Finland’s coast boasts the world’s largest archipelago. Old wooden towns, lighthouses, historical manors and stone churches, large national parks stretching over land and sea – this all sums up coastal Finland in a nutshell.
There are hundreds of inhabited islands in the Finnish archipelago – more than anywhere else in Europe. For centuries, the shores of the Baltic in Finland have been dotted by small, charming fishing towns and villages. The laid-back islander lifestyle and a strong maritime culture are key characteristics of this fascinating area. Finland’s capital, Helsinki, has also held on to its maritime charm. Beaches, handicraft markets, small town events, cafes and village shops – Finnish coastal towns are especially alive in the summer months.
TURKU – AHVENANMAA – REPOSAARI – SUOMENLINNA – HAILUOTO – KAUNISSAARI
Escape to a secluded island, enjoy quality food and sauna, and listen to the roaring sea. It is time to discover the amazing peace of mind only a night spent in a lighthouse can offer. Coastal Finland has dozens of lighthouses. Most of them have been automated but luckily not abandoned, with many now serving as tourist destinations boasting restaurants and accommodation. The distant locations guarantee visitors peace and quiet, save for the sounds of the sea.
SÖDERSKÄR – BENGTSKÄR – KYLMÄPIHLAJA – SUOMENLINNA – TANKAR – GUSTAFSVÄRN – JUSSARÖ – ISOKARI – KALLO – LÅGSKÄR – MARJANIEMI – MÄRKET – RUSSARÖ – SÄLGRUND – SÄLSKÄR – SÄPPI – ULKOKALLA – UTÖ – VALASSAARET – YTTERGRUND
Old Wooden Towns
Walking around old towns is like stepping into a fairy tale: the colourful wooden houses, decorative gates, cobblestone streets and beautiful public buildings create an atmosphere of the long-forgotten past. In old Finnish coastal towns you find many lovely restaurants, cafes, shops and museums. Most of the buildings in these conservation areas date back to the 18th and 19th centuries, and strict regulations ensure that the area will retain their history.
HAMINA – LOVIISA – PORVOO – RAASEPORI – HANKO – TURKU – NAANTALI – UUSIKAUPUNKI – RAUMA – REPOSAARI – KRISTIINANKAUPUNKI – KASKINEN – PIETARSAARI – KOKKOLA – RAAHE – MARIEHAMN
Unesco World Heritage Sites
Old Rauma is the largest unified historical wooden town in the Nordic countries. It forms a unified area of historical, single-storey buildings, a partly medieval street network and a viable urban community complete with dwellings, shops and services. The fortress of Suomenlinna was built in the second half of the 18th century by Sweden on a group of islands located at the entrance of Helsinki’s harbour. Suomenlinna is a major monument of military architecture. It is also a suburb of Helsinki, with 850 people living in the renovated ramparts and barracks. The Kvarken Archipelago is the best place in the world to witness the phenomenon of land uplift. The 5,600 islands feature unusual ridged washboard moraines, ‘De Geer moraines’, formed 10,000 to 24,000 years ago by the melting of the continental ice sheet.
OLD RAUMA – FORTRESS OF SUOMENLINNA – THE KVARKEN ARCHIPELAGO
There are seven national parks in the archipelago area. Besides enjoying the scenery and spotting animals and plants, the parks present ideal opportunities for outdoor activities. Archipelago and island hopping offer spectacular ways to experience Finnish nature trough fishing, sailing, cycling or canoeing. Other interesting places to visit and experience Finnish nature include the Kalajoki Marine Nature Center, Haltia and the Wetland Center in Liminka Bay. The main function of national parks is to protect nature. However, provided certain basic rules are adhered to, anyone may wander freely inside them. More than 90 percent of the 500-square-kilometre Archipelago National Park off the southwest coast of Finland is underwater. For canoe aficionados, there’s enough to see and do for a week or even two.
EASTERN GULF OF FINLAND – EKENÄS ARCHIPELAGO – TEIJO – ARCHIPELAGO SEA – BOTHNIAN SEA – BOTHNIAN BAY – NUUKSIO
Ironworks and Old Industrialism
The retired ironworks towns and former ironwork villages offer you a delightful selection of quaint scenery, art, design and antiques. Areas boast charming and idyllic museums, cafes and bed & breakfasts. The best part is that local artisans and artists keep the ironworks thriving using traditional methods. In summer, the ironworks host many art exhibitions and events.
STROMFORS IRON MILL – BILLNÄS – FISKARS – MATILDEDAL – TEIJO – LEINEPERI IRONWORKS – NOORMARKKU
Additional information: Program Manager Heli Saari, email@example.com, phone +358-40-564 2780