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A Day at the Tankar, Kokkola's Lighthouse Island in Finland

Travelblog Gone with the Wine

Travelblog and lifestyleblog. Life under the Californian sun - Gone with the Wine. Trips, food and wine from all over the world. Solo and family adventures.

A Day at the Tankar, Kokkola's Lighthouse Island in Finland

Paula Gaston

After the storm on Midsummer weekend, on Sunday morning the sky was bright blue and the sun was warming up the day. We decided that it would be a perfect summer day to spend at sea, and go visit the Island of Tankar which is on the Gulf of Bothnia by my hometown Kokkola. I have visited this pretty island a few times before, but my husband had never been there and we hoped he would get to go there on this trip. So we bought tickets and rushed to MS Jenny, the boat which leaves from Meripuisto in Kokkola. 


Tankar island was formed on land that rose from the sea and is located about 17 kilometres from the mainland. In the beginning it was known as Klippan, but after that was named as Tankokari which later was shortened to Tankar. The island soon became a base for both fishermen and seal hunters in the 16th century, and little fishing cottages were raised on the island. The distinctive mark of the island, the red and white lighthouse, was built in 1889.

The trip to Tankar on the MS Jenny takes about an hour and half. We enjoyed the summer day on deck, but they also have a restaurant and inside deck for those who want to stay warm. The route to Tankar goes along the coastline of Kokkola, so people on the boat can see the many summer houses and beaches. The boat stays in Tankar for two hours, which we felt was a little bit too short a visit. We had planned to have lunch in Cafe Tankar which took a lot of our time on the island. The time we had left was spent walking on the nature trail and seeing the buildings that are on it, but it would have been nice to just sit for a while to enjoy the view and chill. But I do recommend the tasty food package that they offer at the cafe. It came with some salmon soup, bread and butter, coffee and desert pie. It was delicious!


Every now and then they bring along a lighthouse guide to the island who lets visitors into the lighthouse. We didn't go up to the lighthouse this time but I have visited there before. Climbing all the way up might have been a little too challenging with the baby and my husband felt like we should enjoy the nature trail instead, since the time was limited. However, we did visit a little church they have, and The Sealing Museum. The Tankar Church looks a lot like fishermen's cottages on the island and it can hold up to 100 people. It was built in 1754 so that the fishermen on the island wouldn't have to go to Kokkola for Sunday service. Today, it is a popular wedding church for smaller weddings. The Sealing Museum is showcasing some fishing gear and a sealing vessel from 1928. 


Our day at the Tankar island was lovely! On a beautiful day like this, I can absolutely recommend a visit to Tankar to everyone visiting Kokkola!