Kotkan Saaret

Turku & Finland's South Coast

The smattering of islands off the coast of Kotka are former military outposts, some of which are now open to the public. Several boat trips depart from Sapokanlahti. From June to August, the MS Klippan (adult/child €8/4) runs hourly to Varissaari, where there are the remains of an 18th-century naval fortress. In July and August, the MS Jaana (adult/child €20/10) makes the 45-minute journey to the island of Rankki, returning 2½ hours later.

Accessible by free public ferry (from May to September), Kirkonmaa still contains a battery and military housing, set amid beautiful nature. All three islands have a summer cafe and other recreational facilities.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Turku & Finland's South Coast attractions

1. Sapokka Vesipuisto

5.64 MILES

Sapokanlahti is a natural inlet in central Kotka that provides the setting for the tranquil, award-winning Sapokka Water Garden. The centrepiece is the…

2. Maretarium

5.87 MILES

Kotka's modern Maretarium has more than 20 giant fish tanks representing various bodies of water. The Baltic tank is the largest, with local sea life fed…

3. St Nicholas Orthodox Church

6.16 MILES

Towering above Isopuisto Park, the 1801 St Nicholas Orthodox Church is Kotka’s only building to survive the Crimean War. It's believed to be the work of…

4. Kotkan Kirkko

6.16 MILES

Kotkan kirkko's distinctive steeple is visible throughout town. Inside the neo-Gothic church there’s artful woodcarving, a resounding baroque-style organ…

5. Merikeskus Vellamo

6.61 MILES

In a tanker-sized, wave-shaped building with walls of metal and printed glass, this state-of-the-art dockside museum recounts Finland’s seafaring life…

6. Langinkoski Imperial Fishing Lodge

8.18 MILES

Situated 5km north of Kotka amid the salmon-rich Kymijoki's rapids, this rustic wooden lodge was built in 1889 for Tsar Alexander III. Most of the…

7. Orthodox Church of Sts Peter & Paul

15.66 MILES

Topped by a classic onion dome, the 1837 Orthodox Church of Sts Peter & Paul is the work of architect Louis Visconti, who designed Napoleon’s mausoleum.

8. Kaupunginmuseo

15.7 MILES

Learn about Hamina's history at the town museum, housed in Hamina’s oldest building. King Gustav III of Sweden and Catherine II (the Great) of Russia held…