Hietasaari is located about two kilometres from the centre of Oulu. The island is easy to explore on foot and by car. Hietasaari has numerous bicycle routes, an illuminated exercise track, recreational parks and the popular Nallikari beach, where you can have a swim and enjoy a variety of services. On the western shores of the island, you can admire the seascape, and on the eastern shores, the verdant delta of the River Oulu.
Hietasaari has two birdwatching towers that will give you a great view of the sea. The Loistokari birdwatching platform is to the north of the end of Vaaskiventie road. It is also accessible by wheelchair from spa hotel Eden. On the southwestern shore of Hietasaari, you will find the Rantakurvi birdwatching tower. The easiest ways to get there are from the end of Vaaskiventie road or via Johteenkuja (the archery range). Parking lots are located in Nallikari, Kansankenttä and close to the archery range. There is a campfire site along the hiking trail heading south from the Loistokari platform.
Entry into the oil harbour in Vihreäsaari, southern Hietasaari, is forbidden.
Pikisaari is renowned for its craftspeople and artists. The island is close to downtown Oulu, between the Market Square and Hietasaari. It is easy to reach on pedestrian and bicycle routes or by taking Pursitie road via Raati Island. A pedestrian and bicycle route leads from Pikisaari to Hietasaari Island. This is a popular route, particularly in the summertime. The Pikisaarenreitti route circles around Pikisaari. This 2-km route provides views of the Rommakonselkä and Hartaanselkä coves.
The Hupisaaret Islands are located in the immediate vicinity of the Oulu city centre. The Hupisaaret consist of several islands on the southern banks of the River Oulu, below the Merikoski power plant dam, northeast of Myllytulli and the city centre. The Hupisaaret are separated from the city by the Lasaretinväylä and Kallisenvirta waterways. Locals refer to all of the small islands off the coast of the city on the River Oulu as Hupisaaret. However, only the numerous islands between the Kiikkusaari and Lasaretinsaari islands are officially designated as part of this group of islands.
The Hupisaaret area is easiest to reach via pedestrian and bicycle routes. If you drive in, you can park at the Art Museum, Koskikeskus, Raati or alongside Koskitie road.
The Hupisaaret Islands are characterised by shallow brooks and small ponds crossed by light-coloured bridges. The islands have the densest network of walking paths in Oulu. The walking paths of Hupisaaret are wide and surfaced with stone dust, making them suitable for those with strollers and wheelchairs. On Kiikkussaari Island, children will have plenty of fun at the central playground, located next to a cafe and grilling spot. Tourist attractions in the area include: the Northern Ostrobothnia Museum, Art Museum, Hupisaarten kesäteatteri summer theatre, the greenhouses of the city gardens, an arboretum and Finland’s longest fishway.
Värttö beach is located along the banks of the River Oulu, 2.5 km from the city centre. Värttö has good pedestrian and bicycle routes to Hupisaaret and other locations. The Värttö area has a boat harbour, swimming spot and the Koivuranta cafe. A parking lot is located right next to the Koivuranta cafe.
The Meri-Toppila park is located about 3 km north of downtown Oulu. It is intended as an outdoor recreation and sports area for local residents and others. Good pedestrian and bicycle routes connect the park to its surroundings, making it easy to find. The Meri-Toppila park features an 18-hole frisbee golf course, established in 2007. You can play free of charge. In addition, a new seaside grilling spot was built in the park in 2013. Similar grilling spots were also built in Tukkisaari, Hupisaaret and Pakkalanranta.