The best of the Archipelago on Sipoo Archipelago Sightseeing round trip

Text and images:
Kristian Meurman

Starting point and end station at Itäkeskus

There is a convenient bus connection with only one necessary change from Itäkeskus to the harbour of Kalkkiranta in the eastern part of Sipoo. Returning to Itäkeskus can be done also with only one change from the western Sipoo harbour of Gumbostrand. Itäkeskus on the other hand is accessible by metro from central Helsinki or even Espoo with trains leaving with a few minutes intervals.

Through Söderkulla to Kalkkiranta

Itäkeskus – Söderkulla – Kalkkiranta

Travel time: 1 hour 2 minutes
Bus ticket price: BCD zone ticket 4,10 € / children 7-17 yrs. 2,10 € *
Bus 842 leaves
from Itäkeskus, platform 8 at 12:38
Bus 842 arrives in Söderkulla at 13:05
Bus 995 leaves
from Söderkull at 13:07
Bus 995 arrives
in Kalkkiranta at 13:16

*If you depart for Itäkeskus from central Helsinki, you will need to purchase a ABCD zone ticket (5,70 / 2,90 €)

Itäkeskus bus station.
Buses bound for Sipoo leave at platform 8 in Itäkeskus.

I enter the airconditioned bus at Tallinanaukio bus terminal in Itäkeskus and pay my ticket with the HSL mobile app for all four zones (ABCD). The journey takes me through urban and rural landscapes alike and I could have chosen to get off earlier too, for instance at the Joensuu estate bus stop, if I would have felt like spending the afternoon by the Sipoo river. This time my mind however longs for the sea, so I switch buses in Söderkulla, where two minutes after getting of the first one, a smaller minibus stops and lets me enter.

After about 7,5 kilometers of rural road, the minibus arrives in Kalkkiranta harbour, where Pörtö Line’s M/S Sibbe is already waiting. However, should one wish, there’s always a few extra minutes to pick up an ice cream at the kiosk in the harbour.

Kalkkiranta – Norrkullalandet

M/S Sibbe departs from Kalkkiranta at 13:30
M/S Sibbe
arrives at Norrkullalandet at 13:45
Regular traffic
from Kalkkiranta to Norrkullaland is free of charge

The journey at sea can begin! M/S Sibbe drives the short route to Norrkullalandet island in less than 15 minutes and arrives at the pier on the eastern side. If I would want to choose another destination, the captain would charge a small fee, but traffic to the public ports is free of charge at least for the entity of summer 2021. I would not have minded continuing the journey at sea, especially as the sun shines from a practically cloudless sky and the breeze nicely cools while travelling on the glittering sea. Luckily it is soon time for a dip in the refreshing water!

Pörtö Line ship M/S Sibbe.
Pörtö Line’s M/S Sibbe travels between the ports of Kalkkiranta, Norrkullalandet and Gumbostrand.

Breath taking views from the lookout tower of Norrkullalandet

If you do not only want to lie on the beach you may take a small stroll approximately 600 meters away from the main path to the lookout tower, where you can enjoy breath taking views towards the eastern and southern archipelago of Sipoo. The farthest islands belong to the neighbouring city of Porvoo and during clear days you can even see the lighthouse at Söderskär island, which is familiar from writer Tove Jansson’s Moomin children’s books. Also visible are the highrise buildings in Helsinki and the big ships rolling in and out of Vuosaari harbour.

View from Norrkullalandet outlook tower towards the archipelago of Sipoo.
Breath taking views from the lookout tower at Norrkullalandet.

Bring your own picnic or enjoy delicacies at the café

There are different kinds of beaches at Norrkullalandet. You can choose a traditional sandy beach – there are several to choose among – or you can enjoy the warm rocky beaches in the sun. There is plenty of space to splatter in the water and should you not get hot enough lying in the sun, you can always work up a little sweat by playing beach volleyball.

There are several barbecue sites and firewood as well as a fixed axe and a hammer to cut these are also available. Of course, you can also bring your own firewood with you, that you can buy readily chopped at for instance På Krogen restaurant in Kalkkiranta. The restaurant also sells take away grill delicacies in a cooler bag – but that is the story of another blog post of mine.

Barbecue site by the sea at Norrkullalandet island.
Not only sandy beaches, but also beautiful rocks are available at Norrkullalandet. There are plenty of barbecue sites along the beaches.

If you do not wish to bring your own picnic with you, you can always enjoy a delicious prawn sandwich, or a meat pie if you prefer, at Café Seasong. The café is located amongst the site of rentable huts and is fully licensed. So why not have a glass of wine or a refreshing beer, while gazing over the sea? In addition to restaurant services, Seasong also rents a sauna and a hot tub, that can be booked to enjoy with family or amongst friends. Musical entertainment and motorboat competitions are also on the agenda for the summer.

Sipoo by the sea

Norrkullalandet – Gumbostrand

M/S Sibbe departs from Norrkullalandetista at 16:10
M/S Sibbe
arrives in Gumbostrand at 17:15
Regular traffic
from Norrkullalandet to Gumbostrand is free of charge

After a good two hours on the island of Norrkullalandet, it is time to get on the sea again. Now it is time for a wonderful sightseeing tour in the Sipoo archipelago, where both open seas and the lovely inner archipelago can be seen. M/S Sibbe glides past picturesque traditional small huts and beautiful and posh villas. If you are lucky, you may even see the professional fisherman from Simsalö at work.

A small passage on the sea route in the vicinity of Simsalö island with a small boat passing between two markings.
The passages are at times narrow and demand an able captain.

At some areas the passage is so narrow, that it is thrilling to see whether the ship can actually fit between the markings. However, Pörtö Line’s professional and able captain turns the ship through even the narrowest passages without any effort.

Back to Itäkeskus

Gumbostrand – Vaakkola – Itäkeskus

Travel time: 1 hour
Bus ticket price: BCD zone ticket 4,10 € / children 7-17 yrs. 2,10 € *
Bus 994K departs
from Gumbostrand at 17:20
Bus 994K stops at Vaakkola bus stop (towards Porvoo) at 17:30
Bus 842 stops
at Vaakkola bus stop (towards Helsinki) at 17:57
Bus 842 arrives
in Itäkeskus at 18:20

*If you continue your journey from Itäkeskus to central Helsinki, you will need to purchase an ABCD zone ticket (5,70 / 2,90 €)

Finally, we arrive in Gumbostrand, where soon a similar minibus as the one we rode from Söderkulla to Kalkkiranta arrives. The friendly driver navigates the coach through the picturesque scenery around Gumbontie, turns into the main road and gives a hint on where to cross the road, to get to the right stop for the last leg of the journey.

It might be a good idea to buy a refreshing drink at the Gumbo kiosk, since there is a wait of about 20 minutes before the next bus arrives.

Gumbostrand harbour.
There is a little kiosk at the Gumbostrand harbour that serves grill food. You can also benefit of the kiosk in buying refreshments to take away.

If you would prefer, you could obviously also choose to walk the road from the Gumbostrand harbour to the main road, a stroll that would take you a good half an hour. However, waiting for some 20 minutes in the sun with a refreshing drink in hand for the next bus does not seem a bad idea at all.

Finally, bus number 842 arrives and takes back to where the journey began, arriving in Itäkeskus at 18:20. A lovely day in the archipelago is over and now all there is left is to go home from Itäkeskus.


HSL Journey Planner (bus schedules)
Pörtö Line Sipoo route schedules *)
Café Seasong
Gumbo Kiosk

*) The schedule is unfortunatley available only in Swedish and Finnish. The days in the schedule are:
Mån / Ma = Monday
Tis / Ti = Tuesday
Ons / Ke = Wednesday
Tors / To = Thursday
Fre / Pe = Friday
Lör / La = Saturday
Sön / Su = Sunday

Last modified 04.07.2022