Bengtskär Lighthouse islet is the most southernmost point of Finland, when someone actually lives. International waters begin not far from there. It was summer 2014 when I did a little road trip there so this story is about that trip added with some ideas of the different ways to get there. During the summer months a ferry goes to the Bengtskär from Helsinki harbor but that doesn’t fit well to the idea of a road trip so I’ll just cover the ferry from Hanko.
The fastest way from Helsinki to Hanko is via Highway 51 which combines to highway 25 a little before Karjaa. That’s also the most boring choice and with the most traffic so take that as the last option. Take this one instead: old Kings Road, which has guided signs along the way. Just remember to drive off that road at Raasepori or otherwise you’ll end up in Turku.
If you’re coming from Turku, Kings Road is also a good option but if you want to travel a bit faster, you could take the highway from Salo to Raasepori since that ain’t bad either. One day I shall make an article about the Kings Road so I won’t cover that in this story. Which ever way you’ll choose, you end up in Southern Harbor of Hanko. From there, you’ll take a ferry and that trip takes about an hour and a half. There’s a lunch served on board and on my trip it was salmon soup.
If you want to read about the Bengtskär, head over to official site, so I won’t be telling the basic stuff about it. This lighthouse had an important role in WW2 with some hard battles fought on the islet. There is still an old bunker there. The lighthouse itself is a pretty magnificent sight since it’s quite high. You can also climb all the way up if you manage to take all 200 steps. If you’re not quite fit, you’re legs will remember the climb next day or two.
The islet of Bengtskär is rocky and not a single tree grows there. The place is very windy and cold but the guides there told us they’d been barefoot since the beginning of June. I had my winter jacket, hiking shoes and a stocking cap on and that was just about the right outfit for me. There were many rocky coves on the islet and waves were hitting hard on them. They were nice places to photograph in addition to the lighthouse. There are toilets on the islet but don’t expect any luxury experience on those. I can’t tell what women’s facilities are like but for men, it’s a little more than a hole on the floor but that’s about it.
There’s a museum on the first floor of the lighthouse and the second floor has a cafe and a place to buy souvenirs.
This trip was nice to get to know the lighthouse and some of Finnish history. I think this one time was enough for me but I can recommend this trip if you haven’t seen the lighthouse yet.
Here’s a photogallery of Bengthskär: