Get on the Beach!

What are beaches in Finland like? For one, they contain fine or coarse sand, large rock pieces or small rocks, washed by the waves of the water or by the tides. The Baltic Sea tides at the coast of Finland are only between 2 - 7 inches. Finland is surrounded by water in the West by the Gulf of Bothnia and in the South by the Gulf of Finland. Along the Gulf of Bothnia you will find Yyteri near Pori. Yyteri is a long beach. 

So, even in Finland you can arrange a typical holiday in the American/Dutch/British style - with a lot of hanging out at the beach with fine sand and gorgeous wind-surfing waves. 

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More beaches in Finland:

  • Åland Islands - Lots of rocks with over 6500 islands, a patch of a wooded area and cliffs. You can choose your own island, if you will! Beaches for families include Käringsund, Sandviken and Degersand.
  • Hietaniemi beach in Helsinki has a Cafe, children's play area, lots of sand.
  • Naantali - Great old villages of the past along the West coast.
  • Beaches in Finland for wind surfers in Hanko - 130 kilometers of coast with fine stranded sand dunes.
  • Beaches near the city of Tampere - inland Finland with fine sand and low swells.

Our first Finnish beach experience in Espoo

Getting a bearing where we are. Passing through Hanko Hangouml, which is South-East of Turku with 130 kilometers of coastline and 30 kilometers of sandy beach area. After Hanko, travel another 160 kilometers East towards Helsinki and you will hit Espoo before arriving in Helsinki. You cannot miss it.

Nearest intersection road names: Nokkalanpolku and Koukkuniementie, just a short walk away from Matinkylä hotel, and about 1000 meter walk from the center of Matinkylä. Espoo covers 60 kilometers of shoreline and has around one hundred lakes. There are over a dozen beaches along the coast. Most of them are safe to swim anytime.

This beach has got:

  • Swimming for families with children  and kids playground playsets.
  • Volleyball, frisbee etc. You can also kick a football/soccer with your son.
  • A beach cafe with a long dock has outdoor picnic benches.
  • Ice-swimming and fishing during the winter months.
  • Entering the looong 30+ kilometer scenic coastal walkway route called Rantaraitti. You can enter the Rantaraiti route a few steps from this beach.

Map of the Rantaraitti strech


Rantaraitti meanders along the shore of Espoo all the way from Laajalahti to Saunalahti. See scenic seaside trails through small patches of forest, public parks and of course, beaches! Catch a small ferry-boat to the little islands. There are over 160+ islands around Espoo like Otaniemi, Haukilahti, Gäddvik, Nokkala, Iso Vasikkasaari, Stora Kalvholmen, Suinonsalmi, Soukka, Suinonsalmi, Gåsgrundet, Soukka, Kivenlahti, Stensvik, and so on.

Plenty to do out in the islands of Espoo. On the Iso Vasikkasaari, there is a Villa built in 1910, a place for eating, perhaps a romantic wedding, overnighting with landing areas for private boats. It all begins after a day's work, it is hot and we all want to go for a swim. My job for that day happened to be close to the Matinkylä beach in Espoo. The four of us went there together. Parking near the beach after putting our blue clock timer on the dashboard, we walk to the beach.

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Extending from the Cafe area is a long dock with benches - we enjoy a snack there.

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The Matinkylä beach is ideal for children. A play area has playsets for climbing and plenty of room for frisbee. Within short walking distance are changing rooms for women and men with toilets. Many beaches in Finland have coarse sand texture - that just makes it easy to run and kick a ball with your children. Near the Cafe is our looong dock and close to the dock is a path from the Cafe which leads to a volleyball court. The beach-top is made of large stones.

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Typical beaches in Finland are where sea grass grows along the perimeter of the court seperating the green forest from the blue-grey sea water. This Espoo beach is less crowded at the end of the day. Over 12 hours of daylight during the warm season means days are long, so take a long lazy walk around Rantaraitti or stop by the Matinkylä beach for a quick dip.