The maze-like Archipelago Sea invites you on an adventure

The Archipelago National Park is set amidst a unique archipelago area. Nowhere else in the world can such a concentration of islands and skerries be found like on Finland’s southwestern coast, where people have lived since the Stone Age.

As you look at this national landscape, its sheer scale becomes more apparent, forming a mosaic of sea and rocky islands stretching before you as far as the eye can see. There are small surprises hiding in the shelter of each island; the fine sandy beach nestling behind the headland, the coastline dipping to the sea from cliffs to the rounded stones of an ancient shoreline, or the sheltered rocky cove tucked into an exposed wind-whipped skerry, making a safe harbour for seafarers.

 Fireweeds bloom on a light cliff.
Endless surprises are hidden in the shelter of the rocky shores of the Archipelago Sea.

There are many surprises below the surface

Sometimes the surprises are not so pleasant for boaters. Even surrounded by the deep waters of the outer archipelago, shallow reef areas seem to suddenly appear out of nowhere. For centuries such underwater hazards have sealed the fate of ships; unfortunate accidents, which today are only given away by old wrecks lying on the seabed.

Today, wrecks are no longer explored only by fish but also by scuba-diving enthusiasts, for whom the Archipelago Sea offers an inexhaustible range of dive sites, whether it be wreck history, interesting seabed formations or underwater nature.

The diverse marine nature delights visitors

You are never alone in the archipelago; a traveller is often followed by seagulls and terns screaming in the sky. The labyrinthine Archipelago Sea has an extensive coastline along which 132 bird species nest and find shelter.

The rocky shores also provide breeding grounds for underwater species such as seaweed, as well as the small invertebrate animals hiding among them. Many species of fish also thrive in the underwater bladder wrack forests and seagrass meadows.

In the outer archipelago, you can see the black and white razorbill circling in the air, while a curious grey seal pops its head above the surface. A white-tailed eagle advances with fluid wing beats, powered by a wingspan of over one metre. From time to time, the gulls from a nearby island try their courage by mobbing the sea eagle, trying to annoy his aerial majesty in mid-flight.

 A cliff of lush greenery. Occasionally gravel and loose rocks.
The varied rocky shores provide diverse habitats for different species.

The Archipelago Sea is a treasure trove for travellers

The islands of the National Park offer convenient harbours for boaters and peaceful camping areas for kayakers. The archipelago villages offer quays, as well as services. They also give visitors a glimpse of the historical life of the archipelago and a chance to relate to the bygone fishermen living in small crofts, at the mercy of the weather and the sea. Every excursion in the Archipelago Sea is different!

 Behind a small cottage a calm sea is dwelling in rays of the setting sun
Jurmo Island at sunset.

Visiting the Archipelago Sea National Park

The Archipelago Sea has connecting ship and ferry services, some have tolls while others are free. With the help of ferries, the Archipelago Sea National Park can also be reached by bicycle and car. There are plenty of both guest and nature harbours for boaters.

Read more about coming to the National Park.