After packing our bags and leaving our apartment, we headed to the port close to Maretarium and waited for the ferry to bring us to Varissaari, a small island facing Kotka. The island is connected through a ferry service going every hour (at :00 sharp) and the trip takes 10 minutes. The service is privately offered and it’s expensive (a return ticket is free under 4 years of age, 8 euros for an adult and 4 euros for a child aged 4-12).
In old times, Varissaari was a military post, hosting ammunitions and providing a first line of defence for the town. Nature on the island is raw, but a thin trail guides visitors through a tour of the shore (a couple of km only) and info posts share details of the island’s history. There are mostly ruins, nowadays. On one side of the island, we could observe close the birds nesting on the rocks, exciting! Standing on the ruins, you can throw the look far away through the wide Baltic sea.
There is a small beach and it’s possible to swim. The restaurant also rents boats, a sauna boat, and surf boards. Weather was not friendly, so we resolved to play hide-and-seek , kids wet their feet and played with sand.
The island also hosts a modern restaurant called Vaakku, which won our hearts as the best eating restaurant in our trip.
To the day, I am still dreaming of their asparagus creamy soup. The restaurant has a beautiful sea view, and seats both indoors (with a huge glass wall) and outside. It regularly hosts concerts and events, so you may wanna check their programme beforehand. Food was excellent and affordable, even considering the ferry ticket on top.
We had started our trip with a walk in the nature of Valkmusa and we ended it breathing some more nature. We went back to the car, ready to go home. But we had yet one stop to make before doing so. After all, we didn’t have dessert.
Another great find of this holiday was the Waffle Bar Teelusikka, a cute cafe serving the best waffles I have ever had! They are custom, which means you can top them with whatever you like. We treated ourselves right before going back home.
We’ll miss you, Kotka! If you haven’t visited this side of Finland, wait no more. We really enjoyed the family trip and had plenty to do and see. Among other things, the area is famous for its “Sea days“, which will be held at the end of this month this year! There’s much to do for everyone and many free activities for the whole family.