The Archipelago Trail or Archipelago Ring Road (Swedish: Skärgårdens ringväg, Finnish: Saariston rengastie) is a route in the Archipelago Sea in Finland, which uses roads and ferry connections to visit many of the major island in this archipelago.
The archipelago is best experienced by boat, but the Archipelago Trail allows seeing much of it by road. The itinerary passes through the main villages of the western and northern archipelago, while the ferry passages give you some feeling also for the archipelago as seen by boat, with fine views of this unique land of sea and rocky islands. You could also stay for a few days in a cottage by the shore or make detours to minor remote islands by ferry.
The most convenient means of travel on this route is bike or car, but there are coaches allowing going without a vehicle. There is walking route part of the distance, partly through the woods, developed as part of a pilgrimage route to Trondheim, which offers quite a different experience; a detour to the woods is of course possible regardless. Two of the connections are mainly for tourists; in the off season completing the route may be difficult, especially by car, but variants are possible all year.
The Archipelago Trail was opened as a tourist route in 1996, with the additional ferries needed to complete the circuit, and is now well established. It is regarded as a corner stone for the tourism in the region.
The Archipelago Sea on the south-western coast of Finland is one of the biggest archipelagos in the world, by count of islands and islets. It is a popular area for summer cottages and yacht cruising; the Archipelago Trail allows you to experience some of it without a boat – and without backtracking.
The trail is some 250 km (160 mi) in length, 120 km (75 mi) with the Rymättylä shortcut), linking many of the main islands of the archipelago via bridges and inter-island ferries. Along the way you will find local food, local history museums and village churches from the Middle Ages as well as comfortable accommodation. You might want to stay a day somewhere by the sea, with a beach and a boat in reach.
The route is usually begun and ended in Turku, although other starting points are possible. The complete route goes from Turku via (clockwise) Kaarina, Pargas, Nagu, Korpo, Houtskär and Iniö to Kustavi and Taivassalo in the north and continues back to Turku via Velkua or Askainen, and Merimasku and Naantali. The shortcut goes from Nagu via Rymättylä to Naantali and Turku.
Most of the archipelago through which the itinerary goes is a UNESCO biosphere reserve. The Archipelago National Park lies in the outer archipelago south of this itinerary. The side trips by the Utö route from Pernäs, Nagu south route from Kirjais and possibly the transversal route between Kirjais and Pernäs go through the national park and its "interest area". Services such as nature trails, tent sites and campfire places on minor islands on those routes are provided by the national park, while lodging, taxi boats and activities are mostly provided by inhabitants living on private ground in or near the interest area.
The holiday season in Finland is mainly from Midsummer to when schools start in mid-August. Most summer cottages see use also on weekends at least from early May and later in August. This is the best time to visit for most people: the ring road ferry connections from Houtskär to Iniö and from Nagu to Rymättylä are available, like most other services, and the weather is pleasant. In 2022 the ferry connections that enable the Rymättylä shortcut is available 13 May–4 September, as is the car ferry between Houtskär and Iniö; the other connections are available in some form year round.
Early spring and late autumn both have their own charm, and winter on an island in the archipelago can be an unforgettable experience. A visit at those times could definitively be worth considering, but this itinerary is written for a visit in season. For off season some of the services are unavailable and there are issues about weather and connections. In winter you might want to stay at some specific site instead of doing the round trip.
The archipelago edit
See Archipelago Sea for a general description.
Although the itinerary takes you from island to island, you will not be much by the shore, unless you specifically arrange it. The road mostly goes through the interior of the islands, and the ferry quay is not the place to swim or play, nor the most romantic place to watch the seascape.
There are a few official beaches on the itinerary (no guards, but no dangerous currents either – nor at any shore you choose to use), there are some nature trails by the shore, and most any cottage will be at the shore, possibly with a rowing boat to get to uninhabited islands (do not land on those with nesting waterfowl). A day at a cottage or a side trip to minor islands may be very much worth the extra time.
One reason to come to the archipelago is to enjoy the tranquility, sit at a shore at sunset, watch the flight of terns or swallows, ... These are not the experiences you will get while driving. Do find places where you can just enjoy the silence and the sounds of the wind and birds.
On the itinerary you will be on the main islands, which are much less fragile than the outer archipelago. Here there are no issues with picking wild berries or camping wild. There are quite large woods to explore if you feel like it. Normal consideration, as on the mainland, will do very well. Be cautious with fire, though: the climate is dryer and the fire brigade will not arrive as quickly. As on the mainland open fire requires permission, but also cigarette butts, camping stoves and used matches can light a wildfire.
Some of the minor islands have identical names, as they describe not too unusual features or uses. When talking or hearing about e.g. Jurmo, Berghamn or Själö, make sure you note the context (the ones mentioned below are the more well-known, but the others may turn up locally, in timetables or otherwise). It is common to prefix ambiguous names with the former municipality name ("Nagu Berghamn", "Korpo Jurmo").
The archipelago communities are well organised; this is not the wilderness but inhabited rural Finland. Thus you should be able to get most of what you need on the route, but opening hours and shopping options are limited. Planning where to eat and sleep and making reservations where appropriate can be wise. Bring some cash, as ATMs are sparse in the archipelago and not all businesses out there take cards.
There are restaurants, cafés and kiosks dotted all over the islands, but as the area is sparsely populated, it is often not useful to try to look for other options once an acceptable restaurant has been found.
Basic spares and repair tools should be brought, so that you can cope with minor breakdowns or flat tyres. On the other hand, people out here are used to handling most situations by themselves, so even severe problems can often be fixed with the help of locals.
Check the ferries between Houtskär and Iniö or between Nagu and Rymättylä, and the one between Hakkeenpää and Teersalo if going by that route: there are only a few daily departures and perhaps none off season. Off season there are still ferries between Houtskär and Iniö, but these primarily serve the minor islands in the area and might not take cars. With a bigger-than-usual car, such as a caravan, the ferry options may be limited also in season.
Check whether there happens to be some kind of festival or other event in some of the villages you pass by: a concert in the church, a jazz festival, the potato festival, a terrain running competition, social dancing, what have you.
It can be chilly at sea and in the evenings. Have a decent coat so that you can admire the seascapes from the ferry decks, even if you otherwise move by car. If you go on a trip with a small boat, you might need real outdoor equipment, including rain gear (for the spray), sweater, cap and gloves. Have some quite light long-sleeved clothing for sun protection and possibly warm evenings with mosquitoes. If camping wild, you need some means to carry water for your cooking. Binoculars can come in handy to watch birds or archipelago landscapes.
There are weather forecasts for five days, which probably covers your stay. Get one that does not only tell the expected weather, but also explains the general weather type, hinting on how reliable the forecast is.
Renting bikes or a car should be easy in Turku. If you start somewhere else, check availability.
Some kind of map will be useful. The trail is marked, but if you miss a turn, you need to be able to get back, and finding nice detours is easier with a map. By bike this may be important, as a dead end road in the evening may take more time than you'd like, and avoiding a nice road to avoid that is equally disappointing. By foot you will need a good large scale map to find your way through the woods instead of being confined to the roads. This is probably something you want to do at least at some point of the voyage, perhaps most easily in Nagu.
The tourist information offices in Turku and Pargas can be contacted for brochures, books and advice. Preferably use the Pargas one for timetables of the archipelago ferries (there may be quirks unknown to the Turku folks).
- Pargas tourist information (Skärgårdens Turistinformation), Strandvägen 28, ☏ , email@example.com. M–W 09:00–16:00, Th 09:00–17:00, F 09:00–15:00.
- Visit Turku, Aurakatu 4 (Centre of Turku next to the City Hall), ☏ , fax: , firstname.lastname@example.org. Sep–Mar M–Su 10:00–15:00; Apr–Sep M–F 8:30–18:00, Sa–Su 10:00–15:00.
Get in edit
You can use (part of) the itinerary when coming from Sweden to Finland: get to Åland and continue with some of the smaller ferries. The leg from Eckerö or Mariehamn to the smaller ferry quays is nice and should be (but is not yet) covered in the Åland article. For a return trip by car from Helsinki, see also Helsinki itineraries: Archipelago excursion.
Ferries connect Åland with Korpo, Kustavi, Houtskär and Iniö. The main ferries go från 1 Långnäs on the Åland mainland to Galtby in Korpo and from 2 Åva in Brändö to 3 Vuosnainen in Kustavi. The smaller ferries connecting remote islands to Houtskär and Iniö also have services via 4 Torsholma in Brändö, see ferries from Houtskär onward. In season (in 2022: 7 May–18 September) there is also a ferry from Turku to Nagu (m/s Vitharun), allowing exchanging part of the trail for a cruise.
Coming from Helsinki you might want to turn out on the Skärgårdsvägen road already in Kaarina, bypassing Turku on the way out (or on the way back, if going counterclockwise). See Turku and Kaarina below. In the Kustavi end, a possible shortcut is to take the Turku ring road to Raisio and drive from there directly to Taivassalo and Kustavi along highway 192, bypassing Naantali, Merimasku and Askainen.
Coming from the north (or by ferry to Naantali), you could likewise turn towards Kustavi or Rymättylä before reaching Turku. From Uusikaupunki the straightest route to the complete ringroad goes by Lokalahdentie to Taivassalo, to the small ring road by Lokalahdentie and Y-tie via Askainen and Merimasku to Rymättylä, bypassing also Naantali. From Pori you could turn towards Taivassalo or Askainen in Mynämäki.
The route can be taken clockwise or contraclockwise. The former is more common and is what is described here. You could also turn back at any point. Turning back you have to mostly use the same road, but saving some (or most) attractions for the return this is not too bad an option.
Except for side trips, the Nagu–Rymättylä, or Korpo–Houtskär, Houtskär–Iniö Iniö–Kustavi and Taivassalo–Velkua legs, and the night, you do not have to worry about ferry timetables; there are usually departures at least every half an hour. You should still note that the ferry passages do take some time.
Do not be afraid to explore the smaller side roads. Often you will end up in the backyard of somebody's summer cottage, but you may also find breathtaking scenery, wild raspberries, a farm selling fresh produce straight from a barn, a tiny picturesque fishing community or many other things. After the ferry to Nagu and until the one to Kustavi it is almost impossible to get lost, since there are only a few roads, and all of them will eventually lead either to the sea or to the main road. In a few cases the road will lead through private yards, check your map or ask if it seems you might have reached a dead end and you are uncomfortable just continuing.
Distances from Turku are given in parentheses. If you are going contraclockwise they tell the distance that is left. Visits to the main villages, adding at least 15 km, are not counted, as these distances depend on what places you visit.
By bike edit
A common way to experience the Archipelago Trail is from the saddle of a bike. The distances are not too great and the bike gives you flexibility while at the same time letting you experience the landscape you are driving through better than by car. The route is very well marked, at least much of the way. The signs use names of intermediate destinations (sometimes only a minor local one), but also have the Archipelago Trail symbol. At some minor junctions there is only local signage, but these shouldn't be too confusing.
The landscape is rather flat, the roads are in good or decent condition and traffic is mostly light. The main problem is that the road is quite narrow, so where cycleways are missing you might want to get off when batches of cars are approaching, on Skärgårdsvägen timed by the ferry arrivals. You might want to avoid being on Skärgårdsvägen between Prostvik and Galtby in Friday and Sunday afternoon, as those are the busiest times.
It is possible to take the bikes on the bus (at the driver's discretion), to save time or avoid too hard exercise. Unless you are a big company or you go with the Pargas bus in peak hours, finding room for the bikes is seldom a problem – but get on at the bus station instead of a normal stop when possible, to minimize hassle. The fare for a bike is probably around €5 (depending on bus company, sometimes on distance). There are cycleways from Turku to and through Pargas proper. After Kaarina centre until somewhere after Pargas centre the biking route often forks away from the road, as cycleway or on minor local roads (often the former route of Skärgårdsvägen). Signage is nowadays good along this leg – and you should not be more than 200 m from Skärgårdsvägen at any point, unless you take side trips, and you'll see cycleway signs (round for cycleways, square for the roads) at any crossroads. From Nagu Kyrkbacken onwards the signage is good on the Rymättylä shortcut, while signage also on the longer route should be completed in 2023.
The biking route of the trail starts at Turku castle or Turku Cathedral and leads between them by the river, from the cathedral to Hämeenkatu and by Uudenmaankatu and Uudenmaantie towards Kaarina (the signage is missing at the cathedral; just find the cycleway). You could also use the Eurovelo 10 route (which crosses the Archipelago Trail in Kaarina centre) or find your own routes through the southern residential areas, perhaps via Katariinanlaakso and the Uittamo beach.
The cycleway is paved until a few kilometres before the ferry to Prostvik. Out in the countryside after Pargas centre it changes character and starts going up and down any hill and bump. After the ferry you have to use the roads, except on shorter stretches through some villages. The detours via Gyttja and Dalkarby on Nagu Lillandet and along Norrstrandsvägen on Nagu Storlandet have little traffic, and might be nice choices. The cycleway is planned to be extended to Kyrkbacken in 2024, allowing you to get from Turku to Norrstrandsvägen along cycleways.
After Iniö (after Rymättylä if you take the short cut) there are again roads that lead astray, and there are a few turns where you don't follow the biggest road. Likewise after Iniö, there are cycleways in and by most centres, on Luonnonmaa, and all the way from Naantali to Turku.
The variations suggested in By foot below can probably equally well be used by bike. The right to access includes biking, as long as you do no harm, so taking small roads and pathways through the woods is allowed and can be a nice variation for some, given a suitable bike and light packing. Avoid lichen-covered bedrock and get off at muddy sections unless there have been many bikers before you, as you don't want to leave traces. If this is for you, have an adequate map.
By car edit
If you are not fit enough for biking, you are in a hurry or simply like a car better, there is nothing hindering you from using a car (or motorcycle). Driving is enjoyable, because of the scenery and the ferry connections between the islands. Remember to stop and step out often enough, to experience the surroundings more intensely.
It is possible to drive through the trail in a day by car, if you start early in the morning, but you should preferably allow two or three days, to be able to relax and actually enjoy what you see, instead of worrying about the next ferry.
You should also not drive out Friday evening or back via Pargas Sunday afternoon, as there then may be very long queues (a few hours at worst), especially at the ferry between Pargas and Nagu, as people from Turku and Helsinki drive to and from their summer cottages. Avoid going in the same direction at those times. And if you happen to be among the first driving off the ferry at peak hours, stop at first opportunity, to let the speeders pass by.
For side trips to remote islands, you should mostly leave the car at a parking lot, as capacity on ferries is limited, and there may be no parking nor road to drive at the destination.
Off season the connections between Houtskär and Iniö is served by the "remote island" ferries, some without car capacity. The connection may require staying overnight en route. In winter ferry traffic may be suspended, with connections by hydrocopter or ice road instead.
By bus edit
From Turku, there are buses every hour or half an hour to Pargas (lines 801 and 802) and coaches six to eight times a day to Nagu and Korpo (901–903), once to thrice a day to Houtskär (Näsby; 903) and once or twice daily to Mossala (903–904, mostly with transfer in Galtby, sometimes in Näsby; check these, as there has been great variation from year to year), all these along Skärgårdsvägen and its extensions, the main route of the itinerary. Approximate fares (adult/child 4–11): minimum (6 km) €3.30/1.70, Turku–Pargas €6/3, Turku–Nagu €12/6, Turku–Mossala €20/10. Line 801 uses city bus stops, the 9xx ones (usually with Skärgårdsbuss livery) use coach stops; line 802 is a rush hour express service and uses the motorway. All these depart from the bus station.
The routes from Turku are operated by TLO, ☏ (M–F 9:00–16:00). On weekends there may also be a few coaches from Helsinki directly to Pargas, Nagu and Korpo, not taking short haul passengers, operated by Vainion liikenne (possibly with the Skärgårdsvägen Ab livery). With other buses from the Helsinki direction, transfer is in Kaarina or Turku, see Pargas.
The Pargas bus is used by commuter traffic (from Kaarina and Pargas to Turku), with rush hours in the morning and after work. The Skärgårdsbuss line to Korpo and Houtskär has its peaks when people are going to (or returning from) summer cottages. Mostly there is a transfer for those going to Houtskär: either you change coaches in Galtby ferry harbour or you enter the ferry on foot and take the other coach after disembarking the ferry.
The ring road ferry between Houtskär and Iniö departs from Mossala (17 km from Näsby). Mossala has sparse bus connections, in summer 2022 once or twice daily. Another possibility is to use the ferries going from Näsby or Roslax (5 km from Näsby, on the road to Mossala) to remote minor islands – and also to Iniö a few times a week. The most practical solution when the coach does not match is to take a taxi from Näsby to Mossala, which should cost about €30–40.
In Iniö there are no buses. The distance from the ferry quay in Dalen to the main village Norrby is 3 km, which could make for a pleasant stroll. However, from Norrby to the ferry quay in Kannvik on Jumo the distance is some 7 km. There is a taxi (☏).
From the ferry quay in Kustavi (Heponiemi) or from Kustavi centre straight along Kustavintie, 6 km away, there are few services (three in school days; timetables as of May 2022[dead link]). Check this connection and the Houtskär–Iniö one before deciding on your schedule. The operator is Taivassalon auto. "Talvi" means winter, check dates of the timetables. There may be a connection also from (or connecting to a service from) Torsholma.
The shortcut via Rymättylä (Swedish: Rimito) is served by bus in peak season (in 2022: 13 June–4 September), when m/s Vidskär serves the route from Kyrkbacken in Nagu via Själö to Röölä, with bus to Rymättylä and onwards to Naantali. You can use m/s Östern via Själö to Hanka all the season; in school days in late spring (in 2022: 13 May–4 June) that involves a 2.3 km walk to a bus stop with sparse services, in the school holidays you need to walk all the way to Röölä. You can of course use a taxi, but don't expect to find any at the quay.
Röölä is served by bus a few times a day year round (as of 2022), by the lines N2 and N3 via the parish village to Naantali. In schooldays there is a bus (line N12) via Alakylä (bus stop "Ylikylä th" 2.3 km from the Hanka ferry quay) to "Rymättylän koulu" or "Rymättylän talli" near the parish village, or with an earlier transfer to line N2. The Rymättylä parish village has buses to Naantali about hourly in weekdays, twice daily on weekends, some combining with N12. In the north end of Rymättylä you can also use the buses from Velkua and Merimasku.
Several sparse lines drive via Merimasku, including those from Velkua (Lieranta) and some from Rymättylä: N2–N6, 203. N6 makes minor detours in schooldays in Velkua and Merimasku.
Velkua, Merimasku and Rymättylä belong to the Föli cooperation as parts of Naantali, so Röölä–Naantali–Turku costs €3/1.50!
In peak season there are also guided coach tours around the Archipelago Trail, mostly with guiding in Finnish and start from towns outside the region. You could ask the tourist informations whether they know about tours that would suit you.
Some vocabulary for timetables (Finnish):
- M Ti K To P L S = M–Su; S includes (religious) holidays not on a Sunday; note that "K" is used in the Naantali timetables for "koulupäivinä"
- koulupäivinä (K, KP, k) = on schooldays (koulu=school)
- loma/pyhä = holidays (vacation)/holiday (religious), kesä=summer, koulujen lomapäivinä = on school holidays; school summer holidays 2022 in Naantali 6 June–9 August, in Pargas 6 June–14 August
- talvi/kesä = winter/summer
- ajetaan/kulkee (X:n kautta) = goes (via X)
- ei ajeta/ei kulje (X:n kautta) = does not go (via X)
By taxi edit
There are taxis available anywhere along the route, but they are few and usually have to drive some distance to fetch you. Service around the clock is no more guaranteed. A 10-km trip can be expected to cost about €30–35, but you might want to get an estimate at time of booking (or of boarding, if you didn't book).
By foot edit
The ring road can be travelled by foot, and walking can easily be combined with taking the coach on some stretches. By foot you should use minor roads where possible, especially where there is no pavement/cycleway. It might be nice also to take paths through the woods for some stretches.
If going by foot you should check where to get provisions and whether you need to stock up on food and water. In season there are some summer kiosks and cafés, but outside the main season you are more or less confined to the main villages for staples. Accommodation should not be a problem, if you have a tent or book early. There are toilets on most ferries, at some ferry quays and at some nature trails and the like, in addition to those at cafés and accommodations. There is a sauna at most accommodations, something you will appreciate after a long day's walk.
The St. Olav Waterway, part of the Nidaros Path pilgrimage, goes from Turku to Korpo and continues via Åland and Sweden to Trondheim in Norway. The path was officially opened on 24 May 2019; the markings are in place and there should be adequate information available. You can get your pilgrim's passport from Turku Cathedral or online.
The St. Olav route can – if you do not want to do the pilgrimage – be used for inspiration to plan your walking route. It deviates from Skärgårdsvägen along smaller roads and uses ferries to go via minor islands. For somebody who is walking long stretches on Skärgårdsvägen the traffic can be intimidating and hinder the experience of tranquillity that is a main point in doing the walk. Taking a break while traffic from the ferry passes helps quite a bit in not getting too disturbed, but using gravel roads by the fields and pathways through the forest is better.
The pilgrimage route starts at Turku Cathedral, leads out from the centre and then follows minor roads or pathways south of the roads to Helsinki, until it reaches Skärgårdsvägen in Kaarina. It then follows the bikeway, which deviates somewhat from Skärgårdsvägen much of the way to Pargas. There it includes some sightseeing through the town. At Sattmark the route forks to either continue along Skärgårdsvägen or by the small Granviksvägen road and by ferry for accommodation on a small island, either Pensar or Björkholmen (book in advance!), continuing by ferry to Kirjais and returning to the main route on Lillandsvägen in Nagu. The ferries on the alternative route have sparse schedules and might have to be booked the preceding day.
On Nagu Lillandet the route uses Lillandsvägen across the southern part of the island. It is much more quiet than Skärgårdsvägen, although quite a bit longer. Before returning to Skärgårdsvägen it uses some even smaller roads: Laggarnäsvägen, Träskvägen and a tractor track.
From Kyrkbacken on Storlandet the route turns to go along Parkvägen, Norrstrandsvägen (the main road in the north of the island, quite quiet), Sellmovägen and Gallsvägen, a short stretch backwards along Skärgårdsvägen and then Tolkströmsvägen, Mattnäsvägen, Djupdalsvägen and Spinkvägen before again returning to Skärgådsvägen a little before Pärnäs and the ferry to Korpo. On Korpo it follows Skärgårdsvägen.
The pilgrimage route continues via Åland and Sweden to Norway, so from here onward you either have to follow the normal Archipelago Trail or find your own routes.
Turku and Kaarina edit
Kaarina is part of the Föli bus cooperation, so here you can still get off one bus and on a later one, within two hours from boarding the first. After Kaarina centre there are few buses though, apart from those to Pargas and Korpo, and if you use a Föli ticket you have to get off before the border to Pargas (the Rävsundet bridge; last stop Jullas).
From Turku the main roads are national road 1 and regional road 110 (in Turku and Kaarina: Uudenmaantie) towards Helsinki. The latter is the formal route. Not far outside the Turku city border (2.3–3.4 km depending on route) you should turn towards "Parainen" and "Korppoo" (Finnish for Pargas and Korpo) along Paraistentie (through 2 Kaarina centre; 7.5 km), Kaarinantie (from E18) or directly to regional road 180, "the Archipelago road" (Swedish: Skärgårdsvägen, Finnish: Saaristotie). By bike you can also choose minor roads first, but as you hit Skärgårdsvägen, this is the only road for most of the distance (the turn is signposted at Paraistentie, clearly at the official route, with a single sign at the other junctions).
The three first bridges are all being replaced in 2023–2025, which means slight disruption for the traffic, but the needed detours are short and well arranged, for cars as well as for bikers. Seize the chance to see some major infrastructure projects (unless you are driving; don't cause a queue or an accident).
After Kaarina centre you will drive over the first small bridge and leave the mainland for the island of Kuusisto (Swedish: Kustö). Here you have the option of a 2×6 km side trip to the 1 Kuusisto castle ruins (the bishop's castle was destroyed after the Lutheran reformation, not to offer a stronghold for the Church; 9.8 km + 6 km), the associated mansion (now Kuusiston taidekartano, "Kuusisto art mansion") and the Kuusisto church. Follow Linnanrauniontie ("Castle ruin road"), to the end for the ruins, for 2 km for the church.
On Kuusisto you will soon be out on the countryside. The traffic may still be quite heavy for the road. If you drive a car, take it easy. By bike or bus, just enjoy the landscape.
Kaarina ends with the next bridge (2 Rävsundsbron, Kirjalansalmen silta; 13.5 km), which is a sight in itself and also offers the first real archipelago views. The cycleway is a late construction, which had to be compensated by weights on the opposite side of the bridge. Take a good look; it is in the process of being replaced (2023–2025), as it wasn't built for the current heavy traffic.
Just after the first hilltop you reach the 1 Kirjalan kahvitupa kiosk/café (15.5 km). By bike this is a good place to take a break and an ice cream (use your brakes and turn into the tunnel when you continue).
Skärgårdsvägen in Pargas is marked by white cairns, which on one hand symbolize the fairway through the archipelago, which used to be marked by such, on the other hand the limestone (Swedish: kalksten), vital to the town of Pargas.
At the 5 Lielax crossroads (17 km) you have an option for a longer side trip (2×7.5 km) to the 3 Qvidja manor on Lemlax, with a medieval keep (four storeys left); the current owners are involved in regenerative agriculture. Also on Lemland, 5 km past Qvidja, there is the apple farm 1 Tammiluoto with winery, shop and café.
Just before the next bridge, Hässundsbron (19 km; also in the process of being replaced 2023–2025), you could turn to 2 Stentorp (2×2 km side trip), a sheep farm with very nice handicraft for sale, from yarn and mittens to fur coats and woollen art, and also sheep meat in different forms. Coffee and sandwiches are served in a nice milieu and sheep are available for caressing. At some occasions, and on request for groups, there are sheep herding shows. In spring you may get the chance to bottle feed a lamb.
After the high Hässundet bridge you reach the Kalkvägen roundabout (20 km), where the town of Pargas can be thought to begin. Kalkvägen was made of concrete instead of asphalt (hence the name), as a 1970s (?) experiment by the quarry company, but is now a normal road. By car you either turn to Kalkvägen and drive to the centre that way, or continue along Skärgårdsvägen up and down the small hill, pass the supermarket Reimari, and reach the main roundabout to the centre.
The bike route turns left to Kalkvägen for a hundred metres, then forks: either continue along Kalkvägen or turn right through residential areas parallel to Skärgårdsvägen. If you choose the latter, the official route uses the right branch at a not necessarily obvious (but signposted) Y fork after the hilltop to get back to Skärgårdsvägen before the Reimari supermarket. The left branch is a shortcut through residential areas (continue straight at the first T-junction, watch out for the kerbstones); when you hit Kyrkoesplanaden you can turn to it for the church or continue for Centralparken, with a bridge close to Reimari. If you follow Kalkvägen, you will also pass by residential areas, but end up at a small roundabout in the south end of the centre instead. The latter route is a tad longer unless you aim for the southernmost part of the centre. There is signage towards Nagu from both roundabouts.
At Reimari you could turn right for the Norrby beach and the 1 Solliden camping or left for the church. The official route continues along Skärgårdsvägen over Kyrksundet by a small bridge and to the main roundabout (with masts and sails in summer; 22.5 km). Here is also the bus station. Turn left for Pargas centre, right for the S supermarket or the 1 Bläsnäs beach.
3 Pargas is the only town you will see before Naantali. You might want to do some shopping and sightseeing. If you already had your day's share of biking, camping or lodging here is a good option (probably either at Solliden or at Hotell Kalkstrand). The next lodging will be at Sattmark (9 km farther), unless you are going to camp wild.
Nearly all industry of the town is related to the giant limestone quarry by the centre. There is a museum on the theme and a place with good view of the quarry. Later by Skärgårdsvägen a crossing is marked with giant used parts from the factories.
The Archipelago Trail continues from the roundabout with sails, on the right hand side of the road, and from the roundabout in the south end of the centre getting out to Skärgårdsvägen (by the schools?) a little farther (23 km).
When out on the countryside again (27 km), the cycleway starts going up and down any bump and hill (luckily none of them very high), but will continue to Lillmälö.
The next bridge is again spectacular, with nice views (but by car you have to be alert not to miss them). You should stop at 2 Sattmarks stuga just after the bridge, a nice café with a shop (32 km). There are also cottages and, 2 km farther, a 2-km nature path through the nature reserve of 2 Lenholm (37.5 km).
After Sattmark you will pass many small bridges (bikers join the car traffic at some of them, be careful) and finally reach the first ferry at 6 Lillmälö. On busy times (such as before Midsummer) there will be a queue of several kilometres, which may start without warning after a tight turn. With normal queue length you will see warnings seemingly absurdly early, and there will be a separate lane for the queue (coaches, local taxis and some of the locals have a right of way). Bikers can ignore the queue as you can use space unavailable to the cars – but you could wait for the next ferry if all such space is already used by other bikers. At busy times there are two or three ferries driving non-stop, otherwise they leave mostly every half an hour.
If the queue is long you might want to have an ice cream or coffee at the kiosk (40 km). When it is your turn, drive on the ferry carefully, and park the car so that there is as little empty space around it as possible. Put the hand brake on and turn off the engine. After the ferry has departed (but not before) you can go outside to enjoy the scenery (likewise by coach, the door will be opened as you go there). Be sure to return to your car in time so that you will not delay those parked behind you. These ferries are a free public service.
The ferry quay is in Prostvik (41.5 km) on Nagu Lillandet, the smaller of the main islands of Nagu. The landscape is rural with small villages. Simonby used to have some service. There is a longer road through the south part of the island (47.7 km + 9 km → 50.7 km). B&B Västergård is in Gyttja village by this road, as is the fork to Kirjais just south of Lillandet. Kirjais Österby has a ferry quay (12 km from Skärgårdsvägen) for the Nagu southern and transversal routes.
If you want to see the outer archipelago, you could make a return trip from Kirjais by the "Nagu southern route" ( m/s Falkö ☏ , until 29 May 2022: m/s Rosala II; map[dead link]). By bike, the "Nagu transversal route" (m/s Cheri or m/s Myrskylintu ☏ ; map[dead link]) is usable as a means to see some more open waters on the road (get off at Mattby, Krook or Pärnäs on Nagu Storlandet in the evening, you'll then miss Nagu Kyrkbacken unless you backtrack). It is possible to camp with a tent on some of the islands, just check that you will enjoy your stay also after you are done with the sights, as you probably have to stay on a quite small island for a day or two (businesses in the neighbourhood could arrange activities or an earlier return). All these archipelago trips have to be ordered, mostly at latest 16:00 the preceding day, but they are free (no way the real costs could be covered by fees).
The next bridge takes you to Biskopsö (with cottages: Norrgård). Then comes Norrströmsbron with nice views (53.7 km; a stamp with that view, "Moln i skärgården"/"The Sound of Silence", was elected the best of the world 2018). The cycleway starts again just before Nagu Kyrkbacken, the main village of Nagu, on Storlandet. Kyrkbacken is 14 km from Prostvik, 33 km from Pargas centre and 55 km from Turku.
The ferries to Själö, Rymättylä and Norrskata call at Kyrkbacken ("Norra hamnen", i.e. by the main marina).
4 Nagu Kyrkbacken (55.6 km) has a 15th century church, a few shops and the biggest guest harbour in the Archipelago Sea (do take a look, it and its surroundings are nice). In summertime there are several accommodation options and restaurants. There is a small museum, with lots of miniatures and paintings telling about the seafaring history of the parish (ships from Nagu have sailed the seven seas, and many locals still work at sea). There are also events on many summer weekends. There is a small beach by the community centre Framnäs, past the harbour.
North of Kyrkbacken is the lush island of 4Själö (62 km; Finnish: Seili), which used to house a leper hospital, later a psychiatric hospital. Now the Archipelago Research Institute of University of Turku is housed here (with a web camera at an ospray nest). The main sight is the wooden church from 1733, keeping the memories of sad fates. The ferry Östern to Rimito calls at the island in season, making three return trips daily, Norrskär from Turku makes a trip most days (Kyrkbacken–Själö €9/5 one way). Lodging, restaurant and other services are available since 2017 and are extended in 2023. The half-an-hour passage from Kyrkbacken is by quite narrow straits between islands, with some views to more open waters.
The ferry of "Nagu norra rutt[dead link]" (timetable 13 May–4 September 2022) can be used for a sea passage to Galtby in Korpo. It goes via some other islands to Houtsala on Norrskata, which has a road ferry connection to Galtby (walk or bike across the island to get to the ferry quay). Off season it serves also Själö.
Past Kyrkbacken you can choose the northern, quiet road 7 Norrstrandsvägen (56.4 km; probably signed "Mielis") instead of Skärgårdsvägen (the cycleway changes sides by the crossroads). If you continue by Skärgårdsvägen, watch out for the tight Möviken turn after a kilometre (by car: mind the speed limit).
In any case you will end up in 8 Pärnäs (69 km), the next ferry quay, some 12 km from Kyrkbacken by Skärgårdsvägen. Ferries drive across the sound to Korpo, but also to the outer archipelago from another quay). Near the ferry quay is a kiosk, a memorial for the cruise ferry Estonia, which sunk in the Baltic in 1994, with 852 lives lost, and a coast guard station (formerly also the Archipelago VTS).
If you would like to spend a day (and night) in the outer archipelago, this is the main option. Nötö, Jurmo and Utö (about 1.5, 3 and 4.5 hours away; the latter ones belong to Korpo) are popular destinations with lodging facilities, reachable from Pärnäs with m/s Baldur or m/s Kökar (☏ ; restaurant on board). In summer (6 June–31 August 2022) departures M–W with return in the evening after ½–3 hr on Utö (no coach connection), Th–Sa with return the next day. Off season (2021–2022) departures M W with return the same day, Th–Sa with return next day. Some of the services match the coaches. Parking near the ferry quay. Be on board 10 min before departure at end ports. For intermediate ports departures can vary ±15 min, be in time. Some services call at intermediate harbours only as needed or by advance request.
In season you have the option of a shortcut from Nagu Kyrkbacken via Rymättylä to Naantali. The one-hour ferry trip from Kyrkbacken to Rymättylä goes via Själö, where you probably want to have a tour, may be even stay overnight. Check your options for guided tours and ferries onward.
To Själö, halfway to Rymättylä, the voyage is through inner archipelago. After Själö you cross the open Ominaisfjärden, with the main fairway to Sweden and several other fairways (check the maze of navigational aids!). The ferry either carries you to Hanka on the other side, or continues by the shore of Rymättylä and through a sound to Röölä on the main island.
In 2021 there are four ferries serving Själö between Kyrkbacken and Rymättylä. M/S Östern has a direct route Kyrkbacken–Själö–Hanka, while M/S Norrskär on the routes Turku–Själö–Kyrkbacken and Kyrkbacken–Själö sometimes combines with M/S Hamnskär on the route Själö–Röölä. Then there is M/S Kokkomaa with one call a week at Själö in summer. All take pedestrians and bikes, while only Östern takes cars on these routes. Hamnskär is available only in peak season, Kokkomaa all year (but won't take you to Rymättylä). Östern has a café, Norrskär and Hamnskär a kiosk. Hamnskär is not accessible with wheelchair. Prices differ between the ferries, as do age limits for children. See Själö and Rymättylä for details. Arrangements will change somewhat in spring 2022.
9 Hanka (70 km; Swedish: Hanga; Luotojentie 1091) is on Aasluoto, the southernmost of Rymättylä's main islands. This is countryside. After 2.3 km you reach 10 Alakylä, the first village served by buses (on schooldays only). Luotojentie will take you to Röölä 9 km farther, via a free road ferry over Hämmärönsalmi to Airismaa, by the Kirveenrauma bridge to Nimetön ("nameless") and to the main island.
5 Röölä (81 km) is a village of one or two hundred people, 4 km south from the parish village. From here there are buses year round. From the 1950s to the 1970s it was a base for a fleet of herring trawlers making voyages on the Atlantic and returning here with their catch. A factory for pickled herring remained to 2014; its mantle was assumed by Sillikonttori in 2019 (their production marketed as artisan). There is also a museum on the herring fishing era, a museum mill, and the harbour, with marina, summer restaurant (pizzas and hamburgers) and a summer shop. Until 2011 ferries to minor islands departed from here.
The 6 Rymättylä parish village (85 km) has a medieval church and a local history museum.
There are a few businesses in Rymättylä arranging business meetings and getaways with programme services, notably Herrankukkaro. Some also arrange private celebrations such as wedding parties. 1 Ravintola Pohjakulma in Poikko (between the parish village and Merimasku) is one of the latter, serving a plentiful weekday lunch buffet (with an assortment of salmon and herring dishes along the other stuff) and a similar but a tad more festive Sunday buffet for those travelling by. They also prepare meals and cakes for take-away, if ordered in advance, and sell out some of their buffet food.
There are no hotels here, and it seems there are no other lodgings either close to the road. You could take advantage of the right to access and pitch up your tent in the woods. With a caravan, use the campsite.
The route continues towards Naantali, joining the full Archipelago Trail in Merimasku. The full trails comes via Kustavi and Merimasku parish village, see Merimasku below.
The ferry quay on the Korpo side (69.7 km) is in Retais. You will drive near the northern shore of Korpo, mostly through forest. Most sights come after Galtby (75.8 km), so you may want to make a detour, continuing at least to Kyrkoby 3 km farther.
The road from Galtby to Näsby in Houtskär is regional road 1800. From 11 Galtby ferry harbour (76.5 km) there are yellow road ferries to Kittuis in Houtskär and to Norrskata, and a bigger shiplike ferry to Åland[dead link]. Off peak hours, there are departures to Houtskär about every two hours, with a gap in the traffic 24:00–06:15.
If you come by bus, you probably have to transfer here. Mostly you just get off, board the ferry by foot and get on another bus in Kittuis, but if any of the buses is going to Houtskär you should get your luggage on the bus here. There is a café on board Stella (phone: +358 400-114-291), which might serve breakfast and lunch; the other ferry on the route is Mergus, +358 400-533-461). The passage takes 30–40 minutes, partly by the main fairway towards Sweden. This is one of the passages with good views on what the archipelago is like off the main islands. You may be able to spot a white-tailed eagle or an osprey (there is even a nest on one of the big fixed navigational aids).
By car, follow the procedures from the Prostvik ferry. If there are few cars, you can stop near the middle of the ferry and thus avoid salty spray (some days you get a good share in the front of the ferry). Remember to get out and enjoy the landscape.
7 Kyrkoby is the main village of Korpo, with an old church and a local history museum.
8 Korpoström in the end of the road (8 km from Kyrkoby) has a big guest harbour, a shop and the "Archipelago centre" with exhibitions, often also workshops and seminars. There is a restaurant.
There is a café in the 12 Kittuis ferry harbour (86 km), good if you are going towards Turku and have to wait. There is also a camping site with cottages nearby (Kittuis Camping och Caravan), and a guesthouse (Tuulenlatva).
The road will be much narrower here, but locals drive like they knew what is behind any turn (and they do, unless you or an elk happen to be there – keep to the right). There are nice villages, but not much service for tourists. In Träsk there is the Teletalo B&B.
The main village of Houtskär is 9 Näsby (95 km + 2 km), with an old church, two shops with fuel stations, guest harbour (with events some weekends), local museum (nice collection of traditional boats, try to get guiding), ferry quay, accommodation, restaurant etc. Most coaches terminate here.
To get on to Roslax, the 13 Kivimo ferry (98 km, 5 km from Näsby; also a quay for ferries to other islands) and Mossala you have to backtrack two kilometres. There is a short ferry passage between Roslax and Kivimo and a second between Björkö and Mossala. 10 Björkö (105.3 km) is a quite big village. The shop was however closed in 2016. You might still want to take a detour by foot to have a better look (the main road just passes by).
The ferry quay to get to Iniö by the ring road ferry is in 14 Mossala (109 km; 17 km from Näsby). There is probably a restaurant and cottage lodging (Mossala island resort); check, as the 2022 sanctions against Russia may have affected the business. Coaches are sparse, during the school semesters M–F Galtby 6:10 → Mossala 7:30 and Galtby 15:10 → Mossala 16:10, F Turku 16:25 → Galtby 18:40 → Näsby 19:30 → Mossala 20:05, F Sa Turku 9:15 → Galtby 11:25 → Näsby 12:15 → Mossala 12:50, Su Näsby 13:50 → Mossala 14:25 and Turku 13:15 → Galtby 15:10 → Näsby 16:00 → Mossala 16:30; 6 June–14 August 2022 M–Sa Turku 9:15 → Galtby 11:25 → Näsby 12:15 → Mossala 12:50, F 16:25 → 18:40 → 19:30 → 20:05, S Näsby 13:50 → Mossala 14:25 and 13:15 → 15:10 → 16:00 → 16:30. For most services the bus to Mossala starts at the ferry quay in Kittuis (with ferry departures given as Galtby times), some services skip Näsby, some start from Näsby.
m/s Antonia between Mossala in Houtskär and Dalen in Iniö (one hour) looks like a road ferry, but the service is not free. Adults €10, children (4–11) €5, bike €12, moped or motorcycle €25, car €40, caravan €70 (vehicle fares include passengers). Café on board. Departures four to five times daily in season only (timetables: 13 June–4 September). Vehicles should be ready 10 min before departure.
In addition to the ferry from Mossala, there are ferries going to or via remote islands, intended primarily for locals but available to the public. Taking one of these can be a nice adventure, but you have to check timetables and possible special arrangements. Bikes should be accepted, cars perhaps only on some of the ferries. The services mostly have to be ordered at latest the preceding day, and calling the skipper to check details can be a good idea anyway. The relevant routes are those of "Houtskärs ruttområde" (m/s Finnö ☏ ) and possibly "Iniö tilläggsrutt" (m/s Kivimo; ☏ ). Timetables: May–December 2022. In 2022 there seems to be connections to Norrby or Kannvik on Iniö from Näsby or Roslax a few times a week in each direction, and somewhat more often from Roslax to Torsholma in Brändö.
Iniö used to be the smallest municipality in "mainland" Finland (i.e. except Åland), a group of tiny islands and the surrounding archipelago – 700 km of shoreline – with some 300 inhabitants. Almost every adult had to engage in politics in some way, to fill the chairs. The tradition of doing things together, for the local community, is still strong. Modern times have had some good effects, e.g. 7–9 graders had to go to school in Turku into the 1990s, getting home for weekends, but now have a local school (originally with some lessons handled by Internet video connections to a school on the mainland as the local teachers could not handle all subjects to a high enough level).
There is a church from 1800 in Norrby (125 km).
There is a lunch restaurant, a camping site and a few lodging options in Norrby and at least a café and cottages in Kannvik. Probably some lodging options also elsewhere.
There are road ferries from the main island to Keistiö and Jumo, while shiplike ferries visit the many remote inhabited tiny islands, mostly on a daily bases. There is a road ferry on the quite long passage to Kustavi.
The ferries from Houtskär use the quays in 15 Dalen (122 km; the ring route ferry) and in the main village 11 Norrby (the ferries to remote islands). The ferries to Heponiemi in Kustavi use the quay in 16 Kannvik (131 km) on Jumo. The distance between Dalen and Norrby is 3 km, from Norrby to Kannvik 7 km.
Next you arrive in Kustavi, which is still in the archipelago, with lots of islands large and small, although you will drive over bridges instead of using ferries.
The 17 Heponiemi ferry harbour (137 km) is some 10 km south-east from 12 Kustavi centre, which has a wooden church from 1783. Some of the coaches from Heponiemi continue via Kustavi, others have come from Kustavi and continue towards Naantali. If you like to make the detour by coach, check. Vuosnainen (Osnäs), with ferries to Åva in Åland, is some 10 km further south-west from Kustavi, behind a road ferry. If you don't want to get back to the mainland yet, but experience more small islands, you could fork off the itinerary here and head towards Åland on said ferry. Regardless, soon after the Heponiemi ferry quay, you reach Peterzéns (138.7 km), with marina, restaurant and shop.
You might want to take a detour to the main village (9 km, adding 11 km), with grocery store, some restaurants and a medieval church. After about 3 km on Viherlahdentie towards the village you can visit the 3 Friisilä farm, with vegetables, berries etc. for sale and rabbits and chicken in the yard. From Kustavi you can continue directly onward by Kustavintie.
After the junction to Kustavi centre you can visit the "handicraft village" at 4 Kustavin savipaja, a few workshops and a local ceramics factory shop, with café. This is a 2×500 m detour; the "village" is reachable from either road.
After the border to Taivassalo you drive over a few bridges and islands, the first of them the 500-m Kaitaisten silta with nice views. You reach the mainland 3 km farther; the landscape is still very rural until you get to Naantali or Raisio outside Turku.
By the last bridge there is a nature reserve (Kuusistonrauma and Rantalanlahti) by the shore to your right, with an observation tower 1.3 km farther. Next you reach the centre of 13 Taivassalo (154 km). The church is from the 15th century.
There is a crossroads in the centre. To the north is Uusikaupunki. By car you'll continue straight along what now is Turuntie. By motorcycle, bike or foot you have the choice of turning south to Hakkeenpää instead.
By Turuntie, after 2.5 km you have the Ketarsalmen Kievari to your right, on Hylkiläntie. Regardless of whether you eat there, you could take a look at the reconstruction (by war veterans) of a dugout of the World War II eastern front and related props. Ask for the key at the restaurant, with good luck you'll get a guide. Continue towards Mietoinen and Askainen.
Turning south, you have the Viiala mansion with the local history museum after 3 km. 5 km further you reach 18 Hakkeenpää ferry quay (162 km), with sparse services: from Hakkeenpää in the summer of 2022 just 09:00 and 16:00 in weekdays and just the afternoon service in weekends. Have good clothes for the 1-hr journey, as you might want to be on the deck at least part of it. There is a beach at Hakkeenpää.
The ferry at Hakkeenpää, m/s Kaita (☏ ; timetables), goes to a number of islands of 14 Velkua; to continue on the Archipelago Trail, get off at 19 Teersalo (168.3), a village with marina, restaurant, shop and municipal service. Only the southern tip of this island, Livonsaari, belongs to Velkua, but as both Velkua and Merimasku now are part of Naantali, the border isn't signposted. As you continue from Teersalo along Velkuantie, the road first leads north-eastward, then north. After 6.5 km, at the Pohjanpää junction, it turns south-east and soon crosses a strait. You are on the mainland again, for a while.
Turn right 3.5 km after the bridge (11 km after Teersalo; 179.7). The road number remains the same, but you are now on Rauduistentie; Velkuantie continues towards Askainen (7 km away). At a junction 3 km farther (182.5), those who took the mainland route will join along Merimaskuntie. Turn right for the Merimasku parish village another 3 km away, at one more strait.
Mietoinen and Askainen edit
At the northernmost part of Mynälahti (Mietoistenlahti) you drive over the Laajoki river in the village Pyhe (172.5 km). There is a shop here. The road to the right at the end of the village leads to a nature path with birdwatching towers in the bird sanctuary around the bay shore.
Next you pass over Mynäjoki (there is a short cut from the bird sanctuary to just before the bridge) and have the (former) parish village of Mietoinen to your left (176 km). You could visit the 17th century church and the local history museum Tavastila. Otherwise, turn right to Mynämäentie (177 km) towards Askainen.
The main sight in 16 Askainen (183.6 km) is the Louhisaari manor (Villnäs slott) from 1655, 2.5 km from the junction. The Askainen Church got its present look in 1653 as manor church while the Flemings resided at Louhisaari.
The road continues south from the church, changing names to Askaistentie. At the Velkuantie junction (187.7) it changes names once more, to Merimaskuntie. At Rauduistentie (192 km) those who came via Velkua join. Merimasku parish village (195) is 11.5 km from the Askainen church.
The wooden church is from 1726. The marina has a restaurant. There is cycleway for 4 km.
Continuing, 3 km after the parish village you reach a residential area, with a shop, before you hit Rymättyläntie, along which those taking the Little Ring Road will come (96/190/199 km). Rymättyläntie leads over the Särkänsalmi strait (cycleway being constructed as of 2022) and over Luonnonmaa to Naantali.
On Luonnonmaa you get cycleway: take Virventie 270 m after the Särkänsalmi bridge. and turn left at the T-junction with Särkänsalmentie. At the junction there is a beach. Särkänsalmentie leads east, then turns left, crosses Rymättyläntie (the cycleway makes a slight detour, just follow it) and changes names to Luonnonmaantie. Drivers who want to visit Kultaranta should turn left from Rymättyläntie.
In the summer of 2022 there was a 6 housing fair with visions about future housing in Finland, on Luonnonmaa, south of Särkänsalmentie, stretching to the Matalahti bay. Although the houses and flats aren't on display any more, you might want to take a look at modern Finnish housing, walking by the streets. The aim was to create housing in the middle of the natural environment, by the sea, without destroying too much of it, and close enough to services.
Luonnonmaantie passes Kultaranta (101/195/204 km), the summer residence of the President of Finland. The bridge from Luonnonmaa to the mainland, Ukko-Pekka, built 1934, is named after P. E. Svinhufvud, third president of the country, as is the steamer serving Naantali from Turku. After the bridge Rymättyläntie goes through a tunnel, while bikers turn left, passing the oldtown of Naantali.
With 18 Naantali (Swedish: Nådendal) you are back to urban Finland. The town is well worth a visit, but whether you have the time to do the town is up to you. As the Latin name Vallis gratiae hints, Naantali was the site of a Bridgettine abbey in medieval times. The church remains. In early to mid June you might be able to attend some concerts of the music festival (classical music).
The wooden old town is nice, overflowing with products related to the Moomin characters plus some handicrafts, and nice cafés. The town has the Moomin World theme park which may appeal considerably to visiting kids.
After visiting the centre, to drive back to Turku (121/215/224 km), follow Aurinkotie, which changes names to Raisiontie and, when you reach the border of Turku, to Satakunnantie. If you have a car and are in a hurry, Rymättyläntie will transform into the Turku bypass in Naantali, taking you to the E8 for going north or to Turku or, farther on, road 9 to Tampere, road 10 to Hämeenlinna or E18 to Helsinki.
By bike, the Achipelago Trail continues along Aurinkotie to Naantalin kylpylä (the spa hotel). Turn to the right there. From Viluluodontie, turn to Kohokuja and continue, crossing the railway. There is a nature trail and a bird observation tower at Luolalanjärvi across Armolaaksontie, road 40 (the Turku bypass). Follow it along the cycleway, pass over the bay Raisionlahti, then turn right through the underpass and continue along Naantalintie. At the Ihala crossing, turn right to Länsikaari, then left to Artukaistentie. After the bridge over Raisionjoki, turn right to follow it along Suikkilantie. By the river mouth, turn left along Pansiontie, cross the harbour railways and the cycleway to Ruissalo by a bridge, turn right to Juhana herttuan puistokatu, pass Turku castle by Vallihaudankatu, cross the railway and turn left for the centre along the Aura river. The route is probably well marked.
(Regional biking route 2 takes a more direct route from Naantali centre to Turku centre. Regional biking route 4 goes via Raisio centre, more or less along Raisiontie and Satakunnantie. There are cycleways all along also these routes, although they sometimes make odd turns.)
The route ends at the cathedral, where it started.
Stay safe edit
Going by this trail does not involve any major hazards.
By bike the biggest problem is fast driving cars on the quite narrow roads. Usually the cars are speeding from one ferry to the next, which means they are coming in batches as the ferries arrive. You will mostly be able to hear them in time and wait while they pass.
In the beginning of the route, until after Pargas, there are cycleway tunnels under the main road. In Turku (Uudenmaantie) these can be dangerous because of bikes or mopeds coming out from them, sometimes at high speed (use your bell and your ears). Along Skärgårdsvägen the bikeway is mostly just on one side and you will have to use the tunnels to change sides, sometimes quite unexpectedly (some such crossings are without tunnel, nearly as dangerous if there is traffic).
By car, watch out for elk and deer, especially in the evening. They may stand in the shadow of the wood until deciding to cross the road in front of you, try to look carefully. If you cannot stop, try to pass behind them, as they probably try to run forward. Report any accident to the 112 even if nobody was hurt, as the animal might be.
If camping or spending time off paved areas, you should be aware of the ticks, which can spread borreliosis and TBE, both potentially nasty. Check your (or your fellow's) body each night to remove them while they are still searching for a good place to bite you, or soon after they have attached (borreliosis gets transferred only after several hours, usually after a day or so, while TBE is still reasonably rare).
If you are unlucky enough to get bitten by an adder, stay calm, avoid motion (rest if possible) and call 112 for instructions. The bite is seldom dangerous for healthy adults, but the person bitten should be put under medical observation.
If you go boating on your own, be aware that the water is quite cold, a lifejacket is appropriate even if you swim well. If unused to boats, take the trip against the wind, to minimize risk of underestimating the distance and wind force. For long trips, take possible weather changes into account (already strong breezes can be a challenge for small boats, even in quite sheltered waters, and gales are possible; if using forecasts, use those for the sea).
The health care centre in Pargas is open more or less on office hours and those farther out just a few times a week; at night or on weekends you have to go to Turku. With a bit of bad luck the local ambulance is in use elsewhere. Try to be prepared to get along some time on your own (i.e. do not forget your drugs, have spare glasses etc.). There is medical advice available by phone (check the number). There is also a private clinic in Pargas, with a boat and longer hours.
In emergencies the help can arrive by boat or helicopter. A GPS is handy to tell your position (the emergency centre asks for street addresses, as they seldom know minor local landmarks, but coordinates will do). Besides the ambulance, also the border guard, the local volunteer fire departments and the lifeboat associations have personnel trained for medical emergencies (all coordinated by the 112 staff).
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You will probably get on from some of the starting points. See above (and the city/region articles) for connections.
To see the Archipelago Sea from a boat, you could sail the itinerary Hanko to Uusikaupunki by boat in reverse. It is easy to get to Uusikaupunki from Turku or Taivassalo, and you should be able to arrange for having a yacht to charter from there – or just sail part of it from where you get your yacht. If you know sea kayaking, you are not limited to fairways and established routes.
If you happen to be here in middle June 2022, the Jukolan ja Venlojen viesti giant night relay orienteering event is held in Mynämäki 18–19 June.