Turku, our home town, is situated by the Baltic Sea and has a magnificent archipelago, part of which is just minutes away from the city.
Ruissalo is one of the islands you can get to easily by bike, public transportation (bus #8) or by car. In the summer months, there is also a water bus that takes off at the River Aura and takes you to Ruissalo. Here are 6 things to do on this beautiful island.
1. Go swimming & have picnic
There are good beaches here and for many people our sea water is surprisingly sweet compared the super salty waters around the world. Take your picnic blanket along and enjoy a day by the sea watching boats go by. Communal barbeque facilities are also available. Even an icy winter dip & a cold weather picnic could be fun! Don’t forget to enjoy sauna.
2. Hike the nature trails
Ruissalo is partly National Park and has large areas that are protected, yet well guided and very educational. One of the largest oak tree forests can be found here and an endless array of other interesting flora & fauna. Take a walk, short or a longer one and relax in the woods.
3. Admire the old, wooden villas
The island is home to a great number of old, beautiful 19th Century villas. Many of them can be admired when walking the seaside paths. Some are private, some owned by clubs and other organizations. And some of them, like Villa Saaro by the Ruissalo Camping (built 1850), operate as cafes/restaurants during the summer months.
4. Explore the Botanical Gardens
The Botanical Garden of University of Turku is a research facility, but at the same time, open to public year round. The large outdoor gardens combined with the lovely indoor greenhouses have over 5000 plant species. You can also have lunch or enjoy a cup of coffee at their cafe.
5. Hunt Pokémons
Ruissalo is home to rare Pokémons, we’ve been told.
6. Go Camping!
Ruissalo has well maintained camping facilities by the sea, a perfect place to start exploring the island! Find out more here