Reposaari – community spirit by the open sea

Summer night in Takaranta, autumn in Satamapuisto park, Tour de Räpsöö, Reposaari Days, swimming from the cliffs, the enticing smell of lilacs, ballast plants. These are but a few reasons to visit, spend time, and live in the most maritime of Pori districts, on the farthest island of the Kokemäenjoki river delta, by the open Bothnian Sea.

Reposaaren raitti © Mikael Leppäniemi

In Reposaari the unique atmosphere and small town culture come together in a fascinating way. The community spirit is alive and well. The island - about three kilometres long and half a kilometre wide - is full of amazing views of the sea, idyllic town roads, and details worth experiencing.

Reposaaren pengertie © Mikael Leppäniemi

Previously the only means of accessing Reposaari from the mainland was by boat until the causeway across the bay and via smaller islands and islets was built in 1956. Water bus m/s Charlotta also transports passengers between Reposaari and Pori centre in the summer.

Kesäkahvila © Mikael Leppäniemi

In 2016, the Finnish Local Heritage Federation selected Reposaari as District of the Year among 162 entries. The reasons for the selection were the love people of Reposaari feel towards their home and the positive pride they feel for their roots and place of residence. The exceptional community spirit found on the island also received praise from the panel.

Yhdessä Reposaaressa © Mikael Leppäniemi

Reposaari is, indeed, characterised by a diverse feeling of let’s-do-things-together and shared events ranging from culture to exercise - such as the Tour de Räpsöö happening for women in the summer that involves biking around the island while wearing funny hats. This year the traditional Reposaari Days take place between June 9–11, 2017. On Saturday, June 10, the square event will spread out to Satamapuisto park with its many kiosks and stands. Many kinds of happenings and shows are also on the programme.

Kaikenikäisten yhteisö © Mikael Leppäniemi

The Open Yards event will put the yards of the Reposaari people on display for everyone to marvel at. In the summer of 2017, this event will take place on Saturday, July 8.  The Web site maintained by the Reposaari Society provides more information about activities on the island, events, and services.

Avoimet pihat kutsuvat Reposaareen © Mikael Leppäniemi

In 2008, Finland’s first floating villas were presented at the Reposaari holiday home fair - these seaborne houses rest on sturdy pontoons that are anchored to the seabed. These villas fit the traditional fisherman village milieu very well, and their appearance borrows from old boathouses. The base piers have berths so that the villas can be accessed both by land and water. These fully equipped and furnished floating villas are rented for holiday use.

Kelluvat huvilat Reposaaressa © Mikael Leppäniemi

You can find Restaurant Merimesta by following the signs all the way to the tip of the island, as far as the road goes. When you arrive, culinary pleasures and fabulous sea views past the jetty await you.

Merimesta ulapan äärellä © Mikael Leppäniemi

On a clear day you can see all the way to the Säppi lighthouse island from Merimesta.

Upea ulappa avautuu Merimestan yläkerrasta © Mikael Leppäniemi

The sea and all it provides is very much evident in the restaurant’s menu and the creations by Chef Toni Seppä. Merimesta is also on Facebook.

Merimestan keittiömestari Toni Seppä © Mikael Leppäniemi

Residing under the same roof, Kalapaikka Merimesta sells fresh seasonal fish and Reposaari-themed souvenirs to take back home.

Merimestan opasteet © Mikael Leppäniemi

The Reposaari fish harbour is right next door to Merimesta. That’s where the local fishermen return with their hauls.

Kalastajien aluksia © Mikael Leppäniemi

The gastropub Merry Monk in Reposaari’s Satamapuisto park, set up in the old storehouse by the sea, will charm you with its décor, service, and offering of delectable foods. Stop by at the Merry Monk to take part in a pub quiz, to have some themed brunch, or to enjoy live performances.

The Merry Monk © Mikael Leppäniemi

Their fish-and-chips dish is absolutely worth a taste, and for your burger you can choose from broad bean, lamb, pike, or Hereford beef. Follow the restaurant on Instagram and Facebook.

The Merry Monkin hampurilaisvalikoima on herkullinen © Mikael Leppäniemi

At the tip of Reposaari you can also see the rocky Kallo islet, a popular place to visit both during sunsets and in violent autumn storms to witness the roar of the waves on the cliffs.

Kallo © Mikael Leppäniemi

Texts compiled by Kreetta Haaslahti, Images by Mikael Leppäniemi