Tankar Island

© Umomos/Shutterstock

Tankar Island

Finland's West Coast

This lighthouse island, 18km northwest of Kokkola, offered safe passage through tangled waters, starting in 1889. Now it makes a popular day trip for birdwatching, nature walks and salmon soup at the pierside Café Tankar. The lighthouse itself isn't open to the public, but there's an 18th-century wooden chapel, a small sealing museum and other historic buildings to explore.

M/S Jenny makes the 1½-hour sailing eight or 12 times weekly from June to August, departing from Meripuisto: book with the tourist office. If you wish to spend the night, the old pilot station and lighthouse keeper's house are now the Tankar Inn.

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