You might have heard that Finland is ‘the land of a thousand lakes’*, but did you know that Finland also has a coastline strewn with tens of thousands of islands? Finland’s Baltic coast is a perfect travel destination for anyone looking for a sailing experience with a difference.
The Finnish coastline stretches from the eastern Gulf of Finland to the western edges of the Åland islands and then north to the far end of the Gulf of Botnia. The shortest route to cover the whole coast is a mere 660 nautical miles. But what miles those are! Time spent on the water is, of course, what you like most about sailing, and so here you are in for a treat. No two minutes will be the same – in the Finnish sea waters you are actively sailing all the time: get a thrill out of trimming the sails as the wind and your course constantly change and practice your navigational skills along a total of over 10,000 km of marked channels as you brush past some of the 80,000 (yes 80 thousand) islands. And never even think about putting on the autopilot because taking the helm is so much fun.
Coastal Areas and Archipelago
Coastal Finland with its stunningly beautiful archipelago offers a variety of fascinating destinations that are easy to reach.
Do you feel like a short trip or full day of sailing? You decide how much and where you want to sail. One of the 240 marinas and guest harbors along the coast and on the Åland islands will be waiting for you, regardless of how you plan your day. Sheltered waters mostly mean light winds and calms seas. Finland is the perfect sailing destination if battling the nature is not high on your list of sailing preferences.
Very good navigational aids and high quality charts makes navigation an interesting but full time task when out at sea in Finland.
If a buzzing nightlife and a great meal in a restaurant are what you are looking for, head to one of the modern, full service marinas. Some of the marinas are located on islands that have been inhabited for centuries by people living off the sea and the rugged land. If you stay overnight, don’t miss the chance to stroll through the nearest village and get a feeling for the courage and determination needed to live out in archipelago.
Other marinas are very modern and built with the discerning customer in mind. The service level of all marinas is high: free water, and power and clean washing facilities, with a sauna are standard, naturally. Most are very affordable – a night in marina is typically around 20 € per boat, including services.
If you are not preoccupied with the sailing, simply sit back and enjoy the endless variations of the scenery. Close to the mainland lush green forests and colourful holiday homes line your route. Further out to sea, you can spot the traditional red and yellow wooden houses of fisherman and farmer villages, nestling in the shelter between the smooth cliffs and patches of forest.
Step ashore and feel the history of the archipelago. Imagine what life has been like on these islands when sails and oars where the only means to get around.
You can enjoy the sheltered waters of the Finnish archipelago on sailing boats big and small alike. Tow your boat to Finland and combine sailing “light” and camping out on the islands for yet an other totally different experience.
Furthest out, towards the Baltic, the islands become mere windblown, barren cliffs, homes to wildlife such as birds and seals. And don’t forget to look up to spot the most majestic of the animals in the archipelago, the white-tailed sea eagle, with wings like barn doors, that slowly circles overhead looking for prey.
Summer nights are light and mostly calm. Enjoy the quiet and closeness to nature before turning in for a good nights sleep. Regardless of whether you are a hard-core sailor – looking for challenges out on the water – or an explorer of new places, Finland can offer you an unforgettable sailing experience.
*PS. Calling Finland the land of a thousand lakes is actually a serious understatement as there are over 180,000 of them!
Coastal Areas and Archipelago
Finland - a boating paradise for kids
Sailing and boating are both very much family activities in Finland. Especially during the holiday season, most Finnish boats carry crews of eager youngsters. Here are the six top reasons why you should bring your children too!