When I have to make something right, I’ll make it right properly. That’s why I didn’t explore Reksaari only once but twice during one single week.
How to get to Reksaari Island?
At the moment, there’s no regular water bus going to Reksaari. Nevertheless, there are plenty of options for reaching this stunning nature island that’s resting in front of Rauma, my beautiful hometown on the South-West Coast of Finland.
One of the options is booking a rowing boat from Rauma tourism information, Pyyrman. The boat can be found along the nature trail in Omenapuumaa Nature Reserve, just a 200-meter boat trip away from Reksaari.
The boat is free of charge, but to get the key, you need to pay a 10-euro deposit that will be given back to you when you return the key. If you want to use the rowing boat, you should book it well in advance, as this summer the boat has been quite fully booked.
You should also know that you can’t get to the boat by car. From the nearest parking, you’ll need to hike for about 20–30 minutes to reach the boat. Luckily, the trail in Omenapuumaa Nature Reserve is surrounded by beautiful landscapes, so the walk will only add a little bonus to your island adventure.
The fastest and easiest way to row to Reksaari is heading over to Rohela Cottage that you can easily spot on your right-hand side when you’re standing next to the boat and looking in the direction of Reksaari. Because I don’t like easy, instead of Rohela, I headed left and rowed to one of the main docks of Reksaari. I had to push through quite a thick bed of reeds to reach the coastline, but I made it through easily. So will you, if you want to row a bit further in the distance, but closer to the restaurant that is the centre of Reksaari.
Don’t like the idea of rowing? It’s fine; you can always book a taxi boat that is, by miles, the easiest way to get to Reksaari or any other islands of Rauma Archipelago in summer. Blue Camp*, the company providing all the services in Reksaari, transports travellers to Reksaari with a fast RIB boat from Suvitien Merijakamo for 25 euros per person (return) and Rokinnokka for 15 euros per person (return). Also, a company called Eräheppu provides taxi boat services in Rauma Archipelago.
For travellers with boats, there are 30 spots on the docks of Reksaari. It’s free to stay on the dock for a day, almost free for the night: only 10 euros per boat for a night.
What can you find in Reksaari Island?
Reksaari is the 2nd largest island of Rauma Archipelago, and thanks to the size of more than 300 hectares, you can easily spend a whole day exploring the island. On the contrary, Reksaari is also a perfect destination for a quick visit – if you’re in a hurry but want to see some of the hidden gems of Rauma Archipelago, Reksaari is an excellent choice.
Of course, I’d recommend you to take your time, especially, if you’re interested in hiking the nature trails.
The centre of Reksaari is Karttu, an old farm that dates back to the 1800’s. The island itself is known to have been a trading place already at the Middle Ages, and people had inhabited the island long before Karttu was built. The entrepreneur Pasi Poukka knew that Karttu had permanent residents still in the 80’s. Kids went to school from Reksaari, and the family lived their everyday life like any other family residing in the town. My neighbour, who was exploring Reksaari with me during my first visit, recalled her family spending summers in Reksaari more than 30 years ago. It proves that tourism landed to Reksaari a long time ago.
Old tails and beliefs tell that the island has had a significant meaning for the Christianity arriving in Finland. You can still spot an old churchyard that’s believed to be an early Christian cemetery.
Today, the main building of Karttu farm houses a summer restaurant that offers the best salmon soup you’ve ever tasted in your life (please don’t tell my mum I said this). On the beach side, there is a large summer terrace with a sea view that is a perfect spot for enjoying a refreshing drink on a sunny day.
Reksaari treats well everyone, also children. There is a massive playground with swings and all, and with plenty of space to play for the whole bunch of kids.
For an overnight stay, you can book one of the two cottages (4–5 persons, 50 euros a night) or an old barn that has been turned into a cosy cottage for 6–8 people for 60 euros a night. To camp in the yard costs 5 euros a night. Another option is to book Rohela Cottage that is located 1 km walk away from Karttu.
You can also book a sauna, a rowing boat, kayaks and Stand-up Paddle boards. For barbeque, you can find several campfire spots in Reksaari – with sea views, of course.
Nature island wouldn’t be a nature island without nature trails, wouldn’t it? The trails are only one of the reasons why you should explore Reksaari Island with time.
*For my 2nd visit, Blue Camp provided me with a boat ride and a tasty bowl of salmon soup.
The mind-blowing nature in Reksaari
There are two different hiking trails in Reksaari. The actual nature trail goes in a circle for 3,5 km introducing the versatile nature that changes from steep rocks with sea views to thick moss-covered forests full of wild berries and mushrooms.
The trail starts from Karttu leading towards East and Rohela Cottage. The trail is well-marked with white paint in the stones and trees, so it’s practically impossible to get lost.
Already during the first kilometre to Rohela Cottage, you’ll discover giant erratic blocks, breathtakingly beautiful sea landscapes, thick and dark-green forests and even pasturing sheep begging for cuddles.
From Rohela Cottage (in the picture above) the trail continues from green meadows to mossy forests, lichen-covered rocks and swamp area with built duckboards to walk on. You can pick wild blueberries and cranberries along the trail to get some sweet energy and vitamins.
Besides the berries and wild birds, you’ll be able to spot a stone field, an ancient stone grave and a Siberian larch so enormous it requires two people to get arms around it.
After half-way the trail splits in two: you can continue towards Karttu farm, or you can follow a sign for “Uusalmen nuotiopaikka”, Uusalmi campfire spot, all the way to the North-East end of the island.
Getting to the campfire place will add up some kilometres to your hike, as the distance from Karttu farm is 3,5 km one way. But I promise you, this campfire spot with a beautiful lean-to is well worth the effort!
Uusalmi could be the best lean-to you’ve visited
This lean-to was built a long time ago, but to me, it looked brand new. The trail leading to the campfire spot is a bit tricky to walk on, but as said, the destination is worth all the effort.
There is a fountain with a pump just 500 metres before the lean-to. Here you can fill up your water bottles with cold and fresh spring water. What a refreshing addition to your hike, isn’t it?
In Uusalmi campfire spot you’ll find a cosy lean-to with direct view to the sea. I could easily imagine myself here, wrapped up in my sleeping bag with a small bottle of sparkling, admiring the sun descending in the horizon.
Right next to the lean-to there is a tidy toilet and a wood storage full of firewood. From the rocks, you’ll have a view to
die for live for. What more could you wish for a lean-to?
The rocky beach isn’t the safest place for a swim, but next to the spring you’ll find a landing spot for a boat with shallow water and fewer rocks. I’d think you could swim here a bit easier, especially if you’re wearing slippers to protect your feet from sharp stones.
I think this is the best campfire spot I’ve ever seen in my life. I just can’t believe it took me so many years to get here.
What can I say? At times, exploring the nearby areas might feel much more difficult than travelling to the other side of the world. But when you finally do it, you might get more positively surprised than in a long-distance destination you’ve always dreamed of ♥.
More islands of Rauma to discover:
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