Finland rising in Kvarken Archipelago
The fast rate of uplift in a group of islands near Vaasa in western Finland has earned them UNESCO World Nature Heritage recognition. The rapidly advancing shoreline is emerging from the Gulf of Bothnia at about a centimetre a year, multiplying the potential for exciting outdoor activities.
Bird-watching, cycling, sailing, canoeing, fishing, trekking – and watching the land grow out of the sea: the last one takes a little longer than the first six, but there is no denying the variety on offer to visitors to the Kvarken Archipelago. Kvarken is the stretch of the Gulf of Bothnia in the northern Baltic spanning the 80-kilometre channel between Finland and Sweden. Merenkurkku – literally ‘sea throat’ – is Finnish for the Swedish name Kvarken.
Over the centuries the two countries are growing ever closer as the Earth’s crust, once covered by a glacial Ice Age blanket, rises in response to the withdrawal of the ice – a phenomenon known as “isostasy”.
More shoreline, more land: that’s the happy result for visitors and residents alike, although the process has led to the silting up of harbours that were quite serviceable just a few decades ago. The islands are approached across the towering Replot suspension bridge, the longest in Finland, so the shops and services of Vaasa are a short drive away.
Coastal Areas & Archipelago
Coastal Finland with its stunningly beautiful archipelago offers a variety of fascinating destinations that are easy to reach.