After approximately 1-hour driving you will arrive to Porkkalanniemi, a peninsula in the Gulf of Finland, located at Kirkkonummi in Southern Finland. The peninsula had great strategic value, as coastal artillery based there would be able to shoot more than halfway across the Gulf of Finland. Located in Kirkkonummi, the area consists of rocky shores, pine forest, and beautiful outlooks onto the sea. Porkkala is a popular picnic destination and the vast area is ideal for trail running or short hikes where locals often go.
The Porkkala cape stretches far out to the sea and is one of the best places to watch arctic birds migrating. Seabirds thrive in the area due to its rich and diverse habitat. Porkkala has a considerable population of common eiders and is also an important resting area for long-tailed ducks. Lucky visitors may even spot moose or white-tailed deer in Porkkala.
Set off on a guided walk on a forest trail leading to an open-rock area which is the first display of the many diverse areas Porkkala has to offer. This open-rock area will give you the opportunity to see what effects coastal weather has on the near-by forest. Pine trees that are used to standing tall and true are forced to grow into short disfigured trees which reach for the forest inland. Your walk into the forest will be on a maintained nature trail with countless smaller trails made by deer, foxes, moose and more!
The trail we will lead to an ancient burial cairn dating to the Nordic bronze age. This historical site gives insight into the funeral practices and social and religious structures of northern Europe more than three millennia ago. You will also see Soviet-era bunkers which have since been reclaimed by nature. Porkkala is a great place for birders to see mute swans and great migrations of birds in the spring and fall. With the believe that nature heals all, once you are surrounded by these natural wonders and incredibly diverse habitats this half-day in the archipelago will leave you wanting to surely rekindle your love for the great outdoors.
Shortly after passing the burial cairn you will find a picturesque coastal view. Here you will discover picnic tables ready to greet you and you can stop to take a break and refuel with a delightful prepared lunch plus coffee and tea. Soak in your surroundings and listen to the sounds of nature with this magnificent seaside view. After lunch, the last part of your walk is in a highly regarded bird watching area with panoramic views of the archipelago.
This short, but rejuvenating option while in Helsinki provides a great chance to get away from the city for a few hours and recharge your inner battery while you reconnect with nature. After returning to the city you can be dropped off back to the harbor area and your ship, or in downtown Helsinki if you prefer to take in some of the local sights on your own.