Vasikkasaari is located in Kruunuvuorenselkä, on the west side of Santahamina. The island is available for the city residents’ recreational use, and it also has summer residents with small cabins.
Perhe kävelee kalliopolkua
Photo: Teemu Saloriutta

What does Vasikkasaari offer?

Vasikkasaari is located in Kruunuvuorenselkä, on the western side of Santahamina, about 15 minutes from Helsinki Market Square by sea. 

Waterway transport connections 

Vasikkasaari is not covered by regular waterborne transport. 

Visitors’ marina 

The visitor’s marina on the eastern side of the island has berthing places. 

Other berthing and mooring points 

In addition to the guest harbour, there are no other safe berthing places on the island. The buoy and drawbars on the main pier are only available to those who have reserved them. 

There are two guided routes in Vasikkasaari: the main route that presents historical sites, which mainly circles the central part of the island and is about one kilometre long, and the wellness trail that follows the coastline in the western part of the island. The length of the wellness trail is less than a kilometre, but the terrain is difficult and the route runs along a narrow path and includes small ascents. 

There is an information board with a map and signposts on the island. The trail is marked in the rocky areas with white columns and arrows. 


Puinen levähdyspaikka meren äärellä kalliolla
Photo: Mira Lainiola

Cooking shelters and fire places   

There is a barbecue area next to the water traffic pier, as well as covered garbage bins.   

Other resting places 

There is a wooden resting platform with seating space between the commandant’s house and the old ice cellar. You can also admire the sea views from the sheltered resting place on the west shore of the island.  


The island has four toilets.
There is a toilet maintained by the city and rubbish bins for hikers next to the pier.
Other toilets are maintained by cottage owners, but can also be used by hikers. 


Nainen kaivaa eväitä repusta katoksellisessa taukomajassa
Photo: Mira Lainiola

Vasikkasaari is not one of Helsinki's most famous islands. It is a peaceful island for excursions with plenty of things to see. Mobile nature trails take visitors to the island’s attractions: try the echoes of an old oil reservoir, visit the ruins of the old wall and marvel at the ruined buildings of the Russian era.  

Public beach   

Vasikkasaari has no public beach. 

Overnight stay 

Camping is prohibited on Vasikkasaari. 


In the north, the island is connected to Saunasaari, where a private sauna entrepreneur operates. The island has two smoke saunas that can be rented.
Saunasaari(Link leads to external service)


Retkeilijä kulkee polulla kohti vanhaa öljysäiliötä
Photo: Mira Lainiola

History of Vasikkasaari 

Between 1853 and 1918, Vasikkasaari was under the control of the Russian army. The brick buildings and stone structures of Vasikkasaari date back to the Crimean War (1853–1856). In memory of that time, many plants have survived on the island, which are considered to be Russian newcomers.  Vasikkasaari and the Russian war materials remaining in its warehouses were transferred to the control of the Finnish state in 1918.

The island was thoroughly destroyed by an explosion on 8 February 1919, when a large oil tank exploded and caught fire, followed by an explosion of ammunition from the island’s munition depots. The explosion could be heard all the way in Tallinn and Heinola. The wooden buildings of Vasikkasaari were completely destroyed in the explosion. The brick guard’s house also collapsed. 

 Since 1946, Vasikkasaari has housed up to 176 summer cottages for Defence Forces personnel and members of various unions. The City of Helsinki acquired Vasikkasaari in 1963. Today, there are 51 summer cottages, mostly located in the northern and eastern parts of the island. 


In the north, the island is connected to Saunasaari, where a private sauna entrepreneur operates. The island has two smoke saunas that can be rented.
Saunasaari(Link leads to external service)


Vasikkasaari is a barren rocky island that is easy to explore along marked trails. The resting places built on the cliffs offer great seascapes. There are rather narrow trails in the pine forests of the island. The island is not covered by a nature reserve.  

In the central part of the western part of Vasikkasaari there is valuable meadow vegetation. Although the rocks are scarce in nutrients, nutrients from old Russian buildings and invasive species are likely to contribute to the creation of a fine and diverse field and rock flora. The nationally endangered yellow mare has also been found in the area.  

Vasikkasaari also has bats, especially feeding areas for bats. The species observed include the northern bat, Daubenton’s bat, whiskered bat and Nathusius’s pipistrelle.  

The Citynature website presents the nature of Vasikkasaari 

Read more about nature and history.  

Vasikkasaari page(Link leads to external service)

Species observations on Vasikkasaari  

The iNaturalist application allows you to easily record your species observations on your phone. The artificial intelligence and other application users can help you to identify the species. The confirmed observations are recorded at the Finnish Biodiversity Information Facility (FinBIF), where they serve researchers, authorities and nature enthusiasts.  

Species observations on Vasikkasaari (  (Link leads to external service)

Species observations on Vasikkasaari ( (Link leads to external service)

Hakkeella vahvistettu metsäpolku koivujen lomassa
Photo: Teemu Saloriutta
Kalliokielo marjoineen
Photo: Mira Lainiola

Vasikkasaari is a rocky nature destination with uneven terrain. There are stairs along the marked trails, and the paths also run along the cliffs. Some of the paths have been reinforced with wood chips. The island is not an accessible destination and is not suitable for wheelchairs or strollers.  

Accessibility information for Vasikkasaari’s services is still incomplete. Links to accessibility information will be available here when the analysis is completed.

Vasikkasaari on the map

Vasikkasaaren palvelut kartalla. - Open larger map(Link leads to external service)
Vasikkasaaren entinen öljysäiliö erottuu hyvin ilmasta käsin
Photo: Teemu Saloriutta

Take a virtual tour of Vasikkasaari 

Get to know Vasikkasaari’s landscapes and destinations in advance with a virtual tour. Vasikkasaari is a less known and peaceful excursion island, but it offers a lot to discover.

Open virtual tour(Link leads to external service)

Pictures of Vasikkasaari

Metsäpolku Vasikkasaaressa.
Photo: Maarit Hohteri
Kivikkoinen ranta Vasikkasaarella
Photo: Maarit Hohteri
Maitohorsmia komendantin talon edustalla Vasikkasaaressa.
Photo: Teemu Saloriutta
Vasikkasaaren kallioinen ranta.
Photo: Teemu Saloriutta