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12 reasons to visit the world’s most beautiful archipelago

12 reasons to visit the world's most beautiful archipelago

The people of the Finnish Archipelago make many claims of its awesomeness. The world’s most beautiful archipelago is one of them.

Whether or not that is the case, there’s no denying that the Finnish Archipelago is still pretty damn great.

The Archipelago Sea, which stretches from the coast of Finland out to the autonomous Åland, holds a total of about 50,000 islands. So what does this area have to offer travellers like ourselves?

After being awed by the natural beauty of this stunning destination, I’ve compiled a list for you – here are 12 reasons to visit the Finnish Archipelago.


Finnish archipelago

1. The air smells unbelievably fresh

As soon as you arrive in the archipelago, you’ll notice the scents of pine trees and sea water filling your nasal passages.

If you’ve been immersed in city living for a while (as I have), you may just be overwhelmed by all this nature.

Pensar Syd, Finnish archipelago

2. It has crazy awesome sunsets

One thing I noticed about the Finnish archipelago was the sunsets were phenomenal, and due to the latitude, they drag on for hours.

You’re always surrounded by water in the archipelago, so the colours of the sunset will often be reflected in the sea around you. Sunsets just don’t get better than this.

Finnish archipelago

3. you can stay on a secluded island

Most of the islands in the archipelago are empty or sparsely populated – there are only 60,000 permanent residents who stay on the islands year-round.

So if you’re looking for somewhere to spend a week on an island with barely anyone else around, spending your days reading books and taking a few snaps of your pretty surroundings (my dream vacation, basically!), then this is the perfect place for it.

You’ll find privacy, relaxation, and creative inspiration in the Finnish Archipelago.

Pensar Syd, Finnish archipelago

4. You can do a loop of the entire archipelago by car or bike

The Archipelago Trail is a ring road that will take you around a loop of the entire archipelago. It stretches for 250km and includes 12 bridges and 9 ferries between the islands – most of which are completely free for cars and passengers.

Some people are even brave enough to cycle the entire route. If you decide to do that, kudos to you for being so fit.

Pensar Syd, Finnish archipelago

5. You can spend all day on the water

Sailing, kayaking, paddle boarding, fishing, row boating… take your pick! If you enjoy spending your days on the water, then you’re gonna love this place.

The water here in the Baltic Sea has only 1% salinity, compared to the 3.5% salinity found in most ocean water. I don’t know about you, but I prefer to play in this less salty water, thank you very much.

Pensar Syd, Finnish archipelago

6. night time barely exists in the summer

If you’re in Finland around midsummer (21st June), the sun will officially set around 11PM and because of the latitude, it won’t sink all that far below the horizon. If you manage to stay awake only 5 more hours until 4AM, you’ll see the sunrise!

Pensar Syd, Finnish archipelago

7. You can camp basically anywhere for free

Like in Åland, there is a law called Everyman’s right. This law says that you can camp anywhere as long as you don’t stay more than a few nights in the one place, don’t light an open campfire, and aren’t too close to a house on someone’s private property. Free accommodation, anyone?

Finnish archipelago

8. the summer temperatures are perfect

It’s never too hot or too cold. Most days will be between 18-25°C (64-77°F) and low humidity. Why would you go to sweaty tropical islands when you could have these pleasant Finnish temperatures!

Finnish archipelago

9. Most houses are the same adorable red

These red houses are all over the archipelago. The paint colour, named ‘Falu Red’, used to be made from copper found in a Swedish mine in Dalarna.

Fun fact: I was told that if you live in the archipelago and decide to paint your house a colour other than red, then you have to get special permission from the Finnish government.

Finnish archipelago

10. Most of the food is locally grown

Mainly due to the fact that importing food to all these islands would be an absolute pain in the ass, most of the food that you’ll find in the Finnish Archipelago is locally sourced.

Some of my favourite foods were lingonberries and saskatoon berries, black bread, porridge with nuts and seeds, potatoes, beets, and cheeses.

Pensar Syd, Finnish archipelago

11. you get to learn both Finnish and Swedish

If you look at a local map of the archipelago, the name of each island is listed in both Swedish and Finnish, and the language listed first will change depending on which is spoken more dominantly in the area. Confusing, yes, but also kind of fun! You can try your hand at both languages while you’re here.

Pensar Syd, Finnish archipelago

12. the wildlife is pretty cool

While staying on one of the islands, you might get to see any one of the following animals: Moose, Seals, Water Snakes, Porpoises, and White-tailed Eagles.

Personally, I got to see a bucketload of ladybugs (which I love) and mosquitos (which I detest), so I’ve got my hopes up for seeing something decent next time. Bring on the moose!

Finland’s beauty doesn’t stop at the archipelago – the country has loads of amazing places that will blow you away! Check out The Crazy Tourist’s list of 15 best places to visit in Finland for more travel inspiration.

*My trip to Finland was sponsored by Visit Finland. I’m proud to be an honest and transparent blogger, so every opinion expressed on AGWT is a true review of my experience!


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Ashlea Wheeler

This post was written by Ashlea, a colourfully clothed and excitable vegetarian who loves photography and exploring the world. Find out more about me.

15 Responses to “12 reasons to visit the world’s most beautiful archipelago”

    • Ashlea Wheeler

      It’s such a gorgeous and interesting part of the world! If you like visiting places that are off the beaten track, then I guarantee that you will love Åland and the Finnish Archipelago, Kate!

      Reply
  1. Jukka Westermarck

    Yes, could not agree more having our family cabin on one of those secluded islands, watching the sunset every night and eating fresh fish caught the same morning.

    Reply
  2. Liisa

    Interesting reading! We have a family summer place on one of those islands outside Turku. I enjoy the things you so well described. I love to pick and eat the clean and fresh blueberries there. They are not the same as saskatoon berries in North America. The old houses are red, the new ones can be dark brown as ours.

    Reply
    • Ashlea Wheeler

      Oh, how lucky for your family to have access to the archipelago, Liisa! Picking the forest berries on the islands was one of my favourite activities.

      Reply
  3. Tiitus

    Have to agree with pretty much everything. I’m quite familiar with the area. Do you happen to remember where that picture of you standing on a cliff has been taken (name of island etc.)? The island below looks nice and I’m always on the look for new islands to visit by boat.

    Reply
    • Jussi

      I think it’s Pensar, looking to the south from the nature trail by Pensar Syd. Very nice blog, thank you.

      Reply
  4. Maria

    Finland looks gorgeous! I actually didn’t know it could as warm up there – it does look tempting!

    Reply
    • Ashlea Wheeler

      You would think that the latitude would make it cold all the time, but the height of midsummer it was absolutely gorgeous. I hope you get the chance to experience it for yourself, Maria 🙂

      Reply
  5. Miles

    After years of daydreaming about campervanning on Aland, etc., my wife and I visited for one week in early July this year. It was all better than I’d allowed myself to imagine. And you can avoid the fish killing. I was amazed to see apple orchards there and bought apple juice as presents. I’d like to go back and hop on through to the Finnish mainland.

    Reply
    • Ashlea Wheeler

      Sounds like a wonderful trip, Miles! I didn’t get the chance to see any apple orchards, I’ll have to take note of that for next time I’m in Aland 😀

      Reply

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