The vision is to develop Varjakka into a center for adventure tourism based on history, culture, nature and the sea.
According to the vision, Varjakka will be a major tourist attraction in the future, offering a historic, refurbished sawmill environment, holiday accommodation and unique nature. A marine center with a small-boat harbour will also be located on the island. Therefore, maritime atmosphere and boating are the key elements in the development of the island.
The aim is to combine nature, recreation and tourism. This could be manifested in different forms of architecture, art and culture.
The Varjakka tourist area is located in Oulu, the capital of Northern Finland. It is located by the Gulf of Bothnia, about 7 km south-west of Oulu center. The distance from the city center by road is about 20 km. The area includes part of the so-called Varjakanniemi, the eastern part of the island as well as the stretch of water between these two. The scope of the area is about 120 hectares, mainly owned by the City of Oulu.
A culturally and historically valuable sawmill was closed down nearly 100 years ago, but its remains are still visible in the area. There are still 14 buildings dating back to the days of the old sawmill in the area. The area is classified as a nationally valuable cultural environment and built heritage. In addition, Varjakka is located right next to Liminka Bay, a unique bird habitat and wetland, even on the global scale.
The region has four strong seasons, warm summers and snowy winters. When the sea is frozen in the winter, the island is accessible by car along an ice road. The frozen ice enables a wide variety of winter sports and outdoor activities. The need for building a bridge connection to the island will be evaluated together with the elected partner.
The City of Oulu has an open call for a co-operation partner with the aim of finding a suitable developer for the area.
The idea is that the selected partner will refurbish the old buildings in the area, build new holiday apartments/homes and will be responsible for costs of municipal engineering in the area.
We hope that the new partner will have an innovative and open-minded approach to developing the island into an attractive and international tourist destination!