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Northern Turku Archipelago


Sea of Archipelago

Immediately to the east of Aland lies an area known as the archipelago sea, also known as the Åbo Turku (Åbo) Archipelago. We've split it into two pages as the area is so large and full of islands to visit. We've found that the northern part of the area is subtly different, and rather less popular than the southern part, perhaps because its off the main Stockholm-Helsinki route, and the more popular stops are in the south. In general the land/sea ratio is greater, but it is well buoyed and there is plenty of room to sail. North of Turku is particularly pretty and rather wild. The map shows the places we've visited and would recommend, but the guides show that there are over 60 guest harbours in the area.

Turku (Åbo)

Turku Marina Turku is the largest city in the area, however in our opinion it is not somewhere worth making for unless you have a reason to or are just plain curious. The city marina makes an effort, although it is basically moorings alongside the river and is subject to wash from the local pleasure boats. The town itself is compact with a couple of modern malls with some good shops (including a Stockmann store) and a daily market selling fresh produce. There are good transport links with the real world.

Ruissalo

If you are thinking of staying in Turku for any length of time, Ruissalo is a better location, particularly if you need to leave the boat. A very quiet picturesque and sheltered spot at the end of a small creek, the marina is managed by the local spa - which itself is a major holiday destination - its run by Saga, which might explain a lot! The marina fees do give you use of the spa, including the excellent pools and saunas, and there is a regular bus into the centre of Turku. The hotel has a free WiFi service, but this doesn't extend to cover the marina. The northern part of the marina has stern buoys, the southern part has poles (as in Denmark) and we think these are a better bet. (Note: There are two marinas in the creek, the spa marina is to port on entering).

Naantali

Known as one of the prettiest destinations in the whole of Finland, Naantali is spoiled for yotties like us by the 16.5m fixed bridge that you need to go under to get there. The Finnish guides indicate that the starboard part of the bridge (heading into Naantali) actually has 17m clearance, but on your own head be it. The town is still worth seeing, even if you just get a bus from nearby Turku. The shopping centre near the main road are uninspiring, but once past these there is a very pretty wooden high street, leading to the main attraction, the harbour. Set in a pretty bay, there are a number of jetties (the marina pontoon is the long one) and numerous restaurants on the quayside. The harbour shallows considerably close in.

Parattula

A very sheltered pool, reached down a half-mile cut, this is an excellent place to hole up in a blow. The harbour master is very welcoming, the restaurant features in the 'Taste of the Archipelago' and there is the Laura Peterzen Factory shop selling her designs at reduced prices. Its an excellent picnic stop but be warned though - there is little else. The spot can get rather busy at weekends.

Katanpaa

This place is well worth a visit. Once a Russian lookout post, more recently a prison, and now a nature reserve, you can follow the history trail and see the Russian buildings and gun batteries (with some WW2 guns still in place). There is also a lookout post with stunning views over the Baltic and a small, but extremely evocative, cafe selling excellent home-made doughnuts. At present there are just a couple of jetties to tie up to, but a new sauna is being built and the facilities expanded. There is plenty of room to anchor in the bay, but its not the ideal place to be in a north-easterly blow.

Uusikaupunki

A very pretty small town at the northern end of the archipelago. There are a few marinas, but the city guest harbour is the best bet, having won the 'Marina of the Year' award a couple of times recently. On a hill just behind the town are a selection of model windmills.


Map Key


Useful Resources

Journey Planner

Finnish Chart Pack D

Journey Planner

Finnish Sea Scouts Guide

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