Summer is the best time to explore and enjoy the breathtaking nature of Turku. There are many beautiful natural trails, parks and beaches located within or couples of ten kilometers away from Turku. Many are easily accessible by the Foli bus public transport, some by local coaches or ferries.
Follow the Aura River
It’s no secret that the river Aura is the heart of Turku as it runs through the city among the most beautiful streets and buildings. The riversides are definitely the most popular spots if you simply want to enjoy the city life, as located along side the river are many exquisite restaurants, bars and café. The upstream of the Aura flows through Halinen few kilometers away from the city center. It is also very close to Student Village area, and this is a popular site for recreational activities. Running, sunbathing jogging, cycling, etc – you name it.
Aura River flowing through Halinen’s bridge
The splendid Halistenkoski Rapids is not only a famous spot for fishing, but also a popular place for picnic gatherings. Another recommended activity a canoe ride to explore the beautiful landscape of the River Aura. From Halinen bridge, you will see the Miller’s House as it’s very noticeable with colorful wooden signs and the luring smells of coffee and pullas. Here you will be able to rent a canoe, learn more about the river, and enjoy cup of fresh coffee. Remember to bring your Student Card for possible discounts!
Have fun at the beaches!
There are plenty of beaches in and around Turku, some are even equipped with public saunas and parks for kids. One of the most popular locations for swimmers and sunbathers is the Ispoinen beach. Ispoinen beach is about 5km from the city centre, and it can be reached by bus 13 (Uittamo direction) from the market square.The bus ride from the market square to the stop 601 takes roughly 30 minutes, and about 5 minutes walk to the beach. There are services like saunas, safeguarding, free changing rooms, kioski and also playgrounds for children. You can find more information about the opening hours here.
The sauna at Ispoinen beach is a mixed-genders sauna, and each turn costs 4.5 Euro. Even when the temperature is 20+ degrees, I still found the water to be quite cold to swim. However, after spending some time in the sauna, dipping in the sea water couldn’t be more fantastic. The water nearby the sauna’s deck is about 2.5 meters depth, and there are several stairs to climb down. In the winter, it’s also possible to try ”ice-swimming” here. I have never tried this, but I am thinking maybe this winter would be a great time.
Neighboring with Turku is Kaarina – a small town with even more beautiful natural spots in the greater Turku Region. There are five different beaches with different characteristics; one of them is Hovirinta beach as it is the most popular among them all. Littoinen beach is another favorite choice for nature lovers, especially for those who would prefer some natural trails running around the lake too. From centre of Turku, you can easily go to Kaarina’s recreational areas via the public bus Foli.
Live like a local!
Whether you’re a new student or you have been living here for awhile, there’s always something new for you to discover every day. The city’s website has put together a list recommended for tourists with different activities and places marked favorite by “locals”.
If you’re like me, there must be certain places that you walk by daily thinking to yourself “Hmm I’d like to go there sometimes”, but then we’d always be carried away by many other things. Finnish summer is famously known for its beauty, and also its unexpectedly short-lived. So when the sun still shines out there, now would be the best time to explore the nature in Turku. Where is your favorite place in town?