Activities in Archipelago National Park
Enjoy the archipelago scenery, reputed to be the most beautiful in the world, and archipelago culture by sailing, canoeing or participating in a voluntary activity. The importance of travel is emphasised in the archipelago because of the long distances from one end of the park to the other. Accessible for visitors in their own boat, a taxi boat or the ferry services that are available all year.
Embark on a sailing adventure for a day or more on the breathtakingly beautiful Archipelago Sea. The excursion harbours on the national park's islands facilitate camping, serve as starting points for nature trails and provide campfire sites. There are routes marked on nautical charts, but navigation skills are required when moving about in the archipelago. If you do not have a boat of your own, our partners organise guided tours by boat and the possibility for hiring a boat, with a skipper or on your own.
Because a canoe is almost completely silent, you feel as one with the waves of the sea and the surrounding nature when travelling in one. The maze of islands and wide open sea provide an endless variety of route options for canoeists, taking the constantly changing weather and the canoeists' degree of experience into account. Even though there are no marked canoeing routes and canoeing at sea requires skills and knowledge, the activity is suitable for almost everyone. Partners operating in the national park provide equipment rental services and organise canoeing courses and tours for beginners. Most of the islands hosting national park services are easily accessible with a canoe.
Voluntary activities offer an excellent way to enjoy nature in the Archipelago Sea, make a valuable contribution to nature and get to know nice people. Every year, Metsähallitus organises voluntary work camps with various organisations to manage the natural environment and traditional agricultural landscapes.
- Geocaching: Geocaches can be found in amazing locations in the Archipelago Sea area. When searching for caches, please observe protection of nesting birds.
- Skiing: Skiing on the sea ice in the winter silence of the national park is at your own risk. Here can you found iformation about the current ice conditions in the Archipelago Sea area. (ilmatieteenlaitos.fi).
- Hook and line fishing, ice fishing and fishing with a simple herring rig are permitted under everyman's rights.
- Persons aged 18-69 years must pay the fisheries management fee (eräluvat.fi). If you are fishing with more than one rod, for example trolling or spinning for whitefish, in Archipelago National Park you will also need Metsähallitus' angling permit no 7412 for the sea area (eräluvat.fi). Licences are available via the web shop (eraluvat.fi).
- For netting and other trap fishing you will need, in addition to paying the fisheries management fee, trap fishing permit no 6015 for the Archipelago National Park (eräluvat.fi, in Finnish).
- Fishers need to check the restrictions on fishing sites at kalastusrajoitus.fi (In Finnish).
- Birdwatching: Bird migration can be watched in the outer archipelago. The islands of Jurmo and Utö are well-known birdwatching destinations but other islands also provide excellent opportunities for birdwatching. In the outer archipelago, the sea freezes over late so there is plenty to see in winter. You may even spot the national animal of the Archipelago National Park, the majestic white-tailed eagle. Örö offers an ideal setting for birdwatching all year round.
- Nature Information Huts: The exhibition of the Berghamn Nature Information Hut focuses on the fishing traditions in the archipelago, while the Jurmo Nature Information Hut houses an exhibition on the colourful history and nature of Jurmo Island.
- Sights and scenery: One of the most photographed views in the archipelago opens up from the rocks on the island of Berghamn. It shows the scenic variation characteristic to the islands very well: pines on rocks, traditional agricultural landscapes, rugged islets with smooth rocks, the maze of the archipelago and wide open sea. On the island of Jungfruskär, visitors can take a walk and enjoy the glory of flowers in wooded meadows. On the Örö fortress island, visitors can admire old fortress structures, magnificent sea views and unique natural features, including open sand and gravel beaches, coastal meadows and sunny grassland areas.
- Learn in nature: Nature and school camp packages are available for schools to examine nature, move outdoors and practice manual skills. Read more about services provided by partners
- Hiking: The 14 nature trails of the park (0.3–5 km) offer fantastic landscapes and information about the history and natural features of the islands. The Örö fortress island features two nature and cultural trails over 5 km long, and old cobbled roads.
- Cycling: Day trips by bike are possible from Kasnäs village to Sandvik in Högsåra village and using a ferry, from Nauvo to Berghamn for instance. Bicycle rental is available via partners.You can rent a bicycle for the day on the Örö fortress island. Mountain biking is allowed throughout the park under everyman's rights, with the exception of the restricted areas. Please stay on clearly visible trails and respect others who are using the trails. The maritime nature and archipelago sites are not well suited for regular or mountain biking.
- Tour skating: Tour skating is an excellent way to enjoy the silence in the breathtakingly beautiful landscape in winter. Partners provide tour skating courses for beginners. Here can you found iformation about the current ice conditions in the Archipelago Sea area. (ilmatieteenlaitos.fi).
- Diving and snorkelling: Two underwater nature trails in the coastal waters of Stora Hästö Island introduce divers and swimmers with snorkels to the mysterious underwater nature. In the coastal waters of Dalskär Island, visitors can snorkel among statues placed on the seabed. Diving restrictions apply in parts of the National Park. Diving is permitted only subject to a Metsähallitus permit.
- Swimming: There are no public beaches in the National Park, but you can take a refreshing dip in the sea from a coastal cliff or the beaches. Excellent beaches are located e.g. in Sandvik on Högsåra Island, in Sandö Island, the islands of Kråkskär and Fårö.