Kvarken Archipelago World Heritage Site


More than ten thousand years ago at the peak of the Ice Age the weight of ice sheet several kilometres thick pushed down the earth’s crust by as much as one kilometre. The land has been slowly rebounding to its original level ever since and will continue to do so for at least another ten thousand years. The Kvarken Archipelago on the northwest coast of Finland is the best place in the world to witness first-hand this exceptional land uplift. The land rises from the sea at a rapid pace – about nine millimetres per year. Given the already shallow depth of the lagoons that separate the thousands of islands and islets in the archipelago, this natural rise can totally change the landscape in one person’s lifetime. Abandoned boat houses that were standing in water some decades ago now sit oddly on dry land. Given the special nature of this unique landscape, the Kvarken Archipelago forms a joint UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site with Sweden's High Coast directly west across the Gulf of Bothnia which is experiencing the same phenomenon.

Where in Finland ?



Suitable experience all year


Metsähallitus Luontopalvelut

Svedjehamn, 65870 Mustasaari
Visit website