The magnificent oak forests, rugged cliffs and unique nature with fields and gardens make visitors fall in love with Ruissalo at first sight. Ruissalo’s villas, spa, shipyard, People’s Park, Ruisrock and Botanical Garden have made the island famous. Well-maintained trails and routes invite you to explore the unique nature and history of the island.
Beaches in Saaronniemi and Kansanpuisto invite sun worshippes and those that enjoy water activities. Ruissalo is also an inviting destination for cyclists with its bike paths and comfortable distances which are suitable for the entire family. Ruissalo can be reached by car or by bus no. 8. Water bus is another option, which departs next to Martins Bridge and stops at Ruissalo shipyard and Kansanpuisto. In addition, the rental boats and vessels offering sea trips and Jokitaxi are offered.
Ruissalo was mostly forest and undeveloped until the clearing into farmland began in the 1540s. The island experienced its first glory in 1556 when Juhana III became the duke of Finland and came to take residence at Turku Castle as the ruler of the King’s Mansion, at which time Ruissalo became the Duke’s hunting grounds. Ruissalo’s environment developed to include a manor house, farms and beautiful summer villas built in the mid-19th century.
The summer celebrations at the villas was part of the bourgeois lifestyle of the 19th century. The construction of the villas began immediately after the island’s land parcels were rented in 1847, and today, the island is rich with villa architecture of different ages.
After the 1827 fire in Turku, a new town plan was made which resulted in the city’s bourgeoisies losing most of their land outside the city. In 1845, the Senate (government), handed Ruissalo over to the City of Turku. The following year Ruissalo was divided into plots which were rented for construction of summer villas. However, one area was reserved as a recreation area for all the people, Promenade (then known as the Public Corridor), and was later named Kansanpuisto (People´s Park).
More information about ruissalo villas https://ruissaloyhdistys.fi/
The Promenade became the destination for summer excursions in Turku, where, for example, promenument (i.e. strolling) was practiced, Walking or strolling in the shade of ruissalo’s green oaks was, and is today, a popular and fashionable activity from the early 19th century. Kansanpuisto was a gathering place, the popularity of which was increased by the establishment of restaurant and the on-water bath/swimhouse and a summer theater built later in the 20th century. Ruissalo continues to be a popular destination for all, especially those who enjoys nature and the outdoors, whether for camping, a day walk, swim, bike ride or bird watching.
Ruisrock, Finland’s oldest continuous Rock festival, was first held in Saaronniemi, Ruissalo, in 1970. Since 1972 it has been in Kansanpuisto. Ruisrock hosts top international performers every year. Foreign performers on the shoreline stages are always amazed by the large passenger ships on their way to and from Sweden, which sail very close to the shore.
Ruissalo Shipyard’s guest harbour offers port services and a restaurant, café, pizzeria and gift shop. There is also a facility for emergency rib fastening for wooden boats. Most of the guest mooring spots are bollards (posts), not slips. Depth of the harbour is 2-3 meters. The city center can be easily reached by bus or water bus.
The second guest harbour in Saaronniemi, in front of Hotel Ruissalo Spa, offers hotel-level services. There is also a refuelling point in the harbour.
The third, Turku Yacht Club’s home port can be enjoyed by members and guest boaters. The port is a Roope port validated by The Archipelago Tidy Association to meet all current environmental regulations and criteria. Yacht Club restaurant Maininki is open for all from May until September. Skipperi city boat service is also available from the port. The fuel station is part of the Seapoint chain.
On the city of Turku’s website you will find more information e.g. Ruissalo’s nature trails. https://www.turku.fi/ruissalo
This map has been made possible by the AKKE funding of the Regional Council of Southwest Finland, an appropriation to support sustainable growth and vitality in the regions. The main coordinator has been Sanna Suomi/Villa Kuuva, who has led local entrepreneurs to join forces in the field of visibility, information and cooperation. The map site is used to highlight the island’s services to tourists and nearby residents. Contact us if you feel like you belong.