Finnish Archipelago

The Finnish archipelago stretches from Turku in southwestern Finland to the Russian border in the southeastern part of the country. Tens of thousands of islands make up the Finnish archipelago, and when the weather is warm, the Finnish islands see scores of visitors who are looking to do some sightseeing, hiking, biking, boating, and fishing. The southwestern part of the Finnish archipelago is generally regarded as being the most scenic part, and it is where you will find the tourist-popular Aland Islands. Swedish travelers in particular are known to flock to the Aland Islands, and there are plenty of other Finnish islands worth visiting as well. You might be surprised to know that it’s pretty easy to navigate your way through the Finnish island chain. The Archipelago Ring Road is a good way to travel through the Finnish archipelago, as it offers a network of ferries and bridges that serve the main island communities. For those looking to get to the Aland Islands, which are further out towards Sweden, there is a small airport that receives flights from Helsinki and other cities in Finland and Europe.

For those looking to enjoy Finland cruises, making your way by boat through the Finnish archipelago is one of the top experiences. Since the Finnish archipelago stretches along the country’s entire southern coast, you can book a boating or sailing adventure in a number of coastal cities and towns. Helsinki and Turku are among the best places to book cruises in the Finnish islands in the summer months, and you can also arrange some Finland fishing charters as well. Among the best catches to be had when fishing in the Finland island chain are trout and herring. For those looking to take ferries through the Finnish islands, the yellow-colored ones are free, and they provide short length trips between the main islands. For longer routes, including trips out to the Aland Islands and over to Sweden, you’ll need to pay for a ride on one of the white-colored ferries.

The Aland Islands are among the most visited in the Finnish archipelago, and while this island group is officially a Finnish province, it is autonomous in nature. The main island in the Aland Islands is Fasta Island, which is where 90 percent of the Aland Islands population resides. Since the Aland Islands are closer to Sweden, many of the natives here speak Swedish, with a small population speaking Finnish as well. Worry not, however, as English is widely-spoken in both Finland and Sweden. The scenic beauty of the Aland Islands is what brings in most visitors, and there are also some interesting museums and churches to see here as well. Renting a bicycle on Kokar Island makes for a fun day of sightseeing, and the main Aland Islands town of Mariehamn is the best place to find restaurants, hotels, bars, and other attractions.

For a typical example of what the overall landscape of the Finnish Islands is like, the Archipelago National Park is a top destination. Found just south of the islands of Nagu and Korpu, this park is one of the more interesting national parks in Finland. The Archipelago National Park is ultimately found in the western part of the Finnish archipelago, which is quite an extensive region. On the eastern side of the archipelago, which can best be accessed from Turku and Helsinki, the Finnish islands of Kimito and Sarkisalo are among the most frequently-visited. You can get to both of these islands by either boat or car. On Kimito Island, among the more interesting attractions are the past Viking dwellings at Vano and Rosala. Various arts and crafts can be purchased for those looking for some interesting Finland shopping opportunities. There are also some museums worth dropping in on, including the Soderlangvik Museum, which is an opulent estate with some wonderful paintings by various Finnish artists.

On Sarkisalo Island, the Midsummer Festival is a great Finnish festival to partake in if you are in the area, and it culminates with a large bonfire which all in the immediate area stop to observe. Attending this July festival is just one of the fun things to do in the Finnish archipelago, and there are many more great experiences to be had as well, so when the weather is warm and you find yourself in southern Finland, scheduling even just a day trip to the Finnish Islands is definitely recommended. Head up north to Lapland later on during your Finland holiday, and you will see for yourself just how varied the Finnish landscape is.

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