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Turku Archipelago – what is it?

Turku archipelago is a tightly clustered chain that begins south of Turku. The Archipelago in the Baltic Sea was created by the Ice Age. Rugged rocky islets and forested islands, separated by open sea are characteristic to the area.

By some definitions it is the largest archipelago in the world by the number of islands, although the islands are very small and tightly clustered. The archipelago has a very large number of islands. The exact number depends on how you define the island. The size of the patches of dry land

in the area varies from small rocks peeking out of the water to large islands with several villages or even a small town. The number of the larger islands of over 1 km2 within the Archipelago Sea is 257, whilst the number of smaller isles of over 0,5 ha is about 18 000. If the number of smallest uninhabitable rocks and skerries is accounted, even 50 000 is mentioned in some sources.

The first island is Parainen, about 25 km from Turku. We stayed here in Solliden Camping a night before going to Västerö, our final destination. Solliden Camping is about 2 km from Parainen center, it has cottages, camp sites, fire places and sea sough. We stayed in small cottage for four people, which did cost 50 Euros.

Just a little bit before Parainen starts Saariston Rengastie – a road number 180 connecting the islands. Next bigger island on that road is Nauvo. There are free continuous ferries between Parainen and Nauvo – one should just wait and without any ceremonies go to the ferry which departures right after loading.

After Nauvo the ferry takes you to Korppoo – the most distant big island from Turku. There is another ferry between Nauvo and Korppoo, so although it is 75 km from Turku to Korppoo, you should count at least 1,5 hours for that route. From Galtby harbor in Korppoo you can take a free ferry to Åland.

We drove to smaller harbor Kuggvik in Korppoo and a 40-minute ride on Mahalia 2 boat took us to Västerö, a small island in Archipelago.