Koktail Report: Unplug and Reconnect with Nature—Finland Introduces the World's First Phone-Free Tourist Island

The phone-free island boasts captivating history, stunning nature, and a bird watching tower

In this day and age, who would have thought that there would be a phone-free island? An enchanting location off the coast of Finland is urging tourists to embrace a phone-free experience this summer, aiming to transform into what they proudly claim as the "world's first phone-free island."

When travelling to Ulko-Tammio, an island that forms part of the Eastern Gulf National Park in Finland, tourists will be asked to put away their smartphones and take a break from social media.

Rather than being glued to screens, visitors are being encouraged to “pause and truly relish the island's wonders,” as stated by Mats Selin, representing the Visit Kotka-Hamina tourism board responsible for the island. Joel Heino, representing Parks and Wildlife Finland, believes this initiative could be extended to other recreational destinations, promoting a deeper connection with the environment.

For those feeling hesitant about parting with their devices, it's important to note that this “digital fasting"”is entirely voluntary, as the island maintains a fully functional mobile network.

Digital Fasting

The growing wellness trend called “digital fasting” has been gaining popularity on Twitter as a way to combat mobile addiction. Similar to a digital detox, the concept involves disconnecting from digital devices to dedicate more time to family and friends. Moreover, digital fasting has the potential to reduce anxiety and stress, leaving individuals feeling rejuvenated, refreshed, and more productive. 

Today, sharing every holiday moment and constantly scrolling through social media have become common practices for many. However, there are notable advantages in taking breaks from the platforms. 

Terhi Mustonen, a psychologist and Program Manager of the Limitless Gaming and Limitless Social Media programs at the Sosped Foundation, emphasises that being constantly glued to screens is not natural for people. She suggests that even a short digital fast can prove beneficial, improving our well-being and providing relief from symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Summer holidays offer an excellent opportunity to disconnect from technology and Ulko-Tammio provides the perfect setting. If you’re reading this and already planning a vacation to Finland in your mind, here are a few more details about the island:

  • As one of the crown jewels of Finland, Ulko-Tammio is located within the Eastern Gulf of Finland National Park, which is among 41 national parks. The island boasts a rich biodiversity with rare birds and plants, and a fascinating history, picturesque nature, and rugged coastlines.

  • Tourists can explore well-marked hiking trails and enjoy breathtaking views from the birdwatching tower overlooking the national park. Accommodation options on the island include staying overnight in tents or in the cabin maintained by Parks & Wildlife Finland.

  • Access to the islands is typically facilitated through private boats or various forms of public transport such as commuter ferries, cruise ferries, water taxis, or water buses from Kotka.
  • The east coast features several other islands that are equally worth exploring and visiting, adding to the charm and allure of the region.

  • Participation in digital fasting is entirely optional, and it's important to note that the island is well-connected with a functional mobile network.