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Discover the spellbinding allure of Finland on a luxury yacht charter

By Nina Done   22 June 2022

Renowned for its wintry snow-laden landscapes, northern lights and frozen lakes, Finland in the summer offers up an wholly altered tableau of unparalleled beauty that is hard to surpass. Characterized by vast bluebird skies, fjord-like waters and abundance of wildlife, not to mention the world’s largest archipelago, this spellbinding Nordic country promises some of the finest cruising grounds on the planet.

Comprising vast lands that border Norway, Sweden and Russia to the East, Finland is a jewel in the heart of Northern Europe that consistently enjoys the accolade as one of the happiest nations on earth. With its long daylight hours, idyllic pine-clad forests, New England-style harbors and upscale fine dining, Finland’s utopian paradise is more than a match for some of the most celebrated summer superyacht destinations. 

Beautiful island setting in Finland's southern archipelago

In June and July, Finland’s southwesternmost region is the place to head – only a short hop across the water from Sweden’s capital of Stockholm. We’ve compiled our top picks from our recent trip to this beautiful country of the best destinations to visit on your Finland yacht charter.

Helsinki

Waterfront views of Helsinki, Finland
Attractions around the port of Helsinki, Finland
UNESCO Heritage site of Suomenlinna military sea fortress outside of Helsinki, Finland

Occupying Finland’s southernmost peninsula in the Baltic Sea, Helsinki offers an enticing blend of laid-back charm, uber trendy districts and veritable medley of cultural delights. The capital is also home to an eclectic array of architecture, ranging from an Art-deco metro station and Bavarian-style mansions to a church literally built into the granite rock, and wears its diversity with pride. 

Most Finland yacht charters will begin in Helsinki; a compact city easy to explore by foot, with something to marvel at around every corner. We recommend a walk along the coastal route which circles Helsinki’s oldest park, Kaivopuisto. Here, you’ll find charming seaside cafes on your way, perfect for refueling stops, and some of the most beautiful Art Nouveau architecture in the city. 

Urban oasis attraction of Loyly in Helsinki, Finland

Following the coastline south you'll come across the ultra modern Löyly, offering a unique sauna and restaurant experience in a beautiful setting. Here you can enjoy a true Finnish sauna followed by a bracing dip in the sea before heading up to the terrace to enjoy uninterrupted sea views as you tuck into the restaurant’s excellent cuisine, with dishes paying homage to traditional Scandinavian fare with a Mediterranean twist.

For those who don’t want to tire themselves out before their evening revelries aboard the yacht, you can opt to hire a bike or jump on one of the city’s trams that run regularly throughout the day. Some other must-see sights in Helsinki include the architectural marvels of Kamppi Chapel of Silence and the rock hewn Temppeliaukio Church with its distinctive copper dome, both showcasing some of the astonishing feats of building and creative flair this country has to offer. There are also a number of national parks and beaches where you can stop for a while and soak up the unique atmosphere of Finland's extraordinary capital city. 

On your way out of the marina, you’ll also be able to spot the Suomenlinna, a strategic military sea fortress and UNESCO Heritage Site stretching across numerous islands and comprising 6 kms of defensive walls that can be seen for miles. 

Barösund

Beautiful island of Barosund in Finland's southern archipelago

The Finns have a deep affinity with nature and water, with much of the interwoven architecture and infrastructure reflecting these elements, and the archipelago town of Barösund in the western part of Inkoo, southern Finland is no exception. Set within a narrow fjord-like passage and playing host to a palette of moss greens, earthy reds and warm nut browns juxtaposed with cool blues, this idyllic island is the stuff of dreams. 

View down the starboard side of Maori yacht XUMI, Finland
Beautiful island of Barosund in Finland's southern archipelago

For a serene berth for the night, look no further. The waters are mirror-calm and there is plenty of space to maneuver into your slip for the night. Here, your guests can choose to explore the village and surrounding forests, or simply relax and enjoy the peaceful tranquility coupled with glorious views from the yacht. 

To cap it off, this tiny hamlet boasts an impressive restaurant that offers a tempting seasonal menu inspired by true Finnish cuisine using only fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. Named Skola after the old school house in which the restaurant is set, patrons come from far and wide to enjoy the food, convivial atmosphere and stunning backdrop. 

Starters might include pork neck on a bed of waldorf salad or Finnish malt loaf with a horseradish hummus, with mains comprising tempting dishes such as glazed lamb shank with a butter mash and red wine jus and cod served with a beurre blanc sauce, spring greens and new potatoes.  

The restaurant gets busy in the summer, with locals coming over from the mainland on the island’s ferry service that runs approximately every 15 mins, so it is well worth booking ahead during the peak season.

Hanko

Charming port town of Hanko, Finland
Lone beach hut on the sand at Hanko, Finland
Beautiful victorian club house in Hanko, Finland

A popular summer retreat for wealthy locals who have summer homes here – often likened to Finland’s answer to the Hamptons – the port town of Hanko offers up an idyllic setting awash with pine and birch forests, vibrant bars and restaurants, and grand summer mansions that wouldn’t be out of place in Newport, Rhode island. 

Hanko’s charming marina presents the ideal place to park your yacht and enjoy the buzzy atmosphere as locals and affluent Finns join the throng during the heady summer months of June and July.

There are also private sauna facilities here – one of the most popular pastimes in Finland – which can be booked either through the yacht’s captain or broker, where you can experience the Finnish practice of a relaxing steam sauna followed by a refreshing dip in the cool waters. With its renowned health benefits and spectacular backdrop this might just be one of the highlights of your trip, leaving you feeling utterly relaxed and at one with nature. 

Located on a narrow peninsula on the southernmost point in Finland, you are never far from the coast. One of the best ways to explore Hanko is by bike, with cycle hire available in a number of locations, including at the marina. A popular activity for locals and tourists alike, you and your guests will be free to explore the town with ease, checking out the imposing Victorian villas peeking through stately pine forests, as well as enjoying the scenery along Hanko’s coastline. Here you’ll also find swathes of pastel-peach sand beaches that entice you to stop and enjoy the stunning views.

Trendy bar in Hanko, Finland
Coco beach club in Hanko, Finland

There are also myriad cafes and restaurants offering refreshments along the way, with some of the best situated in the marina. We recommend Makasiini Restaurant for a taste of true Scandinavian cuisine at its finest, as well as the Yacht Club Hanko which boasts a wide sunset roof terrace, perfect for sundowners. The Yacht Club is the place to be during summer, where patrons can bask in the buzzy atmosphere as they enjoy the picture-postcard views of the harbor and archipelago.

During the summer Hanko is a hive of activity, with plenty of activities scheduled daily. There is also an outdoor concert area that plays host to numerous live events throughout the peak season. Speak to your yacht broker for more information of what's on during your visit.

Need more information?

For more information about all the places and activities mentioned in this article, please reach out to your preferred yacht charter broker who should be able to advise you further.

In the meantime, to find out more about chartering in the region, check out our Finland yacht charter guide

For some inspiration, browse the fleet of superyachts available for charter in Northern Europe.

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