The southwest coast of Finland is a true natural wonder. There are thousands of small and larger islands that together form the largest archipelago in the world. A paradise for explorers who can go on tour by bike, kayak or sailboat for island hopping.
ARCHIPELAGO OF TURKU The archipelago off Turku extends from the Finnish West Coast to the Åland Islands. With its 20,000 rocky islands it’s considered the largest archipelago in Europe. The partly untouched nature is a paradise for anglers, hikers and water sports enthusiasts. The best way to discover the islands is by bike on the Archipelago Trail, a 200-kilometer ring road that leads over countless bridges and ferries from island to island.
ÅLAND ISLANDS The Åland Islands are at the entrance of the Gulf of Bothnia, halfway between Finland and Sweden. The 6,700 islands, of which only 60 are inhabited, form an archipelago and have a special state of autonomy in Finland. The majority of these islanders speak Swedish. Travelling around these islands on bikes or cars is made easy with an extensive network of roads, bridges and ferries. Mariehamn is the only town in this region and visit to it and its Maritime Museum is well worth it.
QUAINT TOWNS Finland’s coast is scattered with beautiful towns, with the older towns largely made of wooden houses. Fifteen of these entirely wooden towns still exist today. The largest, best known and probably the most beautiful is Rauma, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1991. The town center with more than 600 colorful wooden buildings and the bumpy cobblestone streets has remained virtually unchanged since the 18th century.
BEST BEACHES Sandy beaches in Finland? Why but of course! And they are beautiful! Along the rugged coast of the Baltic Sea there are delightful secret sandy coves and long sandy beaches to be explored and discovered. The most famous beach is Yyteri in Pori. Protected by high sand dunes the beach extends for several kilometers and is a popular holiday destination for Finns in the summer. Another long sandy beach is in the vicinity of the town of Hanko, not that far from Helsinki. Helsinki also boasts a 100 km coastline and over 300 islands, so there are plenty of beautiful beaches to be discovered in the capital of Finland too.