Seili hospital island revisited

One of the most remarkable islands and boating destinations in the Archipelago Sea is the former hospital island Seili (Själö in Swedish). Recently, the island has opened up to boaters with the building of the Seili island marina, so let’s revisit Seili to find out what kind of services it offers today. For information on the exciting history of Seili, see this post. Also check out the 360 panorama at the end of the page where you can explore the island from a bird’s eye view!

A new marina and restaurant

Seili new marina jetty

The new jetty

Two major changes have transformed Seili to one of the new boating destination favorites in the Archipelago Sea. The first change is that there is now a new marina on the east side of the island. The marina includes a proper jetty with side pontoon and buoy berths, as well as amenities such as electricity and water.

Själö main building

Själö main building with marina reception, restaurant and exhibition spaces.

The other major change is that the old hospital (and later research building) has been opened up to tourists and now offers other services such as toilets, a children’s play ground, a restaurant and exhibitions about the islands history and nature.

Själö church harbor

The old jetty now serves day visitors

The old jetty by the church that previously served all boaters wanting to visit the island is still in use but mainly catering to day visitors. The Pro Seili/Själö non-profit organization is running a small café by the jetty. They have done a great job in keeping Seili open for visitors when other organizations did not take an interest in this so please support them be stopping by for a coffee or an ice cream!

New services – and old!

Själö sauna

The “women’s” sauna.

And now you can also get a proper sauna on Seili, no boating destination with any self-esteem can be without a sauna! There are in fact two saunas! One is at the bottom of the bay just below the old jetty.  When the saunas open to visitors, this sauna is reserved for women. The other sauna – the men’s sauna – is located inland, a few hundred meters towards the ferry harbor on the west side of the island (see panorama below for exact locations).

Seili ferry harbor guide

The ferry harbor also has a few berths for day visitors (marked on the image).

If you continue along the road past the little village (mainly home to the researchers and a few summer guests), you will reach the ferry harbor. The ferry m/s Östern connects the island to Nagu and Rymättylä. The ferry harbor also has a few berths for day visitors but note that all the boathouses are private and you must not moor on the west side of the jetty so as not to obstruct the ferry.

Själö nature

Small dirt road

Reasons to visit Seili

Of course Seili still offers all the good, old reasons to visit the island. This is not the island for wild nature but for a cultural landscaped formed by centuries of farming, cattle and sheep.  The old wooden church is still perhaps the most interesting sight. The church building itself and the old cemetery at the back of the church are stark reminders of island’s past as a leper hospital.

Seili church and bell tower

Seili church and bell tower

Now also the old hospital turned marine research institute is also partially open to the public and offers some interesting insights into the Baltic Sea as well as the island’s history as a mental hospital. The Turku University Archipelago Research Institute is still active on the island and if you happen to visit on one of the “Open doors” days, you can get a glimps of the research activities carried out from the island.

Seili science

One of the research laboratories being shown on an “open doors” day

So if you haven’t visited before, now Seili is an even better boating destination than before!

Seili 360° panorama

In the 360° panorama below, you can explore the island of Seili. Click on the double arrow in lower right corner for a full screen experience.