Travel, Teach, Live in Europe and Middle East
If you arrive to Finland by ferry you will get to see the beautiful archipelagos first hand. Those who get to Finland by plane will miss out on extraordinary landscapes but not to worry. Not every one needs a boat to venture out to the Finnish archipelago. You can drive through the archipelago trail that includes the most picturesque sounds and sights of the seaside. If you have more time at your disposal and are in suitable fit, you can cycle the trail too. Bicycles are available for rent in case you forgot to pack yours.
Hotels and Camping Sites Along The Route
All in all the archipelago trail comes to two hundred kilometres so you might want to chop up the trip to more manageable chunks and stay over at camping sites, hotels or small B&B's. For information on hotels in surrounding areas of Turku, visit Saaristo website. Another option is to rent a cabin for example through this website: http://suomensaaristovaraus.fi. Cabins are a fairly popular accommodation option during the summer so early reservations are recommended.
Crossing the Pond: From One Island to Another
There aren't always bridges in between islands but in those cases ferries operate and you can board them free of charge. While you wait to cross you can buy a beverage or ice cream from small kiosks scattered around the route, sunbathe and listen to the song of seagulls. All of the ferries don't operate outside summer period so it's worth consulting the tourist info on available routes if you fancy trekking out during the cooler months. The ferry timetables are available online.
The castle of Kuusisto served as a safety haven for Catholic bishops during the medieval times. Once the Reformation began the castle was dismantled but its ruins still stand on the same spot in Kaarina. Kuusisto mansion and castle ruins are approximately ten kilometers outside of Turku. This is a lovely location to visit by the trail. The ruins are attached to Kuusisto mansion that operates as a museum these days.
The island of Seili is another attraction that is both beautiful as a landscape and rich in history. The island served as a site for a leprosy hospital and later on for a mental asylum. The officials wanted to seclude the ill to an island as both mental illnesses and leprosy were redeemed as God's punishment for sins rather than medical conditions.
The castle of Louhisaari in Askainen was built in the 1650's and is surrounded by greenery titles as an 'English park'. Marshall Mannerheim was born in this castle in the mid-nineteenth century and as he has a very special meaning in Finnish history it might be worthwhile learning about his life and times in his birth home. The tickets are five pounds for adults and four for students.
Medieval churches in Parainen, Nauvo, Houtskari, Korppoo, IniÃ¶, Askainen and Naantali are also interesting sites to visit when sitting either in your car or on your bike gets too weary.