Säppi – signpost of the Bothnian Sea

The Säppi lighthouse in the Sea of Bothnia, off the coast of Luvia, has shown the path for seafarers for more than 140 years now. The first sea mark is known to have existed on the island as early as in the 18th century.

Säpin majakkasaari © Mikael Leppäniemi

After a long period of preparation the brick-built lighthouse was erected on the west side of the island, by the passage leading from the sea to Pori harbour, during one summer in 1873.

Säpin majakka © Mikael Leppäniemi

These days the lighthouse is important to small boat owners and fishermen. Its role is rather insignificant to merchant shipping.

Merituulivoimalat Säpin saarelta nähtynä © Mikael Leppäniemi

Today, the lighthouse is almost maintenance-free. The automated, solar energy -powered light at its highest point, 28.21 metres, flashes every 30 seconds. In the early days the light apparatus was operated by weights and fuelled first by turnip oil, later by petrol.

Majakan juurella © Mikael Leppäniemi

In 1962 the lighthouse was automated; the light was first gas-operated and then powered by a wind generator before solar energy took their place.

Viimeiset vartijat © Mikael Leppäniemi

Back then the lighthouse staff consisted of the lighthouse master and three keepers. They lived in huts built nearby with their families. The last of the keepers left the island in 1962.

Heinähäkki © Mikael Leppäniemi

Even though the staff left the island in the 1960s after the lighthouse became automated, it is not completely uninhabited even today. A flock of about forty moufflon sheep, brought over from the Mediterranean, have their home in Säppi, and since 2009 some Highland Cattle have also grazed on the meadows by the shore. You may not encounter any of these creatures on the pasture while visiting the island, but there is some evidence of their presence, such as the hay cages used in their feeding.

Portaat majakkaan © Mikael Leppäniemi

The Säppi lighthouse has 140 steps, and climbing those will award you with beautiful views of the sea that open to the Bothnian Sea National Park. The island’s area is about 120 hectares and it has a shoreline of 10 kilometres.

Maisemia majakasta © Mikael Leppäniemi

Säppi offers plenty to see and beautiful details. In addition to admiring the maritime scenery, you can travel back in time to see what life was like on the small lighthouse island.

Entisajan elämää @ Mikael Leppäniemi

The guide map will help you in finding your way around the island and camp-fire sites are marked on the map. You might want to pack some suitable items to cook over the open fire as you head over to Säppi.

Opaskartta © Mikael Leppäniemi

Between 1871 and 1873 a boat harbour called the “Crown’s Mole” was built on the island’s west coast. The harbour and the pier still provide service to boaters arriving on the island.

Säpin satama © Mikael Leppäniemi

Don’t forget to sign the guestbook if you visit the island!

Vieraskirja © Mikael Leppäniemi

Wish to experience the salty spatter of the sea? Boat trips to Säppi are arranged in the summer. Ask Visit Pori for more information. Other popular maritime tourist attractions in the Satakunta region are the Kylmäpihlaja lighthouse island and the Kuuskajaskari fortress island off the coast of Rauma. When you follow the coastline further up north, you will encounter Merikarvia and the Ouraluoto island with its pilot station. In Ouraluoto you can spend the night, go to the sauna, and swim.

Pärskeitä © Mikael Leppäniemi

Texts compiled by Kreetta Haaslahti, Images by Mikael Leppäniemi