Islander Lifestyle

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.

The laid-back islander lifestyle and a strong maritime culture are key characteristics of this fascinating area. Finland’s capital, Helsinki, has also held onto its maritime charm. Beaches, handicraft markets, small town events, cafes and village shops – Finnish coastal towns are especially alive in the summer months.

Finland holds seven Unesco World Heritage sites of which three can be experienced in the coastal area.


Explore Archipelago by Car

See below for some self-guided tours of Finland’s many natural attractions.

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Dive deeper into Finland:

Fascinating Turku

In the summer the city overflows with events and festivals: tango, middle age, music, theatre, art, design and much more.

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Meet Paula - the Lighthouse Keeper

Bengtsk?r is the tallest lighthouse in the Nordic countries. Paula Wilson, the lighthouse keeper there, explains the magic of the historical building and its surroundings.

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On the (coastal) footsteps of Tove Jansson

Tove Jansson - the world-famous Finnish creator of the Moomins - loved the sea. We visited some of her favorite places around the southern coast of Finland.

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UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Finland holds seven amazing Unesco World Heritage sites.

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Rustic Romantic - Bed & Breakfasts in Fiskars and Porvoo

In Porvoo and Fiskars you have an opportunity to experience B&B in rustic romantic style.

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Meet Pelle - the Artist in the Finnish Archipelago

If Finland is one of the world's best kept secrets then Gunnarsstrand is a secret within a secret. Meet Pelle, the beachcomber artist who has lived there all his life.

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Fascinating Turku Meet Paula - the Lighthouse Keeper On the (coastal) footsteps of Tove Jansson UNESCO World Heritage Sites Rustic Romantic - Bed & Breakfasts in Fiskars and Porvoo Meet Pelle - the Artist in the Finnish Archipelago Explore Archipelago products at My Stay ?land islands ?land is an autonomous and monolingual Swedish region of Finland and consists of more than 6 500 islands. The capital, Mariehamn, a cute village-like town with a strong maritime and shipping heritage, is the only city in the unspoiled, ruggedly beautiful archipelago. Turku Archipelago Finland’s second city and original capital Turku is the oldest in the country. Landmarks include the city-splitting River Aura, Turku Castle, the Cathedral and a whole lot more. Turku is also an important cultural venue with rich history. Naantali is known as an idyllic summer destination, and even the President has a villa there, not far from the Moominworld theme park. Hanko / Raasepori / Lohja Hanko is Finland’s southernmost town and a traditional summer destination. The idyllic summer town is defined by the sea, its beaches and maritime culture. Raasepori is famous for its charming iron works milieus of Fiskars and Billn?s. In Lohja, visiting manors and museums as well as getting into mining history and cave exploration are things to do. Kotka / Hamina By the Eastern Gulf of Finland, Kotka offers cultural experiences and activities such as sailing, white water rafting, nature excursions and archipelago trips. Hamina is a beautiful old town with star-shaped fortresses and old wooden houses. Rauma Finland’s most famous wooden town is Old Rauma, a Unesco World Heritage Site. Interestingly enough, it is not the only local UWH Site: the Bronze Age burial cairns of Sammallahdenm?ki date back 3 000 years. Taking the water taxi to the Kylm?pihlaja lighthouse island is a great way to see the archipelago, and the restaurant at the lighthouse is the icing on the cake. Pori Pori and the region around it are great for urban and rural sightseeing. Old wooden villages, converted iron works and small harbor towns lie within short driving distances. The Yyteri sandy beach is one of the best-known in Finland and the Kirjurinluoto area plays home to highly popular international Pori Jazz Festival that sees its 50th (!) edition in 2015. Sein?joki Sein?joki is the hub of the Southern Ostrobothnia region, a town blessed with a fair share of Alvar Aalto architecture. Expanses of verdant fields dominate the landscape of Ostrobothnia, and early mornings and late evenings are especially memorable with mist rising above riverbanks and cranes singing in the background. Vaasa Statistically, Vaasa is the sunniest city in Finland. Rich cultural and maritime history make for interesting stories, and the Kvarken Arhipelago Unesco World Heritage Site and Old Vaasa are inspiring eye candy. Kokkola / Kalajoki Kokkola is, by tradition, a shipping and trading town. Today it is a modern and vital provincial centre with a score of cultural events all year round. The wooden old town of Neristan and the Tankar lighthouse island are definitely worth a visit. Kalajoki is best known for its 10-kilometre-long sandy beach with rolling dunes. Oulu Formerly a centre for tar trade, and now a technology hub, Oulu is the biggest city within a 500 kilometre radius and is considered the unofficial capital of Northern Finland. Cultural events with a touch of northern madness take place all year round, the best known being the Air Guitar World Championships each August.
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