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Top five things to experience in the summer on the coast
3 minute read
sand dunes and people on the summery sandy beach of Yyteri, Finland

Credits:: Maisa.fi

The coast and archipelago region boasts wonderful summer activities.  

Finland’s coast is the world’s largest archipelago and the home of a laidback lifestyle, strong maritime culture and the glistening blue sea. Think long, sandy beaches, farmers’ markets full of fresh produce and cafés baking buns – this is a region to enjoy while it’s warm. 

Here are the top five things to do during the summer. 

Hop on a bike and take in the sights of the Archipelago Trail

The Archipelago Trail is a route that gives travellers access to the waterways of the archipelago without a boat of their own. The trail has been a favourite for cyclists and bikers alike for over 20 years, attracting an international crowd. The journey, which requires multiple ferries and bridges to reach its end, provides a remarkable tour of the archipelago. Restaurants, places to stay and farm shops are dotted along the route, and the sea is never far away. 

The trail is accessible by car, bus, bike or foot – and can be travelled from one end to the other from mid-May to the beginning of September each year. The full tour is 250 km and a minimum of 8 ferries. It usually takes between 2-5 days to complete, depending on means of transportation.

A country side road with a cyclist
On the Archipelago Trail, you’ll see beautiful fields, quaint little towns and the majestic Baltic Sea.
Credits: : Juho Kuva
a cyclists on a break in an idyllic wooden village in the Finnish Archipelago
The area’s red wooden fishing cottages add a splash of colour to its bright green and blue coastal landscapes.
Credits:: Juho Kuva

Spend a peaceful day in the calm of a lighthouse 

The Finnish Lighthouse Society is dedicated to protecting the heritage, tradition and culture of Finnish lighthouses. Many are no longer used for seafaring, and would be left to decay. Instead, they’ve found a new purpose as a travel attraction, often becoming a site for restaurants and unique accommodation. The secluded location of lighthouses is attractive thanks to its inherent peace and quiet – the only sound you’ll hear is the roar of the sea and the crackle of wood-fired saunas.  

Bengtskär, the “mother, grandmother and godmother of all lighthouses”, is at the heart of a tiny island 25 km south west of Hanko. The lighthouse has a traditional archipelago kitchen, overnight accommodation and charming hosts to look after you during your stay.  

A lesser-known but equally interesting destination is the Kylmäpihlaja lighthouse. Standing firm on the outermost shores of Rauma´s large islands, it houses 15 guest rooms. These are just two – there are many other lighthouses to visit on the Finnish coast and archipelago.

A lighthouse on an island
Bengtskär Lighthouse, located on an island near Hanko, is the tallest lighthouse in the Nordics.
A lighthouse spiral staircase
The spiral staircase at Bengtskär has 252 steps, and the tower is 52 metres tall.
Credits: Bengtskär Lighthouse

Meet the national treasure, the Moomin 

“All fun is good for the stomach,” as Moominmamma would say. The Moomins, created by Finnish illustrator and artist Tove Jansson, are a family of white, round creatures resembling a hippopotamus. Well known and loved worldwide, Moomins represent the shy and pondering nature of Finns. Through the Moomins, readers are able to learn about love, loss and friendship in a gentle way.  

Get to know the inquisitive cast of characters for yourself by visiting Moominworld, a park built around the much-loved concept and world created by Jansson. Located in the sunniest town in Finland, Naantali, the park has activities for all ages, like nature trails, theatre shows, and meet and greets with Moomintroll, Sniff, Little My and all the beloved characters. The season runs from June - August, with the exception of February, when the park opens for some winter fun in the snow.

Moomin characters and children jumping on grass
Credits: Moomin World

Go fishing in the archipelago  

Fishing in the coast and archipelago is a spectacular activity in the summer. One of the best locations for fishing is Kvarken, the narrow region of the Gulf of Bothnia separating Bothnian Bay from the Bothnian Sea that looks out to Sweden.  

Kvarken, often referred to as “pike paradise”, is also home to the Kvarken Archipelago, Finland’s only UNESCO Natural Heritage Site. Ice fishing and finish with a hook and line fall under the concept of public rights, so don’t require a licence at this site. Payment of a management fee entitles lure fishing using one rod, reel and lure across all of Finland.  

Fishing tours are widely offered in the area. For more, please see Kvarken Fishing.

 

Woman holding a plate with smoked fish
Credits: Elina Manninen / Keksit

Rent a cabin on the coast 

One way of taking in the Finnish summer and the archipelago region to the fullest is to rent a cabin on the coast so you’re never far from water (or a sauna). This type of accommodation, which blends into its surroundings and blurs the line between the natural world and human dwellings, is how the Finns do summer. According to an official census, there were over half a million privately owned summer houses in the country in 2020. You’ll understand their popularity once you’ve arrived at one yourself, taken a swim and a sauna, and enjoyed a meal in the warm glow of the sun. The real, Finnish way!

Parent and child walking hand in hand
Credits: : Emilia Hoisko
A cottage in a garden
Credits:: Emilia Hoisko
A table with many dishes of food laid on it
Credits:: Emilia Hoisko

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