Autumn Sighsteeing Tours
In addition to taxi boat services, we also provide ready made archipelago sightseeing tours, where you can enjoy the most beautiful environments of the archipelago. A stopover for a cup of coffee or a nice drink in a seafront establishment can easily be added to the tour.
Best of the Archipelago
Welcome to experience the best of the archipelago at a private tour all the way from the border between Helsinki and Sipoo to the border to Porvoo!
We drive through the picturesque inner archipelago over the Sipoo strait, where we see open seas. We travel through the narrow pass between Kitö island and the mainland. Arriving at Insjön bay (litterally ”Inner Sea”) one could imagine being on a lake rather than at the sea.
- Private Sightseeing with open seas and rugged rocks, combined with picturesque inner archipelago views and narrow passages. We se beautiful century-old summer houses and fishermen’s cabins alongside mainland luxury villas.
- Visit to Norrkullalandet island with a climb to the lookout tower with fabulous views over the Sipoo archipelago
- If requested, we can stop over for a cup of coffee at the Gumbo Kioskilla (Gumbostrand) and/or a glass at the Restaurant SSS Paviljongen (Spjutsund) (both options payable onsite for additional costs)
|Price total||199 €*|
|Number of persons||1-5*|
|– of which onboard boat||approx. 1 h**|
** Duration dependent on number of stops and weather conditions.
Route and Sights
- Our journey begins at Kalkkiranta harbour, from where we drive towards the inner archipelago of Sipoo
- We stop at Norrkullalandet island at Municipality of Sipoo’s recreational area. Included in a short walk (all together approx. 2 km) is a climb to the lookout tower with stunning views over the entire Sipoo archipelago.
- The inner archipelago of Sipoo is popular among fishermen and it is not uncommon to see fishermen trying to lure out the perches amongst the seaweed in shallow waters. The Finnish Gulf’s perilous natur is also visible: with its underwater rocks and shallow areas, the Finnish Gulf has been the end point of many ships. Nowadays the waterways are well chartered, but safe routes can be very narrow at some places.
We get to enjoy the beautiful century-old summer houses with ornate decorations on the island shores, extravagant luxury villas on the mainland side and more rustique cabins on the smaller islands.
- If wanted, we can stop over for a cup of coffee at the Gumbo Kiosk.
- The archipelago in Sipoo has been inhabited all-year-around already for centuries – and still is. On th Simsalö island there used to be a school for a long time, but with declining pupil numbers it was finally laid to rest a few decades ago. Nowadays Simsalö houses many summer events and for instance a flee market and the school building houses art exhibitions. The firetower at Simsalö is an important landmark and sight worth seeing. With prior booking, we can arrange for a visit to the sales exhibition of handicraft and arts exhibition at the Simsalö school.
- Municipality of Sipoo often markets itself as being close to Helsinki. In the archipelago this is very tangible, as we cross the border from Sipoo to Helsinki and the Vuosari international harbour cranes can be seen above the tree tops close by. Municipality borders have however traditionally had little importance among the population of the archipelago : people here in general primarily come from their specific home island, whereas municipality citizenship is of lesser personal value.
- The cute inner archipelago quickly transforms to more rugged views, we are on our way to the outer archipelago and open seas can be seen between the farthest islands. The Sipoo strait divides the area into the inner and outer archipelagos and also functions as border area between three municipalities: the cities of Helsinki and Porvoo and the Municipality of Sipoo. While arriving here, we probably need to slow down slightly, as the Sipoo straight is notorious for its crossing waves. Luckily m/b LauluVene is built for these harsh outer archipelago environments!
- We cross along the Sipoo strait’s Eastern line towards Porvoo. The radar station and radio mast of Pirttisaari can be seen on our Starboard (right) side.
- The long strait often generates open-sea-like conditions and the shape of the seabed forms waves into high and pointy ones. The narrowing bay rising towards the Porvoo river delta is both an important recreational boating rout, and a primary waterway for cargo vessels bound for the ports in the area.
- When closing in on Sköldvik harbour we turn around and most probably can see loading, arriving or departing tankers. The oil refinery’s harbour is, measured in tonnage, the busiest port of the Eastern Gulf of Finland.
- Should we feel thirsty or hungry, or if a cup of coffee would do the trick, we can stop by at Restaurant SSS Paviljongen, with its seaside terrace, that is popular for enjoying the archipelago ambiance whilst watching the cargo vessels roll in and out.
- On our way back we take the inner route. The very narrow passage to inner rout of Kitö island is a demanding drive for the skipper. At its narrowest point there are not many centimeters between the hull of the vessel and the adjacent rocks. In addition we drive under a low bridge – longer passengers are advised to pass under it seated in the boat.
- Insjön or ”the Inner Sea” is a lakelike area of small bays. The archipelago of Sipoo is very versatile, with everything from open, unobstructed seaviews to lakelike bays and narrrow passages. Sipoo has really got it all!
- We return through the Eastern inner archipelago to Kalkkiranta harbour, where we end our journey.
Temperature changes can be very varying in the Autumn and especially evenings can be quite chilly. Bring warm clothes with you since the archipelago and the open seas usually always offer some wind. The boat is covered and therefore offers shelter from wind and rain, though. It is also a good idea to bring a bottle of water with you. Drinks can also be purchased at Gumbo Kiosk at the beginning of our journey.
Pirttisaari – an outpost at open seas
Pirttisaari (Pörtö in Swedish) was a closed island for decades. Pilots operated from the island starting in 1868, but governmental activity gained its high peak around the years of WW II. Today Pirttisaari is home to many all-year-around inhabitants and summer paradise for many secondary home owners, but also a vibrant recreational area.
From artillery battery to recreational zone
The Finnish Defenc Forces housed the islands Southeast corner for decades, when a 152 mm tower cannon battery operated on the premises. In addition, there was a pilot station and a Coast Guard base and a radar station on the island. Ascending to the area was prohibited with pain of punishment.
Guiding by a reserve NCO who used to serve at the Coastal Artillery
We arrive in Pirttisaari from the Old School jetty, from where there is an approximately 20-minute walk to the old battery area. Our skipper had his compulsory military training within the Coastal Artillery, functioning as the fire squad’s calculation non-commissioned officer and is also a member of the Suomenlinna Coastal Artillery Guild, so we get to know a thing or two about the importance of the Coastal Artillery as a part of coastal defence in Finland, while walking.
Pirttisaari was not, as many other fortifications were, a part of the so called Peter the Great’s Sea Fortress and is therefore not built by Russians. The Pirttisaari fort was explicitly built to shelter from an attack coming from the East, being a part of the Pellinki segment of Coastal Artillery Regement 1 together with Lehtinen (Lövö) island. Both islands housed 2 guns each, all of the being of the type 152/50 T. Pirttisaari’s barrels were ready for action on 18 October, 1939, when extraordinary compulsory military training had been arranged in Finland. The Winter War commenced a little over a month later, on November 30th, 1939.
Coming to the 1990’s, the 152 mm tower cannon batteries were little by little dismantled, due to more modern systems’ arrival to the Finnish Defence Forces’ roster. In the end also Pirttisaari went silent. The Defence Forces finally left the island in 2009 and the Coast Guard moved away from Pirttisaari two years later to a floating base closer to Porvoo. In 2012 Pirttisaari’s all old, previously secluded areas had been opened for recrational purposes.
Some of the disbanded fortification structures ar open and available to visit at one’s own risk.
- Private sightseeing with focus on the outer archipelago, but also a visit to the beautiful inner bay of Pirttisaari with its astonishing beauty and serenity and cute fisherman-hut-like cabins. We also see the famous lighthouse of Söderskär in the horizon, well-known from renowed Finnish author Tove Jansson’s Moomin books.
- Guided walking tour around Pirttisaari, where we get to know the islands and area’s history and see for instance the Old School (from outside), the Fisherman’s son’s remembrance cross from the 19th century and Coastal Artillery Regiment 1’s Pellinki section’s old 152 millimiter cannons with adjacent buildings, including staff and ammunition housings.
|Price total||199 €*|
|Number of persons||2-5*|
|Total duration||3 h**|
|– of which by boat||1 h**|
|– walking tour of Pirttisaari||2 h|
**Duration of the route to the destination is dependent on weather conditions. The route to Pirttisaari traverses the Sipoo strait with sometimes tricky wind conditions.
Routes and sights
- We leave from Kalkkiranta, driving almost straight towards south. Distance from mainland to Pirttisaari is just under 10 km / approximately 5,3 M.
- Halfway through our journey towards Pirttisaari, we traverse the border between Sipoo municipality and Porvoo city. On the starboard (right) side we can see Kaunissaari island in the distance.
- Arriving at the coast of PIrttisaari, we turn to the ship route. During winter, ships bound for Sköldvik harbour use this route that is kept open with the assistance of icebreakers. During heavy ice winters the ice can reach far beyond the southern shore of Pirttisaari and it can even be possible to ice skate all the way to the Söderskär lighthouse.
- We arrive in Pirttisaari and disembark at the Old School jetty, getting to know it and its surrounding from the outside. Today, the school is an important cultural point for the island’s inhabitants, housing all kinds of events from parties to market happenings. The school was functional until the 1990’s and its last pupils are today middle-aged.
- After a walk of approximately 20 minutes, we arrive at the old Coast Guard station. In addition to the Coast Guard, Pirttisaari has housed both pilots and customs officials throughout the centuries. The first officials were pilots.
- The main part of the Pirttisaari battery’s buildings can be found at the Makkaraudden area. Conscript and staff barracks are still partly present. The Defence Forces used the area until the early 2000’s as a drill site.
- The Eastern cannon has a great shooting sector both directly towards the East, but also North and South.
- The Fisherman’s Son’s Memorial Cross from the 1880’s remind that the sea has also demanded its offerings and life in the outer archipelago has never been easy. The Fire Leading Tower arises at the highest point of the island.
- We still get a glimpse at the Western cannon, where we get to visit the gun itself under the so called napalm shield. Staff and ammunition facilities can be visited as well. From the Western cannon we move back to the boat, where we continue our journey around the island of Pirttisaari from the Southeast.
- The island if Bodö is separated from Pirttisaari island only by a narrow strait, where for instance elks and venisons often swim across to the adjacent island. Next to the Lilla Bodö (literally: Little Bodö) peninsula of the Bodö island, we can see beautiful fishermen’s huts. The Swedish word bod means this kind of hut that is situated next to the sea.
- We pass Bodö’s Northern shore and drive past m/b LauluVene’s and Venetaxi.com’s home port as we traverse towards the mainland.
- On the starboard (right) side we see the narrowing strait which ends at the Porvoo river delta. The Sköldvik oil refinery can also be seen in the distance.
- The archipelago is home to many animals and changing conditions also affect the animal populations’ behaviour. An example ar the great cormorants that have started to inhabit small islands and rocks also in the inner archipelage, whereas earlier they general were spotted much farther at sea. This is probably in part due to the succesful breeding of sea eagles (which feed on other birds’, including great cormorant’s, eggs and cubs). A rocky small island next to the Skata Ledholm island is a dwelling for the great cormorants and the rocky island rises in a ghostlike white shape from the sea, with hundreds of cormorants on its smooth surface and dried-up trees.
- We return to Kalkkiranta, where the journey home can continue on solid ground.
Sauna experience in the Archipelago – with tour or separately
The Autumn Sauna Experience is a fantastic program. It can be organized either as a special treat after visiting Pirttisaari island or just as a separate journey.
Private use of the sauna, refreshments can also be arranged
Refreshments and snacks such as sauna sausages can also be arranged, please inquire for more information!
- Use of sauna, washing facilities and relaxing zone with fireplace for a total of 2,5 h
- Return transport to Kaunissaari, either after completing a Pirttisaari tour or straight from the mainland
|Price as a part of Pirttisaari sightseeing||179 €*|
|Price when bought separately||320 €**|
|Number of persons||2-5|
|Duration||2,5-3,5 h ***|
** Sauna Experience as a separate service for 320 € includes return transportation to Kaunissaari from mainland. Price includes VAT 10 %.
*** Use of sauna for 2,5 hours, additional time for travels either from mainland to Kaunissaari, or from PIrttisaari to Kaunissaari and from Kaunissaari to mainland. When travelling in the outer archipelago, changes in weather conditions can substantially alter the travel times.
Tailor-made tours according to your needs
If you wish a combination of the services above, or have some other kind of wishes, don’t hesitate to ask for an offer!
Notice, that for a reasonable extra fee, additional stops can be added and other places visited. An island tour can be combined with geocaching. During the time of the caching, the boat can be transferred to a pre-destined location, or shorter jumps can be made as island hopping. Waiting fee for waiting at a location is 60 € / h (incl. VAT 10 %) and for moving to other distances (empty boat), transit fee is from 90 € / h (incl. VAT 10 %).
We are happy to tailor a service for your needs for a nice special price!