Tour Finland by Car
A 16-hour-drive from tip to tip, 10 official tourist routes, varying landscapes and white nights. Every car tour of Finland is a unique, self-made adventure. Join us on the Bothnian Coast Road from southern Finland all the way up to the Swedish border.
The 900-kilometre-long Bothnian Coast Road used to be a post road in the Middle Ages. Not the fastest way from north to south, but definitely the most scenic, the route combines sea, nature and culture in the form of charming coastal towns, lively cities, old wooden parish villages, maritime national parks and several Unesco World Heritage sites.
Starting Off in the South
Rauma is the southernmost city on the Bothnian Coast Road, and Bronze Age burial site Sammallahdenmäki and the wooden buildings of Old Rauma – both Unesco sites – are the main attractions. Just 20 minutes north lies Eurajoki and its cultural centre Vuojoki Manor, with the old village of Irjanne just a stone’s throw away.
The next stop, Pori, has a National Urban Park within the city and the Bothnian Sea National Park stretching off its coast. A short drive north, Noormarkku with the old Ahlström iron works milieu, is worth a visit, as is the wooden village of Ahlainen.
Entering the Swedish-speaking Region
In Ostrobothnia, the vintage atmosphere of Kristiinankaupunki with its beautiful gardens should not be missed. Nearby Kaskinen, an old wooden town, is Finland’s smallest city.
An hour north, Vaasa is known as the sunniest city in Finland, and the Kvarken archipelago off the coast is another Unesco site. Less than two hours up the road lies Kokkola, a city strong in maritime heritage.
The Gateway to Lapland
On the way up to Oulu, the sand dunes in Kalajoki offer a refreshing beach break from driving. Formerly a centre for tar trade, and now a technology hub, Oulu is the biggest city within a 500 kilometre radius and is considered the unofficial capital of northern Finland.
At the northern end of the Bothnian Coast Road, the city of Tornio lies on the border with Sweden, forming a unique twin town with its Swedish counterpart Haparanda. Nestled on the shores of both the Torne River and the Bothnian Bay, Tornio is often referred to as the Gateway to Lapland.
Where to next? All the way up to the Norwegian border along the Northern Lights Route, perhaps?
Categories:Coastal Areas and Archipelago
Coastal Areas & Archipelago
Coastal Finland with its stunningly beautiful archipelago offers a variety of fascinating destinations that are easy to reach.