Activities in Kvarken Archipelago Nature Reserve
The mosaic-like archipelago, shaped by the Ice Age, provides visitors with pleasures in all seasons. However, the marine world heritage is at its best during the summer, when there is plenty to do; when having a break on your excursion, you can sit down on a shore rock and have snacks and enjoy the scenery of the land uplift coast, which has also been classified as one of the Finnish national landscapes.
It has been counted that the world heritage site has more than 5,600 islands and more than 2,400 km of coastline, so there are plenty of canoe routes! Svedjehamn, Björkö, is the starting point for the archipelago labyrinth that outdoes all others in the world. There are fascinating lighthouse islands for experienced open sea canoeists. For example, you can canoe to a lean-to shelter or to an old fishing hut in the evening.
A Kvarken Archipelago canoe map is available, and you can hire a kayak. Accompanied by a canoe guide, you will be able to explore the pearls of the Kvarken Archipelago safely.
The shallow and rocky Kvarken Archipelago is an excellent fishing site all year round. During the winter, it is a good idea to go ice fishing in order to catch perch on the ice close to Replot Island or in the inner archipelago of Björkö. During the spring, you can watch the hectic ascend of fish to their spawning sites in the brooks. Please note that many of these brooks and areas in their vicinity are protected during spawning. After spawning, perch move to spots of flowing water and in late summer, a good fishing site can be found by the Replot Bridge. It is also an excellent place for hook and line Baltic herring. You may catch a pike with a spinning reel close to the rocks and reed beds from the summer to the autumn. In the Kvarken area, you will not, necessarily, need a boat for fishing, as there are many shores that are suitable for fishing. The local fishing guides will be happy to take you to the best fishing sites!
Everyone who is older than 18 years and younger than 65 years must pay a fishing management fee (www.eraluvat.fi) if they carry out other forms of fishing than ice fishing and hook and line fishing.
Fishers need to check the restrictions on fishing sites at kalastusrajoitus.fi (www.kalastusrajoitus.fi, in Finnish).
There is a large variety of bird species on the land uplift shores and in the land uplift forests. Good birdwatching sites are located along the nature trails, on seashores and by open fields. Especially during the spring, the observation tower entitled Saltkaret in Svedjehamn is a paradise for bird enthusiasts. It is also a good idea to visit the shores of Bodvattnet: in addition to the little gull, the arctic tern and the horned grebe, you may also see white-tailed eagles, western marsh harriers and, perhaps, even Caspian terns, which is a threatened species. Guided bird excursions are organised in spring and summer, but you may observe birds independently anytime.
Brochures for birdwatching destinations (julkaisut.metsa.fi)
- Fäliskäret, Rönnskären
- Risö and Sundominlahti
- Sommarö fortress
- Svedjehamn and Bodvattnet
- Västra Norrskär
- Cross-country Skiing: No maintained ski trails, but you may ski independently in forests and on fields, as well as on the sea ice. Look out for the flowing spots under the sea ice!
- Museum: Ostrobothnian Museum Terranova (www.pohjanmaanmuseo.fi) Presentation of the world heritage site, temporary exhibitions, picture shows, a museum shop and a café. Guided group tours.
- Nature Trails: The eleven nature trails (0.5 km-12.5 km) will make you familiar with the land uplift phenomenon, the livelihoods in the archipelago, the lush seaside forests and the rugged, rocky shore waters, as well as the birds and other species living in the area.
- Berry and Mushroom Picking: Bilberries and lingonberries are awaiting you! During late autumn, you can pick sea-buckthorn berries, which are packed with vitamin C. You can also gather a basketful of mushrooms in next to no time.
- Sights and Views: The greatest view is from the Saltkaret observation tower in Svedjehamn. A gorgeous view also opens out from the rock of Kikanberget, next to the Klobbskat fishing harbour. The archipelago villages and the fishing harbours are treasures, in regard to their cultural landscape.
- Sailing and Boating: Many safe boat routes and guestharbours that have been marked in the nautical charts. Piers and services in the outer archipelago, such as at Fäliskäret (Rönnskär), on Molpehällorna and on Mickelsörarna.
- Cycling: No actual cycling routes, but it is easy to explore the villages by bicycle.
- Guided Group Tours: Information on guided tours is available at the Kvarken's customer service (www.kvarken.fi).
- Swimming: There are official swimming shores next to the boat harbours of Svedjehamn, Södra Vallgrundet and Replot. Beaches are maintained by municipality of Mustasaari, local "Folkhälsan" association or other local associations.