Bothnian Sea National Park gives visitors a chance to enjoy the glimmering sea and the charm of lighthouse islands. Day trips and weekend excursions are great for exploring the barren outlying islands and the underwater flora and fauna in some of Finland's cleanest coastal waters.
The best way to experience the choppy waves and calming sound of the sea and the beautiful views across the archipelago is by boat. A total of 98% of the park's area is water, which makes it ideal for longer excursions whether by sail boat or motorboat. The park's islands are great for stepping ashore and setting up camp for a night or two. There are also campfire sites on the islands. The park also has several marinas with services for boaters: in Pori Munakari, Iso-Enskeri, Seliskeri, in Luvia Säppi, in Rauma Kylmäpihlaja and Kuuskajaskari, and in Kustavi Katanpää and Isokari.
Sights and scenery
In addition to its spectacular seascapes and rich marine life, the national park has many historic and cultural attractions related to seafaring, fishing and military history. Read more.
Diving and snorkelling
Take a look at what lies beneath the surface! The clean and clear waters of the Bothnian Sea are a paradise for divers and snorkellers. Among the algae there are amphipods, small fish and isopods. If you want to try spearfishing, you need to pay a fishing management fee and buy a regional lure fishing permit.
- Geocaching: Geocaching is a fun way to explore the park's islands.
- Skiing: Skiing on the frozen sea is a scenic and enchanting experience. Please watch out for thin ice! (See map, pdf, 137 kb, www.rauma.fi, In Finnish)
- Fishing: The Bothnian Sea National Park comprises water areas owned by the State of Finland and the City of Rauma. Fishing is permitted.
- Leisure fishing:
- Hook and line fishing, ice fishing and fishing with a simple herring rig are permitted under everyman's right.
- For other types of leisure fishing, individuals aged between 18 and 64 must pay the fisheries management fee. You can make the payment at www.eräluvat.fi.
- In leisure fishing, one individual belonging to a group of fishermen or a group of individuals in one boat may use a maximum of 240 metres of net.
- If you are fishing in the water areas of the City of Rauma, you must observe the fishing regulations of the City of Rauma (visitrauma.fi). At the same website, you will also find information about the fishing permit fees charged by the City of Rauma.
- Commercial fishing (professional fishing)
Metsähallitus may lease a place for catching salmon or sea trout for a registered commercial fisherman.
- Fishers need to check the restrictions on fishing sites at kalastusrajoitus.fi (In Finnish).
- Birdwatching: The park has various species of waders and waterfowl, most notably goosanders. The favourite destination among birdwatchers is Preiviikinlahti bay in Pori, but the outlying islands are also good for birdwatching.
- Nature Centre: The Ark Nature Centre (www.pori.fi) in Pori has an exhibition on the flora and fauna of the Bothnian Sea.
- Nature trail: Nature trails in the boulder fields and forests of Iso-Enskeri Island (1.5–3 km) showcase the island's natural history. Säppi Culture Trail (1.5 km) introduces visitors to the life of lighthouse keepers. Read more
- Pick berries and mushrooms: Common sea-buckthorn, which is widely regarded as a superfood, can be found growing along the shores. There are no restrictions on berry and mushroom picking in the park.
- Canoeing: There are marked canoeing routes off the coast of Rauma, but more experienced canoers can also navigate the archipelagos of Uusikaupunki, Luvia, Pori and Merikarvia.
- Hunting: Waterfowl can be hunted in the autumn on the islands of Harmaaletto in Uusikaupunki, Bokreivit in Rauma, Räyhät in Pori and Kasalabodan in Merikarvia with a hunting licence from Metsähallitus (www.eraluvat.fi). Grey seal hunting is permitted without a licence in the park's public waters but an agreement with the landowner is needed for hunting in other areas.
- Tour skating: Tour skating is a great way to enjoy the tranquillity of the frozen sea in the winter.
- Guided group tours: There are numerous entrepreneurs offering guided tours in the park. Read more
- Swimming: The park has no official beach but there are plenty of places that are suitable for swimming. There are no restrictions on swimming in the park. The coastline is rocky and the water generally relatively shallow. There are sandy beaches in Pori, and all marinas are also good for swimming.