A favourite beauty spot of ours in the Helsinki/ Espoo region is Luukki. Getting there without a car is relatively easy by taking bus no. 345 from outside the Central Railway Station, journey time being 45 minutes with buses running every hour. Shortly after passing a Shell petrol station you will see a blue sign and just after that is where you need to alight from the bus.
On the same side of the road as the bus stop you will notice signposts to several marked trails, we like to take the loop trail that goes around the beautiful Kaitalampi Lake. To guide you on your way, look out for the coloured ribbons tied to the tree trunks to follow your chosen trail. It’s a very scenic and tranquil walk, the air is so fresh, and it’s unusual to meet many other hikers along the way. We paused to watch a couple of people swimming in the crystal clear lake which had been formed during the ice age. The lake is long and narrow and one of the deepest in the area measuring up to 42 metres in places. We clambered onto some rocks and relaxed in the sun awhile taking in the splendid views. The path is gently undulating and the trail quite easy, taking about one hour to complete the circuit excluding stops.
There are a few picnic tables beside the lake and we chose one in an idyllic spot to sit and eat our packed lunch before completing the trail. At two other picnic spots there are open fireplaces where you can bring your own sausages to cook on the grill as firewood is provided. Across the main road you will find another path through the fields which leads to the delightful old Manor House painted in a bright, sunny yellow colour. Inside the Manor House there is an attractive cafe called Ravintola Laguna which has seating both indoors and outside on the front terrace overlooking the long, sweeping lawns. The cafe is open from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm each day during the summertime and we enjoyed drinks and ice creams sitting outside in the warm sunshine.
Leading down from the lawns lies a gorgeous sandy beach beside another lake and the water is crystal clear and shallow, just perfect for young children. Shoals of small fish are visible near the surface of the water and are fun to watch as you take a paddle in the lake. Close to the beach are some cold water showers and changing rooms but if you require more sophisticated facilities then these can be found just behind the Manor House where there is also a sauna.
Not far from the lake on a slight incline is a large communal barbecue under a shelter where you can grill your own tasty snacks then sit on the grassy banks or at one of the picnic tables to enjoy your meal.
If you are arriving by car it’s 23 km from Helsinki and there is a large car park, a campsite and a golf course – in fact it’s a perfect summer day out for when the sun is shining!
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