Archipelago National Park, Kimito Island

#2 of 10 in Nature in Southwest Finland
National Park · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
Archipelago National Park (Swedish: Skärgårdshavets nationalpark, Finnish: Saaristomeren kansallispuisto) is a national park in Southwest Finland. It was established in 1983 and covers 500 square kilometres (193 sq mi) of land areas, a huge land area considering that the area mostly is outer archipelago with few islands even 1 km2 - and the big ones are inhabited and mostly privately owned and thus not part of the national park. The park's web pages give that number as non-qualified "area". It is part of the UNESCO biosphere reserves and received a PAN Parks certificate in 2007.

The park encompasses all state-owned land and water areas owned by the state within the borders of the cooperation area surrounding the park, which is more or less the entire outer archipelago of the Archipelago Sea on the eastern side of the Åland Islands and south of the Korpo, Nagu, Pargas and Kimitoön main islands. The Archipelago Sea Biosphere reserve consists of the national park's cooperation area and the rest of the islands in the Åboland archipelago only accessible by boat or ferry. These areas are mainly situated in Nagu, Korpo, Houtskär, Iniö, Hitis and southern Pargas.

There are considerable areas of traditional agricultural landscapes within the national park. One of the objectives of national park besides protecting nature is to protect the archipelago culture and different cultural landscapes. The cooperation area plays a great in this. The National park by itself encompasses about 2000 of the 8400 islets and skerries within the cooperation area. The larger islands are mainly owned by their inhabitants.

One may move around freely by boat in the National park, with the exception of some protected areas. Shuttle ships operate the inhabited islands and many entrepreneurs offer transportation by agreement.

Camping is allowed only in designated places (allowed on privately own lands in accordance with the freedom to roam), remembering to respect the domestic peace. Building campfires is allowed only in designated places, unless a force majeure situation arise. Fire-making is prohibited if a forest fire warning is in effect. One may pick berries and mushrooms. Mind roosting birds when landing on islets. Islets with many nesting birds should only be visited in autumn and winter. The Blue Mussel visitor center in Kasnäs, (Kimitoön) and the archipelago center in Korpoström (Korpo) offer information on the Archipelago Sea and the Archipelago National park. There are bus connections to both. There are nature trails on some of the islands. There is an underwater trail for divers on Stora Hästö in Korpo (and one in shallower water for snorkelers).
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  • The Archipelago national park is seriously the jewel in the crown of the national parks within Finland. I wanted to do a cycle tour of the park and made enquiries at the tourist information board...  more »
  • Lovely nature and Archipelago is excellent.You find hiking routes everywere.This place's are the best in Finland.  more »
  • Fantastic experience! Weather was warm, even hot, sea was really calm and Sceneries were stunning. Fishing was poor and algae growth started to bloom.
  • The most beautiful archipelago in the world. Tranquil yet full of wildlife, fish and birds. A must see for all that treasures nature.

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