Varjakka has a colourful history full of local stories. The island houses an old sawmill that is important for reasons of both cultural history and architecture. The collection of buildings around the sawmill is an intact entity and rare by international standards. It has also been declared a nationally significant cultural environment. Varjakka is located just over 20 kilometres from Oulu city centre.
The island of Varjakka was a ship and renovation dock in the 19th century, before seeing its golden age in the early 20th century when the largest sawmill in the Nordic countries operated on the island. The island and the Varjakka area on the continent constituted a sawmill community that used to employ as many as 700 people.
Nowadays, the island is a forested destination of natural beauty. You can reach it in the summertime with your own boat, a kayak, a SUP board, or a hand-winched block ferry – an unforgettable experience especially if you are travelling with children. You can explore the island on your own or hire a guide. The Varjakka area also has a beach, the all-year Warjakka Art Trail, and a B&B accommodation.
South of Varjakka Island, there is the 263-hectare nature reserve of Akionlahti, a popular resting place for migrating birds. The area has a nature trail, a tower for birdwatching, and a campfire site.